When it comes to fastening objects together, screws are one of the most common types of hardware used. Phillips screws, in particular, are popular due to their cross-shaped slot, which allows for more torque to be applied than a traditional slot screw. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best Phillips screws for your needs.
What are Phillips Screws?
Phillips screws are a type of screw with a cross-shaped slot on the head, which is designed to be driven by a Phillips screwdriver. The benefit of this design is that the driver is less likely to cam out (slip out of the head) when more torque is applied, as compared to a flat head screw.
Types of Phillips Screws
- Machine Screws: These screws are primarily used in machinery and appliances. They're designed to be fastened into pre-threaded holes.
- Wood Screws: As the name suggests, wood screws are designed for wood applications. They usually have a sharp point and a smooth shank near the head to pull wooden pieces together.
- Sheet Metal Screws: These are used for attaching two pieces of sheet metal together. They can be self-tapping, meaning they can form their own threads as they're driven into material.
- Drywall Screws: These screws are specifically designed for use in drywall, with a coarse thread that helps them hold in the drywall material.
Things to Consider When Buying Phillips Screws
- Material: Phillips screws can be made from various materials, with the most common being steel, stainless steel, brass, and alloy steel. The choice of material will depend on the environment where the screw will be used. For example, stainless steel screws are ideal for outdoor use as they are resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Size: The size of a screw refers to its length and diameter. Longer screws are used for joining thicker materials, while shorter screws are used for thinner materials. The diameter, or gauge, of the screw is also important to consider.
- Thread Count: The number of threads per inch on the screw is another important factor. A higher thread count means the screw will hold better, but it will also be harder to drive in.
- Head Style: Phillips screws come with different head styles, including flat, round, pan, truss, and more. The choice of head style will depend on the aesthetics and functionality you want.
- Coating: Some screws come with a coating for added durability. This could be a zinc coating to prevent rust, or a black oxide coating for improved lubricity and appearance.
Top Phillips Screws for 2023
With an understanding of material choices, head styles, drive sizes, and threading, here are some of the best Phillips screws on the market today:
1. Grip-Rite GRKRSGP81006 Grade 8 Coarse Thread Exterior Screws
Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, these #2 drive screws feature a rugged raised head for excellent durability in demanding outdoor applications like decking, fencing, and siding. The coarse 10 threads per inch count firmly anchors screws into soft woods and pressure treated lumber down to only 1-1/4". At competitive prices, they set the standard for exterior-grade weather resistance.
2. Spax T50SB502S Self-Drilling SpeedBolt Screws
If installation speed is a priority, look no further than these remarkable self-drilling screws. The drill point tip bores its own pilot holes for lightning fast assembly without predrilling. The combination #2 Phillips drive paired with a Hex recess makes them suitable for both screw guns and impact drivers. Stainless steel construction keeps these screws looking sharp indoors or out.
3. Gorilla 20020432 Heavy-Duty Construction Grade Screws
For woodworking and construction projects that demand high strength, turn to Gorilla's #2 drive carbon steel construction screws. With a self-locking modified thread pattern gripping 20 threads per inch, these screws achieve remarkably tight holding power even in softer or split woods like pine. The hardened steel head resists camming out while the grooved neck helps align mating surfaces.
4. Tekton 30470 Slotted Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Screws
Precise applications like RV paneling, boat building, and electrical boxes call for screws able to lock through thin gauge materials. Tekton's stainless steel sheet metal screws have an ultra-thin precision slotted head and reinforced diamond point tip to start and seat fully in materials as thin as 0.025". An impressive value for their quality, corrosion resistance, and precision.
5. SENCO SCS14-00042 Slugger Collection Finish Nails
When a low-profile appearance is needed, finish nails are a top choice. These hardened and sharpened stainless steel nails from Senco provide primary strength when used with wood glue. Clean round heads won't telegraph through finished surfaces the way counter-sunk metal screws might. A #2 Phillips drive keeps installation quick with power tools but allows removal by hand if needed later on.
6. Bostitch T27FTR Fastener Combination Pack
Gain versatility with this assorted combo pack from construction staple Bostitch. Including both finish nails and wood screws in stainless steel and carbon steel options, it covers typical household projects without trips to the hardware store. Standard #2 drive sizes ensure compatibility with most drivers. An affordable way to build up an all-purpose fastener assortment.
7. Quik Drive QDPS-962FT Phillips Flat Head Machinery Screws
Precision equipment like small engines, appliances, and electronics depend on tiny fasteners for robust assembly. These miniature flathead Philips #00-90 screws from Quik Drive provide superior strength in a minuscule profile down to only 1/4". Formed from heat-treated case-hardened steel, they resist stripping or damage from tight spaces and torquey automatic assembly lines.
How to Buy the Right Phillips Screws
- Identify Your Needs: Understand what you need the screws for. The material you're working with, the environmental conditions, and the load the screw needs to bear will all factor into your decision.
- Choose the Right Material: Pick a screw material that's suitable for your needs. If you're working outdoors or in a humid environment, consider stainless steel.
- Pick the Right Size and Thread Count: Make sure the screw is long enough to secure the materials you're working with, and has the right thread count for your needs.
- Select the Right Head Style: The head style will depend on your aesthetic preferences and the functional requirements of the project.
- Consider the Brand: Lastly, consider the brand. Choose a reputable brand that's known for high-quality products.
In conclusion, buying the right Phillips screws involves understanding your needs and the specific requirements of your project. Once you've considered all these factors, you should be able to buy the best screws for your needs.