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Screws & Screw Drivers: The Importance of Having the Right Tool for the Job

October 9, 2017

screw

Ask 100 people on the street to name the first tool they can think of and at least half will say 'screwdriver'. The reason is simple: the screwdriver is one of the most fundamental tools to any project and your screws are just as required. Still, most of these people probably ALSO couldn't name three different kinds of screwdrivers. Today we are going to talk to you about a few different screwdrivers, special screws, and why you should have the proper tool to use each one.

What kind of screwdrivers are there?

The screwdriver is a tool with a special head that you use to screw in, well, screws. Screwdrivers can be manual or powered by a battery but either way their goal is the same.

You can tell the difference between each screwdriver based on how the 'head' of the tool works. Making sure to match the proper screwdriver to the proper screw is incredibly important. Now, like any other common tool, there are a variety of different screwdrivers that everybody should know about.

1. Flat Head - One of the most common types of screwdrivers. The flat head, or slot head, has a single line cutting straight through the head of the tool.

2. Phillips Head - This familiar screw/screwdriver is known for its rounded cross pattern. The reason that these are crossed notches is because it gives the screwdriver more leverage when turning.

3. Allen Wrench - You'll find an Allen Wrench with Allen Wrench screws in just about any piece of cheap furniture that you have to assemble yourself. Incredibly easy to use by hand but not as sturdy as the other options, the Allen Wrench is very common.

4. Torx Drive - These screws are noted for their 6-pointed star heads.

5. Robertson - Our final type of screw is the Robertson Screw. The head of this tool/screw combo is square and it was invented by Peter Lymburner Robertson, thus its name.

Why is it important to match screws and screwdrivers?

This is actually a pretty common question and one that deserves an answer. DIYers sometimes wonder whether or not it is important to use the exact screw with the exact screwdriver. After all, if you can force on to fit another why not give it a go? Well, there are just two simple reasons why you should avoid doing this:

1. Wear and Tear - There is an incredible amount of torque going on when using a screwdriver. Using an inappropriately matched tool & screw will lead to degradation of both utilities.

2. Ease of Use - Using a Robertson screwdriver with a Robertson screw is much easier than using a Philips screwdriver with a Robertson screw. Don't make the job any harder than it has to be.

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