Screws: What You Need to Know

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Screws are one of the greatest fasteners available. There is a screw for almost every application. I cover some of the basics necessary for understanding the advantages of the modern screw. Many` thanks to those of you who support onPATREON /> I can't find my parachute bag on amazon. The one there appears to be a cheap knock/off of sorts......would love it if some one could find out if the real ones are still available somewhere. I'll try and get some pictures up! PATREON />INSTAGRAM />FACEBOOK /> Amazon Affiliate Links: MY DRILL/DRIVER /> THE ONLY WORK PANTS I WEAR. /> BUY YOUR OFFICIAL EC T- SHIRT! /> Buy a Knife From Cy Swan Here /> For all business inquiries: [email protected] Our website:

Very informative. After watching this video, I feel like I graduated from Screw U.
oop, your tool is showing at 7:52 lol
New subscriber - love your videos. It would be interesting to hear you talk about how home construction has changed throughout the years. And why there seems to have been a real dip in quality at times, and why older homes seem much better made. Stuff like that. Seems that would be right up your alley.
Justin Lindle
as an almost 2 decade residential and commercial framer and carpenter I can assure you this man's advice is beyond invaluable to any homeowner or entry level craftsman. Thanks for providing your hard earned knowledge. ps I just bought a Burke bar. done without one for 17 years and instantly understood the applications when I saw it in your hands. Just like the press and your friend, I will think of you every time I use it. Thanks man
Eric Skinner
the yellow is zinc plated with a yellow dichromate acting as a sealer.
Tony Music
My nails are getting too long... They're growing out of hand.
I'm a Machinist-Welder, I hate wood (Lumber) and it hates me. I butcher it occasionally only out of pure necessity. Up till about 2 years ago I never paid attention to other screws besides Drywall screws and used them for everything. Then I discovered Deck Screws. Then I discovered SPAX screws. Wood work goes a bit better now.
Oskar Bremer
More of these info vids! Im an apprentice, i find these so good for learning more and more! Keep up the great work!
Tiff Stead
See a doctor about that finger my friend, Please!
After work
No one can hammer, a terrifying and sad on sir.
Just bought my first set of Torx head screws this weekend repairing a shed behind the house I'm selling. Never used them before and wanted to see if they were worth the fuss. They were. I'm a convert now.
Excellent video! Here's a quick suggestion for the next one: go around the barn or whatever structure you find handy and just point at structural or decorative things and tell us whether you'd use a screw or a nail to attach them to structure and what kind of a screw or a nail would be best. I have lots of screws and nails around but don't really know when one is better than the other given the situation. Thank you!
1:45 "GIGGITY"
Philips screws are just awful. They are designed to cam out and slip. Here in Canada you will never see them except for cosmetic and non structural applications.
The problem with Torx head screws are the substandard driving bits in kits like you showed. After less than a hundred screws driven, they start stripping out screw heads worse than the Phillips head bits. This is why the screw manufacturer gives you a few bits. Don't confuse them with your cheaper ones (Irwin - Milwaukee, I've tried them all). I fixed the problem by purchasing my Torx head bits in the decking section near the decking screws. When any bit starts causing problems, toss it. Screws have revolutionized the industry but are not as cheap as nails, don't waste them with a bad bit.
La Amatoro
I also like GRK, Spax has served well too; avoid "Fastap" they claim self drilling but the design is really self stripping, nails have better pull strength.(experience based on softwoods OSB and plywood) Drywall screws snap because they are only #5 or #6, cheap, and often thinnest just under the head, not because they are hard. Meanwhile deck screws tend to be #8, 9, or 10 and have a thicker section between head and thread. Likewise nails tend to have higher shear strength because they have a larger effective cross sectional area(based on minor/root diameter of the screw) and bearing surface, the harder steel in screws is as a basic material stronger in both tension and shear. ****** I agree that phillips should be avoided for anything other than drywall dimplers(wear camout is an advantage). Phillips is only popular because of the model-T and it was designed to cam-out in a time when production line power drivers lacked torque control. Torx are good for high torque but they weeble wobble all over and need two hands to get started straight, they also chose way too many bit sizes and there are two types [old torx and torx-plus newer & improved but less popular]. I prefer Robertson for general use, they have a slight taper that both sticks the screw to the bit and makes a very stable connection that can be started one handed, and 3 sizes covers most common screws, easy to accurately manufacture which is important with all the cost cutting low bit import products. Both Torx and Robertson bits resist rather than encourage cam out and the bit's wear ten times as long as phillips.
Kevin Sanders
Love to see somebody that can signal a crane correctly very few know correct signals even old hands
Matthew Marroccelli
Thanks Essential Craftsman. Now I'm properly educated for when I get screwed!
Carson Rush
These videos are amazing, and I can't wait to binge watch all of them. Thank you for putting these together. That being said, I got awfully nervous at the end of the video when the guy was handling a lifted load by hand. Please be careful. Attach a rope to the load (not the lifting slings) or use a hooked pole if you need to control the load and prevent swinging, but don't touch it. Being that close to a lifted load puts you way too close to the line of fire if the load is dropped.
West Texas Prepper
Duluth trading has the parachute bags
Chad Martfeld
was with u until you said Torx is better than Robertson... wtf man Torx bits twist off. and when they strip they leave circle... fun. Torx are junk. robertson all the way. Robbies are so positive that they take effort to pull off the bit
robbie omeara
When I moved to Texas I found that Robertson screws aren't as popular down here as they are in Canada, the Canadians invented Robertson screws so I assume that's why they love them so much. I mainly use torx now, they are a lot better anyways. Btw, spax screws are also a very good brand in my opinion, expensive though.
I would love a video about the proper way to hammer.
shawn keller
please please please upload as much as you can, I love your videos!
Did you get the dog that gnawed off your finger?
i just have to add this, drywalls screw are pretty much different from ALL other construction screws when it comes to hardness. a drywall screw has zero plastic deformation before breakage. everything else will bend.
"Yankee screwdriver". I've always wondered what the name for that thing was, ever since I saw John Belushi use one in Blues Brothers.
brian jones
Torx dive are shit mate ! Square drive is the only way to go !! I guess we all have our own preferences !? ( carpenter for over 30 years ).
I love to screw
Turning Point
As a Canadian it's fairly rare to find structural type screws with a Phillips type head since the Robertsons are so common up here. I'd much rather have Torx though. Today from what I see the most commonly found are made off shore. They seem to change there head forming dies less so it's not uncommon to find shallower head recesses than they should be. Steel quality used seem to be much more inferior and ending up with a rounded out head trying to drive them in hardwood, or the screws snapping even while driving them in soft pine. If there not properly processing the metal and treating for hydrogen embrittlement that might be a possible reason.I'm not China bashing, but I'm 100% certain the older ones that were North American made didn't have these issues. That yellow coating is usually a cadmium plating. Many don't know it, but it's very much not recommended to eat or even smoke after handling them without washing your hands first. Cadmium is a highly toxic metal.
Ol James
..YesSirRee, those GRK are wonderful!! Pricey, but worth it. As long as the threads get a bite, they will pull slap thru a board...
Brand O
Have you ever thought of a shop tour? came across your channel great stuff thanks
as a Canadian it's my patriotic duty to defend Robbie drive to my dying breath, however having never tried torx i guess I'm just talking out my ass
Very good technical explanation of the pros and cons of various fasteners. And all that from a Young Pup like yourself, graduated in '76 ? I did a tour in country, got back, married, and had kids by then.  But seriously, great video and keep them coming.  There are more than a few kids out there who need the knowledge that us old timers can offer.
Gosforth Handyman
Really interesting vid - thanks for putting it together! In the UK 90% of the time we use Pozidriv - they're excellent and never cam out if you use decent bits. I did a screw rust test vid a while back - the screws I commonly use are very corrosion resistant and never break - about $3 for 200 screws. They're very, very hard but not brittle. Would be intrigued on your thoughts - can send you a selection if you like?
Shane Watters
everytime i need three different tips to remove one temporary board, i have a 'talk' with the crew. now a video on the werid wonderful world of nails!
Dale Richardson
Right on, GRK has a great product, usually they come with a shank sizer smaller then most manufactures (less spliting) but still plenty strong. I hung a stairway up temporarily with 4 screws of a different brand, everything was great until two of us were on the stairway at the same time and we sheared all 4 screws and I was at the top of the stairs and it dropped about 8 feet and that's when I learned about shear strength. You should of seen a carpenter friend try to rip a porch down that I had put together with screws using a Sawzall, didn't happen as he planed.
Omg that is the longest/tallest freaking screw I've ever seen in my entire life!! I've never seen that type of screw before!! 🤯🤯
David FP
"Grabber" brand yellow zinc screws made in Taiwan are terrible. Have broken off several before I finally drove back to Lowes. The Hillman "Deck Plus" exterior star drive screws are incredible. Have built several fences with them, and I now use the smaller ones for interior shelving and cabinets. Not one has broken. Star drive T25 is here to stay.
Mike Ried
EVERYBODY if u like the video then LIKE the video help the channel out
Robin Coomans
Torx is absolutely the way to go! Nice one!!
The point against flexible nails against stiff screws is not valid to 100% There are flexible screws too. They are more expensive and made from stainless steel. I use them on the moving parts like doors, windows and the bicycle. Screws are great, and you can buy them by gram. At least in Europe. You go into the construction market and buy some screw for 20 cents or so. The price is only high, if you use a lot of screws. Also, saving on the price is easier, if we use the proper screws for the project, and only use as many as we need.
Duluth sells various sizes of those parachute bags
Ian McTeer
The Robertson screw has a long history. Invented in Canada by PL Robertson in the early 20th Century it rapidly became beloved by anyone needing to fasten light wood or metal. Henry Ford saw that Robertson screws would speed up Model T production and tried to buy PL’s company, but he refused to sell the company to Mr. Ford. Ford turned to Mr. Phillips and bought his inferior fastener that we’re forced to endure to this day. As a sheet metal worker I drove thousands of mostly #2 Robertson screws with my red handled screwdriver. When battery powered drills/screwguns came out in the early ‘80’s, I could drive more screws even faster. Love to see you get a good grip on a torx head when it’s got dirt or paint in it. The Robertson screw is still the best, in my opinion.
Adam Kreutzer
never knew screws were harder than nails. never really thought about that. thanks!
What makes Torx better than Robertson? I have a parachute bag from Duluth Trading Company and it works well. Take that with a grain of salt though as I am a hobbyist woodworker and not in a construction trade.
Kit Johnson
I love these videos so much. I wish you had your own television show
Maverick Wagner
The para shoot bag is great. I am still a fan of square drive. I buy the ceramic coated deck screws with the #3 phillips . They tend to stick to the good square drive bits well and if i have to i can drive them with a #2 phillips .
Reel McCoy
Lot of good information
Jesse Wright
Again, I loathe Tapcons. I've actually had better results with Deckmate decking screws than Tapcons in brick, etc.
You need to know lefty loosey, righty tighty.
6:02 hmm a finger isn't supposed to look like that. something is missing
Kal El
Great video! I too have come to the same conclusions you have. Would you mind making a follow up video about load, notching wood to support load (such as in fencing) vs relying on deck screws or carriage bolts to support load vs just attaching planks to posts?
Andrew Freeman
I used thousands of those tiny GRK T-10 3" screws in my redwood deck and didn't have any snap off, nearly invisible and great choice! (made in Taiwan)
Couldn't agree more on the GRK's  Counting the days until  I have used up the last Phillip's in my supply. One word for you: "manicure" YIKES!
7:40 ... This man drills. He drills hard. He sure knows screwing. I'm very impressed. My drill might be bigger, but I'm sure I'll never be as skilled with mine as he is with his. Oh well... Subscribe.
part timer
can you do a video more about the hand signalling you did at the end of the video
Chester Birchwood
Where do i get a display of screws like that?
John Callahan
great vid! might as well start making the basic crane signal vid now lol.
Ryan brown
Just started a remodel on a back Florida room. After removing the drywall I found that who ever built the room used 3" fine thread drywall screws to frame everything. So had to go and fix the horrible work that was done. Also had 3 roof rafters that were rotted and they half ass sistered 2x4 along side the 2x6 so they had something solid to put drywall to. They didn't run the complete span and came out with a small tug of a hammer. Drywall can hide some really horrible work! If you don't know what your doing hire a licensed contractor or do you research!
Prison Mike
Cadmium Plating is the yellow coating word you are looking for.
Drywall screws and cheap tubes of caulk hold together where I live in our nations capital. Except for the federal buildings. Nothing but the best for them guys
I still like square drive but I agree that you can't beat Torx!
Shawn Jamison
I definitely agree with your recommendation on GRK screws. I was sick of stripping out the cheap bulk Philips head screws and it was just frustrating. I picked up first box of GRK and it was like the heavens opened up and I did a happy dance. They are seriously that good. No predrilling, no splitting wood, no stripping, no breaking. Just awesome.
Vince & Linda Taylor
I will be 50 in December of this year and I can drive a nail today I'm not sure if most guys on a framing crew can do it. I can say this I both of my boys can.
adam laidlaw
love the video's. always informative and interesting. maybe make one about guiding vichels and machines with hand movements...I know most people have there own style but I'd like to know your reasoning behind yours
Ray Duerksen
Good vid, now if you could do one on bolts that would be great.
Mike Ried
another great video!! I totally agree on the torx bits and the GRK fasteners i "try" to get all t 25 size torx heads to limit the bits.... easier said then done tho haha.....i think alot of people are unaware of the 1/4" 18 or 20 volt impact driver cordless drills as well those REALLY made long screws and those big GRK fasteners easy to sink in
Use to have an old uncle from Illinois who didn't care what kind of head a screw had. For rough work he drove them all Chicago style anyway! That is, with a hammer. :-)
Peter M
I agree..GRK are the best and worth every penny! Reliable and strong, ideal for mounting heavy book shelves, cabinets and anything that requires strength. Sheetrock screws are just nasty and people use them in many incorrect applications, often at their peril. Great vidoe, thanks.
At 5:23 doesn't that dot on the screw head indicate it is Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) rather than Phillips?
James Stanlake
I hate the fact that screws in the #10 and #12 sizes are not around. Good olf fashoined screws that are to be used to attach a face plate for turning wood. The hardened screws just snap off creating a hazard.
David Howard
nothing hear someone more true about homeowners and nails that why i love scerews with someone with chronic pain my hands hurt just thinking of hammering tons of nails (also i dont do it right way)
Yugo 505
No mention of Simpson structural screws!?
NPC #45301239
That was actually very useful. Thanks.
master of nothing
please get a microphone. Great content! Great video!
Andrew jones
I really appreciate your videos. At 30 with 14 years in a assortment of trades. I want to be like you when I grow up. Thank you for sharing!
GRK is the best! we use them all the time!
Garry Sekelli
Screws will always be better than nails in every way except for speedyness to pound in. Easler to take out though and reusable.
Wyatt MacDonald
Why would torx be a better choice over robertsons?
Jayne Gus
If you need to fasten something to concrete or stone ( or any other hard material that a hole can be drilled into ) consider a product made by " Powers Fasteners ". They are called " Forming Spikes ". They are simply a double headed spike with a kink in the shank. The kinked shank locks into the hole drilled for the fastener. They are made of spring steel and are re-usable many times over. All you need to do is simply drill the correct diameter hole and hammer the fastener in . Removing them usually requires a long crow bar - sometimes with two people pulling on it. They are a patented product and they are expensive and are only sold in full boxes and once you use them you will be hooked.
Dr. Ron Goldstein
Awesome for us novice weekenders.....Tx
i got a clc parachute bag off Amazon after my last screw bin broke amd i love it ive dropped it from the rafters (im a hvac installer) at the end of the day cleaning up my tools amd never had it spill
can you please avoid using your finger to point out?
Very good info. I have been getting confused by the on slot of all these new screws. So your video has once again given me some more knowledge. Thank you my new friend.👍
The Everlasting Gold
Cool channel, you seem like a very humble guy, rare for someone with as much experience and knowledge as you seem to possess. I'm 21, attempting to start an electrical apprenticeship of some kind. Cheers to those in the same boat as I.
We run the exact same setup with the parachute bag and the Grk screws. Unbeatable combo for sure!
Another great video Scott and Nate! I can't agree with you more regarding the "Art of Hammering." It truly is a skill that requires practice. I've been getting some good practice this month on the jobsite. All the best, John
So much knowledge.. thank you for doing this.
I wish that radial arm drill was in MY shop.
Tony Mcloughlin
Great upload, you deserve more subscribers. Another thumbs up.
You hit this subject right on the nail .each fastener has a perpis it would be nice if a lot of the so called pro's understand this .Good job .
Michael Dougfir
When I was growing up we moved a lot. So Dad built a number of pkywood boxes for kitchen, linens, etc. But he drove the screws in with a hammer up to a point, then used a Yankee Screwdriver to seat them. Now with him gone I sometimes have to repair those boxes. Thanks for this video. I'm subscribing to see what else you do that I can learn from.
Can't wait for triple square to become the standard.
R. S.
I collect yankee screwdrivers - never saw one like that - must be an early design.
After about 15 years my deck is in a stage where the outer boards are separating from the deck. The boards are nailed in and I need to repair them ASAP. Regarding the GRK screws, can you recommend which ones I should use? I'm not a fan of using nails for this purpose. How long should the nail be? Thanks for the informative video. BTW, I'm also a '76 HS graduate. "Spirit of '76," we called ourselves.
Wilson Solt
I do not understand why there is anything but torx screws. I don't care for Phillips, and I might choke someone who brings me flat head screws.
lg junior
6:21.... that's what she said
I like the speed of nails out of the nail gun, but i've come to appreciate how I can get my mistake back easier with a screw.
Justin bustin
I dispise a torx anything. Ill take a screw before a nail if its mine own shit. I wish i lived back in the day when the best stuff was the norm. Give me a stainless everything if its my own building project.