Find your nearest screwdriver and chances are you can use this simple trick with an open-headed wrench to increase your unscrewing torque.
After you learn this simple trick, you’ll never look at screwdrivers the same ever again. Facebook user Gerald “Jay” Jacquot shared a photo of a screwdriver with an open-headed wrench slipped on the top with an explanation that clears up why those wrench handles are shaped the way they are.
Check out his captioned photo below.
In the rather low-def photo we can see one hand gripping a screwdriver and another hand holding a wrench around the handle of the screwdriver. Presumably, this technique is useful for taking out stubborn screws that won’t budge.
Using just your hand on a regular screwdriver, there’s only so much torque that a human can exert. But, using this trick, you can apply as much torque as you want on a hard-to-take-out screw given the length of your wrench.
Look up screwdriver on Amazon and most of the screwdrivers don’t have this distinct handle shape, but, scroll down long enough and you’ll get to some Craftsman screwdrivers that have that shape.
Wikipedia hints that this design might be intentional and that this is how engineers made screwdriver handles all along but another more plausible explanation on Reddit sheds some light on this garage hack.
It’s not intentional. It’s merely a feature to stop them rolling off the bench. Same as center punches and pin punches that are hexagonal.
Still, another explanation says otherwise.
It’s intentional. They talk about both methods in the military aircraft maintenance guide (00-20-1).
Other Redditors caution that this is a surefire way to ruin your screwdrivers thanks to Metal not interacting with plastic so well.
“As someone who works with hand tools, this is not a good idea. You will probably ruin your screwdrivers by doing this. What will happen is drive (metal part) will easily separate from the handle (plastic) and you will be left with a useless too.”
I think that if you don’t use too much force, this is a useful garage trick to have up your sleeve. If you fiddle around in a garage long enough, you will encounter a stubborn screw. If you use this trick and apply pressure gradually, I don’t see any reason you can’t use this technique.
And even if you break the handle, screwdrivers are literally $3 for a full set.
Given the choice of giving up on your project because you can’t defeat a screw or using this technique and risking a broken screwdriver, the choice is easy.