20 Types of Screw Heads & Their Purposes

Update : 11. November 2020 | Categories : Garage

Collecting all screwdriver bits for the different types of screw heads is extremely important; you don’t want to have to run to the DIY store every time you start a new project.

With the plethora of screw types out there, you can go crazy trying to understand each type and learn to distinguish them from the others based on their use and characteristics – it may take a few weeks to do so.

In this case, life becomes easier if you know that screws are very easily distinguished by a physical characteristic of the wrench – the screw head.

Learning to distinguish by type of screw head is not only easier and helps you identify the type of screw, but it also helps you understand which screwdriver is used with which screwdriver.

This is important because using the wrong screwdriver can damage the screw and thus the material in which you insert it. Removing the head can be a nightmare, only to have to pierce it later or to replace it with pliers.

20 Screw head type

To save you from madness and to find information about each type of screw head, here’s an introduction to get you started.

Allen screw

Countersunk head screws are countersunk head screws, i.e. they lie completely flush with the surface or just below it so that the screw head is not exposed.

In this way, nothing gets stuck and the surface is much cleaner and more beautiful, which is necessary for sofas and other frequently used or old-fashioned furniture.

Flat head screws may have a different grade or angle of inclination from the top of the head to the point of contact between the thread and the head.

82 degrees is the standard and is most commonly used, but you can also find 90 degrees, 100 degrees and other angles. The higher the grade, the wider and shorter the counterpore should be.

Flat screws are also called slotted screws because they have only one hole for flat screwdrivers. Despite their popularity and cheap price, screws with these heads are most sensitive to stripping – it’s because of their design, not to tighten them too much.

Raised screw heads

Raised screw heads, also known as oval heads, have an angle similar to that of flat screws, except that their heads are more curved instead of completely flat.

This means that the heads of these screws protrude slightly from the surface. Depending on the desired angle and version, you can also mill these screws.

With their dome-shaped heads, these screws have a decorative rather than functional purpose, although they certainly do their job efficiently.

Screw heads

Screw head shapes are mainly intended for plasterboard, gypsum board and plasterboard. These screws also look like flat head screws.

However, instead of an angle under the head, there is a curved shape designed to reduce surface damage (this unique design distributes the stress over a larger surface than flat screws).

The best thing about the screw head types is that they are self-pressing, so there is no need to pre-drill before use.

Screw heads for mounting

The heads of the fastening screws are not milled, i.e. they are not bent and are clearly visible on the surface of the project. This way it is not necessary to make a recessed manifold to hold the screw head.

The fastening screws can be used in various projects and have a slightly curved head. These screws are screwed together, male and female.

The types of binding screw heads are widely used in bookbinding, but also find application in keeping leather, fabrics, patterns, etc.

Coupling bolt heads

Dome shaped screw heads are like ants – they’re everywhere. These dome screw heads are the most common on the market and can be used for any project that does not require a flat head.

You can use these screws for decorative purposes, for example. For example in ottomans or sofas to create a bristly look or a metal pin pattern.

The flat inner part of the dome holds the screw in the correct position on the surface, while the dome itself creates an aesthetic design on the surface to be machined.

Flange bolt heads

Flange bolt heads, also known as frame bolt heads, have a flange that protrudes directly under the head.

This flange can be hexagonal or round and keeps the screw in place. In some projects it even behaves like a washing machine.

Cross bolt heads

Truss bolt heads have a slightly rounded surface and are generally wider than other bolt heads. This is deliberate and it works very well, as expected.

These screw heads are generally used if the plates are arranged in a pattern or if large holes are needed (because the head of the joist is so wide that it does not go all the way through the hole).

Phillips screw heads

Another common form of screw head is cross head screws, which are popular because of their cross shape, as they help the screw self-centering and prevent strange drilling angles. This means that you can also use a drill for the installation, because it does not fall back due to the force applied.

But watch out for the Force, because Yoda is your ally, but only until he’s superfluous enough to chop your head off quickly. This of course depends on the material in which the screw is made.

Screw heads Pozidriv

The shape of the Phillips screw heads is similar to that of the Pozidriv screws, but they owe their star-shaped appearance to the extra grooves they have.

Because of the resemblance with Phillips screws, the advantage is that in most cases you can use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws with these heads.

Pozidrive screws are also more resistant to force than their cousins in the Phillips family, but you may be put off by the fact that you need a special screwdriver or bit to fit into the grooves of these screws.

If you have trouble distinguishing between Phillips and Pozidrive screws, look at them both sideways – they have ribs between the four arms marked pz.

Combined screw heads

Some screw heads combine the best of all worlds; a combination of screw heads is just that. That is why these screw heads are among the most popular types of screw heads and there are even different permutations and combinations of them.

As a rule, combination head shapes are compatible with at least two or more screwdrivers. All you need to know about these screws is whether they should be recessed or not – the shape of the head gives you this information easily.

The screw head to be lowered is tilted under the head, while the screw head not to be lowered is flat on the underside of the head.

Hexagon screw heads

There are two types of hexagonal bolt heads: external and internal. The outer heads of the screws are hexagonal and protrude from the surface like the head of a bolt. Some external hexagon bolt heads have built-in flanges, while others only need a hexagon head.

To install and remove these heads a cap or a key is needed. Good leverage is possible with these screws because the head turns completely, not just the inside of the head. You can get a lot of torque without having to worry about removing your head.

Allen screw heads are often used in the manufacture and assembly of furniture. In contrast to Allen or Phillips screws, they are strong enough to withstand an Allen key during assembly and disassembly. The end result is therefore very satisfactory.

Because Allen keys are required for assembly and disassembly, most Allen keys are supplied with a matching Allen key.

Quadrax screw heads

Also known as square Phillips drive heads, square screw heads combine square and Phillips notches.

The heads of the square head screws are therefore very similar to Phillips’ square head screws, except that the cross shape in the middle is square and not pointed, which helps to control pulling under excessive force.

Screw starheads

Star-shaped screw heads are, as the name suggests, star-shaped. These screws cover a wide range of sizes and models, all with star-shaped screw heads.

For example, the square alcoves have double squares that form a central 8-pointed star. So you can use it to check with the Robertson bit.

Robertsons also goes up to three squares, which makes it possible to create a 12-pointed star. They are usually used to prevent the scorching flash from flashing when there is high power. Such screws are common in the passenger compartment of cars.

Square heads for countersunk screws

These screw heads, also called Robertsons, have a square central point designed to prevent cams.

The drill responsible for screwing the screws with these heads also fixes the nuts themselves on a square cone. This creates a design that retains itself and no longer needs to hold the fuse.

Three-winged screw head shapes

Tri-Wing screw head shapes are registered trademarks of Tri-Wing, as are the drill bits required for their use. Some people call them Y-shaped figures, which describes them better, but they are actually different from the three wings.

This is one of the many types of tamper-evident safety screw heads that are rare enough to allow anyone to easily access the bits needed to handle your belongings. The Y-shape of the latter is actually slightly more rotating, for lack of a better word.

Grooved screw heads

Yeah, that’s what we’ve been waiting for, to share the classic type of slotted-screw head with you. They have only one straight line for a wide slotted screwdriver.

They are less sensitive to delamination because of the larger surface area and higher torque you can apply, but more sensitive to delamination because the lighter bit does not align with the bottom of the groove.

Some have a smaller crosshead shape in the middle, so you use one of these two common pieces. These mixtures are called combination heads.

Screw heads typeTorx & Torx Plus

Torx screw heads can easily be confused with the shape of an Allen wrench, but they look more like six-pointed stars with curved areas between the points. This really maximizes the surface the drill presses on.

This allows you to use more torque (and therefore the Torx brand) with less risk of head damage. They’re fine, as long as you have them around. Otherwise you have to order it or run to the store.

Sentinel screw heads

Another safety-conscious screw head, the Sentinel shape resembles a ninja star or a rotating saw blade. The design gives the drill driver four flat points that must be pressed in when tightening, around the exact center.

This distance from the centre makes it possible to obtain more force with less effort, both when screwing by hand and when using a screwdriver. In other words, they make it possible to get a bigger couple. It’s also very rare for someone to have something on hand that wants to ruin your equipment.


Ignition screw heads are the pinnacle of safety because they can work with any kind of screw head. The difference is that there is a pin in the middle that prevents the drill bit from being inserted into the screw head.

So you definitely need a special tip that can take a pin before you even consider using a screw. It is a very smart solution to security and hacking problems.

Two screw heads with holes (and other shapes)

For safety reasons, two-hole, triangular and pan screw heads (type H) are even rarer than all of the above options. Just look at the picture to realize how rare it is that someone has these personalized items at hand.

Types of screw heads for each project

This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope that this primer was sufficient to literally nail the screw to the head. Different screw heads have different strengths and weaknesses, which you now need to understand.

Don’t be silly with the screw head types if you think there are too many – a little reading, a little practice, and you’ll do well.

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Editor: Rick Sausage

Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast whose life revolves around everything that has to do with home and garden. What started as a hobby has become a true mine of information and inspiration for both professionals and owners. Rick owns and publishes many of our content providers. To find out more about Rick and the operation, click here.

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