Bob Vila Radio: Screwdrivers, Explained

From maintenance fixes to DIYs, different household projects require the use of different screwdrivers. So, which of these fastening tools should you always keep at hand? Find out now.

In any renovation project, you need the right tools to achieve success. That’s obvious. But of all the many screwdriver types that are out there, which is the right one for the task at hand? That’s where it gets a little tricky.

Screwdriver Types



Listen to BOB VILA ON SCREWDRIVER TYPES or read below:

Since there’s no “universal” screwdriver suitable for every fastening job, it’s wise to keep several screwdriver types on hand.

Flat-head screwdrivers are handy for furniture construction, small cabinet-making projects, and some electrical applications, such as installing plate covers on outlets and switches. They’re great in any situation where you don’t want to over-tighten the screw.

Philips-head screwdrivers—the kind that fit screws with a cross shape in their heads—excel in various types of woodworking, and in hanging drywall. If you’ll be hanging a lot of drywall, look for a corded power Philips screwdriver.

Hex key screwdrivers are great for installing small fixtures like doorknobs, towel bars, and faucets.Some even come with extension bars for reaching into tight spots.

Other screwdriver types are specially built to resist slippage (Robertson and Torx, for example). These are commonly used in subflooring, structural framing, and when fastening wood to concrete.

Believe it or not, new screw designs show up on the market all the time. Visit your local home center to take a look at the latest!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!