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What Is an Angled Screwdriver?

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  • Written By: M. McGee
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An angled screwdriver is a type of screwdriver that is designed to work in tight spaces. These screwdrivers have an angle of operation which is typically 90 degrees. This means that the operator is working in one direction, but the work is happening at a 90-degree angle. This is generally accomplished through a ratchet system similar to the one used on a socket wrench; the user pumps the handle up and down to cause the screw to turn. Other types of angled screwdrivers actually convert the rotational movement common to most screwdrivers from one direction to another.

The basic idea behind an angled screwdriver is using the driver in places where a typical screwdriver wouldn’t fit. This often means that the available space is too small or there is an obstruction that blocks the screw head. The angled driver will slip into the available opening and allow the operator access to the screw.

The design of an angled screwdriver is very simple. The shaft of the screwdriver connects to a mechanism, typically a motor, ratchet or coupling system. The mechanism connects to the tool head, the part that touches the screw.

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Most of these devices use a ratchet. This allows the operator to move the handle in one direction and turn the screw; but when he moves the handle in the other direction, the tool doesn’t apply any force. This means that the worker doesn’t have to take the tool head out of the screw to reset it, he can simply pump the handle. Most of these ratchet systems have the option of working when pressed up or pressed down, meaning the worker can switch the tool to screwing in or unscrewing the screw.

An electric-angled screwdriver operates a little differently. These systems simply have the screwdriver head angled rather than straight on. Since the motor is performing all the work, the actual shape of the tool is unimportant. Some standard electric screwdrivers have angled adapters that connect to the existing tool. These adapters generally use a form of coupling to turn the screw.

When an angled screwdriver uses a coupler, the operator turns it like a normal screwdriver. Usually these devices have a sheath containing the screwdriver, which the operator holds while turning the driver with his other hand. The end of the driver connects to a coupler, which converts the rotational direction to a different angle. These systems are generally very small, often operating in places that are too small for other angled screwdrivers, but the coupler creates a weak point. If the user uses too much force while turning the screw, the coupler will snap rather than turn the screw head.

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