Screw Head Guide: The Types of Screw Heads and How to Use Them

When working on a new project, you may be looking through your tools and thinking you have everything you need and know what everything is used for. In fact, the various types of custom set screws are used for a number of purposes, and their variations could mean the difference between a fantastic finished project and a mess. Balancing the strength of the custom screws and the pre-load — the measure of the axial load that is imparted onto a target fastener — can lead to great results. Here are a few distinct types of common custom fasteners and what they’re best used for.

  • Pan: This is a general term for the most commonly seen screws like Phillips. Overall, they are used for basic projects and are pretty versatile.
  • Indented Head: As the name suggests, this screw has six flat sides and an indented head. It is typically used in assembly lines where high volume output is needed. It is capable of transmitting higher torque levels than most other screws.
  • Truss: A round-headed screw, it is often used when there is minimal space above the screw’s head once flush with whatever it is driven into. Typically, they are weaker than pan heads, though they are most common in a kit of custom set screws, next to pan screws.
  • Bugle: As its name suggests, this screw is shaped like a bugle horn. These are almost exclusively used for drywall.
  • Round: Usually featuring a high head and deep indent, these small screws are also used for general applications like pan screws. They are also used when a smaller screw head is needed.
  • Fillister: With a smaller head in diameter but a deeper slot than a round head, these screws can either be drilled or shaved. They are used heavily in electrical applications and projects with a raised surface.

Depending on what you’re working on, you may require vastly different custom set screws to get the job done right. Be sure to research which type of screw is best used for the type of project you are working on. It’s amazing how much some tiny screws can matter in the overall picture.

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