Introduction: Use the Right Bit for Your Screw

Spending anytime in a makerspace when building is going on you will always hear power drills whirring away. More often than not you will hear a mixture of the drill clutches and bits slipping in the screw heads. My father taught me how to choose the right bit for the screw you are using. This knowledge is invaluable but does not seem to have been passed down the generations.

I am sharing this knowledge so that all makers can benefit from easy screwing, less damage to the crew heads and bits.

Step 1: Understand Your Screws

A screw has many features that go unnoticed. They have a head, which is the socket that your bit engages with.

There are many types of socket, in the photos you will see square, torsion, posidrive, phillips and slot head.

Each head type has different features and is used by different manufacture depending upon the intended use of the screw. I will not cover these in this ible, but will follow up with a more in depth look at your screws.

There are measurements for length, width, the amount of cutting faces, sharp tip, coatings and many more.

Step 2: Which Bit for Which Screw?

It is very normal to buy screw driver bits in a set. It is worth noting the price and brand name, the set in the photo is missing some key sizes that I did not notice when I bought them. They were of course cheap and will do a number of jobs but they are not quality. For example I would not use them with a strong torque driver.

I recommend going for a full set, high quality, designer for all power tools, including impact driver. These insure you have a quality metal that will last.

Step 3: Choosing Your Bit

For the layman that just wants to screw, look at your screw head. Find the shape that matches your pattern, work your way down from the largest size until the bit just fits. Do not make the mistake of choosing a bit that just fits, it may be too small and will slip causing damage to the screw head.

For the more initiated your screw box will have the size of bit detailed on it, your bits should have the size engraved. Just choose the matching bit and all is golden.

Remember if your bit is slipping, ensure you have the right one. Stop driving your screw and correct the problem. If in doubt ask someone, screws are not designed to slip.

Happy screwing.

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