Types of Screwdriver Heads

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 19, 2022
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The screwdrivers are multitasking tools. They are mainly differentiated with the difference in the design of their heads. Being a simple tool the screwdrivers help you to complete complex jobs because of the unique design of their head.


From home to industry the screwdrivers are must-have tools that almost all of us have used at least once in life. Let’s discover different head designs of screwdrivers – the widely used tool of our life.

12 Different Types of Screwdriver Heads

1. Flat-Head Screwdriver

The flat-head screwdriver, also known as a flat blade or straight screwdriver has a chisel-shaped blade. The blade is designed to span the width of the screw’s head. This kind of head is sometimes prone to slipping sideways out of a slot if you apply a lot of pressure.

It is a common screwdriver that most people keep this tool in their toolbox. If you lose the key of your riding lawn mower you can start the mower using a flathead screwdriver, if the trunk latch of your car gets jammed you can open the trunk using a flathead screwdriver, and many other works can be done with this tool. It works as a good alternative to Phillip’s screwdriver.

2. Phillips Screwdriver

Phillips screwdriver is the most preferred screwdriver among professionals. It is also known as a crosshead screwdriver. From furniture to appliances, it is used so extensively that there are only a few places left where you will need another type of screwdriver if you have a set of Phillips screwdrivers.

The angled tip of this screwdriver is designed in such a way so that you can fit it deeper into the screw head and there is no risk that the blade cam out i.e. slips out of the head when a certain torque limit is exceeded.

3. Torx Screwdriver

Torx screwdrivers are specially designed for security functions and so it is also known as Torx security screwdriver.  It is extensively used in the manufacturing sector.

The rounded-off star or flower-designed blade can provide high torque tolerances. As its tip is star-shaped people also call it a star screwdriver. To tighten or loosen screws using a Torx screwdriver you have to purchase the particular size of the screwdriver that matches with the screw size.

4. Hex Screwdriver

Because of having a hexagonal-shaped tip, it is called a hex screwdriver. It is designed to loosen and tighten the hex-shaped nut, bot, and screws.

Tool steel is used to make a hex screwdriver and the hex nut, bolt, and screws through brass and aluminum are also used to make the hex nut, bolt, and screws.  made from brass. You can fit most power drivers with the hex screwdriver attachments.

5. Squarehead Screwdriver

The origin country of the squarehead screwdriver is Canada. So this screwdriver is very common in Canada but not in the other part of the world. It provides high tolerance and so it is used extensively in the automotive and furniture industry.

6. Clutch Head or Bow Tie Screwdriver

The slot of this screwdriver looks like a bow tie. It has gone through several design changes over years. In its previous design, there was a circular recess in the middle of its head.

They can provide high torque and are so extensively used in the automotive and security sector. For example, it is widely used in recreational vehicles and older GM vehicles.

The clutch head screwdriver is also compatible with flathead drivers. The security version of the clutch head screwdriver is designed to screw one way with the flathead driver but you cannot remove it easily. This type of screwdriver is most commonly used in places where frequent maintenance is not required, e.g. bus stations or prisons.

7. Frearson Screwdriver

The Frearson screwdriver looks like a Phillips screwdriver but it is different from a Phillips screwdriver. It has a sharp tip whereas the Phillips driver has a rounded tip.

It can provide higher torque than a Phillips driver. For places where precision and a smaller set of tools are required, the Frearson screwdrivers are the best choice. You can use it to tighten and loosen the Frearson screw as well as many Phillips screws.

8. JIS Screwdriver

JIS means Japanese Industrial Standard screwdriver. The JIS screwdrivers are a cruciform designed to resist camming out.

To tighten and loosen the JIS screws the JIS screwdriver is made. The JIS screws are most commonly found in Japanese products. The JIS screws are often identified with a small mark near the slot. You can also use a Phillips or Frearson drive on the JIS screws but there is a high risk of damaging the head.

9. Nut Driver

The nut drivers are popular among mechanical DIY enthusiasts. Its working mechanism is similar to a socket wrench. It is a great tool for low torque applications.

10. Pozi Screwdriver

The Pozi screwdriver is designed with a blunt tip and small ribs among the blade between the main edges. It looks like an updated version of the Phillips screwdriver. You can easily identify the Pozi driver by the four additional lines radiating from the center.

11. Drilled Head Screwdriver

The drilled head screwdriver is also known as pig-nose, snake-eye, or spanner driver. There is a pair of rounded holes on opposing ends of the head of the drilled-head screws. Such design of these screws made them so strong that you can hardly loosen them without using the drilled head screwdriver.

There is a unique flat blade with a pair of prong tips protruding from the end of the drilled head screwdrivers. They are widely used for maintenance work in the subways, bus terminals, elevators, or public restrooms.

12. Tri-angle Screwdriver

Because of its triangle shape, it is known as the triangle screwdriver. It is used in the electronics, and toys industry. You can tighten and loosen the triangle screws with a hex driver too and that is why the TA is not widely used.

Final Words

Though I have mentioned only 12 types of screwdrivers in this article there are several variations of each type. Being invented in the 15th century the screwdrivers are updating in shape, style, size, and working mechanism, and their importance has not been reduced even in this 21st century rather increased.

If you are looking for a screwdriver for any special work you should buy a specially designed screwdriver for that work. On the other hand, if you just need a screwdriver for home use then you can buy a Phillips or flathead screwdriver.

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.