In recent years, the Torx screw has risen in popularity, as a fine way to negate some of the disadvantages found with slot screws and Phillips screws. Torx head screws, often referred to as ‘Star Drive screws,’ are designed to be used with power tools, allowing the operator to apply large amounts of torque without the risk of camming out or stripping the head of the screw.
The Torx head screw was patented by Camcar, in 1971, and the design was widely adopted by the automotive industry in the 1980s, as a superb alternative to the Phillips screw. The Phillips screw was designed to cam out under conditions of high torque, preventing damage to the screw, product, or driver head.
With the development of slipping clutches and auto-cut out functions for power tools, this is less of an advantage and camming out is no longer desirable, hence the rise in popularity of the Torx head.
Internal Torx heads incorporate a 6-pointed star-shaped recess, which grips the driver head tightly, transferring force equally across the head of the screw.
The Advantages of Torx Head Screws
- Torx head screws allow the user to apply high torque, a great boon for the automotive industry, where vibration soon loosens poorly tightened screws and fasteners.
- Because the driver and screw head engage at almost a right angle, Torx drivers rarely cam out, reducing the potential for damage to driver head, product, or user
- The snug fit of the driver to the head, and the even distribution of force, means that there is less slippage and damage to the head, so Torx drivers last for up to 10 times longer
- The restricted availability of Torx heads makes them useful to the electronics industry, to prevent access by unqualified users
- Torx heads can be engaged in six possible positions, a distinct advantage where space is restricted
- Despite the lesser availability when compared to Phillips and slot head screws, star drive heads are still available in a number of options, from tiny machine screws to large machine bolts
- The high torque means that it is easy to remove even rusted screws fairly easily, making automotive repair and maintenance much easier
- Torx screws are self-centering, allowing the user to engage the screw with one hand
- Star drive screws are available with tamper resistant heads, for added security
The Disadvantages of Torx Screws
- Because of the tight fit, you need exactly the right size driver for the head; slotted and Phillips screws offer more flexibility
- Although available in a range of options, they do not carry the range of options of slotted, Phillips, or square drive screws
- Torx drivers are harder to get hold of and tend to be more expensive than the other options. You will need a larger number of drivers to make up a full set
- Because of the snug fit, worn or deformed driver heads will not fit the screw and cannot be easily repaired, unlike slotted drivers
Buy Torx Screws Online
Old-fashioned hardware stores used to offer screws and fasteners by weight, and it was cheap and easy to buy wood screws and machine bolts by the pound. Sadly, with the rise of big-box retailers and the demise of the traditional ironmonger, most screws are only available in small quantities, carefully packaged to allow the retailer to ramp up the price, which can be prohibitive if you have a large project in mind.
Online retailers are gradually filling this niche, and they allow professional and amateur to bulk buy star-head screws online, cheaply and easily. Amazon, and its subsidiary, Amazonsupply.com, is one such retailer, blending competitive pricing with the famed Amazon delivery network and customer service focus, rescuing mechanics and contractors from the expense and time wasted visiting the national chain hardware warehouses. It has never been easier to order Torx head screws online.
Torx Screw Resources
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