Types of Screws and Screw Heads Guide with Chart

screws bolts and nuts guide

Screws band screw heads types and uses. We put these together with chart to get better understanding about various typs of screws and the preferable  use.

Before we start too far, It seems natural to speak in the same languange. At least, we agree about standard screws and screw head types. So, here’s the table:

Actually, these screws and screw heads are quite different in their purposes. Some can be interchangable but some may not fit to fill others’ purposes.

Screwhead Shapes Guide

The shape of screwheads are different for a reason. The screw heads are the point where the screw stops moving further. The heads can determine the finish that we want for a particular project.


Countersunk Screw Heads

Some projects that involve wood need countersinking. Countersinking is a process to prevent wood and metal from splitting during the screw process.

Countersinking itself is a process to create large or bevel of a hole before the hole is filled with something. When the fixing has bee put in the hole, we can fill the hole. The hole is then sanded and leave no marks on the surface.

This proccess can be used to create flat surface without any bolt visible from the surface.

With addition of a pilot hole, we can further screw 2 parts of wood together with ease. This pilot hole has smaller diameter than the screw, so the screw can bite the wood or metal tightly and strongly.

It is very useful when screwing thin wood. The thin wood may not have enough resistant againts splitting when it is nailed or screwed directly.

And as we already know, some of the screws need countersinking before we can apply them. The shape and angel of the screws can split wood or metal.

Types of screws that need countersinking:

  • Flat Screw


This type of screw is made to be put flat with the surface. The head should be flat or even more, deeper than the surface. We can apply screw cover or sanding after the screw is applied.

  • Flat head degrees

The degree of the screws can be different. from 82, 90 to 100 degrees and even more. A higher degree requires shorter countersink hole and more spread too.

  • Flat undercut 82-degree

It has simiral angle to standard 82 degree head with with much shorter head. So, the thread is longer because of the head’s design.

  • Raised Screw Heads


This type of screw has more oval-shaped head and may protude a little bit from the surface. The screw needs countersink just like the flat screw.

The head however, is more like decoration and is not meant to be covered. At some designs, such screws are really valuable to add some accents to the furniture.



This type of screw used mainly for drywall and plasterboard. The design is good in the way this won’t cause wood splitting too much. Except for some thin wood. The shape under its head is curved making surface damage less possible.

This bugle type screws is a self drilling screw. We don’t need any pre-drilled pilot hole or countersink. The under the head surface area is large comparing to the flat screw. So, it can distribute load on wider surface.

Non-Countersink Screw Heads

Usually, this screw type doesn’t have angle for the head. So, creating angle to house the angle is not necesary.

Usually, we only need to put the screw on a surface. If the end of the screw is flat, we need a hole through the material. Put the screw in and lock it with nut from the opposite direction.

  • Binding


This type of screw is a short screw and usually is used to bind large manuals or bind leather.

  • Domed


The head of this screw is not hide. That is, the head is made as decoration. Some furniture pieces need this screw. Ottoman is the type that use protruding screw heads as decoration.

  • Flange


The head of this type of screw is made with circular to hexed shape. The flange itself is already built-in washer for the screw. So, it can provide strength necesarry to keep the screw in position.

As the head’s shape, it is a stronger model than any of the flat screw and the domed screw. Moreover, the thread’s size also is larger than the thread’s sizes of the previous screws.

  • Truss


The head of a truss screw is usually wider and somewhat has rounded surface. This truss head is usefull when working with sheet metal or objects with similar fashion.

Truss head usually is used for screwing something that is not quite permanent. Or, doesn’t have to withstand heavy use every day.

The drive type of screwheads

There are various drive type of screwhead which are available. Whish one we can choose, depends on the application.

  • Hex External


This type has hex-shaped head and the minus ( – ) on its top. This type can give us options on how to tighten the screw.

At the thread, the thread is pointy so we can put it on the wood directly without making pre-drilled holes.

As for the strength, the hex type tends to be stronger when tighten on a wood a little bit.

  • Hex Internal


this type requires allen wrench to install or remove. This screw usually is used for assembly-type furniture. This screw type also make the furniture less prone to damage.

If we buy this internal hex type of screw, usually we also get the fit Allen wrench wit it.

  • Phillips


This Phillips screw is one common screw type. The top has cross ( + ) or plus shape that is used to remove and tighten the screw. Moreover, the cross shape also is better at centering the screw when it is tightened.

This screw has sharp point and can be screwed on wood without pre-drilled hole.

  • Pozidriv Screw


This pizodrive screw has star-shaped head and is more stable than the Phillips stype

screw. It has more groves than 4. The star-shaped head maybe fit a cross or minus ( – ) screwdriver. But not always. It is better to use match screwdriver to fasten any screw.

  • Quadrex Screw / Phillips Square Drive


It is literally a combination of Phillips crew with square recess / grove. This screw is designed to apply more force but without making the wood split. The design is special.  Almost at the top of the head, there’s flat surface making the strong force not applicable to the surface of the wood. So, splittering on the surface can be prevented.

  • Slotted


This type has narrow opening for flat screwdriver. This type is the simplest, one of the cheapest andthe head  can strip easily. Well, the head even is supposed to strip when the fastening force is stronger than necesarry.

  • Square Recess Screw



Also known as Robertsons. It has square center point that prevents cam outs. The quite deep gove can hold the screw when it is tightened. So, you may not need to hold the screw upright when putting it on place.

  • Star Screw


It has can comes in various types. The first is the two Robertson’s squares. It looks as 8 point star in the middle. We can use the Robertsons screwdriver to drive it or use just the correct type of screwdriver.

The strongest type would be the 3 Robertsons type screw. The 3 Robertsons form 12 point star interlally. If used with correct screwdriver, it can withstand very high torque. So, we also see the application of this triple square for car’s drivetrain components.

  • TORX


TORX is used mostly for electronic items like laptops or computers. For wood, well, not quite usual to be used for furniture or other wood items.

  • TORX Plus

Has Deeper grove with flat point. Available for large torque.

  • Tri-Wing


This three-wing screw is new innovation from Phillips screw company. We can apply more torque to the deep grove than ever but also has similar design to traditional Phillips Screws.

Well, we also need new screwdriver to apply for this Tri-wing screw.

Tamper-Resistant Screws

It is the screws which are used to tamper thief. This type is somewhat modification from recent popular types like TORX, Phillips and Hex Screws.

These screws are used in public spaces or in places where the items are protected from thiefs. The example use for such screws would be expensive lighting fixtures or outdoor furniture.

  • Pin Screws – Tamper resistant screws


This screw has design similar design as the Phillips screws but the top side has different style to remove or tighten. We need special tool to remove or install the screws.

  • Sentinel Screws


This screws can only be driven one way. To remove such screws is challenging. So, this screw may work as permanent screw instead one that can be removed every time we need it.

  • Hole Screws / Spanners

This screw has 2 holes to install and remove. We need special tool to do this. So, it won’t be easy to remove the screw from its public space.

Here, there are some other tips we can give considering the use of screws for our projects.

Tips for selecting and using screws

  • Avoid Cam-Out

There are a few screws designed to prevent cam out. Some are designed to Cam-Out to prevent overtightening. Overtightening can damage wood or other expensive objects. So, it is better to have damaged screws than damaged expensive items.

So, selcting the right screw on the right wood can benefit you more. We can fit the right screws with the right torque to the right wood or other materials.

  • Preventing stripped screws

Avoiding screws to strip is by using the right drill bit. And, we need a good drill bit. A cheap drill bit can damage the screw anytime. It doesn’t have the right ( standard ) size and can damage more screws in the long run.

Secondly, use bit with the right / standard size for the screw. Bigger or smaller bit can have similar efect just  like the low quality bits.

Also, turn the bit at the correct angle. Turning the bit at wrong angle can have similar effect to using smaller or larger bits.

  • Removing Stripped Screws

Removing stripped screws can be tricky. There’s a tool called Stripped Screw Extractor that we can use to remove stripped screw.

So, when we find the screw head is stripped, we’d be much better find a good replacement. Don’t continue to install and screw it until it is tight enough to remove.

  • Use Right Screws for The Right Materials

For a light-loaded materials and use, we can use simple Phillips Screw, Slotted and other simple screws.

A simple projects can be a project that is mildly used. As en example a corner table that we won’t move every day.

For a simple projects, we can use screws driven by drill or manual screwdriver.

For a more heavy duty installation, we can use high torque screws like TORX or Tri-Wing screw.

  • Screw and screw head material

Usually, screw and screw head have similar material. For us, we need to choose materials based on the use of the screws. When it comes to outdoor furniture, it is a must to choose a rust proof materials like stainless stell or aluminum screw / titanium screw.

  • Price

Usual screws are usually inexpensive / cheap. However, some screws with unusual sizes may cost much higher. Also, a drywall screw or other specialized screws cost more oto buy.

The screw heads also can make significat difference in price. TORX usually is pricey compare to Phillips screws. However, hish quality screw can save money in the long run for being tougher.

  • Recomended online sellers

There are some recommended online sellers: Amazon. Home Depot and Lowe’s.

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