Having trouble installing, loosening, or tightening a fastener with just elbow grease? While that old screwdriver is good for many odd jobs, a busy, productive workplace is not the place to struggle to get this job done with insufficient tools. So if your workplace needs to transcend the screwdriver and take the next step, you’ll need an introduction to the world of screwdriver bit sets.
For the uninitiated, a screwdriver is basically a screwdriver. without the familiar handle. To make them work, you need a drill or screwdriver, or a multi-bit screwdriver designed to work with a huge variety of interchangeable bits – also known as “bits”. At one end of the drill bit is the familiar screwdriver head, including more common ones like flat and Phillips, and more special contours including Pozidriv, Robertson, Torx and hex – and more. But it is with the other end of the drill bit that it connects perfectly to the multi-blade screwdriver or – sometimes with an adapter – to the drill. This accessory end is almost always a quarter-inch hex shank, which is compatible with quick-release drill chucks and other hex sleeves.
The most common types of screwdrivers on the market are:
Insert Drills: Notable for their very short shanks, they work with a bit holder and are typically low cost due to their simplicity.
Power Drills: Able to fit directly into a drill chuck and typically more expensive due to the longer shaft.
Double-ended: While preferred by some due to their doubled lifespan, the missing quarter-inch hex shank makes them unsuitable for some installations.
When used correctly with the right technique and tools, a screwdriver bit set is a convenient, organized and cost-effective way to ease fastening tasks in the professional workplace. However, industry experts are often asked about the correct screwdriver drill technique – because it is all too common for new screwdriver users to report damaged material surfaces, mutilated fastener recesses and even cut fastener heads.
Here’s how to get it right:
1. Precise fit
With a one-piece hand screwdriver, you can often tighten or loosen this fastener. But it can be a very different story with a screwdriver fit, where a snug fit is absolutely imperative. Not only can an incompatible fit increase wear, but less than full contact can result in kickback – or slippage. This is a particularly high risk if the pushing force exceeds the twisting force (or torque). Resulting in damage to both the fastener recess and the bit.
2. Clutch/speed adjustment
When using a screwdriver with an electric drill, it is common that once the fastener is fully in place. Torque and pushing force can result in a stripped thread. Or the fastener pushing too far into the surface. This is usually due to not having adjusted the clutch or the variable speed of the bit. That adjusts the power and driving depth.
The biggest risk when using screwdriver bits is the bit/fastener slipping, resulting not only in damage but also possible injury. This is often solved in the simplest way by holding the fastener. When the first torque and force is applied, allowing the fastener tip to penetrate the surface. And when using screwdriver bits with harder surfaces, pre-drilled pilot holes are recommended.
As with many tasks in the workplace, however, practice makes perfect – and perseverance pays off. Because a set of screwdriver bits will save you money, space and clutter. It is important to recognize, however, that not all sets of screwdriver bits are created equal, that is. You’ll need the type, size, shank length, material, and features – such as magnetized drill bits – that match your application, budget, and job site. If you need any guidance, don’t be shy to get in touch.