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Ergonomically clever screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are indispensable for home improvements and skilled crafts. They are one of the basic items in every toolbox – whether for professional or home use. When fitted with ergonomic handles, they can help avoid tensions and pain at work.

Clever handle concepts

Screwdrivers are one of the most used of all tools. No matter whether they are used regularly or just now and then, if they don't lie in the hand properly with optimum force transmission, the user will quickly feel tension and pain. This can even become an occupational illness if the shoulders and back can't take the strain any more.

The handle of a screwdriver should therefore be designed to permit effective, ergonomic use.

When looking for the right tool today, there's a huge range available, particularly when it comes to screwdrivers. A closer look at the screwdrivers will reveal to even the unpractised eye that the handle lengths of most makes are adapted to the screw sizes. The smaller the screws, the shorter the handles. Actually, this is rather strange as it does not make any ergonomic sense. The screwdrivers are then much too small for most hands. This means they do not lie well in the hand, and the force transmission also leaves a lot to be desired. The result is incorrect posture and tense, aching hands.

What makes an ergonomic handle stand out?

Screwdrivers whose different handles are adjusted to the anatomic requirements of the hand are far more suitable. Narrower handles for example are ideal for precise working. In this case, the handle must be long enough to ensure that the tool is held securely. Wider or thicker handles are ideal when greater force is required. As far as possible, the actual handles should be made of top quality material that can be recycled and also available with different surfaces in accordance with the specific purpose. Priority should also be given to an ergonomically shaped handle. This lies well and securely in the hand and permits controlled work without any slipping. As a result, less strain is placed on the whole locomotor system involved in using a screwdriver, without the need for any additional effort. Ergonomic handle concepts therefore reduce strains on the hands, arms, shoulder girdle and the spinal column.

Different screw-driving zones and blade tips

Different dimensions and profiles in the screw-driving zones are beneficial. As a basic rule, a fast screw-driving zone – at the start of the handle with a circular cross-section – is ideal for fast, dexterous screw-driving. The tool is guided by the palm of the hand. The fingers drive the screws. A force screw-driving zone – starting in about the middle and extending to the end with an extra large cross-section – is ideal for comfortable maximum force transmission. Harder materials are used for the fast screw-driving zone and softer ones for the force screw-driving zone. Ergonomic handles permit optimum force transmission with more comfortable, longer and above all, pain-free working.

The blades or metal parts of the screwdriver should naturally be made of top quality tool steel. They should be available for the full range of possible screw-driving tasks and with different blade tips (drive output). Visual identification aids help with allocation of the drive output so that the handle already shows whether this is a slotted or Phillips screwdriver. Round handles should have a roll-off protection feature so that the screwdriver cannot roll away.

Checklist

  • Ensure that the screwdriver handle corresponds in size and shape to the functional and anatomic conditions of the palm and hand size. Many screwdriver handles are too short and cannot be held securely. This applies particularly to small screwdrivers. Also make sure that the tool can be held securely whatever the size.
  • As a rule there are two main ways of driving a screw: with speed or with force. A screwdriver should therefore also have different zones for the different screwing tasks. The material for the fast screw-driving zone (tends to be small and round) is preferably harder, while softer material is used in the force screw-driving zone (larger and with a softened octagonal finish).
  • Different surfaces may be necessary depending on the specific application. It must be possible to hold the tool securely in an oily environment and also when performing electrical jobs; it is therefore important to ensure that the design of the handle is suitable for the specific application.
  • Different blade designs (drive output) are a matter of course. However, it is also important that the blade itself is offered in different shapes. A hexagonal blade for example can be used together with a wrench for support to relieve the pressure on the wrist in particularly difficult screwing tasks.
  • Visual identification aids are also appropriate to show the particular kind of drive output - slotted or Phillips screwdriver. This is particularly important when the screwdriver is fitted in its toolbox slot and the blade is not visible.
  • Almost round handles offer haptic advantages and are ideal for force transmission, but tend to roll away on slanted surfaces. Ensure therefore that the screwdriver comes with roll-off protection.

Minimum requirements

  • Ergonomically shaped handles
  • Different screw-driving zones (fast screw-driving zone/force screw-driving zone)
  • Material selected in accordance with the specific screwing task
  • Different blades (shape and drive output)
  • Handles for different application areas (e.g. oily environment, electrical applications)

Also appropriate

  • Visual identification aid
  • Dual roll-off protection
  • Screwdrivers with impact cap

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH
Obertalstraße 3-7
78136 Schonach
GERMANY
Phone +49 7722/959 0
Fax +49 7722/959 160
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.wiha.com

Further information

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