What is the value of traditional screws when Phillips heads seem superior?


Other than using a traditional screwdriver as multipurpose tool (not intended use), was curious why anyone would choose the “flat head” screws over “+”. 🤷🏻‍♂️

In: 2

Flatheads are really easy to make(cut a slot) and at larger sizes are good for easy open things since you can use a screw driver or a key or a coin to turn them. They’ve largely fallen out of favor as they’re not good for bulk manufacturing of items

Phillips is more complicated but still very common in households so it gets used a lot. Its nice that its self centering but has a tendency to slip out if you apply too much torque so its still not a great screw head

Torx is the one true drive. No slippage, crazy high torque values, and no fiddly alignment required, but a lot of people don’t own a set of Torx drivers yet so they’re not used for things like Ikea furniture

The only instances where I see any advantage of slotted screws over Phillips head:

1. If the screws are very cheap and made from inferior materials, Phillips head screws can strip the *head* easier.
2. If you are going into a soft material, and you don’t want the *threads* to strip, slotted heads might help because you usually can’t apply as much torque as you can with a Phillips head. Also, it’s hard to use a drill/driver with a slotted screw, so it discourages using one and over-torquing the screw.
3. Aesthetics. They look nicer on decorative items.

A flat head also has the benefit of letting the water run off it.
A Phillips screw will collect water in the screw seat, a flat head, if it’s lined up vertically, will let water run out of it, so flat heads are (generally) better for outdoor use, because they are less prone to rust compared to Philips screws.

A flat head has a better grip on the tool, and is less likely to shear, or deform under pressure.

Why anyone would choose a Philips screw over a Robertson (square drive) or torx is more confusing than Phillips versus slot.