With the common use of electric screwdrivers, many people have a hard time picking the proper screwdriver for the job.  They will try to force a screwdriver that is too large into the screw head or use one that is too small either of which will strip out the top of the screw head.

Using the right tool

Screwdriver Chart

Select the proper screwdriver for the type of screw you wish to install or remove.  For instance, don’t use a slotted screwdriver to install or remove a phillips head screw.  You will damage the screwdriver.  Worse yet, you might damage the screw.  If you are removing a screw with the wrong screwdriver and damage the screw head, you might not be able to get the screw out without a LOT of effort.

Size is everything

Now that you have the right screwdriver for the screw you are working with, do you have the right size screwdriver?  Choose a screwdriver that fits in the screw head snugly while seating itself into the bottom of the screw head.  If it is loose, it isn’t going to turn the screw properly and may strip the head.  The same thing is true if the screwdriver is too big and very little of the screwdriver tip goes into the screw head.

Stripped Screw Head

The proper screwdriver can help prevent hours of aggravation!

Helpful Hint: If you are having problems getting a screw into wood, try coating the threads with some candle wax.  For metal, try candle wax or machine oil.

The worst can happen

If the worst happens and you strip a screw head that you are trying to remove, can you use a pair of Vise-Grips to remove the screw?  If not, you only have two options and neither are that good.

The first is to use a tool called an EZ-Out or Grabit.  It is basically a special drill bit that has large teeth to grip the damaged screw head and help turn it.  If done improperly or if the screw is weak, the screw head will break off and you have to resort to the second option.

Your second and final choice is to drill the old screw out by using a drill bit a little larger than the existing screw.  Once complete, you have to use a tap and die set to rethread the hole (if needed) and insert a larger screw that fits the hole.


Using the proper tool for the job is always your best bet!  Things usually go quicker and without incidence.