How to Use a Screwdriver: Guide to Correct and Safe Use


how to use a screwdriver

Do you know how to use a screwdriver safely? Well, in this post, I’m going to make things easy for you. I’ll take you step by step to understanding how to use a screwdriver. So, sit tight and read on!

So, how can you use a screwdriver to drill? Here’s some steps to follow:

  • Choose the correct screwdriver tip size and shape that match the screw.
  • Check to ensure the screwdriver shaft is well-positioned with the screw
  • Keep the shaft well positioned with the screw, apply force to that screw with your screwdriver.
  • Rotate the screwdriver anti-clockwise to unscrew or clockwise to screw while applying pressure.

Let me make things much more simpler…

A screwdriver has four parts i.e., handle, shank, blade, and bit.

All four parts work together to make your work easier. It is easy to get injuries if you use the screwdriver wrongly.

The working end of the screwdriver is the bit, and it looks like a dull ice pick or blunt chisel.

You can easily cut yourself when you take your eye off the repair work you are doing.

The first thing, you need to know before you start working on that masterpiece is how to use impact screwdriver safely.

You need safety lessons that will help you use your screwdriver correctly without accidentally stabbing yourself. 

Types of Screwdrivers

There are different types of screwdrivers. The two basic ones are the flathead and four-star point screwdrivers. 

Flathead Screwdriver

A flathead screwdriver has a flat blade. It is used on screws with flat slots on top. This is a common screwdriver and the oldest.

Four-Star Screwdriver

A four-star or cross screwdriver fits perfectly on a cross top screw. The screwdriver tip corresponds to the depression on the screw.

Knowing which screwdriver to use is easy, you just look at the head of the screw and select the right screwdriver. 

Choosing the Right Screwdriver

Using the screwdriver needs more force than when using a flathead screwdriver.

The design makes it easy for the screwdriver bit to slip, which can cause you injuries.

Exercise caution and be alert when using the screwdriver to ensure you complete the task without any injuries.

Over-torquing can make the screwdriver bit to slip. 

Screwdrivers also come in two forms, manual and power.

Manual screwdriver means you are applying force to make the bit screw or unscrew your workpiece.

A power screwdriver doesn’t require much force as it is electrically powered.

Before we look at how to use a screwdriver safely, you should recall the four parts of the screwdriver mentioned earlier, as they are vital.

Look at your screwdriver to get a clear picture of those parts so that we are on the same page as we proceed. 

Now that you know the parts and how a screwdriver looks like, we can proceed to learn about safety.

How to Use a Screwdriver Safely

  • Safety is crucial in any workmanship. It is a sure way of ensuring that you are not hurt in the process of screwing or unscrewing your screws. 
  • Always put your first aid kit close by just in case of anything to avoid losing so much blood. 
  • Only use your screwdriver for screwing or unscrewing work and nothing else. The screwdriver is not a punch, chisel, or a lever.
  • Always hold your screwdriver with both hands when using it.
  • Match the right screwdriver to the right screwhead. 
  • Only use screwdrivers with useful bits. If damaged, discard it.
  • Use the screwdriver when the bit is positioned with the screw.
  • Never use any powered screwdriver when you are working on electronics or close to electrics.
  • Don’t use a screwdriver with the tip aimed at you or towards you.
  • Never hold your screwdriver in one hand and the workpiece on your other hand.
  • You can make a pilot hole to enable the screw to enter easier before you start screwing.
  • Never carry your screwdriver in your pocket. Accidents can happen, and you may suffer tragic injuries. 
  • Always keep your screwdrivers away from your young kids to avoid injuries.

According to the US National Safety Council Statistics, there are over 100,000 hospital admissions for hand tool-related injuries and power tool injuries.

Most of these people didn’t pay attention to the safety tips highlighted above.

Probably, they were thinking, using a screwdriver is a piece of cake, and they don’t need to learn much to use the screwdriver. 

I urge you to take time and read to understand and observe the safety tips to be on the safe side.

Most injuries result when the screwdriver slips, and you accidentally stab yourself.

Follow the simple rules above, and you can rest assured that your workpiece remains clean, and you won’t lose a drop of your blood. 

Access to First Aid

Always ensure your first aid kit is with you as you work to be on the safe side.

In fact, before using any hand tool or power tool, you need to access your first aid kit.

Know where you can find the kit. It saves you the frustration of messing your home while trying to find your first aid box. 

Do you know how to use a first aid kit? Yeah, sounds like a rhetorical question, but I am not kidding.

Having the kit doesn’t help you if you cant use it correctly. You should learn more about first aid kits.

Make sure you know what should be in the box and, more importantly, how to use the kit.

Get some first aid skills as it can save your life or someone you are working with at the work station. 

Nowadays, I keep my toolbox well stocked with all the relevant supplies, including sticking plasters, dressers and disinfectants, etc.

You never know when you will need it, so it is best to be prepared. 

Use the screwdriver for its intended purpose only

Don’t use your screwdriver for something its not designed to do. It is an abuse of hand tools that can result in injuries.

If you want to nail something, use a nail bar or a chisel to make holes, etc. Pick the correct tool from your toolbox and do the job.

It takes seconds to get the correct tool from the toolkit, which saves you from unnecessary risks that can land you in the ER. 

Use both hands

It can seem like something obvious, but it saves you unnecessary risks.

Most people don’t use both hands and regret later.

It is easier for the screwdriver to slip when using one hand, causing you blood loss and pain.

Stick to the recommended handling method, and you will be safe. 

Match the right screwdriver bit to the correct screw

It doesn’t hurt you to use the right screwdriver for the right screw.

In fact, it prevents accidental slips off the screwhead that ca cause you pain. Screwheads come in different shapes and sizes.

Pick the correct screwdriver for your screwhead to do the work more effectively. 

Don’t use damaged screwdrivers

Even if the screwdriver is the correct one for the screwhead, if it is damaged, it can’t screw or unscrew properly.

The tip of the screwdriver should be fit for the work and not gnarled up.

Remember, you don’t want to get hurt doing the work, and disregarding this humble advice will cause you pain and a trip to the ER. 

It’s not only the bit you should check, examine the handle.

Any chip or cut in the handle can give you blisters in your palm when using the screwdriver.

Blisters are painful and can give you nasty infections as you work.

Throw damaged screwdrivers in the trash and buy a new one. 

Always position the screwdriver correctly with the screw

Ensure the shaft is positioned properly with the screw to avoid slips.

Proper positioning gives you a chance to screw and unscrew without damaging the tip.

Besides, it minimizes accidental slips.

Do you know how to use a screwdriver to unscrew? Simply apply force while turning the screwdriver anti-clockwise.  

Never work near electrical components with a powered screwdriver

The impact or cordless screwdriver is very dangerous near electrical components.

Probably you think the plastic body protects you as it means the screwdriver is insulated, right!

You thought wrong! The molded body may give you some protection, but the bit is metal, and it goes into a metal attached to an electrical motor connected to the battery.

Do you get the point?

Yeah! The voltage can give you an electrical shock. Electricity is nasty, and it can pass right through you, and the last thing you see is the blue flash!

Use screwdrivers with the tip pointed away from your body

Many people have ended up having doctors or nurses pulling screwdrivers, knives, or chisels from their body.

You certainly don’t want to join them in their misery, right!

The screwdriver can slip, and if it is pointed at your body, you will scream.

Holding workpiece and screwdriver

Use both hands for the screwdriver and use both hands when handling the workpiece to avoid any mishaps.

If the screwdriver slips, it goes through your and which is damn painful. 

Complacency can set in because you have done other screws correctly, and you start using one hand, which will bring you pain, my friend. 

Drill the pilot hole for your screws

It is common to see people drilling pilot holes before they start screwing.

Having a small pilot hole means you apply less pressure on those screws.

It ensures you don’t get hurt if the screwdriver slips. 

Desist from carrying screwdrivers in your pocket

Can you carry a small ice pick or unsheathed knife in your pocket? Of course not. 

The reason is rather obvious. Chances of stabbing yourself as you try to sit down are high.

A screwdriver is no different. If you see someone doing it, kindly enlighten them of the dangers. 

Complacency can take you to the ER. 

Don’t let kids use screwdrivers

Mixing kids with hand tools is dangerous and increases the chances of injuries.

Your kids may not understand these safety tips and can get hurt badly. 

Hand tools are responsible for over 2,000 hospital admissions for young kids under 5 years old and over 5,000 for older kids.

Remind your kids that the screwdriver is not a toy. Keep the screwdriver and other hand tools far from their reach. 

Summary – How to Use a Screwdriver Safely

Screwdrivers are some of the oldest hand tools. However, before you start using your screwdriver, it is good to understand the proper way to use it to avoid injuries.

The knowledge helps you enjoy DIY ventures without fearing getting hurt.

The safety tips help you understand why you see experts use screwdrivers that way.

The bits are different, and you should use the screwdriver bit with the corresponding screwhead to avoid slips.

First aid kits are vital in a work station as they help prevent blood loss and infection on the cut.

Knowing how to use a screwdriver to drill is crucial if you want to do your work well. 

Buy different screwdriver lie a flathead and a four-star bit to equip your toolbox.

It enables you to avoid using the wrong screwdriver on the screw.

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