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Tools & Hardware

What In The World Is a Yankee Screwdriver?


Yankee screwdrivers were the original cordless screwdriver; it uses a spiral reattaching system to drive screws by simply pushing down on the screwdrivers handle. As you push on the handle, the spiral ratcheting system turns the blade and drives the screw into the wood. It works great and is much faster than a regular screwdriver. The chuck accepts special Yankee bits for driving screws and drilling pilot holes.

    Yankee Screwdriver and bits

The trade name "YANKEE" screwdriver was first marketed by North Brothers Manufacturing Company in 1899, for their No. 30 spiral ratchet screwdriver. The YANKEE brand is still today a well-known name in automatic spiral ratchet screwdrivers. Stanley tool works now owns the Yankee brand.

I had one in my toolbox for many years, when cordless battery powered drills became available I retired it and gave it to my nephew who still uses it today. I have several modern ratcheting screwdrivers but nothing can replace the original Yankee Screwdriver for ease of use.



The next time you visit your local hardware store ask to see a Yankee Screwdriver they are truly a remarkable tool.

Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

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Posted 2018-09-06T20:54:41+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC
Greetings Mike,

The Yankee Screwdriver is my kind of tool! A true bit of Yankee ingenuity, I have to admit that I had never heard of the tool until your article, I am going to find the Yankee Screwdriver in the hardware department of my Home Depot.

I am a big fan of hand tools, I use my hand saw miter box often. It is always a humbling experience to use hand tools to build projects; it leaves me with such an appreciation for the pioneers of our country who cut down trees to build their homes with only primitive hand tools.

I do remember my uncle having a drill that looked like a hand eggbeater, I always thought it was very cool!

Thank you for a new tool awakening, for a retro tool, and also for a trip down memory lane :-) 

Keep them coming,

Posted 2018-09-11T17:18:48+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
so great! where can  I  buy it? best novel  fanfiction
Posted 2018-09-20T03:46:19+0000  by xeniia
Hi Xenila,

You can buy a Yankee Screwdriver at almost any tool dealer, or order one from

Posted 2018-09-20T20:45:11+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
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