By Glenn Haege
(All rights reserved)
Using the correct screwdriver helps get job done
I wrote a column June 15 about the most popular hammers available and their specific uses. Now I want to look at another one of the items in your tool box: the screwdriver. The reason that there are so many types of screwdrivers is because there are so many different screw heads to use them on. Here are just some of the unique screwdrivers available:
Allen head: The Allen (commonly known as a wrench or key) is used on screws that have a head designed like a hexagon.
Clutch: This has a slot-wing drive in the shape of a bow-tie, and is used on clutch-head screws.
Flat-head: Among the most popular screwdrivers, it has a single blade as its screw drive and is used on a slotted screw head.
Frearson: This cross-head screwdriver is similar to a Phillips but is sharper and less rounded.
Impact: You strike this screwdriver with a hammer and the shock torque loosens a rusted bold or screw.
Offset: The offset has two blades on opposite ends so that each end of the screwdriver can be used on different size or type of screws. Its angled shape also allows it to be used in areas where screws are in a tight spot and can't be reached with standard screwdrivers.
Phillips: The other most popular screwdriver is used to drive a screw head in the shape of an X featured on Phillips screws.
Ratchet: This screwdriver works like a ratchet and socket wrench but has a screw driver handle and drive.
Robertson: This screwdriver is used on screws that have a square-shaped head. These screws are often used in the auto industry
Torque: With this screwdriver, you can set the specific amount of torque you want so you don't excessively tighten a screw. These screwdrivers are generally used in manufacturing or mechanical production.
Torq-set: This is a screwdriver with a cruciform drive similar in appearance to a Phillips, but the arms of the torq-set drive is offset from each other, so a regular Phillips or flat-head screwdriver won't work on it.
Torx: The drive on this screwdriver is shaped like a star with six ridges and is used mostly in electronics. Torx is the registered trademark for this type of six-point, star-shaped patterned screw head.
Tri-wing: This screwdriver features a triangle-shaped drive and is most often used to remove screws in computers, iPods and certain smartphones.
Yankee: Popular in woodworking, this screwdriver is spring-loaded so when you push the handle in, it compresses the spring and the driver bit turns the screw.
If you do lots of maintenance on your home, cottage, car or boat, you surely will have the need to use many of these different types of screwdrivers. And just like any tool, it is always best to use the right screwdriver for the job. That means having a screwdriver that exactly fits the type of screw head.
Fortunately, you can find a large variety of screwdrivers at hardware stores or online retailers. If you have a power drill or power screwdriver, you can also buy screw bits that will fit the various types of screw heads you are working with.
So, instead of using a flat-head screwdriver in a Phillips screw head, just visit the hardware store and buy the proper tool to make the job a lot easier.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.