Robertson, Phillips, and the History of the Screwdriver

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  • Published on:  Monday, November 18, 2019
  • Most everyone owns at least one screwdriver. But Canadians likely own a screwdriver that few outside Canada would recognize. The differing fates of the Robertson and the Phillips head screwdrivers demonstrates that innovation is intimately tied to historical events. The History Guy remembers the forgotten history of the screwdriver.

    This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As images of actual events are sometimes not available, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.

    All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.

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    Script by THG

    #history #thehistoryguy #screwdrivers


  • Woody Sparks
    Woody Sparks  an hour ago

    Hands down , it's the Robertson , Phillips sux

  • Joma Diy
    Joma Diy  3 hours ago

    Never heard of Robertson screws.... until now. My education is nearing completion!

  • Pony Chaser
    Pony Chaser  3 hours ago

    Robertson grabs better.

  • maria jose cruzat
    maria jose cruzat  3 hours ago

    Who invented the Posidrive?

  • FG Productions
    FG Productions  4 hours ago

    I am a Canadian Electrician, the Robertson screw is far superior. Once you use a Robertson screw you will realize how much better it is. Another feature of the Robertson screw not mentioned here, is that screw can be held to the screwdriver in any orientation, without the need of any magnetic assistance. Try that with a Phillips or a Slot screw. In addition the screwdrivers are colour coded to standard square hole sizes. From smallest to largest respectively; Yellow, Green, Red and Black. Once you go square, you will never go back.

  • Chuck b
    Chuck b  4 hours ago

    THE RECREATION VEHICLE uses Robertson screws. if you work on your RV you need a collection of those screwdrivers. they also come in different sizes of the hole in the top of the screw. it's also easier to put the screw on the driver using one hand and using the other to hold material.

  • bryan latimer-davies

    What about the JIS screws that confound japanese motorcycle owners everywhere?

  • notforsale today
    notforsale today  8 hours ago

    Never heard a firing pin be called a firing pin before.
    Sorry, great video!
    P.S. In some rifles and handguns, a needle is used, albeit rarely. These are called “needle fire” guns.

  • DeadCats
    DeadCats  12 hours ago

    I've never used a Robertson screw, but I love my torx.

  • Mike J.
    Mike J.  15 hours ago


  • Scott Free
    Scott Free  17 hours ago


  • Chris Brent
    Chris Brent  20 hours ago

    The Phillips is the most common in Australia but over the ditch in New Zealand Robertsons are more common.

  • Pgcmoore
    Pgcmoore  22 hours ago


  • william hunter
    william hunter  23 hours ago

    Unscrewpulous investors.... Ooooo bet you thought you snuck that by.

  • Current Batches

    12:33 - But Chevrolet continued to use 'stove-bolts'...

  • Tim O'Hara
    Tim O'Hara  yesterday

    I didn't take notes or study it but I don't believe it told you whether the patent on the Robertson screw has expired.  If it has the question is whether it will become more common with everyone being able to produce it.

  • kewrock
    kewrock  yesterday

    15 years ago I built a deck using Robertson screws. They are FAR superior. Especially with a non-powered twist driver. They still have their shortcomings. If you're using Robertson bits in a power drill. If you don't have a slip clutch, the tips break pretty easy.

  • Bob Greenberg
    Bob Greenberg  yesterday

    Dude I love you lot but its not a flat head screw...that is a screw head type ie pan, round, flat, hex etc. The straight line cut is called "slotted" not flat head. Sorry grew up in a Hardware Store....

  • Graham
    Graham  yesterday

    Every so often I cause utter confused mayhem here in the UK when I ask for a "pozzy" screwdriver. This is short for Pozidriv and is a tweak to the Phillips design. They are broadly interchangeable but do have some caveats. Nobody seems to have heard of them and always calls the plus-headed screw a phillips, even if it's not. I always call them a pozzy even if they're not. It's just force of habit.

  • Jakob Rosenqvist

    Don't worry, Torx is coming for philps and robertsons alike. It is the superior screwhead.