An electrician's screwdriver is a device used to drive screws into a material by turning it at the screw head. It is similar to most other types of screwdrivers, but the handle is insulated to protect against shocks, and the shaft is also sometimes insulated. The tip of the electrician's screwdriver can vary depending on the type of screw being driven, so in most cases, an electrician will carry a screwdriver set rather than just one driver, or a driver that allows for replaceable bits so a variety of screws can be driven with one driver.
The two most common electrician's screwdriver models used are the Phillips head driver and the flat head, or blade-style, driver. The Phillips head driver features a cross pattern, and the center of the cross is extended outward further than the wings of the cross so it can be inserted securely into a Phillips head screw. This is one of the most common screw types, so the Phillips head electrician's screwdriver will be one of the most commonly used tools by any electrician. The flat or blade style head features a straight, blade-like head that slots into a screw designed to accept such a design. This design allows for greater torque delivery, but the driver will have a tendency to slide or otherwise move out of position during driving.
Electricians generally work on electrical systems that may or may not have a current running through them, so the handle of any electrician's screwdriver must be insulated. This insulation prevents electrical shocks from transferring from the electrical system to the electrician's hand, potentially leading to burns or other injuries. In some cases, shocks can lead to death, so it is vitally important that the screwdriver be properly insulated and all electricity running to the component being repaired is turned off.
Very often, the tip of the electrician's screwdriver will be magnetized. This eases the process of lining up the screwdriver tip with the head of the screw. It also helps prevent the electrician from dropping a screw should the driver lose contact with the screw. Instead of simply falling, the screw will be secured to the tip of the screwdriver, even if no pressure is being placed upon it. Some more advanced models may feature a ratcheting mechanism that helps prevent the electrician from having to disengage the screwdriver from the screw when involved in the driving process.