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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

Another Tool You Gotta Have

Jun 22, 2013

 I have complained for many years about Torx-head fasteners. Their heads look SORT OF like a Phillips-head screw, but have more "points." I carried a grudge against Torx-head fasteners because they required me to buy a new set of tools to install and remove them, because Phillips screwdrivers WILL NOT remove Torx-head fasteners without damaging those fasteners.

Believe me about that---I tried. Oh, how I tried.

I finally bit the bullet and bought a set of Torx-head screwdrivers, and eventually some larger Torx-head sockets to use on ratchet wrenches. And, though I'm reluctant to admit it, I now prefer Torx-head fasteners to Phillips-type fasteners.

That's because I'm an expert at stripping out Phillips-head screws. From the number of stripped out Phillips-head screws I see on equipment that comes into our shop, I'm not alone. That's why I've been pleasantly surprised with the durability of Torx-head fasteners. I'm not saying their un-strippable---I've repeatedly proven that ANY fastener can be stripped, mangled, marred and twisted beyond salvage. But Torx-head fasteners, if installed and removed with common sense and the approrpriate-size Torx-head screwdriver or socket tool, are pretty durable.

Torx-head tools really aren't that expensive, between $40 and $100 depending on how big of a set you get and what name is on the handle. It was tough to spend the money on my first set, but it was money well spent.

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