What kind of IKEA screw is this?



This is a screw on the side of an IKEA drawer. On line videos say turn it left or right to level the front of the door. Instructions are to use a Phillips screwdriver. It's not a Phillips head and the local hardware store doesn't recognize it. enter image description here

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Jim Baxter

Posted 2017-01-16T16:28:28.963

Reputation: 161

5Yep, Pozidriv, pretty much only seen on cabinet hardware. I've got a couple of the bits in a drawer somewhere, for use on a cabinet I think we got rid of about 10 years ago. – Hot Licks – 2017-01-17T00:08:35.017

6@HotLicks that's weird, almost all my screws are pozidriv. I thought that it displaced Phillips long ago and only cheapest knockoffs still use the old standard. – Agent_L – 2017-01-17T08:52:59.940

@Agent_L you're in Europe accoridng to your profile, as am I. I believe HotLicks is the other side of the Atlantic though their profile doesn't say. Pozi screws haven't displaced Philips to the same extent over there. – Chris H – 2017-01-17T09:51:36.157

@ChrisH Well, they're both are American inventions so that's even more confusing. – Agent_L – 2017-01-17T10:52:28.837

There was me thinking that Philips screws must have come out of the huge Philips corporation, which is Dutch. Also that the USA spurning Pozidrive was a case of not-invented-here-syndrome. Live and learn. – nigel222 – 2017-01-17T11:02:15.470

1@nigel222 It are Phillips screws and the Dutch corporation is Philips. It is difficult to see on some screens and with the i's surrounding, but the former is with two l's and the latter is with one l. – Xenan – 2017-01-17T15:45:09.373

@Xenan thanks - Nothing like a prior wrong idea to cause one to mis-see the ells in "Phillips"! – nigel222 – 2017-01-17T15:59:27.230

Out of interest, if anyone knows: is Pozi so rare in the US that it's not surprising for a hardware store not to recognise it, or does that indicate extreme cluelessness as it would in Europe? – Nye – 2017-01-18T15:06:56.730

@nigel222 - both Phillips and Pozidriv came out of the same companies, Pozidriv being an offshoot of the original Phillips. – Tim – 2017-01-18T15:23:57.550



That's a weird Ikea cam-lock thingy with what looks like it might be a Pozidriv head that has been chewed up a little by inappropriate use of a Phillips screwdriver.

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Public Domain Image

Phillips #2 on the left, Pozidriv #2 on the right.

Pozidriv screwdrivers come in three main sizes, usually named PZ3, PZ2 and PZ1 from largest to smallest. There is also a rarely seen PZ0. The most common is PZ2. You should use the largest bit that will engage the screw fully.

Here are some examples of Pozidriv screwdriver bits for interchangeable-bit screwdrivers (hand screwdrivers and power screwdrivers)

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It is essential to

  • Use a Pozidriv bit, never a Phillips bit
  • Use the correct sized Pozidriv bit.

Used correctly, Pozidriv bits are much more positive than Phillips and are far less likely to "cam-out" (lift and slip under torque).

Phillips screws often don't stand up to repeated use unless you are exceptionally careful. For use in the home, Pozidriv predominates in the UK and much of Europe. Canadian homeowners seem to prefer Robertson (square recess), others Allen (hexagonal recess). It may be that Ikea's European roots explain why it used Pozidriv for this application (although they seem very fond of Allen bolts).

Useful resources


Posted 2017-01-16T16:28:28.963

Reputation: 18 566

1From the looks (i.e. quite blunt) of the bottom of the hole in the screw head, it might be worth trying a #3 bit first. – Andrew Morton – 2017-01-16T18:42:48.623

Inappropriate use? Are you not supposed to use Phillips on them? – Cole Johnson – 2017-01-17T06:31:59.000

6@ColeJohnson No, you're supposed to use a Pozidriv. Note the straight (not slanted) edges on the screwdriver and the star markings on the screw. – AndreKR – 2017-01-17T07:54:50.033

2Robertson screw heads are unknown over here, Allen is referred to as 'in-bus', and is extensively used by e.g. IKEA. At the local hardware store, you'd mostly get PH2 and PZ2 screws, with Torx making a huge entry nowadays. BTW, you can still use PH2 and PZ2 interchangeably but you have to apply much more pressing down force. And of course this brute-forcing would not work when lot of torque is necessary. This is quite a common practice when you don't have the right driver/bit at hand, and/or you're lazy to fetch it. A flat head philips driver also works perfectly if it fits the groove. – user47093 – 2017-01-17T13:08:20.557

1+1 for the wikipedia link! I dislike Pozidriv because here in the US, I will grab the ever prevalent Philips screwdriver and after torquing out, will belatedly put on my glasses and then say bad words. If only Robertson had allowed Ford to license his screw. (I read the link) – Jim – 2017-01-17T14:20:20.093

@user47093 Isn't "flat head philips driver" a contradiction? Flat-head has a single linear slot; Philips is cross-shaped. – David Richerby – 2017-01-17T17:39:47.313

It's a bit ridiculous that Robertson is not more widely used. If you are using a manual driver it is the only thing that makes any sense at all. – Gorchestopher H – 2017-01-17T20:28:01.070


@DavidRicherby: My Leatherman pocket tool came with a space-saving set of flat bits including one for Phillips, It only engage two of the four edges inside the recess. Maybe that is the sort of tool user47093 means?

– RedGrittyBrick – 2017-01-17T21:08:37.513


"There is also a rarely seen PZ0." -- there is also PZ4, most commonly used for the larger sizes of frame fixing screws, and I have a driver & bit set that also includes an even smaller PZ00 bit, although I've never seen those sold separately. Annoyingly, while a PZ2 driver will usually turn a PZ3 screw, a PZ3 driver will almost never work on a PZ4 screw, and PZ4 drivers can be hard to find.

– Jules – 2017-01-18T00:57:54.083

+1 to @user47093 's comment about Robertson / square screws not being very common in the USA (maybe from copyright/marketing reasons?), but they are everywhere in Canada. There are episodes of Holmes on Homes where Mike Holmes (from Canada) is in the southern USA & uses Robertson screws, and the US guys had never used them before but really liked them, they really "stick" to the bit, they're a lot like the square attachments that most socket sets & extensions use – Xen2050 – 2017-01-18T15:04:31.860

I have updated the answer to correct my misconceptions about what is most popular for use in US homes. – RedGrittyBrick – 2017-01-18T15:11:59.930

Interesting to point out that Canadian homeowners seem to prefer...(square recess). I built a house with my father near the BWCA and we used almost entirely square headed screws, they were significantly cheaper in the area than their phillip headed counterparts. – USER_8675309 – 2017-01-18T15:14:32.330

I don't understand why using a Phillips screwdriver on a Pozidriv screw would chew up the screw: a Phillips screwdriver has fewer sticky-outy bits than a Pozidriv. What am I missing? – Martha – 2017-01-18T16:24:56.253

@Martha: According to intertube legend, Philips screwdrivers are designed to cam-out under high torque. It is this slipping that knocks the internal structure of the screw recess and deforms it causing a widening and the presence of burrs. This damage makes it hard or impossible to remove the screw. In addition, the Pozidriv shape and profile is different from Philips and a Philips driver simply does not fit properly in a Pozidriv screw. This makes it More likely the driver will cam out and damage the screw.

– RedGrittyBrick – 2017-01-18T16:46:27.187

@DavidRicherby I'm in EU and it often goes under the name 'flat philips'. Google for 'flat philips screwdriver', turns out that's the official name. – user47093 – 2017-01-19T10:26:23.420

@Martha the difference in the bit is minuscule (apart from those tiny extra diagonal grooves), but the curve of the bit is different, making it fit so badly that as other users pointed out, a flat head philips makes a better fit. – user47093 – 2017-01-19T10:26:27.260

1@user47093 I tried Googling "flat Phillips screwdriver" and all I got was sets of screwdrivers containing some flatheads and some Phillips. "flat phillips" gave me lots of phillips screws with flat (i.e., not domed) heads. – David Richerby – 2017-01-19T10:38:52.720


Definitely a pozi-drive screw. A pozi-drive bit fits tight but a regular phillips will cause the damage in the first pic.


Posted 2017-01-16T16:28:28.963

Reputation: 101


This looks like a Pozidrive screw. The little shallow star shape is easy to spot.


Posted 2017-01-16T16:28:28.963

Reputation: 742


Ikea is Swedish so it's definitely not philips! Pozidriv two normally works unless really chewed up. This screw rotates an eccentric cam so is a bit stiff. Place a wide rubber band under the screwdriver tip and a lot of feed (pressure) holding the drawer firmly. Sometimes gives you a bit more grip.

I work on these most weeks....


Posted 2017-01-16T16:28:28.963

Reputation: 1 302

3What does Ikea being Swedish have to do with whether or not it's a Phillips (note spelling) screw? And Ikea's world headquarters are in the Netherlands, for what it's worth. (Which isn't much, given that "Phillips" with two l's refers to the Phillips Screw Company, which is American, not Philips with one l, the Dutch electronics company.) – David Richerby – 2017-01-18T13:38:50.173

Apologies for the suggestion that Swedes won't be using Phillips screws, just that I've been living in Scandinavia for years, often working on IKEA kitchens (among others) going back decades and it's been Pozidriv, Torx, or hex all the way.

Sorry about the spelling mistake, but you understood what I meant yes? – handyman – 2017-01-19T15:50:50.013

I wasn't sure if the spelling mistake was relevant -- I wouldn't have pointed it out if I knew it wasn't relevant. (And, actually, I only noticed that Phillips screws and Philips electronics have different spellings myself a couple of days ago.) I think your answer would be much better if you said that it's not Phillips because you've been putting together Ikea stuff for years and never seen them use that. That's completely believable, whereas "It's not Phillips because Ikea are Swedish" isn't something where you can say, "Oh, I see the logic of that -- sounds like he's right." – David Richerby – 2017-01-19T16:00:05.393

1Actually it's worse than that David! I fired off the comment quickly, and for some bizarre reason I was thinking that Phillips=old=imperial and Pozidriv=new=metric=European, which is of course rubbish. Pozidriv is just an improved Phillips, both American so nothing to to with Europe or metric... Oops. – handyman – 2017-02-01T08:47:01.283