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You Are Probably Using the Wrong Screwdrivers

HOME FORUM RIDING FEELS GOOD FORUM TECH TALK You Are Probably Using the Wrong Screwdrivers

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  micah356 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #809149

    Matty F
    Participant

    I’ve spent the last couple months reading up on a useful little factoid I’ve found out about: All of the “Phillips” screws on Shimano components are not actually Phillips screws. They are JIS screws. So here’s some details on the difference.

    For those of you who are uninitiated, Phillips is the most common cross-point screw head, at least in North America. It was the first major screw head design after the basic, slotted screw head, and its key design features are designed around use on an assembly line. The two main features are a) a screw head that self-centers the tool, and b) an interface that will “cam-out” when it hits a certain torque load, so that the fastener cannot be over-torqued during assembly. While the Phillips does both of those things very well, the cam-out feature causes major problems for anything other than production line use. It causes the screw heads to strip out very easily, and if the fastener corrodes at all, it makes de-seizing it exponentially more difficult.

    A JIS interface, which looks almost identical to a Phillips on both the tool and fastener head, does not have this cam-out design. It is designed to engage firmly. This has been the more common design in Japan, where the industry puts the onus on the skills of their workers to correctly torque the fasteners. Here in North America, these fasteners are most well known to people into vintage motorcycles, as all Japanese motorcycles used only JIS screws for a long time.

    – Due to the design characteristics, Phillips screwdrivers are not compatible with a JIS screw head.
    – JIS screwdrivers are compatible with both Phillips and JIS screw heads. Though, obviously the best fit is found when using both a JIS fastener and screwdriver, a JIS driver will still have better engagement in a Phillips screw than a Phillips screwdriver.

    As I alluded to earlier, since Shimano is a Japanese company, they use JIS screws exclusively. No Phillips whatsoever. On top of the fact they are Japanese, Shimano almost always uses cross-tip fasteners for adjustment screws (derailleur limits, spring tension, etc.), in which there is not point to have any cam-out to begin with. So your Phillips screwdrivers are not technically compatible with Shimano components. This is why you may find Shimano’s cross-point screws to be even more of a pain in the ass for cam-outs than actual Phillips screws.

    JIS screwdrivers are still very hard to find in North America. If you go to your local hardware store they will not have them. I even called Toronto’s much revered tool gurus at Atlas Machinery, and they didn’t even know what a JIS screwdriver was. However, some excellent quality, Japanese made JIS screwdrivers can be ordered easily online for a very reasonable price. They are called “Vessel”, and these are the ones used by Shimano America. http://www.vesseltools.com

    If you are keen to order some and want to know what size to get: #2 screws are most common on Shimano components, but #0 is also somewhat common. Other than that there are very, very few #1s used in uncommon places (like, maybe 3-5 spots across Shimano’s entire product catalogue) that you will probably never have to deal with.

    Once you feel the difference with these screwdrivers, I promise that you will be thoroughly impressed.

    #809150

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Interesting. I think I knew this but have long since forgotten. Think I eventually gave up and just used Philips.

    Though about Philips coming out after flat head. Didn’t the Philips head only come out after the superior Robertson head (originating in Milton Ontario) as a USA product which only took off due to politics and American manufacturing using that head vs the Robertson?

    #809153

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    And I am going to order a set. Ordered these: http://www.stanleysupplyservices.com/hozan-d-550-100-jis-1-phillips-screwdriver/p/477-082

    Here’s a pic that illustrates it well.


    #809154

    fietser
    Participant

    Well, @matty-f certainly wasn’t screwing around will all that info! (horrible, I know but I couldn’t help myself, sorry)

    That was thoroughly informative, I had no idea. Personally, I am all about Robertson – it is such a superior screw head in my opinion. The number of times I have cursed seized Phillips… Now, if only electrical outlets used a single type of screw, we can wish.

    Speaking of annoying screw head designs – I recently came across Tamper Resistance Torx when trying to remove the door off my freezer when moving. I am now the proud owner if a set of those, which I will likely never use again. Here we thought the bike industry was bad for ‘standards’!

    #809157

    Whynot
    Participant

    Even most Robertson’s aren’t true to the patent. The patent includes a taper in the square head that allows the screw to hold more firmly on the driver. Most drivers have the taper, many screws don’t… hence sometimes it feels like the drivers doesn’t go deep enough into the screw and you end up stripping the head.

    #809168

    fietser
    Participant

    … hence sometimes it feels like the drivers doesn’t go deep enough into the screw and you end up stripping the head.

    And you find that out plenty fast when using an impact driver…

    @matty-f – quick question. I know you mentioned that JIS screws were found on Vintage Motorcycle any idea if the same was true for the first Japanese automobiles brought over here? Or would that all have been dictated by SAE? Just curious how pervasive these screws would have been.

    #809172

    micah356
    Participant

    I always thought it seemed too easy to strip the limit screws!

    I’m guessing since you said the #2 is most common, that that is used on most or all limit screws?

    What is the #0 used on?

    #809175

    Matty F
    Participant

    Interesting. I think I knew this but have long since forgotten. Think I eventually gave up and just used Philips.

    Though about Philips coming out after flat head. Didn’t the Philips head only come out after the superior Robertson head (originating in Milton Ontario) as a USA product which only took off due to politics and American manufacturing using that head vs the Robertson?

    If I recall, Phillips became popular because Robertson wouldn’t sell the rights for his fasteners to Henry Ford. So Ford turned to Phillips as his second choice, who conceded to Ford’s offer. That’s why Roberston never really spread outside of Canada.

    @matty-f – quick question. I know you mentioned that JIS screws were found on Vintage Motorcycle any idea if the same was true for the first Japanese automobiles brought over here? Or would that all have been dictated by SAE? Just curious how pervasive these screws would have been.

    I recall reading that JIS screws were used on Japanese cars, but I have no idea when, or whether they were used on export models.

    I’m guessing since you said the #2 is most common, that that is used on most or all limit screws?

    What is the #0 used on?

    #2 is for limit screws, yes, and the free stroke adjust screws on brake levers.

    The most common use I can think of for the #0 are on shifters. Many different Shimano shifters use these for various reason. I use one most commonly to remove the covers from combo shifters to change the cables. There are also some one the click box of Nexus internally gear hubs. There are many more, but Shimano makes ALOT of parts. Can’t remember them all!

    #809176

    micah356
    Participant

    #2 is for limit screws, yes, and the free stroke adjust screws on brake levers.

    The most common use I can think of for the #0 are on shifters. Many different Shimano shifters use these for various reason. I use one most commonly to remove the covers from combo shifters to change the cables. There are also some one the click box of Nexus internally gear hubs. There are many more, but Shimano makes ALOT of parts. Can’t remember them all!

    Thanks! I’m really only concerned with the limit screws. I was just curious about the other stuff, but since I encounter those so rarely I don’t need to buy anything other than the #2.

    #809181

    Nick Boers
    Participant

    Besides the Phillips and the JIS there’s also PoziDriv. It’s a Phillips without the taper that cams out the Phillips. I got one years ago from Snap-On when I ended up with about $30 of credit.

    I’ve not used a JIS so cannot compare to one, but it’s a huge step up on the Phillips when working on Japanese things and Ikea furniture.

    #809913

    micah356
    Participant

    Got my new Hozan JIS in the mail yesterday. It is amazing how easy it is to feel that it’s engaging properly on a limit screw.


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