A screwdriver is a tool, manual or powered, for screwing and unscrewing (inserting and removing) screws. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and a shaft, ending in a tip the user puts into...
A screwdriver is a tool, manual or powered, for screwing and unscrewing (inserting and removing) screws. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and a shaft, ending in a tip the user puts into the screw head before turning the handle. The shaft is usually made of tough steel to resist bending or twisting. The tip may be hardened to resist wear, treated with a dark tip coating for improved visual contrast between tip and screw—or ridged or treated for additional 'grip'. Handles are typically wood, metal, or plastic and usually hexagonal, square, or oval in cross-section to improve grip and prevent the tool from rolling when set down. Some manual screwdrivers have interchangeable tips that fit into a socket on the end of the shaft and are held in mechanically or magnetically. These often have a hollow handle that contains various types and sizes of tips, and a reversible ratchet action that allows multiple full turns without repositioning the tip or the user's hand.
A screwdriver is classified by its tip, which is shaped to fit the driving surfaces—slots, grooves, recesses, etc.—on the corresponding screw head. Proper use requires that the screwdriver's tip engage the head of a screw of the same size and type designation as the screwdriver tip. Screwdriver tips are available in a wide variety of types and sizes (List of screw drives). The two most common are the simple 'blade'-type for slotted screws, and Phillips, generically called "cross-recess".
A wide variety of power screwdrivers range from a simple 'stick'-type with batteries, a motor, and a tip holder all inline, to powerful "pistol" type VSR (variable-speed reversible) Cordless drillsthat also function as screwdrivers. This is particularly useful as drilling a pilot hole before driving a screw is a common operation. Special combination drill-driver bits and adapters let an operator rapidly alternate between the two. Variations include impact drivers, which provide two types of 'hammering' force for improved performance in certain situations, and "right-angle" drivers for use in tight spaces. Many options and enhancements, such as built-in bubble levels, high/low gear selection, magnetic screw holders, adjustable-torque clutches, keyless chucks, 'gyroscopic' control, etc., are available.