Category: Screws

History of Robertson Screws

If something that can distinguish the Canadian hardware industry from American then it is the Robertson screw, which is also known as the square socket screws and Scrulox.

Square Socket Head Screw

This is one of the highly popular specialized screws, which features a square-shaped socket on its head and the protrusion on the tool is also square-shaped. Both parts of the screw feature a taper, thereby enabling the fastening work much faster and easier as well. Besides, such features also help the screw to stick to the tool tip without any manual support.

In this edition, we’ll be discussing about the history of Robertson screws, which are commonplace in Canada. Read on!

Here is how Robertson Looks

It was a pleasant summer day in 1906, when businessman, Peter Lymburner Robertson was exhibiting a spring-loaded screwdriver before his clients. Accidentally, the driver slipped and he eventually cut his hand. This particular incident provoked him to invent a more advanced screwdriver and some definite set of screws, which could fit this driver. He invented the socket head screw, which revolutionized the entire hardware industry.

Thus, the Robertson screws – the best-kept secret outside of Canada were conceived and became a huge hit soon after it hit the market.

These fasteners are arguably considered as the biggest invention in the fastener industry of the 20th century.

Technical view of a Square Socket Head screw

His specially designed square socket screws and the driver gave a tighter grip than any usual slot and rarely slipped. Robertson worked hard on his invention, which addressed all those issues and finally developed a machine to manufacture screws, with such unique designs.

In those days, the newly developed fasteners were soaring high and had almost dominated the entire hardware industry.

They became favorites among the hardware manufacturers and craftsmen, mostly because of their self-centring feature and that they could be easily driven even by one hand. Moreover, they reduced the risk of product damage and increased the productivity, due to which heavy-duty industries were also clinging towards these fastening objects.

20th centurys Robestson Socket head Screws

One of the early hotshot clients for these screws was the Fisher Body Company, which used to design wooden body parts for Ford cars in Canada. They used 4-6 gross of Robertson screws in manufacturing Model T and they even convinced the Father of these fasteners to invent another specialized type i.e. socket screws for metal, so that they could easily match with the metal body parts of Model A, launched by Fords during that period.

Robertson Screws Used in wooden parts of Old Model Ford cars

But have you ever thought any brand, which became such a huge success didn’t go beyond the boundaries? Why those screws were not found outside of Canada, when they were so much good enough for manufacturers like Ford?

By going deeply into this factor, inventors/designers can learn a great lesson.

When Ford was testing the Robertson screws to employ with their assembly line, they discovered that by using those advanced fasteners, they could actually save up to 2 hours of their assembly time per vehicle.

And in order to protect this huge advantage, they made a license agreement with Robertson, stating that he won’t be having any ownership of his screws in future, so that he couldn’t sell his patent items to other companies.

However, Robertson had slowly expanded his business to Europe, but to his bad luck, World War 1 broke out and his Europe project faced a huge setback. He still emerged as a winner, as this time he was flying high with a blossoming project and felt that signing the agreement with Ford would be in best of his interests.

Robertson Screw Head

As legend goes, somebody else rises and bites the dust. Few years later, another big name rose in the market by the name of Phillips.

Robertson ran his Robertson Screw Company till his death in 1951. Today, this company has grown over 600 employees, with 120 of them belonging to his hometown Ontario in Milton.

Screw Head Types and their Uses

At Mutual Screw and Supply, we field several calls from our esteemed clients, seeking help in choosing right bit of screw head types, appropriate for their requirements.

Different of screws with different types of Screw heads

Here’s a brief yet comprehensive guide to screw head types and drives. Read on!

When your jobs requires usage of screws then always remember to go for the right type of screw driver. While most of the screws look alike, but their screw heads are rather different, thereby enabling you to go for distinct screw drives, which fit with the heads of your chosen screws. For instance, Phillips and Pozidriv are hard to be distinguished from a distance of 10 feet. But both of these fasteners do feature different heads and simultaneously they require different kinds of screw drives for their installation.

Phillips and Frearson Screw Heads

Here is a list of different types of screw heads.


Phillips Screw Head


Invented by Henry Phillips, this kind of drive was explicitly designed to cam-out (it’s a method in which the screw driver glides out of the screw head, when it is driven and the torque which is required to turn the fastener crosses a certain amount) when the screw was bogged down, so as to prevent any damage occurring to the head, nonetheless affecting the driver. This particular design however created relative difficulty in developing torque, thereby restricting into the old drivers.

Other hardware companies therefore discarded the Phillips concept, as it created a relatively tangled and sunken socket shape in the head of the rivets.

These heads are usually designated in 7 types, depending upon the size of the screws and they include 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.


A Slotted Screw Head


This is the most commonly used screw drive and is commonplace everywhere in the world, although its traditional usage is declining gradually, because of its slipping nature whenever heavy torque is applied over it.

Phillips Tamper-resistant

A Phillips tamper Resistant Screw Head


Most of the screw drives available in the market are tamper-resistant because of their vagueness. The one-way and breakaway drives fall under this category, which require specialized tools to destroy the rivet while unscrewing them. The high-end quality of such drives is used on home electronics. Such feature even helps the professional technician to repair the equipment easily, without having to return the piece to the manufacturer.


Quadrex Screw Head


Quadrex, which is also known as the Phillips/square screw drive, is actually a combination of Robertson and Phillips screw drives. While an ordinary Robertson or Phillips tool can be used for its application, there is still a specialized tool for it, which enhances the surface area between the rivet and the tool, thereby enabling to handle more torque.

Earlier, this drive was sold under the name Deck Mate, which is now considered as other kind of drive.


Supadriv Screw head



The Supadriv, which is also spelt as ‘Supadrive’ is almost similar to Pozidriv by design and people often get confused between these two.

Anyways, this particular drive can be identified by two of its unique features. It secondary blades are larger and are of equal thickness. Moreover, it has got a superior bit, thereby making the installation procedure more efficient, producing less cam-out.


Pozidriv Screw Head



The Pozidriv is the enhanced version of the Phillips screw drive. It is patented by American Screw Company and Phillips Screw Company. Many consider this name as an abbreviation of ‘positive drive’. The major advantage of such kind of drive is its likelihood to prevent cam-out, thereby enabling greater torque to be employed. As per ANSI, it is considered as type IA and is quite similar with Supadriv screw driver.


Frearson Screw Head


The Frearson, which is also known as the Reed and Prince Screw head type, is somewhat similar to Phillips, but the only difference is that it features a pointed 75° V shape.

It is superior to Phillips drive in one way, as its bit can fit all screw sizes. It is mostly found in marine hardware and needs a specialized screw driver under the same name. Its tool recess features sharp cross, thereby enabling higher torque to be applied, unlike the rounded Phillips head type.

Hexalobular socket

Hexaloboular Socket screw Head


The hexalobular socket screw driver, which is rather popular as Torx and star drive, is a star-shaped recess as the name suggests, featuring 6 rounded points.

It is specially designed to allow higher torque transfer from the driver to the bit, as compared to other drives. The Torx is mostly used in electronics and automotive industry, as it is highly resistant to cam-out and even reduces the need to go down with the drive tool.

Torax Screw Head


Brass Wood Screws: Preventing Cracks While Fastening Wooden Panels

Earlier when the concept of brass wood screws was not conceived, the cabinet makers used to manage with nails, glue and wooden peg, so as to fasten the wooden panels. Although the glue can fix the panels, it is not sturdy enough for a longish time period. A wooden peg is however better than the glue. You need to carve a hole for it and nails, on the other hand used to be the perfect option during those times. They keep the furniture pieces intact, but again they even feature some flaws, like there are chances of bearing a crack on the wooden surface.

Brass Wood Screws

The hardware industry came up with an advanced option to deal with such issues. The wooden fasteners have now become a favoured option as these do not mar the beauty of the furniture by making a crack on it. Such kind of fastener is quite popular these days because of its advanced features and ability to safely fasten the panel in place. The market is today flooded with several types of wooden screws and you may be confused in choosing the particular model, best suiting your requirement.

Basic factors to understand the brass wood screws:

1. Such screws feature two types of heads, which include the flathead or slotted type and the Phillips or cross head type. The Mutual Screw and Supply is a leading web store, dealing with such kind of hardware supplies. The latest additions in their product page include the square head Phillips and the simple square head type.

2. Such kind of wooden fasteners also feature various head shapes, such as the round head type, which features protruding top with broad bottoms. Another kind is the flat head type, which is ideal for installing hinges. The hinges can be sunk deep into the wooden surface with its help. The last but not the least is the oval head type, which is both rounded and flat type.

3. Such kinds of screws are usually made up of hard steel, which comprises of brass and stainless steel materials.

You can even go for coasted brass wood screws to prevent corrosion.