Screwdriver. Tool used to tighten and loosen screws. Where the use of screwdrivers is most applied is in domestic use and in works with wood or soft materials, as well as screwing of sheet metal.


[ hide ]

  • 1 History
  • 2 Screwdriver Components
  • 3 Classification
  • 4 special screwdrivers
  • 5 Keep the tool in good condition
  • 6 Safety measures for the use of screwdrivers
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Source


Among the most common, ancient and used hand tools, with the permission of the hammer, is the screwdriver.This instrument has its origin in the 15th century although it seems that Leonardo DaVinci already used an apparatus that could be considered his predecessor. The plans originated in the carpentry workshops , which after inserting the nails into the wood made a small notch in the head and twisted them half a turn; in this way a greater grip was achieved.

Later this technique was developed and the first screws were introduced, elements that today are used in many areas of our daily life to hold different parts of many utensils.

An evolution of these are the star tips, which due to their “X” shape make the fit between screwdriver and screw more precise and therefore, the screwdriver is prevented from slipping out of its socket. Its big drawback is that, after a period of use, the head can become thinner than at the beginning and not fit with the screw.

Screwdriver Components

A screwdriver normally consists of three distinct parts:

  • Handle: element by which it is held, it is usually made of an insulating material and ergonomically shaped to facilitate its use and increase comfort.
  • Shank or reed: metal bar that connects the handle and is part of the head . Its diameter and length varies depending on the type of screwdriver.
  • Head: part that is inserted into the screw . Depending on the type of screw a different type of head will be used.



There are several types of screwdrivers. They are mainly classified by their head type. They can also be classified by their function or by the activity in which they are used.

For the heavy workload of screwing or unscrewing thousands of screws, the use of an electric screwdriver is recommended . These are provided with a motor, usually incorporated in the same handle as the screwdriver, with a tightening or loosening twist control. The tip of the screwdriver is usually interchangeable and has accessories to use with nuts. These types of screwdrivers prevent wrist injuries and greatly reduce working time.

As for the heads of the screwdriver, the most common are star or also called Phillips and planes or Parker , named after their inventor.

As for its function, there are torque-precision screwdrivers, which are less than 10 centimeters long and have a rotating plane at the opposite end of the head to give precision to the tool’s axis of rotation, these are used in activities such as watchmaking or others that require working with small screws, or that require a controlled torque.

There is also a very common screwdriver called a pole finder and it is widely used by electricians to locate polarity in an electrical circuit.

Special screwdrivers

The precision screwdrivers are small in size and have a rotating plane at the end of the handle for easy one- handed operation . They are employed in activities such as watchmaking or others that require working with small screws. A pole finder is a screwdriver with a high reactance lamp built into its handle to check that a conductor is connected to one phase of the alternating current network .

Keep the tool in good condition

For maximum performance, it is essential that the instrument is in perfect condition. Some of the most common problems occur when using the screwdriver for tasks that do not correspond to it. Using it as a lever or chisel is a mistake that will shorten its life. Among the most common defects are cracked wooden handles or loose shanks. Deformed or bent heads and broken, malformed, or blunt tips also provide important reasons for disposal. With a file or an emery stone we can try to fix the worn tips. Keeping it magnetized will also make any task easier and takes just a few minutes.

Safety measures for the use of screwdrivers

  • Never use a screwdriver to pry.
  • The tips must be in perfect condition.
  • You should always fit precisely with the screw grooves.
  • In the case of electrical work, screwdrivers that have insulation on their bar should be preferred, to avoid short circuits or bridges.
  • You should never use a screwdriver to drill or cut as a chisel.
  • You should always wear suitable PPE like glasses and gloves.
  • Do not use tools that are dirty or covered with grease, this can cause them to slip.
  • Presence of cracks in the handle or deformed head due to misuse, there is a risk of getting chips in your hands.
  • Loose or twisted handle stem, with the risk of causing hand injuries.
  • Never hit a screwdriver with a hammer, the tool will suffer irreparable damage.
  • Do not use the screwdriver with wet or greasy hands.
  • Do not use the screwdriver to check if a battery is charged.
  • Choose the right screwdriver size and the right head type for the screw.
  • Do not hold the workpiece against your body. Rest it on a flat safe surface.
  • When using the screwdriver, keep your fingers away from the blade.
  • Do not try to force the screwdriver with pliers or a hammer.


Leave a Comment