I was uncomfortably driving a screw to affix a ceiling lighting fixture - either with my knuckles grazing at the ceiling or angling the screwdriver and having it occasionally slip. So, somehow I got the idea to look for a slightly bending screwdriver. I'm not much of an expert so I just, well, web searched. I found a few items similar to this one:

enter image description here

But I wonder - if you can just bend it so far with your hand - will this even carry enough torque to screw anything in?

The best answer would be from someone who's had experience with these kinds of screwdrivers; otherwise - people feeling capable enough to speculate.

  • @jsotola: Well, they can apply some torque obviously, but is it really enough to tighten screwS? i.e. is it enough torque? – einpoklum Dec 29 '19 at 10:02
  • Without knowing the intended use case (and its specific torque requirements) there's really no answer to this question. – isherwood Dec 29 '19 at 14:18
  • @isherwood: 1. I presented a specific use case as a motivation 2. Typical use cases of screwing things in. 3. Other people have provided replies... – einpoklum Dec 29 '19 at 15:28
  • A specific use case would involve torque values. This is a general use case, and every answer is a guess. – isherwood Dec 30 '19 at 0:26

Short answer: not really.

With phillips or flathead tips, no; getting full torque with these depend on you pushing the tip of the driver into the screw to keep the driver tip from camming out. However if you get the screw in most of the way and just have to do the final tightening with a regular driver, it might be worth using.

With square, hex, or star drive, or sockets, you can get a decent amount of torque, but you're ultimately limited because the flex shaft absorbs some of the torque.


I have had one for 45 years and have used it a lot. It was part of a screwdriver/socket set I got from my little sister for Christmas. The screwdriver bits are not as effective because you can't put your weight behind it and the bits have a tendency to turn out of the screw in some cramped places. It works very good with the sockets because the torque is just about as good as a standard nut driver. This is one of those crazy tools you have that you won't use a lot, but when you need it, you'll be glad you have it, like an offset screwdriver or the little stubby screwdriver.

  • And are these all basically the same (as the one in the image I posted), or are the differences to watch out for? – einpoklum Dec 27 '19 at 17:17
  • They are pretty much the same. The one you posted has a better handle than the one I have. – JACK Dec 27 '19 at 17:26

I have often used offset screwdrivers:

enter image description here

  • While that is an interesting suggestion; I didn't use it for the lighting fixture for all sorts of reasons. My question was focused on the bending screwdriver though. – einpoklum Dec 29 '19 at 10:02

The problem with any flex drive anything is that you must hold position against two things now: the handle and the head. If you don't hold the head in place, it just flops right out. You run out of hands in a hurry!


The problem with any screwdriver including your flex (radius)screw driver is that nothing really works all of the time, or better yet how it is advertised. You will usually find its really a mater of space and access. What I have discovered is to use the fixture disconnect we are now installing on commercial fluorescent or LED fixtures. This way you install the wire on the ground and just plug it on. You do have to have space for the disconnect to fit. You could also use a plug-in type wire connector or a post and shovel head connector.

I suppose I have to quote the obvious by saying they must be properly rated.

Hope this helps.

Edited for comment - Fixture disconnect

enter image description here

  • 1
    "The fixture disconnect" - are you referring to some kind of replacement/adapter for screws in general, or something else? I'm not quite following. – einpoklum Dec 27 '19 at 17:16
  • @einpoklum - see edit – Retired Master Electrician Dec 27 '19 at 17:42
  • That looks like a neat part but TBH I've never seen it and have no idea what it does. – einpoklum Dec 27 '19 at 17:56
  • 1
    @RetiredMasterElectrician, did you post your answer to the wrong question? – jsotola Dec 29 '19 at 3:26
  • @jsotola - I believe I did answer the question with: "The problem with any screwdriver including your flex (radius)screw driver is that nothing really works all of the time." However there are no rules saying that is may be an easier way to fix a problem than the one suggested buy the inquiry. The example shown is about $0.11 and also you can use stranded wire as a pigtail, making it easier to wrap the conductors back into the box. Doesn't that actually fix the problem with out having to buy a specific tool? – Retired Master Electrician Dec 29 '19 at 17:23

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