A screw is an externally threaded fastener that consists of a head and shank. They are designed to align and hold two or more components together in countless applications. In order to install screws, you can drive them directly into a workpiece via the head using a screwdriver or another specialized tool. In this blog, we will discuss two different screw types: truss head and pan head screws. Though they feature a similar shape, they are not necessarily the same in terms of their function.
To start, truss head screws are threaded fasteners that feature a mushroom-shaped head which is wide and slightly rounded. These screws often protrude outside of the workpieces they are installed on and will not sit flush with them even when seemingly screwed all the way in. This shape of screw head provides fastening support with the least amount of surface obstruction possible. Well suited for sheet metal and other materials featuring large diameter holes, truss heads also make tampering with or removing the head quite difficult. Moreover, wooden truss head screws are often used to attach cabinets to steel studs or objects like sliding shelf supports since their low profile does not interfere with guide operations.
Pan head screws are threaded fasteners with non-countersunk heads that more resemble an upside-down frying pan than their counterparts. They feature a wide head and flat or slightly-domed top surface with a recess, and often, the socket is slotted or hexagonal in shape. Their diameter and high edges create a large, deep socket that enables high torque when being assembled, while their flat profile offers a good-looking finish for decorative applications to minimize the risk of catching the screw head when in use. They are often employed to secure wooden workpieces together and are considered one of the most commonly applied fasteners.
Truss head and pan head screws are both similarly shaped, as they are rounded, non-countersunk, and are found in different head recesses. The head recess determines the type of bit needed to install and remove a screw; some truss head screws and pan head screws feature a Philips head recess, while others have a flat head recess. Moreover, both of these screw types will always protrude out of workpieces. The difference between these two screws lies in their profile, because truss head screws tend to have a lower profile than pan head screws. This means that they will end up sitting lower on workpieces and the head will not protrude as much as with pan head screws.
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