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ScrewdriversCommon screwdrivers include: slot screwdriver with insulated handle, Phillips screwdriver with insulated handle and oxide tip for better control, spiral ratchet driver with interchangeable bits, offset screwdriver for driving in tight places, and cordless power screwdriver with battery pack and pivoting shaft.

Every carpenter should own several Phillips and slotted screwdrivers. Even though the drill-mounted screw bit has become the standard for large projects, screwdrivers are still essential for a variety of carpentry tasks. Look for quality screwdrivers with hardened-steel blades and handles that are easy to grip. Other features to look for include insulated handles to protect against electrical shock and oxide-coated tips for a strong hold on screw heads. For working in tight spots, a screwdriver with a magnetic head can also be helpful.

 screwdriver with a magnetic head

Cordless power screwdrivers save time and effort. For small projects, they are an inexpensive alternative to a cordless drill or screw gun. Most models include a removable battery pack and charger, so you can keep one battery in the charger at all times. Cordless power screwdrivers have a universal 1/4″ drive and come with a slotted bit and a #2 Phillips bit. Other bits, such as Torx and socket bits are also available.

Use a screwdriver or screw bit that closely matches the screw head. A tip that’s too big or too small will damage the screw and the driver, and it will make the screw hard to remove later.

Other driving options include square-drive and Torx-drive screws. Square-drive screwdrivers are gaining popularity because squaredrive screws are difficult to strip. Torx-drivers are used on electronics, tools, and automotive applications.

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