Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

When & Who Invented Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

Phillips drive screw and Phillips screwdriver were created and invented by John P Thompson in 1932. Later, John P Thompson applied for a patent for Phillips screw and Phillips screwdriver. In 1933, patents were granted to John P Thompson for Phillips drive screw as U.S. Patent 1908080 and its Phillips screwdriver as U.S. Patent 1908081.

A journey of Phillips Drive Screw

Due to a lack of manufacturing interest, John P Thompson sold his patents to well-known businessman Henry F. Phillips. Later on, Henry F. Phillips established a new company named Phillips Screw Company. He aims to improve the design of Phillips screws and screwdrivers and is forced to adopt this new type of technology-driven drive screws.

After 1966, the patent expires, but Phillips tried to improve its design and manufacture with newly designed drive screws.

Phillips Screwdriver

In the 1930s, Other drive screw manufacturers dismissed Henry F. Phillip’s concept of newly Phillips screws. Because he thinks this is the relatively complex shape on the head of the screw compared to others slotted drive screws.

Other than this reason, another manufacturer is also criticizing because it is tending driver screw to cam out at low torque only compared to another type of drive screw. Due to various advantages of this screw, they are accepting this design and globally manufactured.

Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver Sizes & Design

Long Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

Phillips screws are designed by the ‘’PH”, and the size code of Philips screwdriver is referred to as 0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 per the below table. These are also called crosshead screwdrivers, and this is the most common and extensively used screw and screwdriver.

This screw drive type is widely used in many applications. Common sizes are #1, #2, and #3. The most common Phillips size is #2.

Size of DriverSize of Wood ScrewSize of Machine Screw
#0# 0 – 1M1.6, M2 (DIN- Just M1.6), or #0, #1
#1# 2 – 4M2.5, M3 (DIN- Also M2), or #2, #3, #4
#2# 5 – 9M3.5, M4, M5, or #5 -10
#3# 10 – 16M6 or #12, 1/4 inch, plus 5/16 inch. if roundhead
#4# 18 – 24M8, M10 or 3/8 inch, 9/16 inch, plus 5/16 inch if the flathead
#55/8 inch, 3/4 inch

Further improvements in the design of Phillips driver screw, Pozidriv screw, and screwdriver are implemented in the industry due to their unique shape and design.

Advantages of Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

  • Phillips drive screws are Self-centering and self-aligning.
  • These are very easy to use, even in complex robot assembly machines.
  • Due to its shape, these screwdriver does not slip out of the head of the screw.
  • Damaged Phillips screw can smoothly drill out because of its self-centering property.
  • Screw can balance easily on a screwdriver for easier staring.

Disadvantages of Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

  • Phillips drive screw prone to burring in manual operation
  • Phillips screwdriver slips with insufficient point pressure under high torque.
  • Endpoint of the Phillips drive screw is round. So, there is a chance for to screwdriver to slip out after further attempts.
  • Due to the wide variety of sizes and profiles, it may be hard to find or choose the correct screwdriver.

Application of Phillips Drive Screw and Phillips Screwdriver

  • DIY and construction projects
  • Robotic assembly machines
  • Wooden furniture 

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