Facts about Screwdrivers
By: The Working Man
1. The first screws are seen on suits of armor that date
back to the 1500's. And the first instance of a screwdriver
depicted on paper was in a manual for a military workshop
from the Sixteenth Century. But it is assumed that the
screwdriver is actually older than the 1500's because the
drawing of the screwdriver in the manual was so refined.
See Screwdriver History
2. The screw actually predates the screwdriver. The first
screws were probably tightened with a knife.
3. The screwdriver uses applied torque to tighten down
screws and bolts.
4. The flat head or slotted screwdriver was the first known
head for a screwdriver.
5. A traveling salesman invented the Phillips or cruciform
head screwdriver that we are so familiar with today in the
6. The screwdriver is made up of a head or tip, which is
fitted to the screw or bolt. A cylindrical shaft connects
the handle and the head and can be any length depending on
the design and purpose of the screwdriver. The handle at the
other end of the head, usually cylindrical, is mounted
around the shaft of the screwdriver. The handle is usually
plastic or other molded material and textured or grooved for
7. In America the first handheld screwdriver appeared on the
market in the 1800's.
8. General Motors used the cruciform head screw in 1936 on
9. There are specialized types of screwdrivers for special jobs. For
instance, there are very small screwdrivers that are used
for working on computers and PC boards. They are very small
and have a special shaft for applying the proper small
amounts of torque. Then there are very big and long
screwdrivers for working on engines with a larger and
thicker shaft so more torque can be applied without damaging
10. There are several screwdriver types, including: flat-
head, cabinet, Phillips, Frearson, Torx, clutch-head, hex,
Bristol multi-spline and square-tipped.
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