What Is a Phillips Screwdriver?

phillips-screwdriver Credit: Jamie Grill/Getty Images

A Phillips screwdriver is a tool that has a cross shape and features the ability to self center. These characteristics allow for greater control and stability.

Henry F. Phillips is responsible for inventing the Phillips screwdriver in the 1930s. His intention with this invention was to make it easier to slip a screw out of a recess or cam it out of a recess through the application of excessive torque. This works to prevent machines and laborers from making fasteners too tight. Modern Phillips screwdrivers prevent the stripping of screw heads when coming out because this was a flaw in the original design. Today, there are both screwdrivers and drill bits with the Phillips head.