One more tip for deck building, never never use phillips head screws, you'll most likely strip more than you'll sink. Use a torx (star) head or square head,...!
That is SO true... Square drive are SO much better than phillips, but every once in a while.....
I just finished 10 feet of porch railing consisting of 3 main 4x posts, 10 2x 'jailhouse bars' connecting the 2x6 top rail and the lower rail, and 2 - 10 foot 1x3s to add to the aesthetic value and add a tiny bit of strength and steadiness and to tie it all together.
I bought square drive Stainless Screws for the main run and some phosphate coated philips which I intended to use only in unseen weather protected areas (under the 1x3's on the 2x4s).
In the past my limited experience with square drive was VASTLY superior to philips, as said above, little slippage and just a down right good feel driving them. Not this time.. not at all.
I had more problems with the square drive SS screws than I could believe. Stripped heads, bent shafts, BAD marring and stripping of the drive hole to the point that they could not be gripped. On more than one occasion I had to use vice grips to grab the head and turn the screw out to put another in.
This was on PREDRILLED and countersunk FIR and a little redwood!
The philips on the other hand went right in and caused me not a lick of trouble. Talk about a contrast and talk about the OPPOSITE of what I am used to...
I really wanted to use the Stainless but I was 45 miles from anyplace that sold them so I used the phosphate coated for the entire project instead. As all the screw holes were to be caulked or covered with wood buttons it shouldnt become a problem, but I'd sure have liked to use the stainless for most of it.
I still prefer square drive, but I will not be buying the brand of SS that I got this last time next tiime I need SS screws.