Home » Screw it right! Understanding the various types of screw heads and saving your day from stripped screws

Screw it right! Understanding the various types of screw heads and saving your day from stripped screws

Learn to identify and utilize different screw heads, and say goodbye to the frustration of stripped screws!

Ever found yourself puzzled while staring at a toolbox, unsure of which tool you need for the job at hand?

Or perhaps you’ve been frustrated by a stubborn stripped screw that just won’t budge, no matter what you try?

Fear no more! In this enlightening piece, we’re going to delve into the fascinating world of screw heads.

We’ll not only help you distinguish between the flat head, Phillips head, and hex head screws, but we’ll also equip you with invaluable knowledge on tackling the pesky problem of stripped screws.

Ready to unlock the secrets of the humble screw and become a whizz at all your DIY projects?

Let’s get started!

Flat head screws

One of the most common types of screws is the flat head screw. It has a flat top, a conical under-head, and it can be driven with a flat-blade screwdriver.

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This type of screw is often used in situations where the screw head needs to be flush with the surface.

Phillips head screws

Next, we have the Phillips head screw. It’s identified by its cruciform shape, making it more resistant to cam out (slippage) than flat head screws.

However, excessive force can still strip the screw head, making it challenging to remove.

Hex head screws

Another common type is the hex head screw. It has a hexagonal shape and is typically driven with a wrench or a hex driver.

This type of screw is often used in machinery, automotive, and large construction projects.

How understanding screw heads helps with stripped screws?

Now that we’ve covered the basic types of screw heads, let’s discuss how this information can help when dealing with stripped screws.

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When a screw head is stripped, it means the tool can’t grip the head to turn the screw.

However, if you understand the type of screw head, you can use various techniques to remove it.

For instance, if you have a stripped Phillips head screw, you can use a flat head screwdriver to attempt to gain more grip.

If that doesn’t work, you can use a rotary tool to cut a new slot into the head, effectively turning it into a flat head screw.

For a stripped hex head screw, you can try using a Torx driver, which can sometimes grab onto the remaining material in the screw head.

If that doesn’t work, you can use a screw extractor or even drill out the screw.


Understanding the various types of screw heads is valuable knowledge for anyone who regularly works with screws.

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It not only helps you select the right tool for the job but can also be a lifesaver when dealing with a stripped screw.

With a little patience and the right approach, you can overcome this common issue.

Did this article help you understand the different types of screw heads and how to deal with stripped screws?

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Your friends and followers might find it helpful as well!

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Kimberly Almond
Written by: Kimberly Almond