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How to Use Trilobe Screws

Kimberly Johnson

Trilobe screws are specifically designed to create smooth, threaded holes in materials, most often metal, without chipping or cutting like other types of screws. When viewed from the bottom, the main post of the screw has a slight triangular shape, with each of the three sides representing a lobe, thus the name trilobe. The trilobe screw was developed by the Continental Screw Co., but is licensed and sold by other companies as well.

Trilobe screws are tamper resistant.
  1. Locate a trilobe screwdriver or drill bit, one of which is required to insert and remove trilobe screws. The top of the trilobe screw contains a triangular shaped opening, which requires a matching screwdriver or drill bit to remove. Trilobe screwdrivers and bits are typically not carried at hardware stores, and must by ordered by the store employees or online. The rarity of the screwdriver bits makes the screw a tamper resistant screw since a specialized tool is needed for removal.

  2. Choose the type of material in which to use the trilobe screws. Although trilobe screws can be used in any material, they are the screw of choice for plastic, thin metal and any substance that is subject to chipping or cracking.

  3. Place the tip of the trilobe screw against the surface that you want to insert it into. You do not need to pre-drill a hole for trilobe screws because they have a pointed tip.

  4. Insert the the trilobe screw using a manual trilobe screwdriver or an electric screwdriver with a trilobe bit. If using an electric screwdriver, be careful not to over tighten the screw, as this will crack the material it is inserted into. In addition, because of the trilobe design, over tightening will create a bigger hole than is needed, which will weaken the holding power of the screw.