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How to choose the right Screwdriver

Skill Level: Beginner

Introduction

Ever been stuck for a screwdriver, and saved the day by using a kitchen knife? I think most of us have at sometime or other. Then you go down the hardware store to buy one, so you don’t spend ages searching next time you need one – good idea! But which one or types should you buy. Well, if you managed with a knife last time, you were lucky, because less and less screws these days have a straight slot. Look around the house, chances are the majority of screws you’ll find will have a Philips type head, or a variation of this type. Screwdrivers also come in a large variety of sizes to match those of screws; you will find everything from minute jeweller’s screwdrivers to large engineers and joiner’s screwdrivers, then there are power drivers - so what to buy!

Types of Screwdriver

Keep in mind that if you use a screwdriver that is not the right size and type for the screw being used, you will more than likely damage the screw head whilst tightening it up. This is not so much of a problem with PoziDriv and SupaDrive screws which are designed to be more tolerant of size variance. When tightening a screw, it is important to press the head, or bit, firmly into the screw head.

When deciding on a screwdriver you might like to consider the type that has a magnetic tip, these are excellent for holding and locating the screw head. This is especially useful when using small screws which are otherwise difficult to handle, or you are working in areas of restricted access.

Detachable Bits

Many modern screwdriver designs incorporate a handle with detachable screw bit heads, allowing several heads (bit types) to be used for the large variety of screw sizes and types you can come across. Many modern, everyday electrical appliances use screws with heads other than the typical slotted or Phillips styles.


 

Why you need the right Screwdriver

When a screwdriver slips out of the head of a screw being tightened and the torque used is exceeded by certain amount, damage to the screw head will occur. This is known as camming. Frequent camming damages screws, and also the screwdriver, and so should be avoided. Torx head screws are able to resist cam-out much better than most other screws, including a straight slot headed screw.

Ratchet Screwdrivers

Yankee Screwdrivers were a popular screwdriver incorporating a ratchet mechanism whereby the screwdriver blade is locked and set in the handle for a clockwise rotation, and disengaged for counter clockwise rotation when tightening screws; vice versa for loosening screws.

With a Yankee type screwdriver the user pushes the handle into and towards the work piece. These spiral ratchet drivers were once very popular, using proprietary bits, but are now largely discontinued by the main manufacturers.  

Ratchet Screwdrivers; have by and large replaced the ‘Yankee’ type screwdriver and  are a much improved version on the old design ideal tool: ideal for use in the garage and around the house, the ratchet screwdriver holds and guides screws into correct position without wobbling or disengaging from the bit. A powerful magnet holds both bit and screws tightly, whilst the 3 position ratchet allows you to work in tight areas

Power Screwdrivers

Power screwdrivers are now by far the most popular choice in screwdrivers. This tool it is simply a power drill with a screwdriver bit held in the chuck. These pieces of kit are fantastic!

 

In the past, manual screwing could be a real, wrist aching job. If the job was big, fixing the screws was often the worst and most tiring part: now this time is reduced to seconds.

Portable power screwdrivers combine the source , gears, motor, and switchgear, neatly into one very compact, relatively light, and very powerful tool.

Portable electric screwdrivers are powered by electric motor, but make use of a rechargeable battery housed in the unit. There are other types of electric screwdriver which runs from the same type of motor but is connected to an electrical source by means of an electrical cable. It contains a short power cord that must be plugged into an outlet to use. And then there are power screwdrivers that run on AA or AAA batteries, but this type tend not to have the power of rechargeable drivers.

There are many electric screwdrivers on the market, with various prices. They vary from something more suited to the casual DIY enthusiast, to the professional.

Tools you will need:
Bahco Ratchet Screwdriver with Bits & LED Lights
Bahco Ratchet Screwdriver with Bits & LED Lights
- Bahco Screwdriver Set 6 Piece Slotted Pozidrive
Bahco Screwdriver Set 6 Piece Slotted Pozidrive
- Bahco Torx Screwdriver & Torx Bits
Bahco Torx Screwdriver & Torx Bits
- Stanley Fatmax 20 Piece Screwdriver Set
Stanley Fatmax 20 Piece Screwdriver Set
- Wera Kraftform (2054) Hex Tip SW1.5/60 Micro Screwdriver
Wera Kraftform (2054) Hex Tip SW1.5/60 Micro Screwdriver
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