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POWER SCREWDRIVERS

V. Ryan 2006

 

Everyone has used a manual screw driver to turn a screw that refuses to move or one that is very difficult to turn. The result is a sore or blistered hand. Power screwdrivers are the answer especially if a large number of screws need to be fixed in position.
A large range of power screwdrivers exist and even the cheapest types are often very powerful and most are supplied with a range of attachments. As a minimum a battery charger and a number of screwdriver blades will be part of the overall kit.

 
   

   

1. The screwdriver blade is dangerous. Both hands should be behind the blade whilst it is turned. Never, place a hand in front or alongside the blade. If the blade slips it can tear into flesh, producing a nasty injury.
2. Always wear safety goggles to protect the eyes. Never operate equipment like this without eye protection.
3. Select a power screwdriver with a comfortable handle. A poorly designed handle will cause blisters.
4. Use the correct screwdriver blade. Eg. a 'Crosspoint', Slot head or 'Supadriv' type. An ill fitting blade will slip as the screw is turned and can cause injury.
5. Always check that electrical wires or water pipes are not in the area. Forcing a screw into an electrical wire can be extremely dangerous.
6. Always seek instruction / training from an appropriately qualified instructor before using any tools, especially power tools.

     
 

Depending on the model and make of power screwdriver, the handle will have two positions. The handle can be locked in a level position as shown in the diagram above OR it can be locked into a vertical position.

   

Power Screwdrivers are usually variable speed and torque. The example below has a speed control disc on the ON/OFF button. Pressing the top of the ON/OFF button turns the chuck and screwdriver blade in a clockwise direction. Alternatively, pressing the bottom of the ON/OFF button turns the chuck in an anti-clockwise direction.
Torque is often misunderstood. Torque is the amount of power supplied to the chuck. For example. The speed (RPM) may be quite low and the chuck turns slowly - However - the torque may be high and the chuck turns powerfully and powers screws into the most resistant of materials. The torque setting can be adjusted by turning a dial (shown on the diagram below). Sometimes the setting will be set quite low. This helps prevent over tightening of a screw.

   

Safety / self-locking chucks are very common. These to not need a chuck key and are used by simply turning the chuck and the barrel by hand, in opposite directions. The screwdriver bit locks in position.

To charge most power screwdrivers, simply plug them into the mains. On some models a red indicator light will show when the internal battery is charging. When charging is complete (1 to 3 hours) the green indicator light will show. Then the screwdriver can be disconnected from the mains and used.

     

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