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Screwdriver 101

September 16th, 2011 Tools

If you've seen screwdriver sets, it's likely you're aware of how many different tips and attachments are included. If you don't know what they're for, you're probably missing out on some helpful tools to make use of around the house! Here's a list of the most common screwdriver tips and how you can use them.

Regular tips are wedge-shaped and made for large, heavy screws. They're the most commonly used screwdrivers and have been around the longest. These tips are used on any kind of single-slot screws.

Phillips-head screwdriver tips are used on cross-slotted screws, often found in automobiles or electronics. The design allows for more torque than a regular screwdriver, and the depression makes it slip out before it can damage the screw.

Cabinet tips are similar to regular tips, but are used for smaller screws and countersinking screws where regular tips would damage the surrounding material. You can reach screws located in deeper holes.

Hexagonal tips are most commonly used in electronics, particularly in radios and T.V.s. They tighten socket-set screws.

Now that you're well-versed on some of your screwdriver options, you can select the ones you need. Many screwdrivers have magnetized tips which make for neater organizing and an easier time guiding screws into holes.

It's important to figure out the right size, otherwise you might damage the screw or the surrounding material. Your tip should completely fill the slot of the screw you're using. If the tip is too narrow, you'll have to use more muscle to drive it in and risk causing damage. If it's too wide, you may ruin the surrounding material. If the tip is too thick, it won't fit into the screw and you'll slip all over the place. If you need help, ask a store associate which kind is best for your project.