Screwdrivers are made in various shapes and sizes and for many uses. Use the correct screwdriver for the job.
- Always match the screwdriver to the screw head, both in terms of size and type.
- Choose contoured handles that fit the shank tightly, with a flange to keep the hand from slipping off the tool.
- Use a slot screwdriver with a blade tip width that is the same as the width of slotted screw head.
- For cross head screws, use the correct size and type of screwdriver: a Phillips screwdriver may slip out of a screw head designed for use with the slightly, flatter-tipped Pozidriv screwdriver.
- Use a vise or clamp to hold the stock if the piece is small or moves easily.
- Wear safety glasses or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles) that is appropriate for the hazards of the work you are doing.
- Keep the screwdriver handle clean. A greasy handle could cause an injury or damage from unexpected slippage.
- Shut off electricity before beginning work on electrical equipment (lock out, de-energize and tag out).
- If work must be carried out on "live" equipment, use screwdrivers that have insulated handles designed for electrical work and a non-conducting shaft. Remember, most plastic handles are designed for grip and comfort.
- Use non-magnetic tools when working near strong magnets (e.g., in some laboratories).
- Use a screw-holding screwdriver (with screw-holding clips or magnetic blades) to get screws started in awkward, hard-to-reach areas. Square-tipped screwdrivers (e.g., Robertson) that hold screws with recessed square holes are also useful in such situations.
- Use an offset screwdriver in close quarters where a conventional screwdriver cannot be used.
- Use a screwdriver that incorporates the following features when continuous work is needed:
- A pistol grip to provide for a straighter wrist and better leverage.
- A "Yankee drill" mechanism (spiral ratchet screwdriver or push screwdriver) which rotates the blade when the tool is pushed forward.
- A ratchet device to drive hard-to-move screws efficiently.
- Or use a powered screwdriver.
Yankee Drill Mechanism with a Pistol Grip
- File a rounded tip square making sure the edges are straight. A dull or rounded tip can slip out of the slot and cause hand injury or damage to materials.
- Store screwdrivers in a rack or partitioned pouch so that the proper screwdriver can be selected quickly.