Written by Jody Muelaner
“Cheese head” screws are defined by their head type. The cheese head has cylindrical sides with a flat disc top and a flat bearing surface. The head height is approximately half of its diameter and typically features a slot drive.
The name cheese head derives from the similarity in shape and proportion to that of a wheel of cheese.
Cheese head screws feature a deep head, which permits a deep recess, making them well-suited to a slot drive. Cheese head screws are most commonly available as cap screws and are frequently used in appliance manufacture, fixing electrical components, and within the automotive industry.
These components are known for their accuracy, strength, quality, durability, and excellent driving capability.
Although slotted drive types are the most popular, cheese head screws are available in other drive types, too. This includes as crosshead, which is used in the adjustment screws of automotive lights, and internal hex, or Allen, which is used in bicycle components.
Other available drive types include Pozidriv, hexalobular, and spline. One common application of cheese head screws is in computer cases, featuring combi heads with a thumbscrew and a mechanical drive socket. The depth of the head, combined with a knurled surface, allows the screw head to be gripped between the fingers and turned.
Pan head screws have largely replaced cheese heads in many applications. However, the deeper slot capability of cheese heads makes them the preferred choice for applications requiring extra head strength and those where a deeper drive socket is desirable. For example, when frequent disassembly is required and damage to the drive socket is likely.
Fillister head screws, or raised cheese head screws, are similar to cheese head screws because both have cylindrical sides and a flat mating surface. However while the cheese head has a flat top, the fillister screw head has a domed top resulting in an overall deeper head.