What Is A Slotted Screwdriver

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 15, 2022
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Technically speaking, the first thing you need to know when you want to learn something is what the things are and where they are used. Similarly, working with screws forces a person to learn about the related tools first. And, that’s the situation where the question arises, what is a slotted screwdriver? Once you understand the use of this tool, you have already won a big part of the battle of slotted screw-driving jobs. So, our article today will focus on the essential things of a slotted screwdriver. What-Is-A-Slotted-Screwdriver

What is A Slotted Screwdriver?

A slotted screwdriver is simply identifiable because of its blade-like flat tip. It is the oldest and most commonly used screwdriver to date. As we have already mentioned, this screwdriver is built to fit the flat-designed screws, which come with a single slot. This distinguishing characteristic makes it different from the Phillips head screwdrivers, which have ridges on the side as well as a pointed tip. Not to mention, the slotted screwdriver is also known as a flat-head or flat tip screwdriver. Generally, you will find the slotted screwdriver with an ergonomic grip, ensuring better torque handling and comfortability. Sometimes you may get rust resistance included that allows the screwdriver to fit with the harsh working environments. Besides, many companies are now offering a magnetic tip in the slotted screwdriver. As a result, you can be tension-free to handle the screws more comfortably. The simplicity of design has made this type of screwdriver a vastly used tool in the wood and jewelry industry. Normally, these industries make products that are made by hand, and they are always in need of removing the flathead and single slot screws in their tasks. So, it is obvious that only a slotted screwdriver can perfectly support professionals in that condition. The majority of professionals prefer hand-held screwdrivers over drill-controlled screwdrivers. Because it is almost impossible for a slotted screwdriver to damage screws when tightening or loosening them.

Types of Slotted Screwdrivers

The slotted screwdrivers have little variety in their overall structure. In like manner, you may see a minor change in shapes and sizes in some slotted screwdrivers. Though the handle size can be different for different uses, it doesn’t categorize the screwdriver. However, this screwdriver can fall into two categories only according to its tip. These are keystone and cabinet. Let’s discuss this further below.

Keystone Slotted Screwdriver

Keystone screwdriver comes with a widened blade that is used for larger screws. The blade is narrower on the flattened edge and has a large grip to boost the torque.

Cabinet Slotted Screwdriver

This type of slotted screwdriver comes with straight edges, and the blades have 90-degree angles in their flattened end corners. Usually, the cabinet slotted screwdriver comes in a smaller size than the keystone slotted screwdriver. So, it is the best fit for small single slot screws. That’s the reason why most professionals prefer this type of screwdriver more in the jewelry and watch-making industries. And, the long and cylindrical handle helps to get better torque and strength.

Other Slotted Screwdrivers

Some slotted screwdrivers come with motorized features instead of being handled manually. These screwdrivers work like a drill, and the motor automatically creates torque both clockwise and anticlockwise. Designed with a rechargeable battery inside the screwdriver, you can count it as a convenient and fast processing tool. If we exclude the types mentioned above, there is only one type of slotted screwdriver left. That is the tester screwdriver which is commonly used for electrical tasks. This screwdriver performs some additional tasks, including tightening or loosening the screws as well. Typically, the tester-slotted screwdriver is used to test the current through exposed wires. The metal flat-head tip can be placed in exposed wires or metals that are connected to electricity, and the light in the handle will flicker if a current is present. Amazingly, some tester screwdrivers are made to identify and differentiate whether the current is from the mainline or a grounded line.

How To Effectively Use A Slotted Screwdriver

Though using a slotted screwdriver is a very simple task, sometimes slightly wrong usage of this tool can damage both the screw and the screwdriver. So, it would be better to know how to use it in a more effective way to increase productivity. Here are a few tips to help you.
  • Never use a slotted screwdriver for arduous tasks. Because it is designed for limited fastening with higher torque which is not suitable for big screws and tough jobs.
  • Find the right screwdriver size for your preferred screws. Make sure that the screwdriver tip has the same width matched with the screw slot.
  • Narrower tip means losing power. So, use a screwdriver with a thick tip so that it fits perfectly in the slot for increased strength.
  • A larger handle provides more power to the hand when turning the screw. Therefore, choosing a slotted screwdriver with a large handle is the best decision.


The slotted screwdriver that fits in single slot screws has been a typical standard tool for most professionals for a long time. There are many types of screwdriver head designs. You might find other screwdrivers that specialize in their areas, but this simple and easy slotted screwdriver will be your best friend every day.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.