Most Common Types of Screwdrivers

The Most Common Types of Screwdrivers

Table of Contents

What is a Screwdriver?

A screwdriver is an irreplaceable element of almost any toolbox. It is designed to turn screws with slotted heads. Various screwdrivers are widely used for home repairs, DIY projects, these hand tools are also considered must-haves for many professionals, for instance, auto mechanics, electricians, construction workers, carpenters, the list goes on.

parts of screwdriver

A typical screwdriver has 3 main elements:

  • handle - the widest part, used for gripping;
  • shank - a long narrow part between the handle and the tip;
  • tip - the end of the shank, it is put into the screw head; screwdrivers are classified by the tip.

Manual and Power Screwdrivers

There are hand tools and power tools.

Manual screwdrivers are affordable (though there are expensive variants as well) and widely used for many applications. Some models have interchangeable tips that fit into a socket on the end of the shank and are held in mechanically or magnetically. Often, such screwdrivers contain these tips inside the handle.

If you need a compact screwdriver for use on small objects, pay attention to precision screwdrivers, these are often used by watchmakers or jewelers (see jeweler’s screwdrivers).

precision screwdrivers

Ratchet screwdrivers (or ratcheting screwdrivers) have a special internal ball-bearing mechanism so the user can make repeated turns of the screw effortlessly. The turning force is applied only in one direction (clockwise/counter-clockwise) at the same time, this mechanism allows free movement in the other direction. Yankee screwdrivers are essentially ratchet screwdrivers that operate thanks to a spring-loaded mechanism instead of a ball-bearing one. The user should position the tip of this screwdriver in the screw head and push toward the screw.

There are also insulated screwdrivers, they are intended specifically for applications that include any type of electrical work. They are widely used by electricians as they protect people against electrical shock & arcing. In addition, using such screwdrivers will protect the piece of equipment you are working on. An insulated screwdriver has a special non-conductive cover over its shank as well as handle.

Power screwdrivers ensure better performance, they are more versatile and easier to use. These tools can be battery-powered or electrically-powered. Often, they can cost more than their manual counterparts. However, with these screwdrivers you can work more without any discomfort in your wrist, which is great.

power screwdriver

The Most Common Types of Screwdrivers

There are different types of screwdrivers available. Let’s consider the most common ones.

Slotted Screwdriver (or Flat-Head Screwdriver)

Slotted Screwdriver

This tool has a couple of other names: flat blade screwdriver, straight screwdriver. It is considered to be among the oldest and most commonly used screwdrivers and tools in general. It has a flat blade that is designed to fit into screws with single, straight slots. Note that this screwdriver is not self-centering in the fastener, the blade can slip out of the screw. You should bear that in mind when working. In addition, it is important to select the right size of the screwdriver. Too small tools require more effort to turn the screw while too large ones just won’t fit in the screw head. A flat screwdriver should match the depth as well as the width of the slot on the screw. Flat-head screwdrivers are versatile, they are great for furniture assembly, woodworking, jewelry making, and more.

Phillips Screwdriver (or Phillips-Head Screwdriver)

Phillips Screwdriver

This is one of the most common screwdrivers too, you have definitely seen or used this tool. It is also known as a cross-head screwdriver. It is intended for use with the screws that have Phillips heads (they have a cross-shaped recess). Their design allows the user to apply greater torque to the driver. When the torque exceeds the limit while tightening up the screw, there is a cam-out effect (a screwdriver slips out of the screw head). However, it is not a bad thing, it helps avoid over-tightening. As a result, your tool is not damaged. Don’t forget to use the right size of the screwdriver, otherwise, you will strip the screw and it will be hard to remove. A Phillips screwdriver is used in many fields, for instance, in construction, carpentry, and more.

Pozidriv Screwdriver

Pozidriv Screwdriver

It is similar in design with Phillips screwdrivers but when it comes to a Pozidriv screwdriver, you can exert a greater torque on the driver and at the same time, not worry about the risk of camming out. Thanks to the blunt and relatively small tip of the screwdriver, there are more points of contact between the tip of the tool and the head of the screw.

Hex Screwdriver

Hex Screwdriver

These screwdrivers don’t have a blade tip, but they feature a hexagonal (six-sided) tip, hence the name. They are designed to tighten and loosen hexagonal head screws like Allen wrenches/hex keys, but they are straight and equipped with a thick handle. If to compare a hex screwdriver with, for example, a slotted one, the former screwdriver will provide a more secure grip on the head of the screw. A hex screwdriver is a perfect choice for bicycle repairs or furniture assembly.

Torx Screwdriver (or Star Screwdriver)

Torx Screwdriver

Torx screwdrivers have a 6-point, star-shaped cross section. Such design allows to withstand increased torque. Each of these six lobes is rounded, as a result, there is low radial force in a torx screwdriver so it is not so easy to damage the screw. In addition, a secure grip on the head of the fastener is provided. One of the main advantages of a torx screwdriver is that it allows to apply more torque (without worrying about stripping the screw head or camming out). Torx screwdrivers are widely used in the automotive industry, applications connected with electronics, etc.

Things to Consider

Things to Consider

When choosing a screwdriver, there are several aspects to take into consideration.

  • Obviously, the tip of the screwdriver is a #1 thing to think about as screwdrivers are divided into different types based on the tip.
  • Another thing to pay attention to is the length of the shank. With longer shanks you will get better torque. Shorter shanks will allow you to work in tight spaces.
  • Handles can have different widths. The wider the handle is, the more torque is developed, but no one can deny that too wide handles are inconvenient. Grip also plays an important role in choosing a good screwdriver. For example, a rubber-coated handle is easier to hold.
  • And the last but not least thing to consider is price. A high-quality, reliable screwdriver won’t be cheap. It is better to invest in something good than damage the screw head (e.g. bend, distort). Achieve excellent results with durable instruments!

Of course, there are many other tools available. In addition, you can buy screwdrivers separately or pay attention to screwdriver sets. Choose from an extensive range of high-quality screwdrivers by the best manufacturers on Mega Depot! There are different types and sizes. Get the right tool for your specific application!

Question And Answer