Why Phillips Screws Strip Easily
28 February 2013
We were among those who regularly cursed the Phillips screws used by Tamiya in their kits. Always stripping. But then we found out why it happens and how to prevent it.
"I remember unpacking my brand new Tamiya F104 v2 around July last year (2012), with all the excitement of an 8 year old on Christmas morning, only to let out a loud groan when I saw that most of the screws were Phillips. The F104 X1 used all hex screws which was a big step forward. Tamiya's Phillips screws are rubbish, always stripping. Why would Tamiya do this to me?" - Anonymous
If you have ever stripped a Phillips screw in a Tamiya model then help is at hand.
Tamiya screws are not rubbish. They are not Phillips. They use the Japanese Industry Standard (JIS) screw head. Phillips screwdrivers do not fit well and therefore stripping the screw is common.
So we simply need to buy a JIS screwdriver.
"I had a mate with a Tamiya TRF screwdriver and it fits the Tamiya screws perfectly. But I couldn't find one anywhere to buy. I finally picked one up second hand and now wrenching on my Tamiya kits is much more enjoyable." - Anonymous
Tamiya actually sell a range of tools, buried in their Tamiya USA website here.
Others have reported buying JIS screwdrivers successfully on eBay.
Here is a US tool online store which has a nice explanation of JIS and also tools for sale (although unclear whether they ship to Aus from reading their site).
- As an alternative you can buy hex screw replacement kits for many models that use JIS screws but it's much cheaper to buy one good JIS screwdriver.
- If you have stripped a screw and are trying to get it out here are some ideas.