A miniature screwdriver can be one of two things — a precision screwdriver designed to turn tiny screws or a small pocket screwdriver designed for use with regular screws. These screwdrivers can usually be found in hardware stores and specialty shops, as well as in online stores. There are several factors to consider when choosing either type of miniature screwdriver, including the types of screws with which it will be used, durability, ease of use and versatility.
Miniature screwdrivers are essential for several professions and hobbies. Jewelers, optometrists and technicians rely on these drivers to turn the tiny screws in products such as eyeglasses and computer parts. These drivers can be purchased individually but usually come packaged in a set with five or six sizes and types.
When evaluating these miniature screwdriver sets, the consumer should make sure the driver type matches the size and type of screw with which he or she will be working. Slot and Phillips heads are the most common types of small screws, but users also may encounter hex and star screws, among others. The average buyer may want to start with a set containing a couple small slot, or flat-head, screwdrivers along with a few sizes of Phillips heads.
Some miniature screwdriver designs have a small form factor that allows the user to work in close areas, while others have a larger grip that allows for the application of more torque to the screw. The buyer should consider the environments in which he will be working when deciding between different models. Some of the less expensive driver sets may be a good option for buyers working on a one-time project but may not stand up to heavier work over the long term. With screwdriver sets, it also is important to look at the durability of the case that holds the drivers to make sure it will hold up to rough use.
Pocket screwdrivers are miniature versions of regular screwdrivers and are designed to be easy to carry around on a daily basis. These types of drivers come in a variety of styles; some are even designed to fit on a key ring. While these can be useful tools to have on hand, it can be difficult to tackle large projects or loosen very tight screws with them, because the small size may not allow the user to generate much torque. In some cases, poorly designed drivers can strip the head of the screw and make it difficult work with. Users should look for pocket screwdrivers manufactured with high-quality steel and good grips to avoid these problems.