5 common screwdriver mistakes to avoid

There are a number of common mistakes that users make with screwdrivers that can cause serious problems both for the project being worked on and the tool itself. When you make use of the right tool, the job will go much more easily and quickly but making these common mistakes can foul things up in a big way. 

Happily there are ways to avoid making these common screwdriver mistakes. 

1. Do not use as screwdriver as a pry bar

Screwdrivers are very versatile and handy but all the items in screwdriver sets are also there to serve just the one function – to screw in and remove screws. It is a huge mistake to use a screwdriver as a sort of pry bar, as not only will the shank almost certainly bend, preventing it from fulfilling the purpose it was actually designed for, it could even break and send bits into whatever it being worked on or even into the hand of the user.

It is ridiculous to risk injuring your hand rather than getting up and finding a proper pry bar to do the job.

2. Do not use a screwdriver of the wrong size

There are different sizes of flat head and Phillips screwdrivers. The #2 is the most common size for a Phillips screwdriver, but they do in fact go down all the way to #0 (and even smaller when dealing with jewellery sizes) and up to the enormous size #4. That size was once in common use for attaching the likes of door hinges on older automobiles but is rarer these days, although sizes #1-3 are commonplace. 

It is important to keep in mind that while a size #2 screwdriver will fit in a size #3 screw the same is not true the other way around.

3. Do not get more torque by combining a screwdriver and pliers

The torque that can be applied to a screwdriver is directly related to the handle size, with a stubby screwdriver not allowing for the same degree of applied torque as would be the case with a driver than is longer and has a thicker handle. 

When more torque is required, users sometimes use a pair of pliers to add further torque, but this is a very bad idea. It can not only cause damage to the handle but also risks putting side pressure onto the screw which could result in stripping the head. Use a longer driver that has a bigger handle. 

4. Do not use a screwdriver as a chisel

A screwdriver is the worst possible tool to use instead of a proper chisel. Flat blade screwdrivers are neither hard nor sharp enough to be used as chisels and are also the wrong shape. A shattering screwdriver can be extremely dangerous, so avoid at all costs. 

5. Do not use a screwdriver as a hammer

Screwdrivers come with rounded edges and are far too light to be used as a substitute for a hammer. Using a screwdriver as one can cause dented sheet metal and damaged fingers. Hammers are intended to take abuse, screwdrivers are not. 

Avoid these common mistakes and use your screwdriver in the correct manner. See a full range of screwdriver sets at RS.

By Mk Faizi

I am a blogger.