How to reduce “Cam-Out”
24 March 2022
Cam-Out – we’ve probably all experienced it.
Perhaps we’re putting a faceplate on an outlet, or driving into metal.
So we pull out our trusty slotted screwdriver, and start to turn the screw.
But the slot depth is shallow, perhaps it’s a struck slot instead of a saw slot, or maybe, this screwdriver has seen a lot of days and it’s worn, so the screwdriver slips out of the slot, perhaps across the application surface, and mars the surface.
BTDT: Been there, done that.. And hated it!
It is said the two most common complaints for screwdriver users are slipping or “Cam-Out”, and stripping/damaging a screw head). I’d rank Cam-Out as number 1.
Too much torque on the screwdriver, and the blade breaks out of the slot and slides wherever the torque pushes it. The more torque, the more likely it is to damage a work surface. This likewise can be true removing screws, and even more so if you’re using a power tool.
In 30 years in industry, I have often found myself despising the slotted screw.
But all things have a purpose, right? Until recently, I had never, ever thought that perhaps this slippage was by design. But it’s said the intent was to avoid damaging work through excess torque.
A BETTER SOLUTION
A better solution might be a six-lobe, ACR or Philips drive, which have much better BER – Bit Engagement Ratios. More importantly, not only do they engage better, they also tend to stay within the drive if it does Cam-Out. That means less damage potential.
Head types (round, pan, flat, etc.) certainly can play a factor also.
There are many types of drives available. Finding the right combination of Bit Engagement really isn’t rocket science.
A combo drive often performs much better. A Philips / Square / Slotted / Hex drive for example, will allow you to do most anything. But that does require s hefty head height.
Typically deck screws often have either Phil / Square flat heads or ACR II bits. Either one has superior bit engagement.
STEPS TO BETTER ASSEMBLY PERFORMANCE
Want better assembly performance?
-Review your tools.
-Set your torque properly.
-Make sure your bits are in good shape.
-Replace any worn tooling regularly.
Get help! Call a Fast-Rite pro at 888.327.8077 and explain your use case.
The right drive can make your life much easier, speeding assembly, maximizing torque, and minimizing cam-out, saving time, preventing damage and resulting in a better joint.
For help in finding a drive or bit selection, Call a pro at 888.327.8077, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.