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Flathead vs Phillips

How can one choose a certain screwdriver? There are so many sizes and types that it would be a difficult job.

There are many choices and options out there and it can be challenging to find the best product for the specific need, but those who have already made up their mind on one particular type will know what they want. Screwdrivers come in various shapes and sizes.

Choosing between Flatheads and Phillips heads can be a tough task because of all the available variants, so here’s a guide on what you should take into account when thinking of making a purchase:

What aspects do I need to take into consideration?

First things first – screwdriver shape affects how well it fits into screws, that’s why you should always consider buying the type you need for your screws.

The main difference is the screwdriver head with flatheads having one straight angled side and Phillips heads two, but there are some other types as well: pozidriv, spanner, hexagon.

This guide won’t tell you which one is better since it doesn’t matter that much- it all depends on what you are looking for. Let’s start separating them into more subgroups to make up your mind easier before moving further!

Types of screwdrivers


They are made up of flat steel which is attached to the handle. Prior to buying them, you should know they are also known as pozidriv type screwdrivers, after their most famous manufacturer.

This tool has a straight tip with one angled side and it is mostly used in building things or taking apart old models. If you’re looking for a screwdriver that can do more than just drive screws then this might be the right choice since it will let you choose between two options when installing it into a screw– clockwise or counterclockwise rotation, depending on your needs.

Phillips screwdriver

This type of screwdriver is also known as cross-recess, after their most famous manufacturer. They have a checkerboard-like tip and two angled sides – they are used to install screws with flathead holes.

The only difference between the sizes is the width: 1x25mm and 2x25mm – it mostly depends on your needs which size you should buy so no matter what you choose, one of them will always fit into any screws. What’s really important about this tool is that it can be installed both ways – clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, depending on what you need to do.


They look like Phillipsdrivers but instead of having an X, they have a plus sign. The shape of the tip is similar to both types mentioned above so it can fit in any screws, but their main advantage is the fact that you can apply up to 40% more torque than with Phillipsdrivers and 10% than with flathead are.

They are mostly used by engineers or people who work a lot with wood for example when putting together furniture because you need a bit more power when working with these materials.

Hexagon screwdriver

With this type of screwdriver, you won’t have trouble finding a fitting bolt since it’s got six sides – each one being different from the rest. It has a hexagonal-shaped head compatible with bolts and nuts made from steel material which makes it perfect for working with machinery.

As for the size, it depends on your needs but you can get them in the metric or imperial system – 1mm to 10mm.


This type of screwdriver is special because it doesn’t have a tip made out of metal, but a four-pointed star which makes it perfect for turning fasteners that need more torque applied to them. You can use this tool when installing plumbing equipment since they are compatible with hexagonal bolts too.

One more thing about this type of screwdriver is that instead of being held by the handle, one side of the crossbar is placed inside a sleeve while the blade part is inserted into the fastener.

Let`s compare Flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers

  • Flathead vs Phillips head screwdriver – which one is for you?

When choosing between Flathead and Phillips, the first thing to consider is your needs since screwdrivers come in many different shapes and sizes. The main difference between these two types is the shape of their tips yet they do have other features as well. What it comes down to is the fact that each one excels at its own task so before buying either type all you need to do is figure out what are your needs are, then make sure you buy a tool that will suit them perfectly.

To be honest, it’s up to what kind of job you are doing since they both have advantages and disadvantages:

Phillips head is better when installing fasteners with small heads because their tip bites into the metal, while flathead screwdriver has a larger attack angle so it can easily slip out which makes them perfect for fastening large bolts. Flatheads cut across the grain so if you need to remove wood screws look no further than this type!

Phillips head has a small crossbar so it can create problems when dealing with recessed fasteners while flatheads have larger shafts which makes them perfect for replacing rusted or rounded-out screws.

  • How to drive screws using flathead or Phillips head driver

The first step when driving screws using these tools is making sure they fit properly into the head of the screw, if they don’t it will result in problems since tools won`t be able to attach or remove nuts. What you need to do is make sure that the tool goes in two or three full rotations before pulling out – this way you can ensure it has securely attached itself without slipping out.

If everything looks good and the driver is secured, all you have to do is give a gentle nudge to create a thread between tool and bolt. The last step would be tightening until your workpiece gets firmly attached and checking for any possible wobbling which might indicate bad installation!

Tools are very useful when building things but only if used properly so before buying them all you need to do is figure out what kind of work you will be doing most often and what your needs are, then choose a set that has all the tools you need.

  • What are the main differences between these two screwdrivers?

Let`s take a look at some of the key differences between these two types to see if you can find any helpful hints about how to get the best value for your money the next time you are looking to get one:

Flathead screwdrivers come in every imaginable size while Phillips is mostly used for hand tools, not powerful ones.

Phillips tip is slightly rounded but the flathead is flatter and thinner – the shape also differs by 90 degrees.

Phillips is known to be overall stronger which makes it perfect for when working with hard materials such as screws with small heads since flatheads snap off easily.

You may find that some drivers can switch from one type of tip to another which gives you more flexibility but it also means they might not have all the features you need so this needs to be considered, too!

  • Which one is better for household?

Overall, both are useful when it comes to household use but in some cases, one might be preferable over the other. If you are looking to install small screws or deal with wood then Phillips screwdriver is perfect for this job since they fit better in smaller places.

If there are larger fasteners to deal with then go for flathead because their attack angle makes them perfect for removing rusted or rounded-out bolts.

Last but not least, if you are working with different types of materials at home, always opt for a driver set that will cover all your needs so you don`t have to worry about changing tools all the time!

  • Which one is better for professional use?

Phillips head drivers have many advantages when it comes to professional use – they fit into screws easily and are perfect for working in low light since it glides right in without too much pressure.

However, flathead drivers are a better choice if you are looking to speed things up since their attack angle makes them easy to drive without slipping out of screw heads or snapping off. Flathead also fits well with power tools so this is another reason professionals might prefer these over Phillips.

  • Which screwdriver is cheaper?

On average, flathead screwdrivers are usually cheaper than Phillips ones especially when it comes to sets.

Although the price of individual drivers varies greatly depending on the material used and brand, sets of high-quality flatheads can be found at very affordable prices.

Phillips screwdrivers are more expensive due to the fact that they require small production changes but also offer better ergonomics so comfort is improved.

  • Are these screwdrivers interchangeable?

If you are looking for a set of drivers that will cover all your needs this might be true but in most cases, no.

In case they do have interchangeable tips it is only the flathead ones that can be swapped from one to another since Phillips tip has a slight angle which makes them not able to fit properly.

  • Can I find these tools in electric form?

Yes, both types of screwdrivers can come in electric form and be used with drills or power screwdrivers – however, when going for electric make sure you choose the cordless models since even though they might take time getting used to, they offer more flexibility and independence from wires!

  • Is there any way to tell which screwdriver is better by looking at it?

When it comes to size, flatheads are more compact and carry smaller heads whereas Phillips tend to be larger.

The material used also varies – if you are looking for heavy-duty drivers go for stocky ones made out of hard steel since they will hold up with time but if you need something smaller opt for lighter tools that are made out of aluminum alloy.

Final thoughts about these two types of screwdrivers

Both of them are very useful in most situations and both have a distinct advantage over the other so before buying any tool make sure you consider your needs and how often will you use it since that way you will get the most value for money! Flathead or Phillips – both have their pros and cons but as long as you keep those two in mind it should be very easy for you to make the right choice!

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