What’s an Offset Screwdriver?

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Offset screwdrivers are used for jobs that require more torque or power, or for jobs that a straight screwdriver can’t reach. They offer a better angle and greater leverage. They come in different variations, including simple and complicated types, with interchangeable blades or ratcheting mechanisms.

There are many variations of the standard screwdriver. The main reasons to use a non-standard screwdriver are for jobs that a straight screwdriver can’t reach, or jobs that require more torque or power. An offset screwdriver is a variety of screwdriver that is used at a perpendicular angle to a traditional screwdriver. This offers a better angle for some jobs that might be awkward or even impossible with a regular screwdriver. This type of screwdriver can also offer greater leverage, making it easier to turn and remove screws that would otherwise be very difficult.

A typical screwdriver consists of a handle and a shaft, at the end of which is a blade that contacts the screw to be turned. The main difference of an offset screwdriver is that the end of the shaft has a ninety degree rotation. Instead of twisting the handle of a screwdriver to drive in or out a screw, an offset screwdriver spins more like the hands of a clock and can be turned both clockwise and counterclockwise.

A simple offset screwdriver consists of a metal shaft with an “L”-shaped flat or Phillips head blade, with the blade oriented on the short side. Some offset screwdrivers may contain blades at both ends of the shaft that typically protrude in opposite directions from each other. In this variation, one of the two blades can be a flat head screwdriver while the other is a cross head. They can also be different sizes of the same style head.

There are more complicated types of screwdrivers, and for each there will typically be a corresponding offset screwdriver. For example, some screwdrivers have removable blades that can be swapped out for different sizes and types for various screws. You can find the same type of offset screwdriver, with a fixed handle but interchangeable blades. These are often sold as complete sets that contain the screwdriver along with a set of removable blade bits.

Another popular variation is a ratcheting offset screwdriver. When tightening a screw with this, the user does not need to break contact between the blade and the screw as the tool holds the blade steady when turned in the opposite direction. This is also a useful feature when working with screws that are in tight spaces where the turning radius of the screwdriver is very small. These commonly contain interchangeable blades for added utility and are constructed with a switch that reverses the direction of the ratchet mechanism to alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise motions.

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