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Slotted Screwdriver Definition, Types & Comparison with Phillips Model

Screwdrivers are undoubtedly a convenient tool. They are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. One of these is the famous slot head screwdrivers. So, what exactly is a slotted screwdriver? Previously, the flat blade was prevalent and was found everywhere until the 19th century when Henry Phillips released a different and efficient version.

What is a Slotted Screwdriver Set?

A slotted screwdriver- might be an unfamiliar term. These screwdrivers are generally referred to as a flat-blade, flat-head, standard, or standard blade (as it is commonly used). This multi-purpose hand tool fits into flat screw heads and either turns, fixes, or loosens them.

There are mainly three types of slotted screwdrivers that are as follows:

  1. Keystones Screwdrivers: These screwdrivers have a tapered blade and are often used in confined areas. Designed in a way to ensure that they are firm against more torque.
  2. Cabinet Screwdrivers: These drivers are often mistaken as being keystone screwdrivers. Cabinet screwdrivers are known to have a straight blade which means that the width of the blade and the tip is the same.
  3. Tester Screwdriver: Used to detect the electrical voltage of either cables or sockets. The test screwdriver also possesses a flat head.

Features of Slotted Screwdriver

The features of this tool can be bifurcated into three categories:

  1. Handle: Slotted screwdrivers come in different sizes, long or short, and in different materials, including rubber or hard plastic, to ensure a tight grip.
  2. Shaft: This is made from steel and is hexagon or round in shape and comes in different sizes.
  3. Tip: Made from tough steel, the tip of a slotted screwdriver is flat or different shapes for accurate function.

Slotted Screwdriver Sizes

Flat head or slotted screw driver bits are available in different sizes which ranges from 0.8 mm to 12 mm. Most commonly used screwdriver sizes for general purpose are 5 mm and 5.5 mm. For precision works, people usually go for small slotted screwdriver of 3 or 3.5 mm size and for larger screws, wide slotted bits of 6 or 6.5 mm.

For all your DIY projects, compare and choose the right one from these best precision screwdrivers list of high-quality and versatility.

Slot Head Screwdriver vs. Phillips Head Screwdriver

The slotted screwdriver is one of the most common picks, but Phillips also introduced their modified version. Let’s compare both and understand their characteristics.

What’s a Slotted Screwdriver?

Everyone knows the meaning and uses of slotted screwdrivers as mentioned above. They are also often called flat-heads. However, they are not a new invention; they date back to 15th century Europe.

Since then, slotted screwdrivers have been popularly used. As a result, today, flat-heads aren’t limited to turning screws but also aids in scrapping or opening cans. In short, the flat head screwdriver is versatile. Additionally, the flat blade is durable and straightforward as its blade can be refurbished easily.

In other words, you can say that a slotted screwdriver is a traditional tool that the upcoming models haven’t entirely replaced.

What is a Phillips Screwdriver?

The Phillips screwdriver can be called a modern version of a slotted screwdriver. It was launched in the 1920s to drive screws or install them in an industrial place. One of the main reasons

Henry Phillips launched a new model to bring a screwdriver that can self-center itself and not let the screw be over tightened thus be fitted accurately. Perhaps, the Phillips screwdriver is professional as it is efficient to maintain its place once it’s fitted (it doesn’t slip).

Moreover, the screw head doesn’t break because of the Phillips screwdriver’s control mechanism, and the flat head lacks.


In a nutshell, the slotted screwdriver is universally used and has other applications, too, since they are widespread. However, the flat blade has a few limitations since they aren’t built for industrial purposes. Altogether, the Phillips screwdriver also is a handy tool for those looking for a torque-managed driver.