Screwdrivers: Parts, Materials, Types & Application (A Comprehensive Guide)
Updated: Oct 12
A screwdriver is a simple yet essential tool that everyone should know how to use. With the right screwdriver, you can tackle almost any DIY project.
In this guide, we'll explain the most common types of screwdrivers and their applications. So, let's get started learning about the different types of screwdrivers and their uses!
What Is a Screwdriver?
A screwdriver is a tool that has been used for centuries. It is used to drive screws or remove screws. Screwdrivers can be manual or electric and they come in a variety of different types.
There are many different types of screwdrivers, each designed for a specific purpose. The most common type of screwdriver is the flat head screwdriver, which is used to drive or remove screws with a flat head.
Other types of screwdrivers include the Phillips head screwdriver, which is used to drive or remove screws with a Phillips head; the hex head screwdriver, which is used to drive or remove screws with a hex head; and the Torx head screwdriver, which is used to drive or remove screws with a Torx head.
When choosing a screwdriver, it is important to consider the task at hand and select the appropriate size, shape, and type of screwdriver. The handle of the screwdriver should be comfortable to grip and the shaft should be made from durable materials such as steel or chrome. The tip (or head) of the screwdriver should be able to fit snugly into the screws being driven or removed.
There are two power sources for screwdrivers – manual or electric. Manual screwdrivers are operated by hand, while electric screwdrivers have an internal motor that is powered by batteries or a direct connection to an electrical outlet. Electric screwdrivers are more powerful than manual screwdrivers and can be used for larger projects.
The Anatomy of a Screw Driver
The screwdriver includes 3 main parts handle, shank and blade.
The handle is a critical part of the screwdriver as it provides comfort and grip. The material the handle is made of can vary, but some options include plastic, wood, or metal. Additionally, different types of screwdrivers have different types of handles to better meet the needs of the user.
The shank is another important part. The middle part between the blade and handle is called the shank and is made from carbon steel alloy. Based on purpose, its length is based on what type of screwdriver will be the best option for you.
Possibly the most important part is the blade or the tip. The type or shape and size of the tip determine what kinds of screws and fasteners can be turned. Additionally, this part should be composed of a very hard material to ensure long-lasting use.
What Materials Can Screw Drivers Be Made Of?
There are many different materials that screwdrivers can be made of. This is an important consideration when you are looking to buy a screwdriver because the material of the screwdriver will affect its performance. In this section, we will discuss the different types of materials that screwdrivers can be made of and how they compare in terms of strength, durability, and other factors.
If you want something that is non-conductive and won't be damaged by corrosion, plastic or ceramic are good options. These types are most usually used in adjusting sensitive electronic components such as capacitors and resistors. They're completely non-conductive and non-magnetic.
Hardened steel screwdrivers can survive high levels of torque and are more durable than plastic ones. If you want a screwdriver that can handle a lot of force, check for something made of hardened steel. Let's take a further look at the more commonly used metal materials.
What Are The Best Materials For Screwdrivers?
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to inspect the material of your screwdriver. Perhaps you're searching for a more lasting solution or need a screwdriver that can handle extremely high torque.
Knowing the different types of materials available for screwdriver bits is important, as each has unique benefits. The material you choose should ultimately be based on the needs of your specific project.
Carbon Steel (CS)
Carbon Steel is a type of steel that contains carbon as the primary alloying element. Carbon steel is used in various applications, including cookware, knives, and automotive parts. There are different grades of carbon steel from low-carbon steel to ultra-high carbon steel - each with varying properties. Carbon steel is an essential material for a variety of applications.
Chrome Molybdenum Steel (Cr-Mo)
Cr-Mo steel, often known as Chromium-molybdenum steel or chrome-molybdenum steel, is alloy steel made out of chromium and molybdenum that is added to carbon steel. The high resistance to wear and tear, as well as the ideal combination of strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance make CR-Mo steels popular for high-grade tools but also more expensive.
Chrome Vanadium Steel (Cr-V)
Chrome vanadium steel is a type of high-strength, low-alloy steel that contains chromium and vanadium. The steel is very strong and resilient to wear and tear due to the use of this combination of alloy metals. Due to its robust nature, it's widely used in automotive parts, tools, and fasteners. Chrome vanadium steel is also highly corrosion resistant.
S2 tool steel is a high-performance alloy that combines carbon, silicon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium. It is known for its outstanding shock and abrasion resistance, good hardness, and wear resistance., making it ideal for use in demanding applications. Finally, S2 tool steel is straightforward to machine and can be drilled, milled, and tapped in a short amount of time.
Types Of Screwdrivers And Applications
There are many different types of screwdrivers available on the market. Some are better for certain tasks than others. It is important to know what type of screwdriver you need before making a purchase. This will ensure that you get the most use out of your tool.
The most commonly found screwdrivers are Slotted, Phillips, and Torx. Each one has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Slotted screwdrivers are best for screws with a flathead, Phillips screwdrivers are best for screws with a crosshead, and Torx screwdrivers are best for screws with a star-shaped head.
1. Flathead or Slotted Screwdriver
Use: All DIY screws that need to be turned tighter or looser with a straight notch.
A flathead or slotted screwdriver is a tool with a flat blunt tip that is used to insert into the slot on a slotted screw.
Flathead screwdrivers are available in a variety of sizes and lengths, including oversized flathead screwdrivers that are beneficial for automobile repair, basic-size screwdrivers for furniture building, and precision flathead screwdrivers that are perfect for working on computers and electronics.
Cam-out often occurs when the screwdriver tip slips off the screw head. This can be caused by the incorrect alignment of the screwdriver in the screw head slot, but also if too much torque is applied to the screw head and exceeds a specific limit. By finding a driver that fits snugly in the screw head, you can decrease the likelihood of this happening.
2. Phillips Screwdriver
Best for: Removing screws or driving them in with a cross-shaped notch
Phillips screwdrivers have a cross-shaped tip that is made to fit inside the cross-shaped notch of a compatible Phillips head screw. Because the screwdriver head's form gives better traction or grip when driving or removing screws, these gadgets were designed as an upgrade to flathead screwdrivers.
Similar to flathead screwdrivers, there is a wide range of sizes and lengths for Phillips screwdrivers. While Phillips screwdrivers do provide better control and driving power, the tip can still slip out of the screw head if it is driven with too much force thus stripping the screw head.
3. Torx Screwdriver
Best for: Removing and replacing Torx screws with a 6-pointed star-shaped notch
Torx screwdrivers have a 6-pointed star shape that helps to prevent deterioration of the screws due to extended use. You can find them in industries such as appliances, electronics, and security. The screwdriver's unique shape applies a low radial torque or force to the screw or Torx fastener, meaning both the screw and screwdriver tip will last longer.
Torx screwdrivers aren't generally used in normal household settings, but it's still a good idea to have one or a set of magnetic Torx bits for those rare moments when you might need one.
4. Hex Screwdriver
Best for: Screws or fasteners with a hexagonal notch can be loosened or tightened especially for furniture assembly.
The hex screwdriver is perfect for either driving or removing fasteners that have an internal hexagonal depression, which is a feature often included in furniture manufacture. This screwdriver is also known as a hex or Allen key wrench.
Hex screwdrivers have a wide range of sizes and lengths, so it's vital to select one that is suitable with the screws for an easy and efficient installation or removal. When using a hexagonal fastener, you don't need to worry about slipping. The hexagon's six-sided shape makes it less prone to slip, allowing electric-power hex screwdrivers or drills to drive at high speeds while avoiding the screwdriver head from stripping.
5. Square or Robertson Screwdriver
Best for: Using a square-shaped notch to tighten or remove screws
Robertson screwdrivers, often known as square-drive screwdrivers, are able to drive screws and fasteners with a square-shaped notch at a higher torque than most other screwdrivers. The square-shaped screwdriver bit is designed to grip the sides of the notch without slipping, which allows for increased speed and torque. Robertson screws and screwdrivers are commonly found in the automotive and furniture industries.
6. Pozidriv Screwdriver
Best for: Pozi or cross-type crews commonly found in the household
Pozidriv is one of the best-known screwdriver types and it includes two cross marks with an offset at an angle of 45 degrees. This type of screwdriver is widely used in European countries and is seen as an improvement on the Phillips design with better turning torque and less chance of screw head stripping or cam-out
7. Precision Screwdriver
Best for: repairing gadgets, working with electronics, and fixing glasses
Precision screwdrivers are tiny, thin tools that are meant to tighten and loosen small screws. The little screw in the frame of a pair of glasses is an excellent illustration of the sort of screw these drivers are designed for.
Precision screwdrivers are a necessity when working with computers, gadgets, and other electronics. For precise repairs, it's helpful to have a set of these screwdrivers on hand. Precision screwdriver heads are typically flathead or Phillips head, although Torx precision screwdrivers are also available.
8. Ratcheting Screwdriver
Best for: The screwdriver can quickly remove or tighten fasteners without moving the driver, and it's ideal for working in confined areas.
A ratcheting screwdriver is useful when it would be difficult to keep repositioning the driver on the fastener. In general, you won't need this type of screwdriver for everyday household use. However, if you find yourself in a tight spot, repeatedly screw driving, or working with lengthy screws, then it's best to use a ratcheting screwdriver. This will help save time on your project overall.
Its ratchet mechanism spins freely in one direction but grips the screw or fastener when turned the other way. Not only can you use this product to tighten fasteners, but you can also loosen them by simply flipping the switch to reverse the direction of the ratcheting mechanism.
9. Electric Screwdriver
Best for: The rapidity of the fastener driving, the ease of removal, and eliminating user fatigue.
An electric screwdriver allows you to complete a project more quickly and efficiently, since the screwdriver's head is driven by an internal motor and powered by electricity, just like an electric power drill. You can use electric screwdrivers with interchangeable bits that come in different sizes and types, including slotted, Phillips, Robertson, Torx, and Hex.
Remember that a screwdriver with high torque is more likely to have the bit slip out of the screw-head notch while in use. Also, electric screwdrivers need to have a direct connection to a power outlet or the battery needs to be charged in order to function properly.
10. Multi-Bit Screwdriver
Best for: A multi-purpose tool that may be used on a variety of screws with compact storage.
The driver bits are designed to fit into the hex-shaped shaft of the driver bit handle so that you can choose a flathead, Phillips, Robertson, Torx, or even hex bit, depending on the type of screw you are working with.
The big advantage of this sort of screwdriver is that it comes with a variety of screwdriver bit types. A hollow handle on some even offers the ability to store numerous screwdriver bits.
A multi-bit screwdriver is an easy and versatile tool to help with various repairs or projects you may have around the house. Although these tools are good for light-duty use, the loose fit of their bits can lead to slipping and screw stripping.
Choosing a Screwdriver
When selecting a screwdriver, it is important to consider the usage and type of material that is best for the job. There are different types of screwdrivers available in the market and you may choose any type of screwdriver as per your need. There are different types of screw heads, handles, and other specifications available in the market.
When you're trying to decide what kind of screwdriver to get, it is an important factor to consider what type of screws you will be driving. Choose the correct screwdriver blade or tip configuration and size that are compatible with the screws expected to be used.
You should also look at the screwdriver grip and shank. A cushioned grip can help you avoid fatigue in your hands if you'll be using the screwdriver for a long time. However, you can also buy screws with hard plastic grips that will improve precision and control.
The shank is the long metal part that extends from the handle to the head of the screwdriver, and it comes in different lengths. Pick a screwdriver with a shank length that works for your project—just remember that a longer shank can help you reach tight spots, like inside an engine.
How Can I Get Started And Manufacture My Own Screwdriver Brand?
Find the perfect screwdrivers for your customers by researching the many types available and their purposes. After you've determined what type of screwdriver fits your customer base, locate a manufacturer to produce them.
Many manufacturers can produce screwdrivers, but you will need to find a reputable one with experience. A reputable manufacturer should be able to assist you with the design of your screwdrivers and ensure that they are made to your exacting standards even helping with packaging and branding.
Providing the manufacturer with your specifications and requirements is key. Typically, this involves telling them the types of screwdrivers needed, how many are desired, and by when they need to be delivered. When you have all of your requirements, the manufacturer will be able to provide you with a quotation.
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