Up until recently, you were one of the lucky few that have never had to cry dismayingly “what is a slotted screwdriver?” at a distressed Home Depot staff member, but now you find yourself completely unprepared to tighten a loose screw (and there’s enough of them around in more ways than one). You have even just realized that you do not own a tool box!
However, do not worry, every person must start somewhere on their journey at developing or brushing up skills to be self-sufficient.
Knowing your basic tools is as good a first step as any, especially since knowing how to tighten a basic faucet nut properly, for example, is your key factor between suffering through an entire day with a leaky faucet and ending up with a costly plumbing bill or suffering through five minutes of your quota of wrist exercises for the month.
A lot of people argue about different items and skills being absolute necessities in becoming a self-sufficient adult. While some may disagree on the need of learning things like how to host house or barbecue parties or how to braid hair, many will agree that knowing the right tools to place in a toolbox and perfecting how to use them properly are things that most, if not all, people must learn how to do.
It will not only save you time and money to familiarize yourself with the tools and learn how to use them, but it will also benefit you to have them around because with how life goes, you will never know when they may come in handy.
You may find yourself in an emergency that calls for a certain tool, and you don’t want to catch yourself kneeling over your toolbox, yelling “what is a slotted screwdriver!?” and cursing your poor foresight.
Speaking of the slotted screwdriver, did you know it is the most basic of basic in terms of screwdrivers? Yes, because the kind of screw that requires it is perhaps the most common variety of screw a person is bound to come upon. With that said, the slotted screwdriver is a great tool to start your study with.
To help get you started on your journey to becoming proficient with what’s in your toolbox, we’ve got this simple article explaining what exactly a slotted screwdriver is and how to use one.
Behold, The Humble Screwdriver
To start with, it is essential to know what exactly a screwdriver is—do not worry; it is not rocket science. The tool itself is incredibly intuitive, and its uses are pretty self-explanatory so learning how to use it will not take you too much time.
Apart from “driving in screws”, the screwdriver has a few other uses such as a mini crowbar (great for opening paint cans), a stir stick (preferably if it’s clean), a chisel, an emergency weapon, an ice breaker and a substitute for a fork at a barbecue.
Screwdrivers are classified by their tips, which then dictate how they should be used.
Screws and Screwdrivers: Fated Pairs
Although it may seem extremely obvious a statement, screws need to be screwed in with the proper screwdriver. Although some creative people can play hard and loose with this rule—how many screws were you able to put back into place as a child with coins and other things you found around the house?—in general, this is the phrase that will govern the process of most of your repairs or DIY projects.
Saying this, however, does not mean that you need to have every single variety of screwdriver there is in your toolbox to call yourself prepared. Some screws are more commonly used than others, meaning their requisite screwdrivers are the ones you should stock your toolbox with.
The most common types of screwdrivers are the Philipps or cross-recess screwdrivers, and the screwdrivers that used to screw in slotted screws—mostly called a standard, conventional blade, slot-head, flat, or slotted screwdrivers.
What Is a Slotted Screwdriver: Question Answered
Screwdrivers are very intuitive to use—you see a screw and a screwdriver and snap! Just like that, you have already figured out that applying pressure on the screw and turning clockwise or counter clockwise is the way to fasten the screw to a surface. The same principle applies to screwdrivers across the board, whether they are manually or motor-powered.
Effective use requires you to exert force after engaging the tip of the screwdriver with the head of the screw, making sure that the tip and head match each other in variety and size. Like said, creative people can use regular household items—such as coins or anything that does not fit perfectly into the screw head—to fasten or remove a screw. How do they do it? They just do, one of life’s greatest mysteries perhaps.
Meanwhile, common blade or slotted screwdrivers are no different: they are used to fasten, tighten, or remove slotted screws.
There are two types of slotted screwdrivers that are normally used: the keystone and the cabinet. The former has a tapered tip that flares slightly and narrows towards the end, and the latter has straight edges that form right angles.
Cabinet slotted screwdrivers are mostly used for a more detailed work that requires smaller screws, such as jewelry-making and repair.
In general, however, regardless of their type they are the most common variety of screwdriver, and it’s good to have them in a number of sizes so that you can effectively engage with different sizes of slotted screws.
Once you have the basics of the slotted screwdriver down, you are bound to be able to engage with any other pair of screwdrivers and screws easily. This is guided by the principle of applying torque to get your desired outcome regardless of the variety and size of the screwdrivers and screws.
Before you know it, you are ready to move on and learn how to use other more complicated tools. You will be a regular MacGyver in the full sense of the word in no time!