Screwdriver is one of the important hand tools for different woodworking project. It is used to drive or loosen screw into the wood. A woodworking screwdriver has some basic parts like handle, shank, blade, and tip. It has many variations but two basic types of screwdrivers such as flathead screwdriver and Philips type screwdriver are most popular. Always try to use exact screwdriver for driving or loosening a screw. Otherwise it can damage the screw or the tip of the screwdriver or woodworkpieces. You should keep in mind, all the time use flat head screwdriver for flathead screw and Philips screwdriver for Philips screws. Sometimes you may needs long blade for a lot of torque. You may also need a small or medium flat screwdriver so that they can reach easily in work place. At starting, use minimal force on to the screw. Although all most all the screwdrivers are handheld, few of them are electric. It is also used in many maintenance works like mechanical, electrical, jewelry work etc.
Parts of a screwdriver
A traditional Screwdriver has four basic parts; Handle, shank, blade and tip.
The handle is cylindrical and widest part of the screwdriver. It is used for griping during work time. Normally it is made of hard and durable plastic, wood or metal. The handle should be comfortable so that people can feel comfort during maximum torque.
The shank is thinner than handle. Normally it is made of hard steel. It attached to the handle and the blade. It can be long, medium or short. The long shank will provide more torque than a short shank.
The blade can be seen in flat head screwdriver.
The tip is the end of the blade or shank. Actually the classification of the screwdriver depends on this part of the screwdriver. Normally it is made of steel. When you use a screwdriver always try to use exact matching tip; never use a wider or narrow tip. If we use a wider or narrow tip, then it may damage the surface of the workpiece or screw or tip. The tip may be magnetic to easily grab on to the screw. Some of the screwdriver has detachable tip; in this case it is known as bit. Normally it is shown in a set of screwdriver where contains one holder and several bits.
Types of woodworking screwdriver
There are various types of screwdriver that are used in woodworking. Actually they are classified according to their shape and sizes. They are made for different types of driving surface like slot, grooves etc. of screws. Among them flathead and Philips type screwdriver are popular. Besides these two basic types of woodworking screwdriver, some of other screwdrivers such as square head screwdriver are also used in woodworking.
Flat head screwdriver
Flathead screwdriver is very simple and most common; hence it is also known as regular screwdriver. It is fits to the single slot screw. From earliest time, it is the most common and basic types of screwdriver. The flat head screwdrivers are two categories; flared and parallel types. The flared screwdriver has slightly wider edge tip compare to their shank. On the other hand the edge of the parallel screwdriver is same width as the shank.
The Philips screw driver contains a cross or a four star point, hence they are known as cross screwdriver. You can apply more force or torque with these screwdriver compare to the flathead screwdriver. These types of woodworking screwdriver have less possibility to slip out. So they can damage on the head of the screw and the workpieces very low. To avoid damages, you should choose the exact screwdriver. Henry F. Philips designs this screwdriver and the screw in 1930s; this is why the name is Philips screwdriver. They can be small, medium or large. Further some screwdriver such as Pozidriv, Frearson, Supadriv looks almost similar to this but they are slightly deference. Pozidriv can provide more torque then Philips type screwdriver but their design is very complex. You can use flathead screwdriver instead of it but not with Robertson screw.
Frearson screwdriver also has cross slot as like Philips screwdriver. But it is slightly difference; The Philips slot looks like U-shaped whereas frearson slot looks like V-shaped. Moreover, the screw slot of it is deeper then Philips screw. It is also known as Reed and Prince.
The square head screwdriver is not tapered and has very sharp corner whereas Robertson is slightly tapered and round corner. If you use square screwdriver in a Robertson screw oppositely use a Robertson screwdriver in a square screw, then it can damage the screw or driver. You will get huge torque and driving force. Today it is not a popular screwdriver.
Robertson is almost same as square screwdriver. Some people know them as square head screwdriver. The Robertson screwdriver’s tip has slightly taper and slightly rounded corners. The tapered socket tends to retain the screw, so it is easy to use. Normally, the USA Companies are manufacturing square type screwdriver. Robertson are popular in Canada. It reduces damage of the screw or workpiece. The all four side of the square head grip strongly and apply better torque.
Torx head screwdriver
Torx look like star screw but it has six point head. So it will get a lot of surface area in touch to the screw. It reduces slip out. The Torx apply more torque then Philips screwdriver. Normally it is used mostly in electric, automobiles, motorcycles, computer etc.
Offset screwdriver is special types of screwdriver with the blade at right angles. It is used where a straight screwdriver cannot reach or too difficult to reach. It is come with combination of flathead or Philips head tip. It may contains magnetic tips or ratchet mechanism.
Ratchet screwdriver is also special types of screwdriver. It has a lock and unlocks system. When you rotate the handle clockwise, then it will lock and works i.e. it tighten the screw. On the other hand, when you rotate the handle to the counter clockwise, then it will unlock (freely rotate) and does not works. A ratchet screwdriver is used greatly where needs to apply same torque. It can be flat headed or Philips headed. The can also come with a ratchet bit holder and several different types of bit.
Some woodworking project cannot do without screwdriver. You do not need all types of woodworking screwdriver in your toolbox. You should consider what types of work you are doing regularly. To get benefits and for quality work, you should make sure about using the right types of screwdriver for your work. Do not use hammer for strike on the screwdriver or screw.