From electronics to the automobile industry, Phillips head screws are extremely common and are found in a wide range of applications. History records Henry Ford using these fasteners for the first time in his automotive assembly lines. Ford’s decision had a huge impact on the industry, as the Phillips screws not only boosted production considerably, […]

From electronics to the automobile industry, Phillips head screws are extremely common and are found in a wide range of applications. History records Henry Ford using these fasteners for the first time in his automotive assembly lines. Ford’s decision had a huge impact on the industry, as the Phillips screws not only boosted production considerably, but also reduced the chances of product damage from over tightening.
Phillips screws

What are Phillips head screws?
The head of the Phillips screws is designed to permit the driver head to cam out whenever excessive force is applied. The specific design of the head allowed the Phillips screw to handle greater torque much better than other fasteners. Moreover, because it provided a tighter fastening, they immediately found their place in assembly lines and it didn’t take long before these screws started being used for a variety of applications.
The advantages of such features can be observed on the famous Model T, the first Ford vehicle that was actually affordable and that opened road traveling to the common middle class American. In fact, Model T is considered one of the world’s most influential cars of the 20th century.

Phillips screws in construction sites
Without denying the popularity and importance of this type of screw in assembly lines and automobile plants, many are asking themselves whether the modern Phillips screw and its variations can add value to a contemporary construction site. The simple answer is yes, Phillips head screws can be utilized in wood frames, drywall and numerous other locations where contractors would use a standard screw.
Stripped fasteners and damaged screws were a common problem in construction sites before the invention of the Phillips screw. Regular screws that typically had the mating surface exposed were prone to wear and tear. Adding pressure and further tightening would have only added to the problem and usually implied a potentially dangerous and costly situation.
Once the Phillips screw came along, less pressure was applied to the individual points of the fasteners and constructors were able to avoid stripping. Because the Phillips screws integrate cross-shaped grooves over the head, it means builders have a greater surface area to work with. The grooves in the head make it easier to use a screwdriver, especially when you’re forced to maneuver a fastener in tight spaces. In addition, the same traits ensure that the pressure is distributed evenly and better, leaving the fastener less exposed to normal wear and tear.
Other noteworthy advantages of the Phillips head screws
Thanks to their unique features, the Phillips screws became a common sight in construction sites worldwide. They owe their popularity among constructors to:

  • Their wide availability in almost every conceivable shape, material and size.
  • Their cruciform head makes them self-centering, so they can be fastened in with one hand.
  • Fasteners with magnetic heads prevent constructors from inserting the screw at the wrong angle.
  • They are less prone to damage and stripping, as the Phillips screws cam out when excess torque is applied.
  • They don’t allow the screwdriver to slip out sideways and injure the operator.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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