What’s NOT redundant however is knowing the differences between all the screwdriver heads. You might know how to use a screwdriver, but there are so many types of screwdrivers around.
For example, do you know the difference between a Philips and a JIS screwdriver?
And why is it called a “Philips” screwdriver anyway?
That’s what you’re about to discover more in this blog post, in addition to:
- The 6 most common types of screwdriver heads – and how they’re designated
- Why you must use the right screwdriver for the right screw – and what can happen if you don’t
A Philips screwdriver has the designation of “PH,” followed by a size code, such as:
Why is it called a “Philips” screwdriver?
The Philips screwdriver got its name from its inventor – a man from Oregon, USA named Henry F. Philips.
The JIS (or “Japanese Industrial Standard”) screwdriver is mainly found on screws fitted to Japanese motorcycles and scooters.
And while a Philips screwdriver will fit into a JIS screw head, it will not bottom out.
A JIS screw also has a small dot next to one of the cross slots.
If you’d like more details about the differences between JIS and Philips, check out this video from the Motorcyclist Magazine YouTube channel:
4. Hex (Allen)
Metric hex keys sometimes have the designation “M,” followed by a number that describes their size in millimetres, such as:
Often, Pozidriv is designated with a “PZ” abbreviation, followed by its size code, such as:
And yes, the correct way to spell it is “Pozidriv,” NOT “Pozidrive.”
Torx screwdriver heads are designated with the letter “T,” followed by a number between 1 to 100 to indicate their size, such as:
Use the Right Screwdriver For the Right Screw Type!
For example – are you removing a Philips screw? Then use a Philips screwdriver.
In other words, don’t do it like in the image above.
It might be possible for another type of screwdriver to into the grooves, but if you use any other screwdriver type, you might round down the screw (especially if you use a battery-powered drill)
What happens if the screw gets rounded down?
Each screw head has one or several edges designed for the corresponding screwdriver.
If you round these edges down, you’ll damage them – so much that you won’t be able to remove the screw.
It doesn’t matter if you switch to the correct type of screwdriver afterwards – once you round down these edges, it’s more or less irreversible.
Bottom line – just like you must use a correctly sized spanner or socket for a socket wrench, you must also use the correct screwdriver for the job.