Mick's Tips - Screwdrivers, a users guide.

Screwdrivers? Screwdrivers?? How can screwdrivers be interesting enough to justify a whole article I hear you ask... Read on.

Forgive me if you already know this, but I've met plenty of professional car mechanics, bike mechanics and plumbers who don't.

There is more than one kind of 'cross-head' screwdriver pattern - and they are not compatible.

The two most common, and most commonly confused, are Phillips and Pozi-drive. And to make it even more complex they also come in sizes: 00, 0, 1, 2, 3 etc. A phillips screwdriver will not fit into the head of a Pozi screw and vice versa, and a #2 Pozi driver will not drive any screw size other than #2.

If you ever wondered why your screw heads were being mashed beyond usefulness by your screwdriver this is why. As a bike mechanic it was an everyday occurance to work on a bike which had had its adjustment screws mullered by nothing more than use of the wrong driver. Learning the difference between the two was one of the best things I ever did for my blood pressure and mental wellbeing. I highly recommend that you learn how to identify them. Your bike components and shelf brackets will thank you for it.

One of the best tools in my box is a Stanley ratchet screwdriver. It uses individual driver bits which can be stored in the handle and I rarely need to use anything else.

This article first appeared on the very excellent Cycle Chat interwebs forum.