Tool knowledge

03-Jan| 104 Comments
Five most common North American screwdriver bit types

Five most common North American screwdriver bit types


While these are the five most common screwdriver bit configurations, the following profiles are examples of the additional 32 plus different profiles on the market today. Most of these are specialty and/or security screwdriver bits that are less common but still widely used in specific industries and countries around the world.

Tri-point

Torx Security

Pentalobe

JIS****





****JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) and Phillips (PH) may look similar but are not. Phillips screwdrivers cam-out if too much torque is applied. JIS screw heads have 90-degree corners and do not provide a cam out option.

SIZES

Type

Gauge Size

Slot or Flathead

1/8”, 5/32”, 3/16”, ¼”, 5/16”, ⅜”

Phillips

#000, #00, #0, #1, #2, #3,

Allen or Hex

0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 mm

Torx

T2, T3, T4, T5, T10, T15, T20, T25, T30, T40

Robertson or Square Recess

#0, #1, #2, #3


SCREWDRIVER BIT LENGTHS


Screwdriver bits are typically available in 1” 2” 3” 4” 6” and 12” lengths

What’s the difference between screwdriver bit configuration types?

Type

Description

Probability of slippage (cam out)

Suitable for power tool application

Slot or Flathead

The oldest traditional form of screwdriver bit configuration and the most inconvenient to use. Impossible to use with power drivers.

High

No

Phillips

A popular configuration in the US because of its larger surface area, which provides more torque to the screw head and does not slip as easily as the slot. Additionally, it is less likely to damage the screw head, the bit, or the work surface.

Medium to low

Yes

Allen or Hex

A good non-slip configuration and can withstand greater torque than other configurations. Developed in Europe and particularly popular in furniture and automotive applications.

Low

Yes

Torx

Similar to the Allen or Hex, the Torx can withstand greater torque. Because of its larger surface area, it is the least likely to slip. Torx screws are commonly found on automobiles, appliances, computers, and electronics.

Very low

Yes

Robertson or Square Recess

Popular because it has a ‘stick fit’ into the screw head—the Robertson or Square Recess screw can be held in place on the tip of the driver bit. Friction holds it in place while starting to screw into materials. This bit was invented in Canada and is the most popular configuration in the Canadian market.

Medium to low

Yes


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