View Full Version : What Kind of Screw Driver Is This?
02-15-2002, 07:58 PM
I tried to replace a Phillips screw dirver at Sears the other day. Figured the $5 one would be better than the $4 dollar one. It looks like a Phillips. Sort of. But it does not fit Phillips Screws.
What the heck is a 1/4 Reed Prince Screwdriver?
Okay I know with it is since I have one in hand the package says "Used in automotive, Aircraft, electronics and appliance industries." I've never seen Reed Prince screws listed in catalogues. New one on this old dog.
02-15-2002, 08:06 PM
I'm not famialiar with Reed Prince screws, either, but there was a thread a month or two ago talking about them. You can probably find it with the search feature. Can't remember for sure if it was in B&R or Misc
02-15-2002, 08:10 PM
Reed & Prince heads have been around a long time, then sometime in the early '80's they became Frearson heads though they were the same configuration. Don't throw that screwdriver away. Hard to find. If you look closely at the head, there's no relief cut into the cross at the center as do Phillips. btw, you might want to try square head drive with your bronze screws. They don't strip easily if at all.
[ 02-15-2002, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Rich VanValkenburg ]
Reed and Prince, also known as Frearson.
The bit will most likely strip a phillips head, and visa-versa.
But it is good to have a one in your tool box just in case Mr. Reed and the Prince show up. ;)
Jamestown Distributors carries Frearson silicon bronze wood screws.
Is this what the tip looks like Norm?
[ 02-15-2002, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: Andy Abrahamson ]
02-15-2002, 10:26 PM
Well, I'll be derned! Learn something every day. Almost. I wondered if it might fit a Fearson screw and I tried it. It did not fit the screw I tried. However, I just went back to the shop and tried again. The screw I tried wants an F2. My new Reed Prince is identical the the F1. Surprise. redface.gif redface.gif
Sears has a complete range of sizes so rather than return this driver I'll get the two and three.
--Norm redface.gif redface.gif
02-16-2002, 11:43 AM
There is also the Pozi-Drive and Supadrive.
You have to get bits for them all..
Some people mix them up in the same assembly. :mad:
02-19-2002, 01:47 PM
Bronze flat-head wood screws are usually Frearson. You will have MUCH better results with the proper bit if you are using bronze. They are over-the-counter at Hamilton Marine in Searsport Maine. It can be quite instructive to take matching stainless (Phillips) and bronze (Frearson) wood screws, with their proper bits, and inspect the poor fits if you swap them. A Frearson bit and a new bronze screw will match so well that you can stick the screw on the bit and then one-hand it many positions - REAL useful.
02-19-2002, 04:42 PM
One of the nice things about Reed and Prince (nee' Frearson) is that one size driver fits all size screws -- e.g., a R+P driver sized for a #14 R+P screw can be used on a #6 R+P screw.
There was a thread here a while back on R+P screws, you might want to check it out:
Also, a fine book by Witold Rybczynski details the interesting history of this simple technology: One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw.
It's interesting to note that the driving force behind "innovation" in screw design is enabling stuff to be power driven. The slot-head screw is the most resisting to having its head stripped, but the least suitable design for power driving, whereas the Robertson (square-drive, so-called) is arguably the least resistant to head-stripping, but the most suitably to power driving.
Power drive any bronze screw, and you may strip it. Try this: chuck your driver bit into your grandads bit brace. All (or more) the power, and six times the speed, feed and directional control of any drill motor out there.
actually a Phillips and a squqre drive are'nt the same bit.a square has straight sides and requires it to be loose in order to fit into the screw resulting in a poor fit with little bite.While a Phillips has tapered sides wich makes contact on it's total length giving it a great deal of bite that can take a lot of torque.Incidently,the square tends to be used in U.S.and the Phillips in Canada where it was invented. ;)
02-21-2002, 10:54 AM
Sorry to dispute you, CKG, but... I've driven many thousands of bronze screws with both power (Panasonic cordless) and a screwdriver bit in a brace. The brace works very well, especially on larger screws (say #14 or #16), and gives better control over torque than a cordless. It's my choice when I have to be careful of torque, or other difficulties mean I may be approaching the limit of the torque a bronze screw can take. But a Frearson bit in a cordless is at least twice as fast, and doesn't tend to slip off the screw, as all plain flat drivers do. A lot of the work I do is screwed and glued (belt and suspenders), and speed often counts, in which case the cordless is the choice. For small screws, I almost alway drive by hand, whichever kind of bit is needed; trying to control either a large cordless or a brace on a #5x5/8 loses.
02-21-2002, 01:16 PM
Hey, just looking through here and I came across your screwdiver query. Want my 2 cents worth? I don't know what you're working on but if it's not an original that you need to replace everything EXACTLY how it came apart. I'd go with a Robertson. I saw it mentioned in one of the posts to you as a "Square Head" It's kind of the canadian answere to the Phillips. It was invented in Canada a number of decades back and aside from being almost "Stip proof" will hold a screw on the end of the driver EVEN IF IT'S HELD UPSIDE DOWN. Imagin not having to hold the screw. You just stick it on the screw diver and it will stay there. I'm using nothing but Robertsons in my projects. Why compromise quality when you can use a better product at the same price? I'd forget about getting all those prince drivers, get a bunch of good Robertsons and forget about stripped screw heads.
02-21-2002, 01:40 PM
Slightly askew the topic,It is my experience that the squaredrive will outperform the rest when used for dry fitting.Where phillips and frearson may last a set or two,they soon become useless in dry fitting"trials".The square drives go on and on,and rarely cam out.
02-21-2002, 05:06 PM
All right every body, put your screw drivers up and step away form the keyboard.
I had to go back to the shop to see if, in fact, any size of Fearson driver would bit any size Fearson screw. I was convinced they would not because the 1/4 Reed Prince screw dirver I got from sears would not fit the screw the F2 bit fit. Guess what I found. Any size of Fearson driver would bit any size Fearson screw. Perfectly! The Craftsman 1/4 Reed Prince driver will not fit the #2 fearson screw. I'm gonna return that sucker. Screw 'em.
I'd use all square drive is they were as common in the US as it has been said they are.
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