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Gunsmith screwdriver vs regular screwdriver – there is a difference

Most people don’t understand that there are differences between a gunsmith screwdriver vs a regular screwdriver. In this article, we are going to explore what makes the two different and why you should not use your typical screwdriver on a gun.

It is easy to look at your toolbox or pegboard and reach for that flat-head screwdriver. You know that some are better than others so you may reach for the more expensive one. After all, you are working on an expensive gun and you want to use the best one you have to keep from stripping the head. Then screw resists removal, your screwdriver slips and scratches the receiver.

Standard screwdrivers

taper screwdriver in screw headIt may sound silly to say, but standard screwdrivers do not fit screws correctly. Their taper point does not give enough contact on the blade to the screw slot. Because of their shape, standard screwdrivers are usually referred to as taper point.


Gunsmith screwdrivers

Hollow ground screwdriver in screw headA gunsmith screwdriver uses a different geometry of the point to fit the screw head. These screwdrivers have a concave shape, which allows the entire tip to fill the whole slot of a screw to be filled; eliminating slippage. These types of screwdrivers are often referred to as a hollow ground.

Hollow ground screwdrivers also allow torque to be evenly transmitted across the screw head, giving the user more power to remove stuck screws. They also have blades that are as wide as the shaft, which allows you to remove recessed screws.


There are many choices of gunsmith screwdrivers that cover just about every budget. I like the Brownells’ Magna-Tip screwdriver set and use the Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle. You will see me use this screwdriver set often in our videos.

There are several manufacturers of quality gunsmith tools that you can choose from and at a price point for just about every budget. These can be purchased online from places like Brownells and Amazon.

I do recommend that people purchase their gunsmith tools at Brownells whenever possible. Brownells has Guaranteed Forever policy on most of their products. If you don’t need it, don’t want it or don’t like it, they will take it back anytime. I have used their Guaranteed Forever policy on punches that I broke removing stuck roll pins. It was a simple process of contacting customer service and they replaced the punches at no cost to me.

Regardless of where you purchase your tools, make sure you get a set of gunsmith screwdrivers if you are going to work on firearms. Not only will they make your life easier, they will keep you from scratching the firearm. These screwdrivers are about the same price as a good set of regular screwdrivers but will outperform them every time.

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