3 Different Types of Screwdrivers Every DIYer Should Have on Hand

Would you rather make a project plan, or lose a few thousand dollars? Every year, American households spend around $9,000 on DIY home improvements. While most of the DIY projects end up as a great success, others are complete catastrophes. The main thing that stands between the successes and failures, is preparation. If you want to avoid throwing your money away, always make a plan before starting any type of improvement project.

Start making your plan by writing down all of the materials and tools you’ll need to get the job done. As you make your list, you may find there are some tools and types of screwdrivers you haven’t heard of before. It’s important that you not only learn what these tools are but also fully understand their purpose.

Types of Screwdrivers Every DIYer Should Have

The more you know about the tools you need, the easier it’ll be for you to purchase the best options. Read on to learn about the 3 most common screwdrivers and their uses.

3 Common Types of Screwdrivers

It’s easy to feel overloaded as you try to narrow down the vast selection, and pick the screwdriver you need. To help simplify things, we’ve created a shortlist of the most commonly used screwdrivers.

  • Flathead
  • Phillips
  • Torx

Whatever you do, don’t rush the decision-making process. It’s better to slowly build your collection of tools as you discovering what brands you enjoy using. We recommend buying just one tool at a time to avoid buyers’ remorse.

Preparing for Variations

When choosing your screwdriver, pay attention to the size of the blade. There’s nothing worse than selecting a blade that’s too big to fit in the screw slot.



It’s helpful to bring a sample screw with you when you’re shopping. Once you find a screwdriver that looks like it will work, you can test it out on the sample screw. Make sure the blade can comfortably fit within the slot or star shape on top of the screw.

  1. Flat Head Screwdrivers

The flat head screwdriver goes by many names. Other names you might hear for this tool include slotted drivers, flat blade, or straight drivers. This simple screwdriver is one of the oldest designs ever made.

Types of Screwdrivers Every DIYer Should Have - flat head screwdriver

The blade of a flat head driver is as you might have guessed, flat. The flat blade fits into the slot that lines the top of the screw. That’s why sometimes these flatheads are also known as slotted screwdrivers.

Finding the Best Flat Heads

It’s never a bad idea to spend a little extra when building up your toolset. After all, your tools are something that you’re going to be using time and time again. Spending a little more now will save you time and money.

High-Quality Flat Heads

High-quality flat heads have tapered tips, that make it easier for them to get a good grip on the screw. Watch out though, when you’re dealing with a tapered tip you have to be extra careful. If the screwdriver does slip out of the screw, the tapered tip can cause deep lacerations.

  1. Phillips Screwdriver

A Phillips screw screwdriver is also referred to as a cross-head screwdriver because of how it looks. This screwdriver has an “X” design that fits snugly into the top of the screw. Unlike the flat head screw screwdriver, Phillips is capable of self-centering.

Types of Screwdrivers Every DIYer Should Have - Phillips screwdrivers

Thanks to the nifty “X” design, once a Phillips is in place, it rarely falls out. Another feature of a Phillips screwdriver is it’s pointed edges. The head of the Phillips has pointed edges, that are in the shape of a cross.

Size Variations

There are a total of 5 different sizes for buying a Phillips head screwdriver. The sizes go from 0 up to 4, with 4 being the biggest size. As you look at the different types of screwdrivers in the Phillips section, remember to test them out. Make sure you’re selecting the best size for the type of screws you’ll be working with. One of the reasons these tools are so popular is because Philips screw heads provide a more secure, tight fit than a flat head can. They are also lightweight screws, that make it easy when taking on big projects.

Electric Options

On top of buying a manual Phillips screwdriver, you can also look into getting an electric one. They even have cordless electric screwdrivers to make your life even easier.

  1. Torx Screw Screwdriver

You can identify a Torx screwdriver by its 6 point star shape design. A Torx screwdriver is just as common as the flathead or Phillips. Yet, chances are you probably aren’t familiar with this particular tool. Torx screwdrivers aren’t commonly known because they are mainly helpful with small electronics.

Types of Screwdrivers Every DIYer Should Have - torx screwdriver

Phones, computers, and tablets, all rely on Torx screws to function. Electronic objects that use Torx screws have a distinct advantage over those that use regular screws. The main benefit is the ability you have to torque the screw more than you otherwise would be able to.

Torx and Endurance

A common problem individuals have with their screwdrivers is the head becoming striped. Once you strip the head of your screwdriver, it’s no longer able to function in any capacity. Luckily for you, your Torx screwdriver will not have this problem. The unique star-shaped head makes stripping a Torx almost impossible. This not only makes these screwdrivers last longer, but it also helps them be safer.

Remember earlier how we mentioned the dangers of a slipping screwdriver? You can end up cutting yourself, or damaging the material you’re working with. Since Torx screwdrivers fit so snugly, they’re less likely to ever slip. This is especially important when you’re dealing with delicate electronic equipment.

Planning Your Home Project

Taking the time to learn about the different types of screwdrivers, shows that you’re passionate about DIY projects. After all, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as saving money, by taking matters into your own hands. What’s the next home improvement project you plan on scratching off your to-do list? Will you be revamping your living room baseboard, or installing a beautiful new shelf? Whatever type of DIY project you’re tackling, we can help.

We find that one of the best ways to succeed with home improvements is by learning from others. Seeing what works and doesn’t work for other people, can save you time and money. Ready to start working smarter instead of harder? Check out our home improvement and DIY project articles for all the tips you need, today!


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