It is difficult to screw the socket, assemble the shelf, install the bracket if there is no screwdriver at hand. There are no universal models, despite the loud statements of manufacturers, so choosing the right tool is not easy.
The principle of operation of a screwdriver is based on its design, consisting of a handle, a rod and a tip. The depth and width of the holes into which screws or self-tapping screws are screwed differ for different surfaces and workpieces.
Therefore, the purpose of the tool determines its shape and dimensions of the tool.
- Rod – allows you to choose a screwdriver for the parameters of the upcoming work. The longer it is, the greater the depth of the workpiece is available to it.
At the same time, in narrow and hard-to-reach places, a long rod is a disadvantage, since it does not allow the tool to be inserted correctly.
- Tip or slot – the working part of the screwdriver, located at the tip of the rod. The shape of the slot is combined with the risks on the head of the screws. If self-tapping screws are equipped with cross-shaped risks, then screws have much more shape variations.
Under each of them is an individual slot.
- Pen – provides ease of use of the tool. There are also additional functions related to ergonomics and indication.
The assembled screwdriver works like this:
- The slot is inserted into the risks of the screw.
- Clockwise movement of the handle – screwing.
- Anti-clockwise movement – twisting.
- Additional functions are activated by a button located in the upper or middle part of the handle.
Types of screwdrivers
Screwdrivers are divided into types according to the type of slot. Standard marking and its interpretation are indicated next to the name of the form.
Flathead screwdriver – SL or slotted
Other names are straight or straight. The shape of the working part is a flat blade.
- Suitable for simple screws with one risk.
- Manufacturers additionally indicate the length, thickness or depth of the groove if the tool is supposed to be used to work with specific fasteners.
- A slotted screwdriver is most often used for simple electrical fasteners.
- The disadvantages of flat models include the impossibility of centering – the bit tends to slip out of the screw.
The force is applied to the opposite (diagonally) outer edges of the slot.
Phillips screwdriver – PH or Phillips
Tapered bit and four edges for Phillips fasteners.
- The Philips cruciform profile is characterized by two slots at right angles to each other.
- This option offers a number of advantages compared to the classic flat shape – more points of contact, increased working contact.
- The force is applied along the four edges – screwing in is less laborious.
- Disadvantage – since the force is applied in a narrow area, there is a risk of damage to the screw or slot.
The Phillips profile is often confused with Pozidriv. Improper use can result in damage and rapid tool wear.
Hex – H or HEX
These models or inbuses are recognized by the working part with a section in the form of a hexagon. In comparison with a simple cross model, the torque can be increased up to 10 times.
There are three variants of HEX models:
- Interior – the protrusion is located inside, designed for fastening screws with a corresponding cavity. A shape with six faces that are at an angle to each other.
The disadvantage is an increased concentration of stress, leading to deformation of the fastener.
- External – ledge along the rim, used for fasteners with non-recessed heads. Can be used as an alternative to a wrench. This version is also hexagonal in shape with six faces.
They stand at an angle of 120 degrees to each other.
- Vibration-proof – the model has a hole in the tip of the bit that matches the shape of the protrusion of the screw head. This ensures stability and vibration protection.
The functionality of all three types is identical.
Square – Robertson, Square Head
- Section in the form of a square.
- Four surfaces at right angles to each other.
- Opposite sides are parallel.
- Due to the small area of the disk, the profile is inefficient for transmitting high torques.
This model is rare in Russia, practically absent in Europe, but ubiquitous in the United States. It is used, in addition to the standard application, in the mechanics of vintage cars.
Cross-shaped with guides – PZ or Pozidriv
The Pozidriv profile is produced in the form of two crosses, offset at an angle of 45 degrees for tight insertion into the fastener.
- The additional cross is narrower than the main one and of lesser depth. This provides additional stability and stability.
- Pozidriv is an improvement on the classic Phillips profile.
- Four additional edges or beams in addition to the cross profile serve to eject the tip.
- The cross slot has a recess for the guide.
- Fits more tightly into the fastener than a simple cross shape.
There is a hole in the middle of the slot to increase the pressure force, but it does not eliminate the shortcomings of the classic cruciform design.
Star – TORX
A tool with grooves shaped like a six-pointed star.
- It is used to transmit increased torque in comparison with the classic variations.
- During operation, the slot or screw is not damaged.
- There is no risk of tool slippage, as is sometimes the case with a flat profile.
- Due to the reduced radial forces, tool life is extended. This is the result of a combination of the circular geometry of the splined lobes, sidewalls and a 15 degree drive angle.
Pay attention to the differences between TORX and TORX PLUS: they are designed for different fasteners, despite the identical functionality and external similarity. TORX PLUS has flattened petals, not rounded ones. This is an enhanced version of the model.
TORX vibration-proof has the same properties as the classic TORX. The difference is that the tool has a hole located in the tip, and the corresponding screw head is complemented by a small central pin.
The characteristics of the tool are read by its full marking. For example, SL1*80 is a flathead screwdriver with a 5 mm shaft, 80 mm long, suitable for fasteners with a diameter of less than 3 mm.
|Number||rod Ø||rod length||fastener Ø|
|#0||4 mm||less than 80 mm||less than 2 mm|
|#1||5 mm||80–100 mm||2.1–3 mm|
|#2||6 mm||100–120 mm||3.1–5 mm|
|No. 3||8 mm||120–150 mm||5.1–7 mm|
|#4||10 mm||150–200 mm||7.1 mm or more|
Combined with the type markings (SL, HEX, PH, etc.), the table gives a complete picture of the features and application of a particular tool. Sometimes the marking is supplemented by an indication of the metal alloy from which the slot is made.
Screwdrivers are equipped with additional sets of options that are selected according to the types of work and tool requirements.
Electric installation work
The priority is protection against electric shocks and detection of electrical wiring.
- dielectric coating – a tool for working with live wiring. Electrical insulation can withstand up to 1000 volts. More often, such models are accompanied by a red marking.
A dielectric screwdriver can be covered with a layer of insulation for the entire length of the rod up to the slot.
- Tester, probe – a device is built into the screwdriver that can detect hidden wiring and the presence of current in the outlet. When a voltage source is detected, the tool gives a light or sound signal.
The indicator screwdriver signals when the upper part is clamped with a characteristic glow. Most of these models are available in transparent cases.
Difficult operating conditions
To access hard-to-reach places, loosen rusted fasteners or lengthy bulky work, special tools or improvised means are used.
Some models of screwdrivers have features that make it easier to work in difficult conditions. There are no universal options, the tool is selected for a specific task.
- Hard to reach places – for easy access, screwdrivers with a flexible shaft are used. Most often, such models provide additional reinforcement, a spring frame or a magnetic bit.
- Processing tight fasteners – most often the difficulties are caused by corrosion, which tightly adheres the screw to the surface. For such tasks, models are used that can withstand the blow of an improvised tool (hammer, chisel).
Impact screwdriver is equipped with a metal case and handle. When the auxiliary tool hits the end, the slot of the screwdriver rotates.
- Continuous work – most often these are processes that require reusable twisting of fasteners. To simplify the work, reversible ratchet screwdrivers are used.
If you have to screw in more than ten bolts, a mini-analogue of a screwdriver is used – a cordless screwdriver.
Different types of fasteners
For work with heterogeneous fasteners, models with a bit change function are used. If you have to work with flat and cross fasteners at the same time, combo models are preferable.
Most often, this is a handle with a plug-in rod, on which diverse types of bits are fixed. Flipping the shaft in combo models turns the cross bat into a flat one. Another option is a non-removable rod with a magnetic holder for a replaceable slot.
For diverse work, it is more often not a specific model that is chosen, but a set of screwdrivers. It is a small case or suitcase that contains several screwdrivers or only one – the base one and a set of interchangeable nozzles for it.
The features of the slots are discussed in detail above, so we will focus on the remaining components of the kit – handles and rods.
Handles are made of plastic or polycomposite. To reduce slip, a rubber coating, recesses or notches are used. The covering gives to the tool ergonomics and convenience.
- Ratchet mechanism – attachable “ratchet” handle, similar to those used in compound socket wrenches. During operation, the rod and tip rotate freely, and the handle remains motionless in the hand.
The model does not require unnecessary movements, so it is optimal for bulk work.
- T-shaped – Swivel type models with a curved or solid top that supports the installation of an auxiliary arm.
- with a heel – most often present in sets of impact screwdrivers. Instead of recessing into the handle, a through stroke is used. The rod at the end free from the nozzle has a thickening – the heel, which softens the load from hammer blows.
Modified handles make screwing/unscrewing easier or increase torque. Most often, the functionality is set by a button or a reverse switch on the handle.
Shaft modifications allow you to add additional functionality to the tool.
- Non-standard lengths – long or short screwdriver models. Length restrictions apply to stem and handle. Suitable for processing hard-to-reach places. More common in combo or flexible models.
- With the function of changing the tip – the tool in this configuration is equipped with a ratchet mechanism or a standard handle. The option without a mechanism implies the use of a universal combo rod. For slots of such models, replaceable bits are provided in the kit.
- Faceted rod – a variant with a square or hexagonal section (standard – round). Supports the use of levers to add torsion force. The lever is a hand tool.
Bits and heads – are typical tips for handpieces.
There are magnetic models that support the capture of fasteners in uncomfortable conditions. According to external parameters, they correspond to standard types of slots.
There are no individual accessories for screwdrivers. They are complemented only by sets that combine diverse types of nozzles or screwdrivers.
Such a kit often consists of a body with recesses for convenient location of basic and spare parts.
- Small or budget kits are small plastic cases.
- Professional models – a suitcase with a handle for comfortable carrying, plastic or rubber-coated.
Inside contains a set of screwdrivers, interchangeable heads or nozzles.
The larger the set, the more variations for different types of work, sizes and shapes of marks.
There are models supplemented with protective agents – anti-corrosion liquid, oil for lubricating metal elements, and a brush for cleaning.
Battery models are supplemented with a charger and a replaceable battery. Household variations often do without these accessories – the buyer takes care of the timely charge on his own.
Features of screwdrivers are considered in relation to the type of tool slot.
By slot type
- flat – the tool tightens standard screws and screws, the marking is marked along the width of the tip. Suitable for fasteners with cruciform marks. Flat models are used for domestic and electrical needs.
- Hexagonal – for fasteners with hex risks. Variants of a non-standard type are common, representing an L-shaped rod with edges, bent at the top.
The thickness of the rod corresponds to the slot of the fastener for which it is suitable.
Used for electrical repairs, furniture assembly.
- star-shaped – used in the repair of household appliances and mobile phones. They are rarely used in everyday life, as they require special skills.
- cruciform — most convenient for household and professional needs. There are models that support combination with a flat slot. Optimal for driving all types of self-tapping screws and screws of suitable shape.
There are special models for narrow applications, adapted for use with only one or several types of fasteners:
- Spanners are two-pin variations for elevators with anti-vandal protection.
- Shamrocks (Tri-Wing) – for aviation and complex electronics.
- Asymmetric (Torq-Set) – only the aviation industry.
- Clutch – for Chevrolet and GMC trucks.
- Pentalobe is a five-sided variant for Apple technology.
These models are not used in everyday life, but without knowledge of their existence, the repair of complex equipment is not always possible.
Pros of screwdrivers
The advantages of screwdrivers are based on the configuration and functionality. A comfortable set of options does not always replace specific functions.
Basic features of the options:
- electric models or battery type – increased speed;
- with reverse – support the unscrewing of fasteners;
- ratchet – minimal load on the hands;
- shock – cope with tight screws that an ordinary screwdriver will not twist;
- indicator – the ability to determine the phase, search for live wires;
- dielectric – safe for electrical work, preferred when it is not possible to de-energize the room.
Advantages are usually combined. For example, a dielectric coating is combined with an indication option, a battery with a reverse.
The disadvantages that complicate the operation are also related to the set of functions. The fewer additional options in a screwdriver, the higher the chance that the tool will last a long time.
- Battery type – requires constant changing or charging of batteries. In conditions of major repairs, the premises quickly fail. More often this feature is found in Chinese technology, the quality of which does not always meet the needs of Russian conditions.
- Ratchet – sensitive to abrasives and dust. The mechanism fails when used in dusty rooms or at a construction site.
- Percussion – unaesthetic due to the metal case, ergonomic models of this type are rare.
- Indicator – the main problem is the burnout of the indicator light, after which the model turns into a regular screwdriver. Audible indication requires battery replacement.
The current charge is not displayed on the case, so at the right time it is easy to find yourself without the appropriate functionality.
Models with reverse are not presented in the list of problems, since the mechanism rarely fails. Dielectric variations are similar to the usual ones, the difference is only in the coating, so their operation does not cause problems.
How to choose a screwdriver
The screwdriver is selected in accordance with the tasks ahead and the type of fasteners with which you plan to work.
The following parameters will tell about the quality of the tool:
- Rod strength – indicated on the body. A tool with a strength parameter in the range of 47-52 Rockwell units is preferred. An indicator below the indicated indicates the likelihood of bending, in the higher – a tendency to cracking.
- Alloy – Cr-V or chrome vanadium is considered universal. It maintains sufficient mechanical strength.
- Equipment – Ergonomic rubberized handles are preferred. The tool should not slip out of the hands, even if they are wet. It is advisable to select bits with magnetic coating for comfortable work with small fasteners.
For the tool of Russian manufacturers, compliance with GOST 17199–88 is provided. In this case, there is a marking on the body or handle.
The greatest danger when working with a screwdriver is the misuse of the tool.
- Before starting work, select the appropriate type of screwdriver and make sure that the size of the working area matches the size of the mounting profile.
- When working, it is necessary to use it only for its intended purpose, do not expose to heating to temperatures above the permissible ones, do not use a screwdriver, the tip of which is damaged.
- The handle must be insulated and chip-free when working under power.
- The screwdriver shaft must be placed along the axis of the fastener.
Hand tools come with a warranty ranging from 12 months to lifetime service.
- The need to exchange goods or return the money spent arises if the purchased screwdriver turned out to be defective, deteriorated or broke due to the fault of the manufacturer.
- Refusal to receive service under the warranty is received in case of non-compliance with the rules for using the tool or in case of mechanical damage.
The budget segment allows people not to contact service centers, but to buy a new tool.
Screwdriver malfunctions in the basic form are limited to breakage of the handles or blunting of the slot metal.
- If the handle is interchangeable, it is replaced with an analog. Models with one-piece handles must be recycled. However, craftsmen fix broken plastic by heating or using superglue.
In this case, the durability of the repaired handle is not guaranteed, the tool is no longer suitable for screwing in self-tapping screws and tight bolts.
- A dull screwdriver is sharpened with a grinder and a cutting wheel, dremel or needle file. The last option is the most labor intensive. Sharpening a screwdriver with a blade requires it to be fixed at a 90 degree angle in order to create correct bevels.
Self-repair is possible only in the case of a dead battery or a clogged ratchet. When the mechanism is clogged, the tool is disassembled, cleaned of abrasive and lubricated for prevention.
Models with complex mechanics are more likely to be repaired in a service environment.
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