Types of Screwdrivers and What They Are Used For

By on December 30, 2015

Have you ever walked down the tool isle and seen how many different types of screwdrivers there are these days? You could make a whole isle of screwdrivers if you there was enough demand to do so. Most people see this and wonder why people have to make such a fundamental tool so difficult!

The truth is that every screwdriver is built for a specific job, so having the right one can really make a difference if you are taking out more than just one screw. The perfect example of this is when you are looking to take out a Philips head screw but you manage to get it out with that flat head that wasn’t all the way out in the garage. While this worked for your single screw, you might want to go out and get the right type if you are going to be taking them out all day.

Each different types of screwdriver is designed to give you the right amount of torque for the job. A good example is with Philips screwdriver, which is designed to with the screwdriver out of the head when the screw is tight. This ensures that you are not able to apply too much pressure and cause any unwanted damage.

Another great example is the Security T screwdriver. This one is designed to allow you to apply a large amount of torque, but only if you have the best screwdriver for the job. There is a bump in the middle that stops you from using any other tool to do the job. Without the right tool, you will just be spinning away and wasting your time.

If you are just looking to make sure that you have the best screwdriver possible for the things you run into at home, you should go and check out that page instead. You might get a little overwhelmed if you hang around and learn about all the different types of screwdrivers.

Each different types of screwdriver is designed to give you the right amount of torque for the job

Slot Head – This is one of the most common types because it is the easiest screw to make. For this reason, just about anything you find that was created during the error where screws were handmade will have a slot head screw. Most people call this a flat head screw or flat head screwdriver.

Philips – Most people don’t realize that a Phillips head screwdriver is designs for a specific task. It is designed to push the screwdriver out of the head when the screw is tight. That’s why you have trouble getting one into some materials that are extremely tough.

Pozidrive – A pozidrive screw looks a lot list a Phillips head screw, but does not push your screwdriver out when tight. You can apply as much torque as you need without running into any problems.

Hex – Hex screwdrivers are some of the most simple and cheap to produce. This is why you will see them used in a lot of furniture you purchase from discount stores. They are easy to use, but do not provide you any insurance that you won’t tighten them too much.

Torx – Just like the name implies, this head is designed to give you the most torque possible. It is designed a lot like the hex screws but it is designed to have more contact between the screwdriver and the screw, so the torque is distributed more evenly.

Security T – This one is a lot like the torx screw, but a bump in the middle makes it one of the most secure types of screwdrivers possible. It’s obviously not going to stop someone that has a screwdriver that fits, but it will stop someone that is looking for an easy target to steal. You will see these heads a lot on license plates and are very tough to get around if you don’t have the right screwdriver.

Why is it Important to Know Which Type of Screwdriver You Need?

stripped screwIt is important to know which types of screwdriver you are working with because you could mess the screw up to the point where it will never come out if you aren’t careful. We have all done, it’s ok to admit. Whether we were too lazy to go and get the right kind, or had no idea what we really needed, we have all stripped a screw to the point where it was unusable. Once you have stripped a screw into a circle, your only hope is to grind out a slot so that you can use a slotted screwdriver to get it out. Unless you are a welder and can weld something on to do the trick.  You best best is porbably to buy the best screwdriver set you can find so that you have everything that you need.

Mine Isn’t on This List!

We only included some of the most common screw types that you might run into in the list at the beginning of this article. If you are looking at something that is not on that list, we can show you a few more that you might run into. These types of screwdrivers each have very specific uses, so you shouldn’t run into them otherwise.


These screws are an improved version of the Philips head. They are designed to allow you to apply a little more force before they force their way out of the head. The improved design also allows them to be significantly smaller than your average screw. A Philips head screwdriver might loosely fit a pozidriv screw, but you are likely just going to strip the head when you apply any torque.

Robertson or “Square”

This screw head is just like the nickname would make you assume, being square in shape. The screwdriver and the head have a slight taper so that the screw will stay on the tip better while you position it. If not for a refusal to licsense the product, this might have become the standard instead of the Philips head that you see everywhere instead.


Clutch screwdrivers were popular in the 1940s and 1950s. They were used a lot in the construction of GM cars and trucks during that time period. The head of these screws look like a bow tie and are designed to be tamper resistant. It’s tough to remove them correctly with any of the other types of screwdrivers on this list.

About Joseph Strawbridge

Joe comes to us from the great the beehive state where he lives with his wife and 3 kids. For those of us that aren’t from Utah, that is the nickname for the state of Utah, which is pinned between Colorado and Nevada. He likes to say that he is good at everything but great at nothing. A professional blogger by trade, Joe is retired from the United States Army after 25 years of service. He has traveled the world and made stops in just about every country on Earth between his 7 duty stations and 3 deployments. He now sits at home and relaxes while taking care of his family, while doing some blogging on the side. He joined the team after responding to our original search for some talented writers. He writes a few articles a month for us and loves to hear what people have to say about his articles. Don’t be afraid to ask him a question, he will be happy to answer. Joe has a limited amount of experience with using tools in home repair and working in the back yard. He has that large garage that everyone wants but admittedly doesn’t take full advantage of it. Unless he is fixing something that broke in his house, he doesn’t spend much time in there at all. He started writing for us so that he could learn more about the tools he is using, instead of just buying what everyone else seems to be buying. He is specifically interested in writing about the tools that everyone has in their house. Check out some of the articles he wrote and let him know what you think!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *