One of the first tools to start a well equipped tool box is a screwdriver. There are many types of screw-drivers to choose from. Not all screw heads fit all screw-drivers. Having the right screw-driver for the job is an important step in successfully tightening or loosening a screw. Many people who already have tools have a screw-driver or two laying in the bottom of their tool box, but can’t do every job with only a limited number of screw-drivers. Using the wrong or unmatching screw-driver tip can strip the screw head and make the screw extremely difficult to remove. screw-drivers come as manually powered hand held tools, power screw-drivers or as an accessory for a drill.
Cordless Power Screwdrivers
Cordless power screw-drivers have a rechargeable battery and a variety of screw tips to make removing or inserting a screw much less difficult than a manually powered screw-driver. Most cordless screw-drivers have a switch on the body that allows you to determine the direction in which the tip rotates. Controlling the direction of the tip allows you to loosen or tighten screws depending on the direction the switch is set at. Some cordless screw-drivers have a hinge mechanism in the middle of the body that allows you to work at an angle.
A slotted screw-driver is the standard flat bladed screw-driver that most people think of when they picture a screwdriver. Slotted screw-drivers fit straight line screw heads. They are available in a wide variety of sizes that need to be matched to the screw head.
Phillip’s Head Screwdriver
A Phillip’s head screwdriver fits into a screw head that has an “X” slotted top. Phillip’s head screw-drivers are available in sizes ranging from tiny ones that are used to repair eyeglasses to larger ones that hold furniture screws.
Stubby screwdrivers have a very short handle, usually no bigger than the palm of your hand. They are commonly available as Phillip’s head or slotted screw-drivers along with other specialty tips. Stubby screwdrivers allow you to get into areas that space is limited.
Torx head screws are usually found on car parts. The tip of the screw-driver is in a star shape. Some lawn mowers and appliances in the house also use torx head screws.
Hex Head Screwdriver
Many types of furniture that you put together yourself have hex head screws. Most manufacturers include key like screw-drivers, but sometimes you require more torque to tighten or loosen the screws. A hex drive screw-driver gives you the extra torque you need or it comes in handy if you lose the little hex keys.
Electricians screw-drivers have a plastic coating around the shank to prevent accidental electrical shocks. The shank is also longer than the shank on traditional screwdrivers. The long shank allows electricians to reach deep into electrical boxes.
You will find a Pozidriv screw head on household appliance and holding certain car parts together. The end of the screwdriver has a cross head like a Phillip’s head, but the center is flat and not pointed like the Phillip’s head.
Spiral Ratchet Screwdriver
A spiral ratchet screwdriver fits into a screw head and rather than turning the screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screw, pushing or pumping the handle turns the ratchet which in turn sinks or removes the screw.
Jeweler’s screwdrivers are tiny adaptations of standard screwdrivers, but in a miniature version. The Jeweler’s screwdriver is perfect for crafters, model builders and those fixing eye glasses.
Cabinet Maker’s Screwdriver
Cabinet maker’s need to fit a screwdriver into holes to tighten and loosen screws. The tip is parallel and the shank above the tip is rounded which allows the cabinet maker room to turn the screw without damaging the wood. The handle of the screwdriver is round to fit in the palm of your hand to allow the cabinet maker more control over the tool.
Ball End Hex Drive Screwdrivers
The ball end hex driver has a long shank with a rounded end and sink or loosen hex head screws. The rounded end won’t strip the hex head and it can be used at an angle to easily get to hard to reach screw heads.
Expansion Tip Screwdriver
Typically comes as a flat head driver. The expansion tip driver has a piece that slides down over the screws and holds the screw securely in place when sinking the screw.
Off Set Screwdriver
The off set screwdriver works like a hand crank. The shaft is straight then turns at a right angle with the screwdriver tip set at the end of the right angle. The offset design allows you to set or take out screws that are in hard to reach places. They also come as a ratchet style for areas that you cannot completely turn the screwdriver because you may not have enough room.
The Robertson screwdriver has a square tip and is used for screw heads that sit below the surface. Mostly you will use a Robertson driver when working on motor homes, campers, boats and other recreational vehicles. Manufacturers make the handles is specific colors to designate the size of the driver.
Clutch Drive Screwdriver
The clutch drive screwdriver’s tip looks like an hourglass and sinks or loosens specialty screws in household appliances and some cars. Some have found the clutch drive screws to be a good safety measure because out of all screwdrivers, it is one of the most unusual and not as readily available as other types.
Round Shank or Square Shank – Which Screwdriver to Choose?
Square shank screwdrivers have a square shank – hence the name square shank. Square shank screwdrivers are better for screws that need a lot of torque to drive or remove. The square shape allows for extra torque. To increase the torque even more, fit a piece of rubber over the shank and you will get greater turning power.
Round shank screwdrivers are usually used in basic applications when turning an easy to sink or reove screw.
Both types of shanks have a purpose – choose the screwdriver based on what you will be tightening it with.
Righty tighty, left loosey when turning American made screws.