Top view the Phillips screwdriver flat screwdriver on wood backg

Safety Spotlight: Screwdriver Safety!

The screwdriver is intended for one purpose only―to loosen and tighten screws. It’s not only important to know what a screwdriver is used for, but how to take care of it and use it properly. The following suggestions will enable you to make the best use of this tool.

PROPER CARE OF SCREWDRIVERS

  1. Repair screwdrivers that are badly worn or have bent or broken tips. Grind or file the blades square so that the sides that engage the screw are parallel. Be careful not to remove the temper from the blade during the grinding, or it will become soft. A sharp, square-edged blade will not slip as easily as a worn, dull, rounded one.
  2. Replace a broken handle. A broken or damaged handle is not only difficult to hold, but you risk cutting yourself or getting a splinter or blister.
  3. Keep the tool free of dirt, grease, or burrs.

PROPER USE OF SCREWDRIVERS

  1. Select the proper size screwdriver for the screw, so that the thickness of the blade makes a good fit in the slot. This not only prevents the screw slot and blade from being damaged, but reduces the force required to keep the tool in the screw head. Clean the slots out with a corner of the screwdriver if they are clogged with paint or other debris.
  2. Keep the screwdriver square with the screw head. You will avoid damaging the screw and lessen the possibility of the screwdriver slipping.
  3. Never use pliers on a screwdriver. Instead, use a square shank screwdriver that is designed for use with a wrench.
  4. Always use a vise or place small work on a firm, flat surface. If you hold the work in your hands, you can get a painful injury if the screwdriver slips.
  5. Never hammer with the screwdriver handle or use the screwdriver as a pry, punch, chisel, or lever.
  6. Never use screwdrivers for electrical work if they have the blade or rivet extending through the handle. Use only insulated screwdrivers designed for that purpose.
  7. If you have a Phillips head screw, use a Phillips screwdriver. Don’t use a small standard screwdriver or a large screwdriver held at an angle.
  8. Screwdrivers come in various lengths for different jobs. Select the right length so that your hands are working in the clear and not in danger of striking obstructions as you turn the screwdriver.