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What are the different types of screwdriver bit?

Shop for Screwdriver bits

Screwdriver bits The design or style of a screwdriver bit refers to the shape of its body.
Insert bit and power bit Most screwdriver bits you come across will be one of the following two styles:

  • Insert bit
  • Power bit

Each have their own particular set of characteristics.

Insert bits

Insert bit Insert bits are usually 25mm (1″) in length and are the most common style of bit used in cordless screwdrivers.
Magnetic bit holder cordless screwdriver Because they are often quite small, insert bits are usually used in a cordless screwdrivers that have magnetic bit holders instead of chucks.

On the body of the insert bit is a notch which shows how far the insert bit will sit in the magnetic bit holder.

Hexagon The shank of an insert screwdriver bit is always hexagonally-shaped.
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Less expensive than power bits
  • The bit is likely to be worn down and need replacing more frequently

Power bits

Power bit Power bits are usually 50mm (2″) in length.

Because they are longer than insert bits, power bits are often used in cordless drill drivers as the bit sits further down inside the chuck.

Power bit shank viewed from below The shank of a power screwdriver bit is always hexagonally-shaped.
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Compared to insert bits, power bits are more resistant to wear and┬ádesigned to last longer
  • Power bits are longer and can therefore extend the reach of your power tool
  • Compared to insert bits, power bits are held more securely in quick-release chucks
  • This is because they have a special groove on their body which engages with metal ball bearings inside the quick-release chuck
  • More expensive than insert bits

What type of chuck will insert and power bits fit into?

3 jawed chuck Providing they are the correct size, insert and power bits can be used in tools with:

A 3-jawed chuck

Most cordless drill drivers have 3-jawed chucks.

A quick release chuck

A quick-release chuck

This type of chuck is mainly found on cordless impact drivers and screwdrivers.

Chuck with magnetic bit holder

A chuck with a magnetic bit holder

Most light and medium duty cordless screwdrivers have these types of chucks.