How to Tighten Screws

Written by chris simon
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How to Tighten Screws
Multi purpose screwdrivers have interchangeable heads for tightening a variety of screws. (screwdriver with a set of nozzles image by Yuri Tuchkov from

Screws that keep moving fixtures in place, such as hinges to an interior door, will need tightening from time to time. The screws will fall out of the fixtures and may splinter wooden door frames and twist the hinges if they are not immediately tightened. The process does not take long and will save on expensive repairs in the long run. Look out for any fixtures that are hanging low or if doors are sagging. If the screw heads are not flush with the fixings, they will need tightening.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Look out for hanging screws or fixtures which are loose from the wall. Determine whether the screw heads are Phillips or flathead. Phillips screw heads are shaped like a "+" and flathead screws are shaped like a "-" on the top of the heads. The screws will determine which kind of screwdriver to use.

  2. 2

    Replace the screws back into the holes through the fixtures. The screws can be placed so they remain in the holes ready for tightening. Push the screw into the hole so it stays unaided. Ensure the screw is not at a sloping angle to the surface.

  3. 3

    Tighten the screws using the screwdriver. Turn the screwdriver in a clockwise direction to tighten. Multi-purpose ratchet screwdrivers have interchangeable heads and are easy to operate without too much wrist strength required.

  4. 4

    Tighten the screw until the head is flush with the fixture.

Tips and warnings

  • An easy way of remembering how to tighten screws is the rhyme "righty tighty, lefty loosey."
  • Keep the screw straight when tightening. The screw will not be secure if it enters the surface at an odd angle.

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