What are Different Types of Screwdrivers?

A Screwdriver is a manual, electrical or pneumatic-powered tool that is used for tightening and untightening the screws. In this article, we will discuss various types of screwdrivers according to powering mechanism, screw drive type, and size available in the market. We suggest you also read this article on various types of screws.

Types of Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers can be classified into different categories according to drive type, size, and shape. Following types of screwdrivers are available in the market.

  1. According Powering Mechanism
    • Manual screwdrivers
    • Pneumatic screwdrivers
    • Electrical screwdrivers
    • Torque screwdrivers
  2. According to Screw Drive Type or Screw Head
    • Phillips Head
    • Slotted Head
    • Pozidrive screwdrivers
    • Squarehead screwdrivers
    • Torx screwdriver
    • Socket Screw Driver
    • Security Head
  3. According to the size of the screwdriver
According to How Screwdriver work or their Powering Mechanism

According to how a screwdriver tightens and untightens a screw, the following types of screwdrivers are available in the market.

Manual Screw Driver
This image shows a different types of manual screw driver.

A manual screwdriver has a handle, shaft, and a tip/bit (as per the type of screw drive) at the end of the shaft. Torque to tighten and untighten the screw is applied at the handle. As shown in the above image, manual screw drivers come with a replicable or non-replicable tip.

Pneumatic Screw Driver

Pneumatic Screwdriver utilizes compressed air to rotate the screw bit and tighten the screw. Most pneumatic screwdrivers are torque-controlled and come with a replicable screw bit. Therefore they are mostly used on the assembly lines.

Electrical Screw Driver

An electrical screwdriver gets power either from mains or has a rechargeable battery and comes with or without a torque adjusting option. Compared to a pneumatic screw driver, an electrical screw-driver does not require a compressed air system. Therefore they can be used at home as well.

Torque Screw Driver
This image shows a torque screwdriver

Torque screwdrivers are a type of screwdriver that comes with a feature to ensure the screw is tightened at the specified torque. In this, the value of torque that the screwdriver applies to the screw can be adjusted. Manual, electrical, and pneumatic screw-drivers come with this feature. Torque screwdrivers are used to ensure the screw is tightened at neither more than or less than specified torque.

Types of Screwdrivers according to Screw Drive Type

Different types of screw heads are available in the market. Therefore the selection of the screwdriver is done according to the head of the screw.

Phillip Head
this image shows a Phillips Head Screwdriver

The Phillip head screw drives are one of the widely used screw drives. Compared to slotted head screws, Phillip head screws are recommended on the production line due to the following advantages.

  • In Phillip’s head screw drives, the operator does not need to align the position of the screwdriver. This improves overall productivity.
  • Phillip Screwdriver slips from the screw head when excessive torque is applied.
Slotted Head
this image shows a Sloted Head Screwdriver

Slotted screwdrivers are very easily available in the market. Therefore they are recommended in DIY kits or in applications where users need to tighten or lose the screws very frequently. For example, slotted head types of screws are used on wall mounts, kitchenware products and handles, etc.

Robertson or Square Drive
This image shows a Robertson or Square Drive Screw Driver

Square drive is also known as Robertson drive and it is widely preferred in the wooden and construction industry. Robertson and Phillips combination drives are used in electrical products, terminals, and connectors.

Torx Screw Driver
This image shows a Torx Screwdriver

Torx drive has 6 points star shape and is used to transmit high torques without damaging the screw head. They also provide a level of security to a product as well because Torx drives are not as common as slotted or Phillip drives.

Torx screws are used in automobiles, bicycles, and miniature products such as watches, smartphones or laptops, etc.

Hex Socket Allen Screw Driver
this image shows a Hex Socket type of Screwdriver

Similar to Torx head screws, Hex Socket or Allen head screws are used to transmit high torques and in applications where a screw is not accessible from the top. Allen screws can be tightened using Allen keys even without having direct access to the screw.

Types of Screwdrivers according to Screw Size

Different sizes of screwdrivers are required according to the size of the screw. For example, the #1 Phillips head screwdriver is used for M2.5 and M3 screw whereas the #2 screwdrivers are used with M3.5, M4, and M5 screws. Therefore it is always recommended to consider the size of the screw before the selection of screw for an application.

We will keep adding more information on different types of screwdrivers available in the market. Please add your suggestions, comments, or questions on different types of screwdrivers in the comment box. We suggest you also read this article on bolt vs screw.

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