Hand tools


Hand-held screwdrivers are available to suit two main screw types:

  • standard (or flat blade) with tips to suit recessed slot screws
  • special types with tips to suit recessed head screws.

Note: Screwdriver tips are available for use with socket drives and power tools.

Variations of screwdrivers include:

  • 'stumpy', 'stubby' or 'dumpy' screwdrivers (about 40mm) for use where there is limited room
  • light duty screwdrivers with small tips
  • insulated screwdrivers. (These have their blades sheathed in insulation to avoid contact with `live’ parts)

Standard screwdrivers (Flat blade screwdrivers)

Available with:

  • round shanks or square shanks (Can be used with a spanner for extra leverage)
  • straight or tapered tips
  • a variety of tip and shank length and thickness.

Sizes are specified by width of the tip and length of shank (eg 10mm X 160mm).

Photo of a flat blade screwdriver

Flat blade screwdriver with insulated shaft

Note: To avoid damage to the work, screw head or screwdriver, always select the correct size screwdriver.

  • The width of the tip should almost equal the diameter of the screw head.
  • The thickness of the tip should almost equal the width of the slot.

Screwdrivers for recessed head screws

The two most common recessed head screws used in the electrical trade are Phillips and Pozidrive. These screws and their drivers (tips) are preferred over slotted screws because they are unlikely to slip and damage the work.

Phillips and Pozidrive screw head shapes

Phillips and Pozidrive screw head shapes


Phillips head - has four different sizes (0 to 3) to cover the full range of screws. Phillips will also fit Pozidrive.

Photo of a phillips screwdriver

Philips head screwdriver


Pozidrive - two sizes will fit 75% of the screw range. Use only on Pozidrive recesses (not on Phillips recesses).

Photo of a pozidrive screwdriver

Pozidrive screwdriver


Screwdriver safety

  • Select the correct type and size of screwdriver for the work.
  • Check that the tip is in good condition and is a good fit in the screw slot or recess.
  • Check that the handle is free of defects and that the handle is well insulated.
  • Keep your hand away from where it could be injured by a slipping screwdriver blade.
  • Keep the axis of the blade in line with the axis of the screw.
  • Never use a screwdriver as a lever, pry or punch bar.