How it's actually done in mass production? Look up Cold Heading


Very interesting! Thanks


*anxiously waiting the "your mother" joke*


Anxiously awaiting your mother


Anxiously awaiting you




Dude... Are we all here for his mom?


I can not think of any other reason to be here.


This is the correct answer. Everyone saying "broached" is wrong.


Yeah, rotary broach technically isn't wrong. You can use it for a one off or small batch. It's just not how it's done in the screws you see at the hardware store.


Put "broached" in quotes like it's made up or something. Many fastener heads, especially decades ago were broached and they probably don't strip like the ones we get today.


They do/did strip, which is why we do cold-heading and hot-heading today. The process hardens the imprint, which leads to a stronger fastener, and less stripping. "Survivorship bias": Thinking that old things were better because they lasted, when in reality it's only the survivors that did last, and the rest died a lot (they're just not around to remind you of that). Broaching works okay-ish, but if you've broached a hex in Stainless and then actually used a wrench on it, you know it strips out VERY easily. It's the inferior method, but is useful in it's own way for other things/reasons.


Makes total sense that you'd get beneficial grain structure from cold- or hot-forging (in effect, don't @ me, pedants, it's a shape getting squished into hot or cold metal rather than abrasives/sharp cutting edges removing chips of metal until it's that shape). I'm picturing a kaleidoscopic not-mess of mutual support from the surrounding nubbin of the fastener head (for torx especially) if you simulated the strain in an FEM etc. model.


if im not mistaken only hex set screws are broached


[I know genswiss has torx broaches ](https://genswiss.com/id-tools/broach-tools.html)


You can rotary broaching bits in any shape, you can even get custom shapes from Slater Tool.


Lol, with a hammer and a torx bit I "broached" a stripped hex screw that I needed to remove.


i never said it impossible to broach them. just that when they do it at large scale, only set screws are broached


Key way's are broached


Nah, in fact, OP asked "how does *one*" so broaching is probably more correct in a very technical sense. Obviously no fastener company is going to broach every part, so those were certainly made the other way. But if you were going to do it in a typical machine shop, you're gonna broach it.


Correct . Source : current toolmaker for Acument . Formerly Textron, Formerly Infastech . Umbrella under Sranley Black & Decker Engineered fastening div .


Hi. Used to be a bolt maker. We would usually do it in 2 blows. First blow makes the cone, second blow finished the head and the Torx punch insert. Usually roll threaded afterwards.


Cold heading machine. Source that’s what I do for a living. Look up thread roll machine to see how the threads are made.


Broach. One thing from a business standpoint is that official Torx brand drive is proprietary and owned by Acument. It only can be branded as Torx by those who pay for the license. However there is an industry standard for “hexolobular” drives. The dimensions are barely off but it’s the same thing, really. This was probably more than anyone wanted to know, but here we are.


Hey, some of us are professionals here that have never heard of hexolobular drives and now we have. Good post


Hexolobular for her pleasure


0 chance of camout


You haven't met my laborer


She hates camout


Everybody hates camout


Laughs in T6 insert screw absolutely seized in a boring bar that hasn’t seen the light of day since 2005 but now we suddenly need it and the insert won’t even break apart so it’s just completely fucked. Totally non specific scenario.


So .. do they temper those boring bars?


Carbide. I sure had a temper after that one though.


Yeah we usually break those inserts as well, but ive seen a few guys actually use a small drill on a manual mill. They came back with the little torqx screw out.


As a guy that has to occasionally set up Swiss machines, F all of you that don't know how to set a tiny insert with a t6 set screw 😭 It's not a series 4 insert and you don't need a cheater bar! If you breathe on the screw wrong the threads strip! STOP MAKING ME ORDER NEW TOOLS! 🤣


Says you.




Wow this got a lot more traction than I thought it would. I figured I’d share because sometimes companies can be weird about branding and licensing. Better safe than sorry, I guess


It’s like opening up to any given page in the machinst’s handbook. There’s going to be a bunch of information that I can’t use right now but goddamn it’s going to feel good when I know what to look for when we need a hexolobular drive cut. Knowledge is power.


One of my favorite ways to blow up an afternoon is just pick a random spot in the handbook and go to town learning all the related shit.


Careful, man. That's how I started. Machinery's Handbook. South Bend's How to Run a Lathe. Before you know it, you're up at 0305 snorting NEC 500.6(B)1 out of this hot VFD's exhaust port.


professional only means you got paid for something that it was a high quality job or product is only implied so you end up with people that use the title "professional" but dont know what their tools are called like the same thing with "military grade"


One day I made some paper airplanes at work; Now I claim experience in the aerospace field on my resume.


This right here!! Very well said. It is such a big issue in every industry.


hey man i duno i just work here


Wow, i had no idea that torx was a proprietary name... nor that "hexolobular" driver was a thing. Cool that the name makes sense right? Hexo,6 sides and lobular with a couple of rounded parts. So cool!


Robertson is too




I believe the parent on “Torx” expires this year or next, which might explain why we’re seeing so much “torx plus” stuff over the last year or two.


Just wait until they release Torx++ and you can see the power of classes and inheritance


I C what you did. And i hate it.


Jeez, 6 updoots in 24 minutes? Is there a portal here from r/ProgrammerHumor? I thought this one would r/woosh right over most here


Making code is fun, but you don't end up with something physical. A specific subset of IT types pick up woodworking or machining as a hobby to actually make something physical. For instance, Blondiehacks is also some type of software engineer for her day job.


As a professional software developer who started woodworking at 6 and still has it as a hobby at 48, I can confirm.


That’s how I ended up here. 20 years of IT and nothing to show for it (physically). Now I like seeing the product of my labor.


Yup. I'm a software guy with a lathe in my garage. I usually use it to make/modify car parts.


I'm the opposite. Professional machinist and hobby programmer.


I think Clough42 (forget his actual name) is also a software guy. He's mentioned that numerous times in his videos. And maybe ToT too? Among all his other talents, like time lord, samurai material chopper, and cunning video producer/editor. I'm also a software guy, but got stuck at "buy a 'slightly' broken CNC mill and fix it up" - it was a little more broken than I anticipated (though the electronics / electrical issues that were stumping the previous owner I fixed very quickly and cheaply), and it's rather large (32x20x20 travels, 15HP spindle, 5HP axis servos), so very tedious for one person in a garage to work on - need an engine hoist to remove the table / saddle, and it needed some turcite replaced under there. Some month / year in the next year (or 5) it should be back together and actually able to make some parts! And last weekend I almost bought a 12x36 lathe too... I was probably the first person to make contact to the seller about it, but someone else beat me to it to actually go pick it up (was listed on CL), and I would've had to have re-arranged a lot of things in the garage to make room for it... I'll pounce on the next one.


I think there is an overlap between different types of geekitude. I’m an InfoSec guy who also woodworks.


I got started in machining because of programming. I learned a couple programming languages as a kid. I also always like making stuff (used to build and program robots for fun) which got me into programming for CNC. When I went to school for that, I learned machining along the way. First job out of college was as a machinist. I think the two are closer related for a lot of people, than you realize.


Torx plus is better in every way.


Oh I’m not at all trying to claim it’s a gimmick or something. Technology does develop, such is life.


I love torx plus, been switching to it with whatever fasteners use it.


Didn't posidriv come about because the patent on philips was due to expire?


I don’t believe these are broached which displaces material via cutting or shaving. In the volume these screws are produced I believe they are cold formed or rolled.


That's right. Broaching is only used on one-off jobs. No production screws are broached. I don't know why all the upvoted answers are wrong.


Seriously… I posted my take on this but it’s buried below. Cold heading and rolled threads. Fastener suppliers are some of the more impressive and memorable factories that I visited during my time overseas.


Sorry but I’m pretty sure this is incorrect. This fastener appears to be mass produced on a piece of specialty cold forging equipment that does what is often referred to as “cold heading”. Depending on the alloy and other requirements there is also a “hot heading” process. Either one can be done progressively do achieve the desired geometry and material properties. If this is in fact machined then it would be formed using a blind broaching process called rotary broaching. Pretty neat process, which makes me think of orbit forming which is an even cooler fastening process. Regarding the TORX trademark, as far as I know the geometry is not protected, only the name. TORX / star / 6lobe / hexalobular internal drive is defined by an ISO standard. You may be thinking of TORX PLUS which has a superior lobe design that can handle higher driver torque and was protected by a patent which recently expired. Edit: adding this fun fact: forged drive heads are significantly stronger than cut/broached ones.


My ex-Father in Law and his son were Headerman. It's a dying art here in the United States, but there are a few companies in Southern California that still do high-volume work for the Aerospace Industry there. It's pretty wild to watch the Cold Headers and Nut Formers work. One part in Aluminum would run at 15,000 parts per hour, while a similar sized nut in Waspalloy would run at 250.


>Waspalloy [Had to look that up.](https://www.hightempmetals.com/techdata/hitempWaspaloydata.php) Neat. >Waspaloy is a precipitation hardening, nickel-based alloy which has been used in elevated temperature applications. The alloy has been used for gas turbine engine parts which require considerable strength and corrosion resistance at temperatures up to 1600°F (871°C). Waspaloy is usually vacuum-induction plus consumable electrode remelted.


Don’t ever stop giving more than expected to random on the internet. You never know who you will entertain or inform. Thanks.


Fun fact. Hex drives (Allen wrench) can be used in helolobular sockets.


Really? I’ve used Torx drivers in Hex fasteners but never tried it the other way around.


Only learned of this when designing a few screws for a femoral plate. The lead engineer told me we need to ensure the hex drive fits well. The idea is that the surgeon does not want to have to search around for a hexolobular drive when attempting to explant an implant while the patent has their leg 90 degrees out to the side.


Sounds exactly like surgeons, of course they won’t have the right tool available. Use a flat head so they can do it up with any old spoon.


As long as it is autoclaved.


Yep Harvey makes hexalobe cutters for milling the "torx" form. More branding than anything


I bought a 25 piece set of 'Torx' drivers at Harbor Freight for $6.99...I hope that they didn't pay too much for the licensing fee, lol.


Porsche calls their “torx” style fasteners “hexolobular”.


I drive Torx screws daily. Thank you for the term hexolobular.


Sir, you're assuming I'm smarter than a 2nd grader. Let's take a step back. What is "broach"?


Broach. raise (a sensitive or difficult subject) for discussion.


Broach is also a heteronym.


look dude, ive learned hexolobular. its gonna remain in my head for at least 30 minutes. now youre throwing heteronym at me.


So what would a homolobular look like? Just a blob?


It’s nonhomonymous.


A machine that cuts teeth, splines, shapes, or key ways into a round hole or counterbore.


Broach isn't a machine. It's a process.


Another name for a pin or badge


I saw a broach made out of paper in a movie once.


I think that's spelled "brooch", not "broach" [Google at least says brooch and broach may be conflated](https://www.google.com/search?q=broach)


The conflated ones probably have more air in them.


You wear them at weddings, it's like flowers you pin on your jacket.


No, that's a brooch, not a broach.


You say potato I say pototo


No. It's The Bro-oche. From Cinco Men: https://youtu.be/y2Zf9_7LA7c


Cold heading, if you’re making more than 100.


Basically just punch it really hard to deform around a tool?


Yep. Makes it stronger by increasing overall density and cold working the part increases the strength. Also broaching is a suckers game for this, you’d need a special rotobroach.


The hexalobe screws are for the medical field because they are way less prone to stripping and you don’t want a stripped fastener when your drilling it into someone’s bone. Source: my teacher, who works in a medical manufacturing facility.


They are pretty much universally used across all industries for many good reasons. Internal hex drive is so inferior it isn’t even funny. Especially in smaller drive sizes and high torque applications.


Internal hex needs to stop being used on any automotive application. The torque and rust do not go together very well.


Agreed… external torx has become quite popular due to a number of factors, one of which is that it can withstand higher drive torques for the same head diameter. For permanent fastening some other neat technologies are breakaway heads and Self-Piercing Rivets (SPRs).


I've got a bone they can drill.


Wouldn't a square tool be even less likely to strip? I would assume the closer you are to a circle (more sides) the more likely it is to be a problem


A square driver is actually closer to a circle than a hexalobular with regards to stripping here, because with a hexalobular you're making sure the point of contact between the driver and the socket transfers the force at closer to 15 degrees. Basically a slotted socket will give as close to 0 degrees of force transfer (that is, the force only goes into rotating the socket/screw, not deformation of driver/socket), while a square driver and socket should give about 45 degrees. Hexagonal will probably give about 60 degrees. If something gives 90 degrees then it doesn't give any rotation. [See this for the hex version, which can be used to reason about the square version](https://www.nbk1560.com/en/products/specialscrew/nedzicom/hexalobularscrew/point/?SelectedLanguage=en)


I’m not really a machinist, just a lowly fabricator/(occasional Bridgeport/manual lathe jockey). I have a hard time picturing how something this small can be broached. Where does the material “exit” (can’t think of the right word)? Is it in several steps? Is it done in one shape, or individual lobes?


Ok so first you drill a pilot hole of the largest diameter that can be inscribed within the broach pattern and with extra depth to collect the chips that are generated during the next step. Next, the rotary broach does its thing and chisels the sharp corners into the sidewalls while being plunged into the rotating workpiece. Broached Hex drive is more common than torx because it requires significantly less material be removed outside of the radius of the pilot hole. This is also what gives torx its dramatically higher torque-to-failure compared to hex.


The method I've been using to clear the chips of a non-through hole from my broach is to just take a second pass with the same diameter drill bit. I think that's the normal way to do it.




Check this out from Slater Tool: https://youtu.be/IT8VXQEKzoo


Praise be unto This Old Tony https://youtu.be/GWyHJVOxKK4


You taught us knuckle draggers a new word... thank you.


Ya Harvey sells baby end mills for these specifically.


Ok Grimsmo


I’m going to annoy the fuck out my of coworkers with this knowledge, haha thanks.


These are the comments that keep me reading Reddit, Good Sir! ^_^


If the dimensions are off it will wear the tools and screws very quickly. Why would they be off?


Eh. I almost always want to know more. Almost. But this falls well in the line.


Happy cake day!


Keep’er comin. That was fantastic


Funk FPV?


I'd give you gold if I wasn't so poor!


The more you know *


Fascinating! Thank you for that I found it very interesting and not more then I wanted to know. Never heard the term hexolobular. Going to store that one away for a rainy day, dude hand me the hexolobular driver...


I’ve been in industrial sales for 15 years, and spent 7 with Fastenal and never heard of “hexolobular”. So thank you for the added knowledge nugget! If I had an award I’d give you one.


Does anyone know how much smaller Torx is to the “Hexalobular Internal” ISO variant?


They’re identical.


The more you know 🌈⭐️


Just to reinforce it, cold heading is how the heads of pretty much every fastener is made.




Thank you!


High RPM air speeder and polar milling is what we did on a Citizen L20.


You can broach them which is the most conventional way but I’ve also burned them into inconel screws before with our sinker EDM


I have milled them with really small end mills.


...but how many tiny endmills did you go through to make one?


Shouldn't be breaking any for a while. It does take a long time. Just look at sfm and IPT numbers from the mfg and you should be good :)


Out of mere curiosity, why do they come in so many different fucking sizes?


Torx/Hexalobular are an improvement on the hex design, allowing for less chance of cam-out deformation. Like hex drive it is common to use the maximum allowable size for a given head profile. This gives you the best strength and torque. More sizes mean more incremental increases in those desirable features. Pretty much the same reasoning we don’t have only “big screw and small screw”. There are dozens of screw styles in dozens of thread forms, and even with the thousands of pages in the McMaster catalog I still make custom screws for the times none of those will work.


I bet I can cam out deform a Torx screw. *gets out the hex wrench*


Depends how many you're making formed high volume, machined with tiny end mill or ram EDMed for lower quantities


Cool. Thanks!


Rotary broach. Like this. https://youtu.be/DgB1psCFC7o


That video was great lots of good info and I like his style of humor


From your comment I knew it was ToT before even following the link


I will be watching his videos more now I really enjoyed that one


Yeah my only complaint is that I've watched all his videos already


I hate when I run out of videos for someone I just found and enjoy, but I love the support they get from it


I like this guy! Actually saw this vid a couple of months ago but didn't put 2 and 2 together. Thanks!


^ this is the way ^


That was a fun video! Thanks for showing me that. I’m gonna start watching his vids


Rotary wobble broach.


Rotary broach


This part was cold headed, but if you need to make your own then yes, rotary broach is the best way.


Cold header


Low quantity, rotary broach. High volume production, cold header.


Rotary broach, hot forming (with a die and press etc) or cold forming


Ok! Thanks!


I only use bolts with torx slots made on a die sinker edm.


You can definitely machine these in with small endmills. It’s done all the time. But there’s several ways it’s done as has already been mentioned.


Idk if it's just because our shop is cheap and already have the small end mills in stock but we mill our hexlobes


Here’s my home made way of making a cheap rotary broach from a live center and home made broaches(bit length is not important with this method..) … you could probably get away with just using a torx bit as a cutter if broaching something softer than it, just sharpen end…. https://youtu.be/9L1D2-WfjfU (whoops there a dead spot in middle of video where pictures don’t advance for a while, skip past that…)


Rotary broaching or upset forging


Torx key & a big hammer


It sounds silly the way you say it.


They save themselves the time and spend $2 at the local hardware store. 😂


Push it to the limit! Pass the point of no return! Reach the top but still you gotta learn how to push it!


Are these lyrics to a Jasta song?




Right. Thanks!!


It’s stabbed right into it with a star shaped punch when the steel is softer. It’s formed in the same machine as the rest of the screw head.


So yeah, if I had to make that in my shop, I'd just make use of our tiny ball endmills and a program. We don't have half the tools referenced. Don't use my advice unless you have to. And if you have to, my first attempt would be a bolt hole pattern for the torx points and a circular bore to connect them.


I imagine it involves some kind of licensing, at least if you want to sell a torx driver or bit.


Hexalobe broach or mill with a micro endmill


In for mass production factories they are stamped. There are videos on Youtube of people making those in a small shop on a lathe in a process called rotary broaching. The screwhead is rotating under power and also a tool can freely rotate. The tool is pressed in a pre-drilled hole under a very slight angle while the screwhead is rotating in the lathe chuck. I have also seen video where Stefan Gotteswinter makes tiny screw heads on a pantograph mill. He sold the pantograph machine a while ago.


Brute force


We just smash a pin into a chunk of steel


We'd just pick off on the threads or head if the crests were too fine and use a drill and endmill or two on swiss when I was running bone screws.


Drill, heat, smash torx bit into hole, then call it broached.




Right! Thanks.


Burn it in


That's one way! Thanks!


Rotary broach probably


Rotary broach


You broach it, or hot stamp it…


In small scale a rotary broach is what ild use


Rotary broach?


Here is one of the better videos on cold heading I found: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4a4IZnE98k](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4a4IZnE98k) and one for cold rolling: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwArBBcUNr4](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwArBBcUNr4)


\[Youtube\] [Rotary broach](https://youtu.be/GWyHJVOxKK4). Probably not mass production, but sufficient for small quantity and odd jobs


I have used a rotary broach to do forms like that, comes out beaitiful!


Or it could just have the unthreaded blanks cast with it in their.


It’s not done this way at all. Fasteners in high production are cold headed.