Robertson Screwdrivers

Messages
1,918
Location
British Columbia, Canada
It sounds as though Robertson screws/screwdrivers are hardly ever seen or used in the US, though they're very common in Canada. And from experience I can tell you the Robertson is far and away better than either slotted screws/flat blades or Phillips screws/screwdrivers. They just work better during assembly and even more so on disassembly. The screwdriver needs very little forward pressure to stay fully engaged and for the most part just doesn't slip. They work well in all sizes, and it's fairly easy to insert a Robertson screw with one hand when used vertically and even to a certain extent when used horizontally (as the screw balances readily on the screwdriver). This might even be an important business opportunity. Once people have tried a Robertson screwdriver, they won't go back to a Phillips. https://ifixit.org/blog/9901/bit-history-the-robertson/
 
Messages
10,468
Location
Jupiter, Florida
I've seen plenty of them used here in the states. I've not seen any Robertson head screws or fasteners used on aircraft. We have a fairly wide array of fasteners used on aircraft. For flush head fasteners, my favorite is the "Torq-Set" style head. They simply don't strip as easily provide excellent grip during removal. [Linked Image]
 
Messages
14,595
Location
Central NY
I hate coming across torx on vehicles, but I have been switching to torx for every home project! Specifically GRK structural screws. Those things are awesome. Expensive, but such a time save compared to nails.
 
Messages
4,689
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted by mk378
Robertson screws are very common in US built RVs and mobile homes.
They're common for "deck" or fencing screws too. Well, not common enough as the box of screws you typically buy will include 1-2 bits to use with your tool.
 
Messages
1,058
Location
Minnesota
When I saw them used in some RV stuff, I switched and like them for most replacing Philips that I drove with wood screws. Reminds that I haven't pounded nails in a long time.
 
Messages
3,647
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted by ecotourist
They just work better during assembly and even more so on disassembly. The screwdriver needs very little forward pressure to stay fully engaged and for the most part just doesn't slip. They work well in all sizes, and it's fairly easy to insert a Robertson screw with one hand when used vertically and even to a certain extent when used horizontally (as the screw balances readily on the screwdriver).
With a small screw and brand new bit, sure. Bulk box 3 1/2" construction screws and a bit that's seen 100+ screws? Not without a magnetizer or magnetic bit holder. As I understand it they are tapered and this is supposed to hold the screw on a bit, but a little bit of wear fixes that right up. I think they do hold a bit better than a Phillips even when worn but it's not night and day. No one makes a decent Robertson screwdriver outside of Canada other than Klein. I think electricians in the US use Robertson, too.
 
Messages
1,210
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by Trav
Originally Posted by Onetor
.I wish the USA would go metric...
Add me to that list, measuring precise fits is super easy in metric, any monkey that can count to 10 can do a stellar job. Inch is horrible.
This not known to many americans, but the US have been officially metric for over 100yrs, but it was never implemented. I came across a document, that mentioned when this law was passed (to my surprise), several years ago. Don't ask me where I found it, I still remember this as it was shock to me.
 
Messages
4,689
Location
Ohio
The US "adopted" the metric system before the British did ! Now, as you say, "adopted" and "used" as the standard are two different things... Now, if it's any consolation to those in favor of the metric system (me, included !), a "foot" isn't 12 inches anymore, it's 0.3048 meters. Same with pounds. The official weight of 1 pound is 0.453... kilograms.
 
Messages
544
Location
SE Alabama
They're very common in the US. You can go into any hardware store or big box (Lowes, HomeDepot, etc.) and buy them. I have a dozen or so packages out in the garage (along with phillips, standard and torx).
 

ecotourist

Thread starter
Messages
1,918
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by ecotourist
They just work better during assembly and even more so on disassembly. The screwdriver needs very little forward pressure to stay fully engaged and for the most part just doesn't slip. They work well in all sizes, and it's fairly easy to insert a Robertson screw with one hand when used vertically and even to a certain extent when used horizontally (as the screw balances readily on the screwdriver).
With a small screw and brand new bit, sure. Bulk box 3 1/2" construction screws and a bit that's seen 100+ screws? Not without a magnetizer or magnetic bit holder. As I understand it they are tapered and this is supposed to hold the screw on a bit, but a little bit of wear fixes that right up. I think they do hold a bit better than a Phillips even when worn but it's not night and day. No one makes a decent Robertson screwdriver outside of Canada other than Klein. I think electricians in the US use Robertson, too.
My Robertson screwdrivers have seen many Robertson screws and they're still fine - even the cheap ones. My Robertson driver bits do get chewed up eventually and I just replace them. They may not be made with as good a material as the screwdrivers or maybe the torque is just so high. I can't compare Robertson driver bit life to other designs as I use the others so infrequently.
 
Messages
1,542
Location
UT
I've used a lot of Robertson screws. They are good. But I would not say that Robertson is superior to Phillips in every way. They both have their pros and cons. Robertson bits are much less prone to slipping out than Phillips. But Phillips bits are much more durable. I have never broke off a Phillips bit. But I have broke off a lot a Robertson bits. And when they break off, the portion still in the drill makes a BIG mess of woodwork. Phillips bits do wear out faster than Roberston bits. But Robertson bits do wear out also.
 
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