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Slotted Phillips

For the sake of convenience engineers designed the terminal-block screw, which can be driven with either a slotted or Phillips screwdriver. Although a slotted screwdriver can transfer a lot of torque to a fastener, it can slip off the head — not very desirable if you’re working inside a service panel. On the other hand, a Phillips screwdriver stays on the screw head, but tends to cam out at higher torque. To specifically fit terminal-block screws, Wiha designed these cross-slotted screwdrivers, incorporating the best features of both slotted and Phillips drivers.

They test these insulated screwdrivers individually for insulation integrity and rate them to 1,000V, but Wiha claims they’ve tested them to 10,000V. The soft, cushioned grips fit comfortably in the hand and transmit torque effectively to the CRM-72 chrome-moly tool-steel blades. And Wiha super-hardens and tempers the drivers to make them more durable.

A set of two screwdrivers for #1 and #2 sized terminal screws will run you about $13.

Terminal Block Drivers
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7 Responses to What Do You Get When You Cross A Phillips And A Slotted Screwdriver?

  1. Tom Jackson says:

    I’ve always had good luck with Phillips screwdrivers by using the largest one
    that will fit, even if it looks too big — e.g. a #2 Phillips with the 6-32 screws commonly used to put computers together.

  2. David VandeBerg says:

    Why didn’t they just use square drives?

  3. Brau says:

    Ugh. The worst features of two lousy screw designs in one. Nothing but Robertsons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robertson_screwdriver) will do for me.

  4. Manny says:

    Robertson…yes. very common up here in Canada. ’cause thats where it was invented. Not bragging…(its just a simple screw head design) but just proud to see Canada known for yet one more small thing in this big world.

    Hex heads for nut drivers and robertson screw heads should be the only things left on everything made that needs screws. Everything else should be phased out. I’m trying to find reasons why that wouldn’t be desireable but I can’t. I’m open to opinions…Anyone??

  5. PutnamEco says:

    Manny Says:
    I’m trying to find reasons why that wouldn’t’t be desireable but I can’t. I’m open to opinions…Anyone??
    Two that I can think of off the top of my head.
    They are hard to “hit”, you have to precisely place the bit in the socket of the Robertson, whereas you just have to get the tip of the philips in and it self centers with a little pressure. Go put in about 500 of both of them in quick succession and see what I mean.

    Robertsons are also very easy to over torque, whereas a philips will usually cam out before stripping out.

  6. Whine all you want about Philllips and slotted screws, even if they changed all new screws to be Robertson today, you still have to be able to access old screws, so slotted and Phillips screwdrivers are going to stay. The same argument goes for the combo drives on terminal screws.

    I’ve had a lot fewer problems with camming and slipping since I got my Snap-on screwdriver set — a little overkill I know, but they were a Christmas present.

    I’m not sold on square drive myself, I’ve had some bad boxes of Robertson screws where the depression wasn’t deep enough. They cammed out worse than Phillips heads. Worse than usesless. I’m partial to torx myself. It might be a little overkill for some applications, but if we’re switching to a new standard, that’s my horse.

  7. Cyrano says:


    Torx is awesome, but yeah, it’s overkill for most stuff. But when I’m using self-tapping screws for anything other than wood, I just do it.

    Robertson – it can definitely cam out, but even if they cam out really bad, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it does with Phillips heads.

    That said, the major reason it didn’t pick up that much was mostly business reasons. He spent a ton of money getting the rights to his design back after a company in England intentionally drove it into the ground, and never licensed it again. Henry Ford wanted to use them on his cars (he was big into anything that increased efficiency) but Robertson refused to license it. Since a steady supply couldn’t be guaranteed, Ford stopped using them. If it wasn’t for that, I honestly think they’d be as common as slotted or Phillips.

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