What's the proper english name for this mechanical tool to remove bolts of the door?

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    This tool has no special relationship with removing bolts from a door - it's just a "propelling screwdriver" design that converts downward pressure (on the handle) to turning motion (usually, "reversible", so you can tighten or loosen screws with it). Mar 26, 2020 at 16:34
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on (and has already been answered on) Mechanics: What is this pump-type nut fastener called and where is it useful?. Mar 27, 2020 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


I've always heard it called by the originator's brand name: a Yankee screwdriver.

The term "Yankee screwdriver" is often used to describe push/pull type screwdriver other than one manufactured by North Brothers Mfg. Co. or Stanley Tools, who purchased the rights to the well-known Yankee brand or trade name in the 1940s from North Brothers[2]. North Brothers always marked the tools they manufactured with the Yankee name, and in most cases the North Bros. name and location as well1. Text and pic from Wikipedia

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By the way, my brother is a carpenter and that's what he calls those things too, and although he mostly uses power tools these days he still keeps a couple of these around.

Additional note: I've also heard them called just by the brand name: "Hey, pass me the Yankee."

  • Apparently, the term has been used as the equivalent derogatory UK terms 'Birmingham screwdriver' / 'Manchester screwdriver'. From the obvious misuse of the tool (and by extension, a 'hammer'). Mar 26, 2020 at 15:49
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    The term 'Yankee Screwdriver' is well known in the UK too for the items in the photo, alternatively 'Ratchet screwdriver' would be understood, though I think that term also covers those that just allow the handle to turn on a ratchet, as opposed to the Yankee, which turns the tip as downwards movement/pressure is applied. 'Birmingham Screwdriver' (ie hammer) is distinct.
    – peterG
    Mar 26, 2020 at 16:01
  • To be clear, a 'Birmingham screwdriver' is not any kind of screwdriver. It's like calling a stick of dynamite a "redneck fishing pole". Mar 26, 2020 at 16:13
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    You should see the looks I get when someone wants to borrow my "cordless driver" and I hand them one of those or a brace and bit.
    – Phil Sweet
    Mar 26, 2020 at 20:47
  • @EdwinAshworth: In this case, the term "Yankee screwdriver" perhaps stuck because it connotes Yankee ingenuity (in re the clever mechanism that converts pushing into turning) — a positive stereotype, not a negative one. However, the origin of the term seems to be simply that North Brothers owned the "Yankee" trademark and used it on their whole line of tools, "much as Sears tools are branded Craftsman." Mar 27, 2020 at 1:27

This one says "semi automatic mechanical screwdriver"


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    It's a ratcheting screwdriver with interchangeable heads: driver, nut, drill (I don't think awl). Mar 26, 2020 at 15:47
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    @ Edwin Ashworth A "ratcheting screwdriver" (youtube.com/watch?v=9JQgRW0fgLA) differs from a Yankee screwdriver in that the ratchet controls only the direction in which the shaft turns and the whole screwdriver must be directly rotated by the operator. The Yankee screwdriver is distinct in that it is operated (in either direction) by pushing the handle towards the screw. A mechanism at the handle end controls the direction of rotation.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 26, 2020 at 16:12
  • @Greybeard Perhaps even here I'd better add a supporting reference. Wikipedia. Precising, a 'pump-action (or 'automatic') spiral ratcheting screwdriver'. Mar 26, 2020 at 17:35
  • @Edwin Ashworth Do you mean the reference that says "automatic spiral ratchet screwdrivers"? Because that is a description, not a name - they are not "called" that. The extra adjectives make all the difference. (Although probably not to those unfamiliar with tools.)
    – Greybeard
    Mar 27, 2020 at 8:45

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