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Cool Tool: The Spiral Ratchet Screwdriver (AKA Yankee Screwdriver)

Updated on October 8, 2015

This is my new favorite tool, the spiral ratchet screwdriver, more commonly known as the Yankee screwdriver. These are different from traditional screwdrivers because they work by you pressing the screwdriver down, kinda like the action you would make when using a saw (back and forth). This doesn't translate well to words, so make sure you watch the video so you see what I mean.

Because of the way it is constructed, the screwdriver turns your forward pressure into rotating pressure. This alleviates one of the basic problems with screwdrivers, the need to both press down and turn at the same time. It negates the need to turn the basic screwdriver. Amazing! If you want to, you CAN turn the screwdriver just like your normal every day screwdriver. This allows you to really get screws moving, and the tool is MUCH better than the normal ratcheting screwdrivers you see hanging around.

I really love this tool because it is so unique. I had never seen one before, and I have seen A LOT of tools. Tools for woodworking, tools for working on your car, tools for normal everyday, around the house work. But I had never seen this one before.

Robert Schroeder 538-1335 Ratchet Screwdriver
Robert Schroeder 538-1335 Ratchet Screwdriver

A few other models of spiral ratchets


Just look at it. Glorious. It has everything a man wants in a tool. I'm a sucker for neat tools, and this one takes the cake. Can you imagine working on a project and whipping this bad boy out. Imagine the stares while everyone watches you school them.

Aside from the obvious superiority of the spiral ratchet screwdriver, you also have interchangeable bits, which allow you to swap from Phillips, flathead, or the new torx bits (torx bits are really great, I recommend them for future projects - you can buy torx screws most big box retailers)

Note: Some older Yankee Screwdrivers use different bits from the normal ones. These Yankee Screwdrivers should use the common, 1/4 inch size.

No matter what your application, the spiral ratchet screwdriver will fit your needs. They can be used to screw something in, but flip the switch, and they will unscrew too!

Watch a spiral ratchet screwdriver in action!


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