There are lots of different types of screws and each has its own set purpose of use.

I know that I had a hard time figuring out what each screw head meant and how to use the different types for different jobs.

I now know that there are screws for metal, screws for wood, and even screws for plastic. Each has its place.

Here’s a quick chart showing over 60 types of screws, screw heads, bolts, nuts, and washers chart.

Types of Screws Chart

35 Different Types Of Screws And Their Uses 1

Yikes! That’s a lot to take in. Whether they are holding your chairs together, used for building a new house, or even just make a light installation, the type of screw that you use matters.

Types of Screw Heads

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A drill and screws with layout plan.

It’s important that we understand the relationship between the size and shape of the screw and the different drive types. So, here goes! I’ll arrange the list by types of screw heads.

Countersunk Screw Heads

When you drill wood, sometimes the wood splits. This is where countersunk screw heads come into play.

A countersunk screw is a screw that is “sunk” into a piece of lumber. The head will sit below the surface of the material and it can easily be filled with a wood plug or filler. Bolts and large hex-head screws can also be countersunk. Each requires a special countersink bit for the best results.

What is a Countersunk Screw and How Do You Do That?

Here are the screw heads that need countersinking before drilling due to their shape and angle.

Flat Screw Head

A photo of a flat screw head.
Internal Square Flat-Head Wood Screws – The Home Depot

Flat screw heads go all the way into the surface leaving no part of the screw exposed.

So, these types of screws won’t stick out of the surface and catch your clothing or scratch you as you pass by.

You can even completely hide them by using some screw covers that you can get on Amazon.

Raised Screw Head

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Wood Screw Slotted Raised Head ST Solid Brass

Raised or oval-shaped screw heads have a dome-shaped head. Unlike flat screws, the head of the raised screw protrudes the surface.

A raised head is a cross between a countersunk and a round head. It has a round top but tapers towards the shank.

Bugle

A bugle-shaped head looks very similar to a countersunk one except that the sides are rounded.

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Phillips Bugle-Head Coarse Thread Gold Screws – The Home Depot

Like a countersunk head, a bugle head sits flush with the surface of the material rather than protruding above it like other types of screw. 

Non-Countersunk Screw Heads

Non-countersunk screw heads don’t have an angle. The screw head sits outside of the surface of the material, therefore there’s no need to create an angle when inserting the screw head.

Below are the most common types of screw heads that don’t need you to countersink them.

Binding

Binding screw heads are two-sided screws in that you drill one screw into another. Kind of like a connecting a plug to a socket.

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 Binding Post with Flat-Head Slotted Drive Screw – The Home Depot

Normally, binding screws are what hold together bookbinding projects as well as leather, swatches, etc.

Domed

A domed head has a round top with a flat underside. Unlike a countersunk screw, a domed head screw sits above the work surface and is used when a more decorative finish is required.

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Stainless Steel Hex Socket Dome Head Bolts Screws  – Amazon

Domed screw heads are very common. These screws are good for projects where you do not need to hide the head like with a flat head. You leave them exposed for decorative purposes.

Flange

Flange screws or frame screws can be circular or hexed. Flange screws can sometimes replace washers and keep the screw in place their stead.

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Grade 8 Hex Flange Screws Frame Bolts USS Coarse Phos & Oil – Amazon

Truss

A truss head has a very wide rounded top. These types of screws have practically no edge on their head thus it is relatively hard to tamper with or remove these screw types.

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Philips Truss-Head Standard Thread Wood Screw Zinc – The Home Depot

Screw Head Drive Types

The drive of the screw head tells you which type of screwdriver or tool you’ll need to install the screw.

Hex External

These types of screws have a hexagonal shaped head that protrudes the surface of the material that you insert them into. Typically, you’ll need a socket or wrench to insert or remove these screws.

Internal Hex vs External Hex screw drive
Internal Hex vs External Hex screw drive

Hex Internal

The various screw heads that we call hex internal need an Allen wrench to install them.

They’re common screws that come with furniture that requires some sort of assembly. The Allen wrench is usually a part of the package as well.

Phillips

If you were wondering what is the most common screw head then the Phillips screw head sits on top of the list.

Different Types Of Screws And Their Uses

A Phillips drive is characterized by a cross-shaped recess with rounded edges at the cross-sections.

Pozidriv

A Pozidriv screw head looks similar to a Phillips but the Pozidriv has fewer grooves and is more star-shaped.

On the Pozidriv, you’ll notice ribs between each of the four arms, and they’ll be marked with a “pz.”

Quadrex

The quadrex has a Phillips-like design but the middle of the cross shape is squared rather than pointed.

Slotted

When you think of a slot head screw you probably assume that its a flat head screw. That’s because, on the head, there’s one narrow opening for a flat screwdriver.

Its one of the most common type of screws and by design they strip. But, they only strip to prevent us from over-tightening them.

The main drawback of slotted heads is that power driven screw drivers easily cam out. Phillips heads address this problem to a certain extent, but these were actually designed to cause the bit to cam out at a certain point to prevent over-tightening.

There have been revisions of the original Phillips head, most notably the patented Pozidriv, which does not have rounded internal corners and won’t cause the driving bit to pop out. The square or Robertson drive is least likely to cam out and transfers the greatest amount of torque.

All About Screws PDF

Square Recess

If you’ve ever heard the term Robertson then you already know a bit about square recess screws (they’re the same thing).

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Internal Square Flat-Head Wood Screws – The Home Depot

The bit that drives square recess screws also juts out on a square taper because these screws have a square centered point that prevents cam outs.

Star

There are many different styles of star headed screws. For example, a double-square drive has two Robertson’s squares that form an 8-point star in the middle.

On the other hand, there are triple square with three Robertson’s squares, creating a 12-point star.

TORX

TORX screw bits are part of most drill sets but you probably never used them.

TORX screws are 6-point star shaped and you see them in electronic devices like gaming consoles and computers.

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TORX vs TORX Plus

TORX Plus

TORX Plus screws have shallower groves than regular TORX screws. Therefore, you can use a bit more force when drilling them into place.

TRI-Wing

The tri-wing, also known as triangular slotted, is a screw with three slotted “wings” and a small triangular hole in the center. Unlike the “tri-point” fastener, the slots are offset and do not intersect the center of the fastener.

Tri-Wing Screws - A type of screw.
Tri-Wing Screw – Amazon

Security Screw Head Types

Moving on with the list, I’ll take you through the different security screw head types.

Fasteners are screws, Nuts and Boltsbest characterized by their unconventional drive style.Tamper Proof Fasteners are used in areas where an assembly is accessible to the public, as a means to deter or prevent vandalism or disassembly.

What Are Security Screws? Different Styles and Uses

Pin Screws

Pin screws look like any normal screw. But, they have an added layer of anti-theft metal casings.

For example, a regular Phillips screw will have a tamper-proof layer which requires a special tool to install and remove. A regular Phillips screwdriver will not be able to remove the screws.

The same is true for Torx screws that have tamper proof security heads. You can see this in the image below.

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Torx w/Pin Tamper Proof Security Button Head Sheet Metal Screws – Amazon

Sentinel Screws

Sentinel security screws are quick and easy to install, using only a standard crosshead or pozi driver. Quick to install with power drivers or standard screwdrivers, these are a popular choice for installers and for large volume applications.

Sentinel screw - one of the different security screw head types.
Sentinel Screw

Sentinel countersunk wood screws have a unique head which can only be turned clockwise, so once securely tightened, they cannot be removed without drilling out.

2 Hole Screws

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Pig nose (or 2-hole) fixings are security fasteners with two holes drilled into the head of the fasteners which are used to fasten and remove them, with a special insert drive bit.

Also known as pig nose screws, snake eye security screws, pig nose fixings, two pin, and spanner drive screws, these security fasteners provide an aesthetic medium security solution at relatively low cost, ideal for use in public areas.

You can get the different types of screws at most hardware stores. My favorite online stores (also have physical locations) are:

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