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Choosing the Right Screwdriver Bit

What you need

  1. Choosing the Right Screwdriver Bit, Identification: step 1, image 1 of 2 Choosing the Right Screwdriver Bit, Identification: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • The screw bits in our iFixit bit kits have engraved prefixes that indicate the head type. These prefixes are typically followed by a number that indicates bit size. For example:

    • PH2 - (Phillips #2) A large Phillips bit.

    • PH0 - (Phillips #0) A medium Phillips bit.

    • PH000 - (Phillips #000) A small Phillips bit.

    • Choose the bit size that fills the screw head entirely. A bit that is too big or too small will not seat properly, and you'll end up with a stripped screw.

  2. Choosing the Right Screwdriver Bit: step 2, image 1 of 2 Choosing the Right Screwdriver Bit: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • If you find yourself scratching your head over identifying the bits in your tool kit, feel free to use this reference list.

    • Physical bit shape followed by proper name.

    • Bit size.

    • If there is no prefix engraved in your bit, simply use the full proper name and size when using your bit in a guide. (For example: "Use a 1.5 mm Flathead bit to remove the two 5 mm case screws.")

    • Bits with the prefix "J" and "PH" are often thought to be the same bit. Don't be fooled by their similar appearance—they are quite different.

    • Phillips (PH) screws are designed to make a Phillips screwdriver cam out if too much torque is applied. This prevents damage to screws and screwdrivers or bits.

    • Japanese Industrial Standard (J) screws do not provide a cam-out option, and have 90 degree corners.

    • J (or JIS) and PH (Phillips) driver bits are not always interchangeable. As you can see, they do not share identical physical properties.

Finish Line

134 other people completed this guide.

Richard Suovanen

Member since: 02/07/17

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Excellent guide. could not figure out the difference by looking.

Lawrence Steinheuer-Turner - Reply

It would be clearer if the displayed drawing of each bit actually said J-bit or PH-bit, and because both have 90 degree corners, maybe change the J-bit description to “have 90 degree square inside corners“ and include in the PH description “have 90 degree rounded inside corners.

Otherwise, with interpretation, your article helped me.

Phil - Reply

what size hex shaft do these smaller bits have?. i have an electric precision screw driver, for electronics. i go through the PH1 bits very quickly. i can NOT find them for sale anywhere on earth. does anybody know where to purchase these things?? and/or tell me how i should word the query. all im getting is 1/4 hex shaft results. very frustrating

brett everett - Reply

In the picture on the top of the page the bits with a 90° corner are marked as Phillips heads, the ones with the rounded corners are markes as JIS heads. But it seems to be the other way, as mentioned in Step 3 of this instruction, and also according to other pages like Phillips #000 Screwdriver

Andreas Brunner - Reply

Sharp eye, Andreas! Thanks for catching that. We’ve updated the image at the top of the guide with the correct labels.

Marty Rippens -

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