What is a Phillips Head Screwdriver?


Screwdrivers are one of the most essential tools in any DIY enthusiast’s toolbox. When it comes to screwdrivers, the Phillips head is one of the most common types of screwdrivers. Here’s everything you need to know about Phillips head screwdrivers, including their history, usage, variations, sizes, and maintenance tips.

Brief History of Phillips Head Screwdrivers:

The Phillips head screwdriver was invented in the 1930s by an American businessman named Henry F. Phillips. Its purpose was to provide an easier and more efficient way to tighten screws on manufacturing assembly lines. The unique cross shape of the screwdriver’s tip allows for more torque and reduces the likelihood of slipping during use.

The Difference Between Phillips and Pozi Screwdrivers:

While both Phillips and Pozi screwdrivers have cross-shaped tips, they differ in their design. The Phillips head has a slightly curved design, while the Pozi has vertical lines that intersect with the main cross shape. Phillips and Pozi screws require different screwdrivers, and using the wrong one can cause damage to your screw or screwdriver.

Unique Features of Phillips Head Screwdrivers:

The distinctive feature of Phillips head screwdrivers is the cross-shaped tip, which matches the corresponding screw head. The screwdriver tip can come in different sizes and lengths and can accommodate a wide range of screws, making them ideal for household appliances and furniture.

Different Variations of Phillips Head Screwdrivers:

One of the variations of the Phillips head screwdriver is the longer-extended shank screwdriver, which has an extended shaft that makes it easier to reach screws that are deep within a crevice. Another variation is the Phillips head screwdriver with a ratcheting mechanism, which allows for more rapid screwing without lifting the screwdriver after each turn.

What is Another Name For Phillips Head Screwdriver?

Another name for Phillips head screwdriver is “cross-head screwdriver.” This name refers to the cross-shaped tip of the screwdriver, which matches the corresponding cross-shaped indentation on the screw head.

How Do I Know My Phillips Head Size?

To determine the size of your Phillips head screwdriver, you need to take a close look at the tip of the screwdriver. The tip of the screwdriver will have a cross shape with four arms of equal size and a pointed tip that fits into the screw head.

The size of the screwdriver will be determined by the number that appears on the side of the screwdriver’s handle or the size of the screw that it fits into. The most common Phillips head sizes are numbered 0, 1, 2 and 3, and the size you need depends on the size of your screw head.

To find the correct screwdriver size for your screw, compare the width of the screw head to the width of the screwdriver tip. If the screw head is larger than the screwdriver tip, it’s best to use a larger screwdriver size to avoid stripping the screw head.

In general, a number 0 screwdriver would be suitable for very small screws, while a number 1 screwdriver is best for most household screws. A number 2 screwdriver is for larger screws, and a number 3 screwdriver is the largest size, used for heavy-duty projects.

Proper Usage of Phillips Head Screwdrivers:

To use a Phillips head screwdriver, place the tip into the screw head and apply downward pressure while turning it clockwise. To prevent from causing damage to your screw or screwdriver, ensure that the screwdriver is firmly centred and press it in. If the screws are difficult to turn, use a lubricant or drill holes or pilot holes before driving.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have a Phillips Screwdriver?

If you don’t have a Phillips head screwdriver, you may still be able to remove the screw. Here are a few alternatives:

Flat head screwdriver: If the Phillips screw isn’t too tight, you may be able to remove it with a flat head screwdriver. Just place the flat head screwdriver into the Phillips screw and twist.

Pliers: You can also use pliers to grip the head of the Phillips screw and turn it out. This method works best if the screw head is slightly raised.

Power drill: If you have a power drill, you can use it with a screwdriver bit to remove the Phillips screw quickly.

It’s important to note that using the wrong tool to remove a Phillips screw can cause damage to both the screw and the tool, so it’s always best to use the proper tool whenever possible.

Maintenance Tips for Phillips Head Screwdrivers:

Proper maintenance of your Phillips head screwdriver can ensure that it has a longer life. Always clean it after use, removing any leftover dirt or grime to avoid corrosion. To avoid stripping screws, avoid over-tightening and don’t use an undersized screwdriver for larger screws. Store your screwdriver in a dry place and protect the tip from getting chipped or bent.

In Conclusion

Phillips head screwdrivers are a useful tool for a wide range of DIY projects. Knowing the different sizes and variations of the screwdriver can help you choose the right tool for each project, which will save time, effort, and the quality of your work. Taking care of your Phillips head screwdriver ensures that it remains a durable tool in your toolkit for years to come.