The Different Types of Screwdrivers and Their Uses

Eagle's Garage may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. This comes at no additional cost to you, and all the prices and availability are accurate at the time of publishing.

6Pcs Mini Screwdriver Set, Eyeglass Repair Screwdriver, Precision Repair Tool Kit with 6 Different Size Flathead and Philips Screwdrivers, Ideal for Watch, Jewelers

There are many different kinds of screwdrivers and each one has a different purpose. The different styles and sizes vary because the projects that people use screwdrivers for are vastly different. For example, maybe you need to assemble a chair…or maybe you need to assemble a car! The variety of screwdriver options out there fuel our creativity and allow us to make so many different items.

Let’s talk about some of these screwdrivers and establish when they are commonly used.

Commonly Used Screwdrivers

Flat-head Screwdriver

3/16-Inch Flat Head Screwdriver, Cabinet Tip with 3-Inch Round Shank and Cushion Grip Handle Klein Tools 601-3

The flat-head screwdriver is probably the most common tool on the planet. Its flat head makes it easy to tighten or loosen flat screws that have a straight, linear notch in their heads. It is a very versatile tool and is used in so many common situations, like putting together furniture or assembling kids toys. Everyone has a flat-head screwdriver at home because it is an essential tool.

Phillips Screwdriver

Klein Tools 603-4 Screwdriver, #2 Phillips Tip that is Precision Machined, with Cushion Grip, 8-Inch

The Philips screwdriver tightens or loosens Philips head screws, which allow a tighter head that flat head screws. Because of their tight fit, they are commonly used in factories and are a handyman favorite. This tool is nearly as common as the flat-head screwdriver, as most common screws are either Philips head or flat-head. You can tell the difference between the screws because, as mentioned above, one has a flat-head and the Philips head screws have diamond lines in their heads. The Philips head screwdriver is also used for many common household projects and everyday tasks.

Hex Screwdriver

Hobby-Ace 4pcs Hex Screw driver Tools Kit Set for RC Helicopter (1.5mm 2.0mm 2.5mm 3.0mm)

A hex screwdriver is a tool used to drive bolts and screws, but it has a hexagonal socket. With six driving points, this tool is easier to use and less likely to strip than the Phillip’s head screwdriver.

Torx Screwdriver

Amartisan 12-Piece Magnetic Torx Screwdrivers Set, Magnetic Torx Driver Star Screwdrivers Set T5 - T40 Best Choice

Torx screws are typically used in vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, computer systems, hard disk drives and consumer electronics. They have an unusual star-shaped head, which makes them very secure. Their extremely tight fit allows higher torque transmission.

Robertson Screwdriver

Robertson Square Drill Bit Set (PREMIUM Complete 12pc Set) /w Storage Case and Bit Holder - Hex Shank Magnetic Bit Set - THE GIFD COLLECTION - Fortified S2 Steel - Long 2in Heads for Drills

This square-tipped screwdriver is typically used in electrical trade for device and breaker terminals. They are easy to use one-handed because they connect tightly with their screws. This screwdriver looks similar to the Philips head, but is shaped differently when you look a little closer.

Specialty Screwdrivers

Clutch Head Screwdriver

CTA Tools 8752 Clutch-Head Screwdriver - 4-Piece Set

Clutch head screws are a security screw and are designed to make it impossible to remove with a common screwdriver. Clutch head screwdrivers are the only tool that will loosen the screws, which are usually used for fixing door hinges. These screws are used for garage doors as well. Normal screws are easily removed and someone could gain access to a building within seconds, which is why the clutch head screws are used often for security purposes.

Frearson Screwdriver

Klein Tools 32500 Multi-Bit Screwdriver / Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool, 8 Industrial Strength Bits, 3 Nut Driver Sizes, Cushion Grip Handle

This screwdriver is on the smaller side and is used when precision is needed. It gives higher torque than a Philips head. It is commonly used for projects like putting together furniture or other household objects. Its small size makes it easy to use in a variety of situations.

JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) Screwdriver

RW 0159-103 JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) Screwdriver JIS #3 Cross Point Soft Grip Rubber Handle Made in Japan Large 11 Inch/280mm Full Tang Solid Shaft Screw Driver

This screwdriver is nearly identical to the Philips head, and is simply its Japanese counterpart. Just like the Philips head, it is commonly used in both households and in professional work.

Nut Driver

6 In 1 Hurricane Folding Nut Driver Set Aluminum Handle SAE

The nut screwdrivers generally have a hollow shaft, which is essential when it comes to threading a nut. They have low torque and are used often in the appliance repair and electronics industries. Using nuts isn’t nearly as common as using screws, which is why this tool isn’t a common household item.

Pozidriv Screwdriver

GEARWRENCH 4 Pc. Pozidriv Dual Material Screwdriver Set - 80061H

Pozidriv screws are known for their excellent ability to screw in or out without stripping. They look similar to the Philips head, and can also be used for common households tasks. This screwdriver can be used in place of a Philips head and vice versa.

Spanner Screwdriver

uxcell Magnetic 2.6mm Spanner Screwdriver with 5 Inch Shaft

Spanner screwdriver are used with snapper security bits, which are commonly used for making installations more secure. They are used in public areas, such as in bathrooms and museums, to make building items more secure. For example, they are in bathroom dividers so that way no one can just walk in the bathroom and break down a door. With vandalizing and tampering becoming the new norm in some public places, these screws are essential.

The spanner screwdriver is also known as the snake-eye screwdriver because it has two pointy knobs on either side. It definitely has a distinct look and is easy to decipher amongst other screwdrivers. This tool is not generally used in household projects.

Triangle Screwdriver

Rannb Triangle Head Screwdriver Set Magnetic Screwdriver 2.0mm, 2.3mm, 2.7mm, 4.2mm - 4pcs

The triangle screw is sometimes called a “tri-head bolt” and has a triangular shaped head. Similarly, the triangle screwdriver has a triangle head and is used only with this type of screw. The screws are used often in electronics, toys and appliances – you may need a triangle screwdriver to assemble a refrigerator or a dishwasher.

The triangular design of these tools also makes them perfect for security structures because people will have a hard tampering with them. You cannot just use any screwdriver to unscrew the triangles, and people will be less likely to pursue this task.

Tri-point Screwdriver

Youletao Y Screwdriver for Nintendo Switch, Y Tip 1.5 Y00 Triwing Tri Point Screwdriver Set Tool Kit for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Repair and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Screwdriver

The tri-point screwdriver is a very small, precise tool, generally used for gadgets like the Nintendo Wii, mobile phones and some digital cameras. Apple uses this screwdriver to assemble some of their products. You may need this tool if you like to play around with technology and have experience putting together small gadgets. Also, if household devices such as a kitchen mixer or an iron needs fixing, this will most likely be the tool you will use to complete that project.

Tri-wing Screwdriver

E·Durable Tri-wing Screwdriver for Nintendo Wii, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance (Tri-wing)

Like the tri-point screwdriver, the tri-wing screwdriver is a small tool that is used for specific devices. The small tip on this screwdriver makes it perfect to use with smaller screws, which are used in mobile phones and cameras.

Electric Screwdrivers

Battery-Operated

Toydriver Low Torque Battery Operated Screwdriver Tool for Small Screws on Toy Battery Covers Grey/Yellow, 7x4x2

Battery-operated screwdrivers are great for when you need a little extra muscle to get the job done. They are used often with wood, so if you are putting together furniture or another wood item, having a battery-operated screwdriver can be very helpful. The most common battery-operated screwdrivers are the flat-head and the Philips head screwdrivers because they are used the most with wood.

Corded

Senco DS332-AC 3" Corded 2500 RPM Auto-feed Screwdriver

Some electric screwdrivers have to be plugged into an outlet and therefore will have a cord coming out of it. If this is a big deal to you, then you may opt for a cordless version.

Cordless

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver, 3/8-Inch (LDX120C)

Cordless screwdrivers are usually battery-operated. They are hassle-free because you won’t have to worry about dragging a cord behind you every time you move. These battery-operated screwdrivers can be a little expensive but are worth the purchase if you often take on big projects.

Screwdriver Styles

Magnetic

Magnetic Screwdriver Set,5 Pieces Slotted and Phillips Screwdriver with Ergonomic Comfortable Non-skid Handle,Permanent Magnetic Tips,Rust Resistant Heavy Duty Craftsman Toolkit For Wet, Oily Hand

Magnetic screwdrivers bring a level of convenience to users because they allow the user to place a screw onto the tip of the screwdriver and it will remain there while being inserted and installed. This will eliminate issues while building and will help projects move along faster. The screwdriver can also be used to get steel screws out from somewhere that is hard to reach.

Ratcheting Screwdriver

WORKPRO 12-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver, Quick-load Mechanism Bits Hold in Handle

A ratchet screwdriver has the ability to turn in one direction, so it is perfect for driving in or removing screws without having to move the bit in and out of the screw at end of each turn. This tool brings convenience to projects and is a time-saver if you have a ton of screws to install at once.

Right-Angle Screwdriver

I-MART 3 Pcs Offset Screwdriver Set Right Angle Phillips Screw Driver, Flat Head

A right-angle screwdriver is used when a regular screwdriver just won’t fit. The shape of the right-angle screwdriver is unique and will fit into tight spaces. This tool is also used when installing and removing molding pieces, as other screwdrivers are just too large to get the job done. This tool is used in home repair, assembling household appliances and in other home-related instances, but is also used in some professional industries.

Precision Screwdriver Sets

Jeweler’s

Tools Mule 5-in-1 Eyeglass Repair Kit, Small Precision Jewelers Screwdriver Set, PS4 Screw Driver, Pocket Screwdriver

Jeweler’s screwdrivers are tiny because jewelry pieces are tiny. Many jewelers work with a magnifying glass so they can see what they’re doing. A jeweler’s screwdriver cannot be used for anything else – it solely used for making and repairing jewelry.

Computer

Kaisi 70 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Set Professional Electronics Repair Tool Kit with 56 Bits Magnetic Driver Kit, Anti Static Wrist Band, Spudgers for Tablet, MacBook, PC, iPhone, Xbox, Game Console

Computer screwdrivers are also very tiny because the screws in computers are tiny. All electronics generally use tiny screws, so these computer screwdrivers are perfect for a variety of projects. Unless you put together computers for a living, you probably won’t have this screwdriver at home.

Final Thoughts

All of these screwdrivers have their own uses and bring something new to the table. While most of us know all about the common screwdrivers, it is helpful to know what other screwdrivers are capable of in case we need to use them. If you are working on a project at home or are working in a professional industry, having some basic knowledge about screwdrivers will help you with your projects and boost creativity levels.

Leave a Comment

Our Best Content In Your Inbox