What Are Torx Bits?

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What are Torx Bits?

Torx bits are a type of screwdriver bit characterized by their unique six-point star-shaped tip. They were developed in 1967 by Camcar Textron, a division of Textron, to improve upon traditional screwdriver designs. The star-shaped pattern provides better engagement with fasteners, reducing the risk of slippage and cam-out (the tendency of a bit to slip out of the screw head).

Design and Benefits

  • Six-Point Star Shape: The distinct design of Torx bits allows for better torque transfer between the bit and the fastener, minimizing the risk of stripping the screw.
  • Reduced Cam-Out: The deep engagement of the Torx bit with the screw head significantly reduces the likelihood of the bit slipping out, even under high torque.
  • Durability: Torx bits are made from high-strength materials like hardened steel, making them more durable and long-lasting compared to other bits.

Sizes and Variations

Torx bits come in various sizes, designated by a “T” followed by a number (e.g., T10, T25, T50). The size indicates the bit’s width and depth. Here is a list of common Torx bit sizes and their typical applications:

  • T1 to T10: Used for precision work in electronics and small appliances.
  • T15 to T30: Commonly used in automotive applications, bicycles, lawn equipment, and consumer electronics.
  • T40 to T55: Found in heavy-duty applications like automotive repairs, machinery, and construction equipment.
  • T60 and above: Used for industrial applications requiring significant torque.


  • Security Torx (Tamper-Resistant): Features a pin in the center of the bit, preventing the use of standard Torx bits on tamper-resistant screws. Common in public fixtures and secure installations.
  • Torx Plus: An enhanced version with a modified design offering even better torque transfer and reduced wear.
  • Torx Screwdriver: In addition to being available as bits for use with drills, Torx drivers are also sold as standalone screwdrivers. These screwdrivers feature a handle and a fixed Torx tip, offering the same benefits of better torque transfer and reduced cam-out without the need for a separate drill or driver.

Common Applications

Torx bits are widely used across various industries due to their superior design and performance:

  • Automotive: Torx screws are prevalent in automotive assembly and repairs, found in everything from engine components to interior panels.
  • Electronics: Many electronic devices, including computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles, use Torx screws to secure components.
  • Construction: Used in woodworking, metalworking, and other construction applications for their ability to handle high torque without stripping.
  • Bicycles: Bicycle manufacturers often use Torx screws for critical components like disc brakes and derailleur hangers.

Tips for Using Torx Bits Effectively

  1. Select the Right Size: Always use the correct size Torx bit for your screw to ensure a proper fit and avoid damaging the screw or bit.
  2. Apply Steady Pressure: Maintain consistent pressure while turning the bit to prevent cam-out and ensure effective torque transfer.
  3. Use a Torque Wrench: For applications requiring precise torque settings, use a torque wrench to avoid over-tightening or under-tightening screws.
  4. Keep Bits Clean: Regularly clean your Torx bits to remove debris and ensure a proper fit with the screw head.
  5. Avoid Angled Driving: Ensure the bit is aligned straight with the screw to prevent slippage and damage.

What Not to Do with Torx Bits

  • Using Incorrect Sizes: Never use a bit that is too small or too large for the screw, as this can strip the screw head and damage the bit.
  • Over-Tightening: Applying excessive torque can strip the screw or damage the material being fastened.
  • Neglecting Maintenance: Failing to clean and maintain your Torx bits can lead to poor performance and reduced lifespan.
  • Using Damaged Bits: Replace worn or damaged bits to ensure effective engagement with screws and prevent damage.

Torx bits offer numerous advantages over traditional screwdriver bits, making them a preferred choice for many applications. With this comprehensive guide, you should be well-equipped to choose, use, and maintain your Torx bits effectively, ensuring optimal performance and longevity in your projects.

Learn more about different types of bits and drills in our Drills 101 Lesson.


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