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Types of Screwdrivers & Their Uses

Revised: 8/30/19
Grainger Editorial Staff

Everyone will need to use a screwdriver at some point, no matter what line of work you’re in. These tools are essential in woodwork, metalwork and electrical work— just to name a few. There’s a type of screwdriver to fit every screw, and there are a lot of screws out there. Using the wrong tool can damage several components and just won’t get the job done. Learn all about the different types of screwdrivers to find the right one for your task:

Picking the Right Screwdriver

Power Screwdriver

The power screwdriver is the most heavy-duty of tools available. It gets jobs done easier and faster and is also the most versatile. A power drill screwdriver has the torque that is much stronger than an ordinary battery-powered electric screwdriver. Typically run on batteries, this type of screwdriver makes removing screws quicker. Power screwdrivers come with bits that can be changed when necessary, so you can use this tool for a multitude of jobs. Note: Not all screwdriver bits are interchangeable. Be sure to check the length, point size and diameter to ensure compatibility for your project.

Interchangeable Head

Like power screwdrivers, these types of screwdrivers have removable heads to quickly and easily swap, depending on your project. An interchangeable screwdriver is a great addition to your toolbox, eliminating the need for more tools. All you have to do is buy the right bits or driver heads. Some models even have an added accessory that organizes and stores the bits so that you don’t lose the small pieces.

Flat-head Screwdriver

This is the most common type of screwdriver on the market. Like its name states, it has a flat head and a straight blade that fits into various slotted screw heads. The flat blade can differ in thickness and comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It’s best to get this screwdriver in many different sizes for your toolbox to ensure you can match the blade width with its corresponding screw head slot size.

Phillips Screwdriver

A Phillips screwdriver has a head with pointed edges in the shape of a cross, which fit neatly into the cross slots of a Phillips screw. Phillips screwdrivers are available in five different sizes, ranging from zero(smallest) to four (largest).

Allen Key Screwdriver

The Allen key screwdriver is an L-shaped tool with a hexagonal cross section. Think: the little tool that’s used to assemble an entire piece of furniture. It’s used with screws that have the hexagonal indent which can be used for a variety of applications—big or small. Having a couple of these around your business will come in handy.

No toolbox is complete without a variety of screwdrivers. Find the right type of screwdriver to make your task easier and the process more streamlined.


DIY By Example



The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.


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