Spanner Slotted Screw Head: Hard to Remove and Unnecessary

These spanner slotted screw heads are a pain in the butt. My broken Black and Decker VS200 Heat Sealer used 2 of 9 screws as spanner slotted, the rest were philips. Why go non-standard? photo by Don Tai

These spanner slotted screw heads are a pain in the butt. My broken Black and Decker VS200 Heat Sealer used 2 of 9 screws as spanner slotted, the rest were philips. Why go non-standard? photo by Don Tai

Heat sealing some frozen corn with my Black and Decker VS200 heat sealer, from a 2 kg bag down to 0.5kg bags, I heard a pop, and then noticed the heat strip of my heat sealer was no longer hot. Damn, we are going to need a repair.

My Black and Decker vacuum food sealer VS200 broke. The heat sealing strip lost power, so I had to open it up and do a repair. 2 of 9 screws were spanner slotted. Damn.

My Black and Decker vacuum food sealer VS200 broke. The heat sealing strip lost power, so I had to open it up and do a repair. 2 of 9 screws were spanner slotted. Damn.

As the rest of the heat sealer was working properly, namely the vacuum suction function (yes, it sucks), and the timing portion, I was hoping that there was an obvious broken wire to the plastic heating strip. This turned out to be correct.

Turn the heat sealer unit over and you’ll see 9 screws, 2 hidden under the rubber pads. Out comes the philips and 7 of 9 are removed. The other two are “spanner slotted” screw heads. Damn, these are non-standard. These screw heads are similar to a flat head, except that in the middle there is a metal bump, preventing a flat head screwdriver from contacting the slot. One screw came out with a short spanner slotted screwdriver, which I had, but the other was too deep. I jammed a thin flathead into the hole, and, surprisingly the screw came out. I was lucky.

My heat sealer is not so expensive. When it breaks almost everyone will simply throw it out, so why go to the added expense of adding only 2 tamper resistant spanner slotted screw but use philips for the other 9? How about just using philips for all 9 screws and keep it simple?

Anyway after I removed the spanner slotted screws it was easy to see that the wire connecting one terminal of the heating unit had broken off. I soldered a secondary wire to the broken end, connected it to the original wire with a small ring connector and we were again functional. The original builders used hot melt glue in lieu of actual wire tiedowns, so I added some hot melt glue for the new wire as well. I checked electrical continuity with a multimeter, then buttoned it up. My heat sealer now functions as before.

There are others that have struggled with the spanner slotted screw head. Here is an ‘ible to make a flat head screwdriver into a spanner slotted screw driver. He takes a flat head screwdriver and files down the middle. Good ‘ible, ut why should we need to do this? Here is another thread on StackExchange.

These spanner slotted screw heads are a pain in the butt. My broken Black and Decker VS200 Heat Sealer used 2 of 9 screws as spanner slotted, the rest were philips. Why go non-standard? photo by Don Tai

These spanner slotted screw heads are a pain in the butt. My broken Black and Decker VS200 Heat Sealer used 2 of 9 screws as spanner slotted, the rest were philips. Why go non-standard? photo by Don Tai

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