Cam out

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To cam out (or cam-out) is a process by which a screwdriver slips out of the head of a screw being driven once the torque required to turn the screw exceeds a certain amount.[1]

Frequently camming out damages the screw, and possibly also the screwdriver, and should normally be avoided. The Phillips design is auto-centering, that is, the screw does not slip off the screwdriver, unlike normal slotted-head screws (sometimes referred to as "flat-head screws"), but it cams out once the screw has been driven home. These properties were used to speed up automobile production in the US in the early years of the industry.

In recent years, automated manufacturing insertion tools can now precisely sense fastener torque. Consequently, it is typical for computer parts, automobiles, and other highly engineered products, to be assembled with Torx or Pozidriv head screws,[2] which have been specifically designed not to cam out.


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