Screw heads demystified

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We can thank instructables user arcticpenguin for this excellent explanation of cross-head, cross-point, cruciform, and square drive screws and drivers!

These screw types have a “+” shaped recess on the head and are driven by a cross-head screwdriver, designed originally for use with mass-production mechanical screwing machines. There are a few other recessed drive screws presented that you also want to be aware. So, why all the confusion? Why all the damaged screw heads and drivers? Why is this screw and driver thing so awkward? Read on and be amazed while I unravel the mystery of screw drives and present some you may have never seen.

4 thoughts on “Screw heads demystified

  1. I’m still looking for that triangular screw head that is used with those free toys you get from fast food restaraunts. My sone loves to play with the ones that use batteries, but of course I can’t easily replace the batteries when they run out. I’ve ruined several jewlers screwdrivers by wedging the a slotted screwdriver blade into the triangular hole.

  2. The triangle screwdriver bits can be found. My local Ace hardware stocks a few, but you can find all sizes at http://www.mcmaster.com/. I can’t get a direct link to work, but search “triangle screwdriver bits” and a bit down on the page you’ll see the bits. Part numbers start with TA.

    I also have used these (and ruined tiny slot bits) for opening McD (and similar) toys. They’re a good source of LEDs, batteries, and sometimes useful circuits, though they’re usually the ‘glob of plastic’ variety of board, so you use the circuit as intended or not at all.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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