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The naming of the screw; Using the wrong screwdriver can leave you all chewed get to grips with the right tools of the trade DIY donny.

Byline: Donny Sheridan

Removing an old screw should be a simple job but you'd be surprised how many readers contact me to ask for help.

It becomes a problem when the wrong screwdriver is used, leaving a chewed-out screw head stuck in a hinge or piece of wood.

The screw might be holding up a curtain pole, leaving you to dig it out from the wall with the fixing and plaster.

So before you start setting your drill to full power and ripping the head right off a screw, here are my top tips on what screwdriver is best suited to each screw.


Probably the most traditional of all screws, these are usually seen on door hinges.

They are countersunk so they can be tightened to be flush with the hinge and the door can be closed.

The most important thing to remember is to make sure the flat screwdriver fits the slot of the screwhead. If it is too small, the head will get torn-out and chewed-up.

There are also different types of slotted screw such as the round head screw, used for fixing materials together. There is no need for this design to be countersunk.

Usually made of non-corrosive material, the screw is part of the feature such as brass door nameplates.


This is another household name and an improvement to the slotted head screw as there is more contact between the driver and the screw head, which reduces wear and has less chance of slipping.

The Phillips screw is named after its inventor and is most commonly found in electrical appliances.

Again, it is very important to use the correct size of screwdriver. The driver is slightly rounded and slips out of the screw once it has been driven home to prevent overtightening.

If you try to over-tighten it, the screw head and driver will be damaged.


This is used for screwing plasterboard to a timber or metal partition frame.

You can use a Phillips driver but this screw has its own dry wall screwdriver bit.

The screw is self-taping which means it has a cutting edge and drills its own hole, removing the need for drilling a pilot hole. This should not be confused with a wood screw.


This looks similar to the Phillips but a Phillips screwdriver should not be used.

Unlike the Phillips screw, it is not designed for the driver to slip out when tightened. It is designed for extra grip, allowing for more power to be directed into the screw.


This usually comes with flat-pack furniture. Its hexagonal head is turned in a pre-drilled hole with an Allen key. It is easy to use as the wrench and screw fit, so there is no damage to the key or screw head.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 29, 2008
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