Bolts and screws used to manufacture different products in the technology industry come with different screw head patterns that need unique bits to tighten or lose them.
Among these bits, the Torx and Star screw bits have confused many unfamiliar with their usage and applications.
This article brings a Torx vs Star comparison, highlighting their respective usage and variants, and in a way establishing opinions in the Torx vs Star debate.
Let’s get started!
What is the Difference Between Torx Vs Star Bits
Torx Bits and Star Bits differ in that Torx is the trademark name, while star exhibits the generic descriptor. Their names can be interchanged as both tools are identical.
Here are some key differences between Torx vs Star bits:
The Shape of the Bits
If you open your toolbox containing torx and star bits, you will identify many structural differences with a single look.
One of these many differences includes the shape of the tip of the bits. The star bit is pointed at its tip and forms a plus sign when viewed from the top as if you pointed it directly to your eyes.
On the other hand, the Torx bit is flat at its tip, forming a 6- stared figure when viewed from the top as if you are looking directly at it. Its shape is best described as a ‘hexalobular internal’ according to the International Organization For Standardization (ISO).
When They Were Invented
The star screwdriver bit, also known as the Philips screwdriver bit, existed long before the Torx screwdriver bit was invented.
Camcar Textron invented a special screwdriver bit in 1967, and He Trademarked it as ‘Torx.’ For many years, he was the sole licensed manufacturer. However, due to the expiration of his patent rights, many other manufacturers have popped up, producing and marketing this product with the popularly trademarked name “Torx.”
Another difference between the Star and Torx screwdriver bit is the application range. The star screwdriver is used where lesser torque per cross-sectional area of the screw head is needed.
However, the Torx screwdriver bit is used when a much higher torque per Cross-sectional area is needed.
For technical applications damaging the screw head or causing the screw threads damage can be risky. It is always advisable to use Torx screw heads as using the Torx screwdriver bit has increased the gripping ability of the screw head, reducing the probability of a slip or wear.
The torx screwdriver bit and screws are Unlike the star screwdriver bit, and screw heads are susceptible to slip, wear, and damaging the thread occasionally.
The cost of producing a star screwdriver bit is less than that of a Torx screwdriver bit.
Finally, since the Torx screwdriver bit can be used in situations that allow the technician to apply higher torque per cross-sectional area, the sizes of star screw heads to be used in a similar position with a torx screw head will be larger.
Therefore, even though both the star screwdriver bit and Torx screwdriver bit are measured using the same graduation system (i.e., T(1-100)), smaller torx bits can be used in application areas of larger star bits.
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Here are the Various Varients of Torx
Many Torx bits have been produced over time, and these bits are designed to improve the effectiveness of the Torx screws.
The Notable Tamper-Resistant Torx
The tamper-resistant torx is another variant of torx bit found on the market. The structure of the Tamper resistant Torx (Torx TR) has six points with a round hole sitting in the middle of the bit.
This bit is used on a unique screw head which is patterned to match the bit perfectly. The screw matching this bit will not be compatible with any other screwdriver torx bit.
The Torx Plus (Upgrade to Classical Torx)
The Torx Plus is another unique upgrade to the classical Torx bit. Unlike the classical torx bits, a six-pointed star shape, the torx plus is a 12-pointed star shape that can sometimes be perceived as a gear with squared teeth.
This unique torx was first publicized in 1990 with a design that boasted the tool’s ability to reduce wear and produce higher torque transfer.
The External Torx (Better Handling)
The external torx has been designed to improve better control and handling of the tool, but its star counterpart is designed to enhance the gripping ability of the tool on the bolt.
An external torx is best described as a socket wrench; however, it still has the classic design of the torx bit but in a reverse manner.
Instead of a solid protruding hexalobular tipped shaft, the external torx can be likened to a shaft tipped with a hexalobular socket wrench.
The external torx is a hollow socket bit with the traditional Torx design. Unlike the classical torx, whose varying sizes are denoted by T (1-100), the external torx measures its varying sizes with the code E(1-100).
You Should Also Know These Torx Variants
Other torx variants are not so popular, and some designs are unique.
Some of these torx variants include;
The Torx Paralobe: This screwdriver torx bit is designed to improve torque transfer; it is recorded to be 40% better than the classical torx and 20% better than Torx Plus.
However, it is a recent design, and its major difference is that it has softened corners even though it looks exactly like the Torx Plus.
The Torx ttap: Due to a projecting rod that slides out from The screw’s base, the Torx ttap is recorded to improve the stability of the screwdriver even when rotating drastically.
One great characteristic of the Torx ttap is that its screws are compatible with the classical Torx.
The Torx Plus Maxx: The Torx Plus Maxx is designed to improve the gripping effect of the torx drastically. Therefore, an external torx plus is present on the tip of this unique torx
The AudiTorx: The Audi Torx combines the torque transfer of a torx and the tamper-proofing of a rivet. Hence the screw head breaks off after tightening.
The AW drive: This screwdriver bit is a tapered and hexagonal structured torx bit created by Würth. This screwdriver bit is designed to improve balance and stability.
Torx Vs Star: Which Is The Best?
You will agree that there is no home currently that does not have a standard star screwdriver. However, your torx screwdriver bit may be preferred in scenarios where more torque needs to be applied.
Other than the material used to make these unique bits, some factors affect how manufacturers apply screw heads to screw joints in different situations.
Nevertheless, there is no condition in which the torx bit can be used that the star screwdriver bit will not be able to be used as far as the screw head pattern matches the bit.
Apart from the personal preferences of the manufacturer and the technicians, there is no reason to prefer one screwdriver bit over the order. For this reason, we still have various kinds of screw head patterns and their respective bits in the market or used in building appliances and machines.
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Frequently Asked Questions – Torx vs. Star
Will a star work for a Torx?
Normally a star bit will not fit in a torx screw, but the Chapman star bit will fit in the torx screw just as well as the Torx bit.
What are star-shaped sockets called?
Six-pointed star-shaped sockets are called external torx, designed to fit its respected Torx bolts.
What is the star screwdriver called?
Another name for the Star screwdriver is the Phillips screwdriver.
Conclusion – Torx vs. Star
In the technical industry, the Star and Torx bits have various applications, but there is not much difference between them. The Torx, however, comes in different variants, including torx plus, classical Torx, Torx Plus Maxx, Torx Paralobe, and Torx ttap. But in general, knowing about screwdrivers, the different kinds available, and their applications is advisable.