The New Wood Screw
Stronger, better-equipped screws are tailored for specific applications.
Synopsis: This overview of specialized wood screws compares head and drive design, corrosion resistance, and thread, shank, and point style, and explains how these differences make the screws suitable for specific tasks.
About 200 years ago, Job and William Wyatt, two enterprising brothers in England, transformed the wood screw into something carpenters and woodworkers were willing to use. Until then, Witold Rybczynski recounts in One Good Turn (Touchstone Books, 2001), screws were handmade by tradesmen known as girders. The Wyatt brothers automated the manufacture of screws using a lathe, producing a much better screw in a few seconds rather than minutes.
Today, most wood screws are made overseas, and few, if any, industry-wide standards exist. Nonetheless, it’s easier than ever to get a screw made for a specific job. Manufacturers continue to tinker with improvements, and some of them really are better than the old standbys.
Slotted and Phillips screws are…