Monday, December 17, 2007



Why do people insist on continuing to make flat head (slotted) screws. These have to be the most infuriating outdated piece of technology since the home telephone (oh you still have one of those... Sorry). So clearly no one would ever buy these on purpose although the do still sell them, but what is most upsetting is that they are included in whatever new fixture or accessories you buy. To make matters worse they are usually some unique size or shape that could never be duplicated with another type of head configuration even if you wanted to put out the effort.

So what is so horrible about the slotted screw? Well, first of all there is nothing to hold the driver in the screw. Even if you have a regular screwdriver you have maybe 2 good turns until you slide out the side, probably scraping you knuckles in the process. Second, in the same motion you have probably ripped off half of the metal of the screw. Now you have a decision to make. Either you back the screw out and start over, or you lean into it and try to power it in there knowing that if you do manage to get ti all the way in it will be left as a mangled razor sharp piece of steel destined to cut you whenever you come within 10 feet of it. And that is just what you can do with a screw driver. Remember that 18V hammer drill you finally convinced your wife you needed. Well throw that into the equation and you have a situation that can only possible end with you swearing and asking where the band-aids are. If you are lucky as the screw was simultaneously destroyed and drill flew off in some direction, probably gouging whatever you were working on or your hand, the screw made it most of the way in.

So whats better? Virtually everything. Since virtually all screws today are manufactured with cold forming any one of a myriad of head types are possible, and all are better than the slotted screw. What more is THEY ALL COST THE SAME AMOUNT TO MAKE. So for the same price as that crap ass slotted screw you could have had a #2 Phillips that everyone has a bit for (it came w/ your drill) and everybody likes. Of you could have had a T25 Torx, an awesome driver guaranteed (by me) not to cam out. You can literally drive a 3in T25 wood screw all the way through a pressure treated 4x4 and out the other side. Or at the very least how about something to please everyone. The combination head will let you use a common slotted driver or a Philips driver. Why would you not at the very least make one of these.

So why do these horrible devil screw keep ending up in my life? I don't know. Maybe there is some huge warehouse of them somewhere and the cannot seem to get rid of them all. Maybe there is an older VP somewhere who thinks they build character. Maybe that same VP only owns a flat head screwdriver and damn if he is going to change. Whatever the reason, there is little sign of them leaving my life so aside from complaining there is little I can do. I guess now is the time in my life when I should start working my way up the ladder at the screw factory so that someday there will be no more slotted screws and the world will be a safer place for my children. Of course by that time everything will be held together with "ultra glue" and there will be no need for such silly things as screws.

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