I know that to use an electric screwdriver it's better to use a screw with a Philips or Torx drive, but sometimes you need to use or find yourself in situations where you need to work with a slotted drive screw and they are very annoying to work with because the electrical screwdriver keeps slipping from the screw slot.

So my question is: How to prevent an electric screwdriver from slipping when tightening/loosening a screw with a slotted drive?

  • You replace the screw with one that has a Philips head. Slotted screws used in light switch faceplates and such like are typically intended to be hand-screwed only. If your screws are so long that you're considering it sensible to use a motorised screwdriver for driving them, cut the screws down
    – Caius Jard
    Aug 13, 2019 at 8:22
  • @CaiusJard read my question with attention and you'll notice that I'm aware that a slotted drive is not most suitable for an electric screwdriver. But sometimes, you have no choice. Aug 15, 2019 at 14:54
  • It's sometimes hard to know exactly what to answer on SE sites, because the question doesnt give a lot of info. My thoughts were "what kind of screw is he referring to" -> "it's an electrical screwdriver mentioned in the second instance, which to me means one of those ones that lights up if you touch a live wire, so he's doing electrics. I don't think anyone would use a power screwdriver on terminal screws that hold wires in to form electrical connections, so perhaps he is referring to faceplate screws for sockets and lights, as theyre sometimes very long and have a fine thread that takes..
    – Caius Jard
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:35
  • ..long to screw in. I use a power driver on those.. -- and hence I commented on your question based on what kind of screw i'd supposed you were driving (electrical/machine screws with a fine thread, holding an electrical accessory sucj as socket or switch face plate on. Showing an actual picture of the screw youre trying to drive would be massively more helpful
    – Caius Jard
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


This is a common problem and screw holders are made for that purpose. From the image in the link, you might try fabricating your own out of polyethylene tubing.

There are also magnetic screw holders, with a recess to hold the screw to keep it from slipping.

Finally, here's a home-made screw holder... Now, I just might make one for myself!

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