How JIS Screws Differ From Phillips Head Screws

Not all screws use a traditional Phillips head. While Phillips screws are the most common, there are other types of screws used in the manufacturing of products, including JIS. An initialism for Japanese Industrial Standard, JIS screws are commonly used in electronics, as well as other products, that are manufactured in Japan. Unless you’re familiar with this alternative type of screw, though, you might be wondering how they differ from Phillips head screws.

What Are JIS Screws?

JIS screws are threaded fasteners featuring a JIS head. They feature a similar design as Phillips head screws, with both types of screws having four slots. To install a remove a JIS screw, though, you’ll need a special JIS bit for your screwdriver. While JIS screws look similar to Phillips head screws, they aren’t necessarily the same. As a result, they require the use of different bits.

JIS screws were pioneered shortly after the development of Phillips head screws. When Henry Phillips invented Phillips head screws in the mid 1930s, it revolutionized the manufacturing industry. Mechanical engineers in Japan took notice of Phillips’ invention, to which they responded by developing a similar — though slightly different — type of screw head. Known as JIS, it features a similar design as the Phillips head, but with a few key differences.

How They Differ From Phillips Head Screws

One of the differences between JIS and Phillips head screws is that only the former has a small dot in the corner. If you look at a Phillips head screw, you’ll only see the four crisscrossing slots. JIS screws have these same four crisscrossing slots, but they also have a depressed hole in the corner. When you come across a screw with a dot in the corner, it’s safe to assume it’s a JIS screw. There are dozens of different screw heads, but only JIS screws have this characteristic.

More importantly, though, the four crisscrossing slots in JIS screws have a different angle than those in Phillips head screws. The angle is slightly different, so you can’t use a Phillips head screwdriver to install or remove a JIS screw or vice versa. Rather, you’ll need a JIS screwdriver. JIS screws are designed with different specifications for the angles of the four crisscrossing slots. As a result, they require the use of a special JIS screwdriver. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of the differences between JIS screws and Phillips head screws.

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