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Wood screws- type and where to buy?

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bp122

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Hi All

This is my question, I'm getting to a stage where I'm building a few jigs and fixtures for my woodworking. What do you guys and most people use - torx or phillips and where is the best place to buy good quality ones in bulk? (Axminster and Screwfix boy have bulk options for £39 and £29 respectively)

Until now, I was using a box of cheap 'bee&queue' box of assorted screws which I had for the last 6 years.

Now the issues with that are:
1. Very limited choice for type, some are the good awful slot heads which I loathe.
2. Not great quality, they strip very easy
3. It is actually expensive for the usable number of screws one gets
4. They are all in one box and it is a pain to get the one I need when I need it

Please share your thoughts.

Best regards
B
 

Droogs

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for me personally I prefer Torx (forgefast - toolstation)or Robertson type heads (if I can find them)
 

Trevanion

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Wurth AW drive screws are excellent and fairly priced but you might have a tough time finding them if you're not trade and can't go to Wurth directly.

Reisser Cutter Screws are also excellent, you get what you pay for with screws, cheap ones will just let you down.
 

thetyreman

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I really like hex screws and bolts, I got my last batch on ebay, was pleasantly surprised, they are a bit uglier but I definitely prefer them to pozi drive and flathead screws, I'd imagine torx and robertson would be excellent as well but haven't had chance to use them yet.
 

Inspector

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I despise Phillips type screws and only use them if I have no other choice.
Slotted screws are a rare puppy here. Just used on some traditional furniture hardware and traditional wooden boatbuilding.
The Robertson (square head) was invented by a Canadian so pretty much dominates in construction with some Torx head specialty stuff. I built some decks for the house this summer and used almost 2,000 #8 screws 3" long along with some other sizes. They were all driven with one bit in the corded drill/driver or a 90º angle head air drill (some tight spaces) and the bit is still good for a lot more screws.
Hex screws for wood are not very common but are specified for joist hangers and the like. Used in the neighbourhood of 1,500 them in the decks too. Joist hangers and clips have a lot of holes. Each box of 200 comes with a new driver tip. Have a few spares now.

A useful tip. When driving a lot of screws through plywood for flooring use a drywall screw gun. You can set the depth so the screw stops just below the surface without fear of overdriving. For this you will need more driver tips as it does wear them faster. Even the Robertsons. :wink:

Pete
 

Jonathan S

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For years I've used spax or heco, up to 50mm I prefer PZ head for the bigger stuff torx.

Also it's important to use quality bits to drive them in....at the moment I'm using Festool bits and they're good also Wera are nice.

Sent from my SM-J530F using Tapatalk
 

MikeG.

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Trevanion":mnbelk1a said:
.......Reisser Cutter Screws are also excellent, you get what you pay for with screws, cheap ones will just let you down.
Excellent screws, but their price has gone through the roof in the last 6 or 12 months. After using them exclusively for the last 5 years I am trying a look-alike competitor from Ironmongery Direct at the moment: Ulti-Mate woodscrews. They have the same cutter built into the threads allowing the screw to drill its own hole, a similar passivation type coating (waxed), and the same ribs to the underside of the head allowing easy countersinking. The dozen or so I've used so far have been indistinguishable from Reisser Cutters.......other than by price.
 

woodbloke66

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I currently use Pozidrive but I'm running them down and switching over to Torx which are much better. I use traditional brass slotted screws of various denominations which are still made (the last screws I ordered were No.5 x 25 & 30mm) but do cost an arm n'a leg - Rob
 

shed9

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I'd take a step back here, the requirement is for jigs and fixtures and screws are not always the best option.
Personally for jigs and fixtures I tend to use threaded inserts & socket heads and more often these days, plastic nails. Jigs and fixtures often end up being reworked so having that ability to cleanly dismantle and change is a timesaver, hence the insert and socket screws. If it's a quick and dirty jig, plastic nails work for me, dirt simple and I don't have to worry about cutters bedding into random metal should it happen.

I do agree however that when buying screws you very much get what you pay for and its rarely cost effective buying cheap.

Also as pointed out already in the suggestion to use a dry-wall driver and quality bits, the drive mechanism is just as important as the fastener. A drill driver is never going to be as effective or less prone to cam out than an impact in many cases. Invest in a decent driver / impact / dry wall (delete as applicable), don't cheap out in the bits but suck it up and accept that they are consumables.

Just my £0.02 worth.
 

bp122

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Thanks for the response, fellas.

Regarding the screws. I gravitated towards torx before I wrote this post, but just wanted to double check what people used.

Use: It isn't just for jigs and fixtures, but also for all sort of odd jobs in and around the house. But it is good to know the options as you guys mentioned.

Driver: I was gifted a Dewalt XR impact driver for my birthday, and it is really good. As a result i no longer use my drill for driving screws anymore. But I had never heard of a drywall driver - not that I can afford one now, but I must learn more about it online.

Plastic Nails: I had never heard of these, sounds like a great idea, again, more learning!
I'd like to use threaded inserts in the future, when the jigs I build are more for long term.

Bits: Most large screw packs come with either bits or a set of bits. But what are the 'good bits'? Make and metal / coating?


I just discovered that there are countersunk and double countersunk screws. What is the real benefit of one over the other?
 

Vann

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Inspector":xwdu30mv said:
I despise Phillips type screws and only use them if I have no other choice...
I'm with you. Phillips and pozidrive are a pain.

Over here (New Zealand) Robertson square drive are overtaking pozidrive as the most commonly available.

Inspector":xwdu30mv said:
...Slotted screws are a rare puppy here. Just used on some traditional furniture hardware and traditional wooden boatbuilding......
I like to use brass slotted screws for better quality work (not that I do much of that) but they're hard to find as most brass screws now come Phillps or combined Phillips and slotted - which just doesn't look traditional :cry:

Most of my brass slotted screw stock came from Lee Valley (whenever I order something I get a few packets of screws too - although my last order must have been at least a couple of years ago). Lee Valley get them from China, but they're a very traditional screw (i.e. not threaded right up to the head like most brass screws supplied with door and window accessories).

Cheers, Vann.
 

Simon_M

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Big box of 1200 Pozidrive screws (in a plastic box) and (now) new box when I run out e.g. most popular noes are replaced with a box of 200 - usually from Screwfix.

I noticed that all the screws in the bog box use Pozidrive #2 - so I bought a decent long #2 bit for my impact driver - lasts forever and doesn't damage the screws. I just realised that there are also Pozidrive #3 for very big screws - but not needed them so far, otherwise I will get a similar #3 bit. Some impact driver bits are cheap - for a reason, so best avoided. I always use a pilot hole and not surprisingly I don't get problems with using Pozidrive screws. With more know-how I might be tempted to try something else.
 

Deadeye

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Another vote for Torx.

I asked the same quesiton here about a year ago. Took the advice and bought from Toolstation. They're great. Yes more pricey but worth it.
 

Woody2Shoes

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I think it's horses for courses:

- Torx or Hex is better than Posi which is (a little) better than Philips which is (a lot) better than slotted.
- Stainless is better for exposed locations or for tannin-rich wood like oak (but is mechanically weaker proportionately, and requires a pilot hole in any hardwood). Brass is nice for furniture or other good quality indoor stuff. Steel (with different coatings) is best for general construction (I like Spax Wirox for important outdoor stuff).
- Toolstation and Screwfix between them are usually OK for price and availability - or just the cheapest at the local builders merchant or DIY shed if it's not too important.

Cheers, W2S

PS I do wonder how well some coatings last on steel screws in treated softood - I think that the preservative can quite quickly degrade the protective coating in the presence of moisture.
 

Phil Pascoe

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MikeG.":1oe6eu3x said:
After using them exclusively for the last 5 years I am trying a look-alike competitor from Ironmongery Direct at the moment: Ulti-Mate woodscrews. They have the same cutter built into the threads allowing the screw to drill its own hole, a similar passivation type coating (waxed), and the same ribs to the underside of the head allowing easy countersinking.
https://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails ... -turbogold
Look much the same.
 

Claud1

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Torx for me every time if you are not using hundreds a week Spax and higher end of the market screws are definitely better for not shearing or stripping of the heads but if you are using a lot and cost comes into it well maybe not be for everyone
 

AJB Temple

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I use Reisser. I have tried clones. I tend to work in oak some of which is pretty hard. I find with clones that an impact driver sometimes snaps them. Not so with Reisser.

I also use a lot of hex head timber fix.
 
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