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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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I recommend square drive, but if you HAVE to have Phillips, get a Craftsman from Sears.
 

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Paul,

Home Depot (or is it Lowe's) has has bits like that. The ones I use are made for a particular brand of srew and are not pointed. They have the little gripper ridges and they DON'T strip unless you more or less force them to.
 

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The name of the screw tip is Scorpion by Black and Decker.
 
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Paul Wheaton said:
I seem to remember having a phillips bit once that I really liked. It had little gripper ridges that would go in the phillips screw head. It seemed to strip the scew less. But I can't seem to find these any more. Is it my imagination?
Using the right size phillips screwdriver should work just as well. Some are wide, some are deeper than others etc. They should fit deep enough to prevent stripping.
 

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Today I looked over Lowe's driver bits and extensions of various sorts, including wookworking ones that drill pilot holes, then reverse to drive the screw.

Some have mentioned to use square head drives and screws. I looked over the entire selection of sheetmetal screws and woodworking screws and I didn't see any of the square head screws. So, where do you get them? If they aren't common why switch if you can't get them on the spur of the moment when you run out?

Also, with the pocket joinery, where do you get the pan head screws for those uses? I didn't see them with the pocket drilling jig, nor with the woodworking screws?

As long as we are joining---anyone have a "detail" biscuit or plate joiner? I have the larger sized one, but there are woodworking applications where I'd like the smaller ones to use.

If you have a detail joiner, what brand and do you like it?
 

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The bits you want are called ACR bits. They have the little teeth that bite the screw. I have bought mine from Snap-On in the past as they warranty them for me. You might find them at Sears also. They are made in 3 different designs. One for tightening, one for loosening, and the third does both. Be sure you get the one with the teeth in the right spot. As for square drive screws most of them are used on campers and RV's. You would probably have to try an RV supply to find them. I would probably stick to phillips and buy the best bits you can.
 

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It may be pertinent to mention that not all cross head screws are 'phillips'. There are two main types of cross head screws, phillips and pozi-drive.

Although a screw driver for one might sort of work with the other type it will certainly strip before the screw is really tight.

Phillips screws are rather plane looking and the screw driver has a fairly sharp point.

Pozi-drive screws look the same at first sight but looking closely will reveal a tiny mark on the screw head between each of the four points of the philips pattern. The screw driver point is much chunkier than the phillips driver.

Compare the two drivers at your local hardware store and you will readily see the difference.

Phillips screws are still good with phillips screw drivers! Pozi-drive screws are really good with Pozi-drive screws! But do not mix them.

I recently read that both screw types were designed by the same organisation for the auto industry and they are intended to slip before maximum torque is exceeded.

In my part of the world I would guess 80% or more of new screws I see on sale are Pozi-drive screws.

Square drive screws (the heads are not square but they have a square hole in them) are almost universal for power driver use in timber construction work.
 
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