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Security Screws (Tamper Resistant Screws)

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What is a security screw?

A security screw (also known as a tamper resistant or tamper proof screw) has a drive recess that protects the screw from being removed without a specialized tool. Used in applications where theft or vandalism is possible, these drives make removal more difficult. Common security drives are Hex or 6-Lobe (Torx) recess with a pin, a spanner drive and a one way slotted drive.

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Security Screw Types

Considering the countless designs and types of security fasteners available, it is not possible to highlight a single one as an ideal choice. To derive this conclusion, it is important for the users to review their own product needs against the types and features of different tamper resistant screws available. Nonetheless, it is equally important to have basic knowledge of the types of security screws and nuts that are available. Below are a list of some of the more common systems available:

Hex Socket Head Recess With Pin

This is similar to a regular hex socket recess design. However, right in the center of the recess is an additional pin or tip which differentiates it from a basic design and also makes it necessary for its removing tool to have a designated slot for pin insertion. Thus removal of a hex socket head with pin security screw requires a modified hex (allen) key or bit which accepts the center pin in the tamper resistant hex socket drive.

Torx(r) Recess with Pin

The basic pattern of a regular torx with its six lobe geometry, resembling a star, is found on its tamper proof version as well. What makes it different and tamper resistant in nature is the small pin in the center of the recess. Despite its different types of applications, torx security fasteners are most commonly used in the electronic industry.

Snake Eyes Spanner Drive

As the name indicates, this type of security fasteners has two holes on opposite ends around a screw head (drilled spanner drive) or it has two notches opposite each other close to the inner circumference of the head (notched spanner drive). It is practically impossible to use any basic screw driver or similar tool to remove snake eyes tamper resistant screws.

One-Way Slot Drive

A tamper resistant drive designed in such a way that the screw can only be turned in one direction tightened. They can be installed with a standard slot screwdriver. One-way screws are typically used where the screw is unlikely to be removed. They are difficult to remove with standard tools because the slot is designed to cause cam out when any amount of torque is applied in the direction to loosen the screw.

These head styles are available in metric and inch standard and in machine screw style, tapping screw / wood screw threads.