A Beginner’s Guide To Screw Head Types

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Why are there different screw heads?

There are many screw shapes and sizes to accommodate the demands of diverse industries in the world. Other than the various sizes, screws also come with different heads. As the name suggests, screw heads are found at the top; this is the area where all the force and pressure are applied to fit a screw onto a surface. Different screw heads come in a diverse range of designs so that they can provide the grip needed for a screwdriver or wrench to work with it.

Why Are There so Many Screw Heads?

Screws come with such a huge variety of head types that we often end up wondering, why so many are necessary and which are the best fasteners for us. Well, the variety of different screw head types has a reason. Slotted screws, though effective and common may strip or slip with time. The Robertson screw is more resistant to slipping and hex screws are more effective in tight spaces.
To understand more about screw head applications let us dive in and understand some of the common types of metal fasteners as well as industrial fasteners found in the market.

What Are the Types of Screw Heads?

There are different types of screw heads available in the market. Some of the common types of screw heads used for industrial and domestic applications are as follows.

  • Bugle Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are identical to flat head screw heads. These screws have a curve below the head to reduce damage to a surface. Bugle screws are mainly utilized on drywall and plasterboard. Bugle screws are advantageous due to their self-drilling property eliminating any pilot-hole drilling prior to use.

  • Combination Screw Heads:

    Combination screw heads are popularly used since they are compatible with more than one driver. These types of screws can be found in many permutations and combinations. You just need to be aware of whether these screws need to be countersunk. This can be determined by the shape of the screw head. A screw with an angle under the head will require countersinking whereas one that is flat at the bottom of the head would not.

  • Flange Screw Heads:

    Flange screw heads are also known as frame screw heads. The name is derived from the flange shape under the head. This shape can either be hexed or circular to help keep the screw in position.

  • Flat Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are countersunk, which ensures that the screw head isn’t exposed. This way the finishing looks cleaner and easier on the eyes. Screws with a flat head are also commonly known as slotted screw heads. The name is derived from its single opening for flat screwdrivers. Flat screw heads are popularly used and cost-efficient but also most prone to stripping- they are designed that way to avoid over-tightening issues.

  • Hex Screw Heads:

    Hex screw heads can either be external or internal. External screw heads look similar to bolt heads. Some of the external hex screw heads are hexagonal in shape and extend on the surface, while others have flanges that are built-in. External hex head screws are operated with a wrench or socket. Internal hex screw heads, on the other hand, have a hexagonal shape indented on the head. Internal hex head screws are operated by using the hex key or Allen wrench. Most internal hex screw heads come with a fitting Allen wrench.

  • Phillips Screw Heads:

    One of the most common screw head shapes, Phillips screws are popular for their cross shape. The shape ensures that the screw self-centers itself, preventing any odd-angle drilling. Hence, any type of drill can be used to install these screws.

  • Pin Screw Heads:

    Pin screw heads are characterized by a pin in the center, which stops the bit from being seated onto the screw head. A special bit is needed to accommodate the pin before using the screw. This is a smart solution for encompassing security and tampering issues.

  • Pozidriv Screw Heads:

    These screw heads resemble the shape of Phillips screw heads. However, the additional grooves of the Posidriv screws give them their star-shaped look. The Pozidriv screws can be assembled using a Phillips screwdriver. Pozidriv screws are distinguished by the ribs between each of the four arms, marked with a “Pz”.

  • Quadrex Screw Heads:

    The Phillips square heads are another name for the Quadrex screw heads. They are a combination of the Phillips screw heads and square recesses. That is why they look similar to Phillips squares. The only difference is the square-shaped cross at the center of the head, which keeps the screw from stripping even under excessive torque.

  • Raised Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are also called oval heads. These screws have a similar angle to flat screws with the exception of a head that is more shaped like a dome. The dome shape causes the screw to slightly jut out from the surface. These screws can also be countersunk as per the angle and finish you require. Screws with a raised head are mostly used for decorative purposes.

  • Sentinel Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are characterized by the shape of a spinning saw blade or ninja star. The head structure gives users more torque when tightening.

  • Slotted Screw Heads:

    This is the simplest type of screw head that has a single slot at the head. Slotted head screws have fewer chances of stripping due to their bigger surface area. So more torque can be applied, making it easier for the bit not to be sitting flush at the bottom of the slot.

  • Square Recess Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are also known as Robertsons. The screw heads are characterized by a square central point that prevents cam outs. This creates a self-holding design, eliminating the need to hold the bit in place.

  • Star Screw Heads:

    The screw head derives its name from the star-shaped design on the head. These screws are available in many sizes and designs. Such screws are commonly used in car interiors.

  • Torx and Torx Plus Screw Heads:

    These screw heads are characterized by six-pointed stars with curves between the points. The design maximizes the surface area the bit will press against. This allows more exertion of torque, also giving it the name 'Torx' with a lower risk of damage to the head.

  • Truss Screw Heads:

    The screw head has a negligibly rounded surface with a wider surface area than most screws. The design helps in fulfilling the purpose intended. These screw heads are commonly used for projects using sheet metal or large holes. Truss head screws are threaded fasteners.

  • Two-Hole Screw Heads:

    Among all the different screw types these are a rare type of screw head that is used for fulfilling security-based options.


KG Lilly is a renowned supplier of standard-sized fasteners and also custom fasteners with a large inventory of screws, nuts, bolts, washers, and many others.
Whatever size, shape, and/or design you might be looking for, KG Lilly is the place that has it in store for you. We also have different kinds of screw heads for your needs.

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