Main Screw Head Types You Should Know About

Screws come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re made from many different materials, they’re intended for various purposes, they have so many different qualities, and much more. Would you believe me if I told you that there are over 40 different types of screw heads?

Another, more important question would be why are there so many types of screw heads in the first place? Couldn’t there just be one standardized type that everyone could use? Well, there could but it’s not just up to one person. The thing is that all of these screw head types come from many different inventors, all trying to solve certain problems.

In this article, we will answer these questions and more. You will learn what the deal with all of these different screw head types is, what the main ones are, and much more.

How Many Screw Head Types Are There?

screw head bits

When it comes to the different and most popular types of screws out there, their head type heavily impacts the screw’s name, purpose, and even cost. We can’t deny that every screw has its purpose, but there are some types that are used more than others. You will find out which the main ones are in this article, but first, let’s discover the different groups screws are divided in based on head type.

  • Slotted: This is the smallest group of them all, containing only two types of screw heads – slotted and cross drive.
  • Cruciform: The cruciform group contains nine types of screw heads, including Phillips, Frearson, French recess, Motorq, JIS B 1012, Pozidriv, Supadriv, Torq-set, and Phillips Slotted.
  • External Polygon: Next is a group of screw heads that aren’t round and have different external shapes. This group has four screws, including square, hex, pent, and 12-point.
  • Internal Polygon: As the name suggests, these screw head types have different shapes internally, as opposed to the external polygon screws. This group includes eight types, tri-angle, Robertson, hex socket, security hex, double-spare, triple-square, 12-spline flange, and double hex.
  • Hexalobular: Each of these screw heads has 6 points of contact with their mating tool. The group includes nine types: Torx, Security Torx, Torx Plus, Polydrive, Torx ttap, external Torx, line head male, line head female, line head female tamper.
  • Three-pointed: These are all heads with three points of contact, including Tri-point, Tri-wing, and Tri-groove.
  • Special: The last group of screw head types contains screw heads that differ in a few ways. It includes Clutch A, Clutch G, One-Way, Bristol, Quadrex, Pentalobe, and Spanner Head(pig nose).</li

Main Types of Screw Heads

types of screw heads

Image Source: TheHomeDepot

As you can see, there are quite a few screw heads to choose from. The slotted screw head is one of the oldest ones ever used. However, as time passed, new and improved heads were invented. Even though certain jobs will require a different head type and this will affect the cost of the screws, you’ll probably want to stay away from slotted and Phillips head screws if you want to avoid camming out and a lot of frustration.

They have a nasty tendency to cause the screwdriver or impact driver you’re using to slip out and ruin both the screws and the surface you’re working on. Torx screws are some of the most reliable ones that you can ever work with. In any way, here is what you need to know about a few of these screw head types. The most popular ones include:


Phillips head screws are quite easy to turn, as the screwdriver won’t fall out as easily as the slotted ones. However, these ones were designed so that they will slip out at the end when you tighten the screw. It’s believed that this was intentionally designed so that too much force can never be applied.


This head type is the oldest and most basic head for a screw. Today, it can be mainly found in old constructions, as people tend to stay away from them. This is mainly because it’s very difficult to keep the screwdriver centered, and it keeps slipping out.


The Torx screw head is one of the better ones out there. It makes it extremely difficult for the screwdriver to cam-out. It has excellent grip because of the added points of contact and is considered as one of the best overall. Try to stick to these ones, considering you have the right screwdriver set.

Square (Robertson)

The Square screw or Robertson screw is one of the most difficult to experience camming out with. Its superior grip makes it one of the most commonly used ones, providing security and an easy drive.


This one is a better version of the Phillips head screw. It’s one of the screws that have the most points of contact. The fact that it has eight means a more secure grip and a lower chance of camming out. It can also be used with a slotted screwdriver, as well as a special Pozidriv one.


pile of screws and screwdriver

At the end of the day, the type of head a screw has will mainly determine what type of mating tool you use and how easy it will be to drive it. Sure, they can also affect the cost of a screw, but not as much as you may believe. Try to stick to the information you’ve seen here. We certainly can’t deny that some screw heads are just better than others.

About The Author

Stole Trishanski

Stole likes writing and DIY. Being raised by a single mother, he was forced to adapt and discover his way around the house by himself. He brings his life experiences to you in hopes of sharing his knowledge with everyone who needs it.

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