Internal Torx Screws – The Pros and Cons
As a great way of negating some of the inherent disadvantages of Phillips heads, Torx screws have enjoyed a huge increase in popularity. Also known as ‘Star Drive’ screws, the Torx head screw was designed with power tools in mind, avoiding the problems of camming out and head stripping often encountered with high torques. Of course, there is a huge range of options available, so this Torx screws guide will explain the pros and cons of these screws.
A company called Camcar patented the Torx screw, in 1971, and the design soon became integral to the automotive industry, as a more robust option than Phillips or slotted heads. The Phillips design encouraged camming out at high speeds and torques, preventing damage to the screw or the driver head from over tightening. Modern power tools incorporate slipping clutches to prevent overtightening, so camming out has become redundant, making a design that grips the driver head much more desirable.
Internal Torx screws have a recessed six-pointed star, which securely grips the driver head and transfers force equally across the head of the screw.
The Advantages of Torx Head Screws
- Torx screws are perfect for operating under conditions of high torque, useful for applications where vibration can quickly loosen poorly tightened screws and fasteners.
- Torx heads can be engaged in six different positions, useful in situations where space is restricted, such as tight engine compartments and electronic equipment.
- The recess and the driver head engage at almost a perfect ninety-degree angle, providing grip and discouraging cam out. This significantly lowers the chances of damaging screw, driver, substrate, or operator.
- This tight fit distributes force evenly, and the decreased chance of cam out and head stripping means less wear and tear on the driver head, which can last up to ten times longer.
- Star drive screws are self-centering, so the operator can engage the screw one-handed.
- Although Torx screwdrivers are available, the vast majority of people do not own a set, making Torx heads a good option for tamper-proof screws.
- Although Torx screws are not as common as most other types, they are easy to order online and they are available in a range of styles and sizes, from tiny machine screws to large bolts.
- Because Torx head screws can accept high forces and stresses, it is easy to remove rusted and corroded screws, making automotive repair much easier.
- Tamper resistant Torx heads, with a central pillar incorporated into the recess, offer extra security
The Disadvantages of Torx Screws
- Torx screws rely upon a very tight fit between driver head and screw recess, so worn or deformed Torx driver heads will need replacing
- Star drive screws grip the head tightly, so this means that you need exactly the right size driver for the head, unlike the more flexible Phillips and slotted head screws
- Torx drivers are more expensive than other options, and you need more screwdrivers to make up a full set. Star drive screwdrivers are harder to find, although the growth of online shopping is starting to negate this particular disadvantage
- The rising popularity of the Torx option means that they are available in a range of styles and sizes, but choice is limited when compared to the more common types.
Buy Torx Screws Online
As the older generations amongst us will remember, hardware stores used to offer screws and fasteners the pound. It was so easy to take a scoop of screws and tip them into an ubiquitous brown paper bag, but this practice is dying. Keen to squeeze more money out of consumers, large retailers offer screws in small quantities, complete with elaborate and completely unnecessary, environmentally unfriendly packaging. If you are planning a large project, this adds a considerable sum to your budget when compared to the sadly endangered local ironmonger.
Fortunately, online retailers have stepped up to the mark and many offer generous bulk-discounts for amateur and professional alike. Stocking every conceivable type of screw, you can cut out the bloated, big-box retailers and buy Torx screws online.
Hopefully, this Torx screws guide has helped you gain an insight into the fascinating world of these fasteners!
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