6 Types of Screwdrivers – Everyone Must Know

Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by James

The screwdriver is one of the most essential power tools for a professional or a DIYer. The invention of screwdriver dates back to the 15th century and it has continued to be a an important tool in one’s toolbox. Screwdrivers come in a variety of styles, shape, and size.

There is also a difference between screwdriver and screw drive. Let’s us first make you understand the basic difference between the two.

Screw drive is also referred to as the recess and it is a groove on the head of the screws that allows the screwdriver to apply torque over it. A screwdriver, on the other hand, is a tool which is used to drive screws either in an anticlockwise direction or clockwise direction.

A screwdriver in its basic form comes with a handle on one side and a shaft on the other side. The shaft has a groove on the tip. The grooved part rests upon the screw drive which allows you to drive the screw inside the material, whether it be wood, plastic, metal or something else.

There are varieties of screwdriver in terms of its design, its head drive and its recess type. In this article we will discuss with you some of the most common types of screwdrivers which you can use in almost all kinds of projects.

6 Types Of Screwdriver

1. Flat Head or Slotted Head Screwdriver

This is one of the oldest types of screwdrivers that is still widely used. It was invented around the 15th century in southern Europe and is the most common type in the market. As you can see the name, it has a flat shaped shaft tip which has a single slot to fit the slotted screw inside the head of the screwdriver.

It can either be manually driven or power driven but most of them are power driven as the head of the screwdriver has a ‘cam-out effect’.

Cam-out effect is the name of a process via which the screwdriver slips from the surface of the screw head. This happens when the torque is applied on the surface of the screw and it exceeds the required limit or even because of lack of centering. This tends to cause damage on the tip of the screwdriver or on the head of the screw.

According to their application, they are majorly of two types: cabinet and keystone. The cabinet type is used to make jewelry or for watch working purpose. The keystone type has a wider shaft as compared to the cabinet type and is mostly used for the purpose of woodwork.

2. Phillips Screwdriver

Phillips screwdrivers are the most popular ones in the list as they are an essential in all kinds of screwdriver sets. They are x-shaped and take in a greater surface area but they make for a firmer connection with the bits and hence more control over the fit. It was invented in the 19th century with an aim to come up with power driven screwdrivers.

These screwdrivers also tend to show the ‘cam-out effect’ but this happens when the torque exceeds a certain limit when you are tightening the screw in order to resist any kind of damage on the screwdriver. This also aims at extending the life of the tool.

3. Pozidriv Screwdriver

Pozidriv screwdriver is different from Phillips screwdriver. It comes with two cross signs which are located at 45 degrees angle offset. They are designed and manufactured from Europe and is very popular all over Europe. These screwdrivers are rare to find but their design is a variation of the Phillips screwdrivers.

They too have an x-shaped indentation and allow you to have extra grip when you are working with them. The shape of the screwdriver provides with better resistance from slipping and offers more stability as compared to Phillips screwdrivers.

4. Robertson os Square Screwdriver

The Robertson screwdriver is also known as square screwdriver and has been named after a Canadian inventor. The socket as well as the tool of this screwdriver have a slight taper, which has two prime advantages: firstly, it is easier to insert the tool; secondly, it helps to keep the screw on the tip of the tool, without you making the effort to hold it.

It is very popularly used for woodworking purpose and also for electrical trade, particularly in devices and breaker terminals as well as for the purpose of clamp connecting.

They were initially used for the industrial purpose by Ford motor company as they were helpful in speeding up production, reducing damages and they are also highly reliable.

5. Torx Screwdriver

Torx screwdrivers are a patent of Camcar Textron and helds back to 1967. They consist of a six-point pattern unlike the common four. The design is like a star and the screws of this screwdriver must be tightened or loosened depending on what you use them for.

They are well suited to be used to fix electrical equipment or fix DIY tools. They are common among automotive technicians, which is why they are also referred to as star tips by these technicians. Because of the circular shape of the lobes there is low radial force inside the torx screwdriver.

Torx screwdrivers come in a number of sizes and there is a number system that helps to determine the size of the tip: T8, T10, T15, T25 etc, and as the size of the tip increases so does the number.

6. Hex Screwdriver or Hexagon Screwdriver

This screwdriver comes with six straight lobes just like the shape of a hexagon, which is why its name. They are commonly used to fasten bolts more than screws.

The metric sizes of hex socket are defined by the following codes: ISO 4762, which refers to the socket head cap screw; ISO 4026 which refers to the socket set screws with flat point; ISO 4027 which refers to the socket set screws with cone point; ISO 4028 which refers to the socket set screws with cup point.


There are various types of screwdrivers in the market but these are the 6 most commonly used ones, which are used by both professionals as well as DIYers.

Each of them are suited for a particular type of need. It can always be confusing when you have to choose from a wide range of options but if you have the right set of information about them and can differentiate between their uses you will be able to select for yourself which one would be the best for your needs.