| Since the addition of applied forces must take into account the line of action, applied forces do not belong to a vector space. Screw theory removes this geometrical limitation and solves other mechanical problems by unifying, in a single concept, the translational and rotational degrees of freedom. Although venerable this theory is little known. By introducing some innovations, I show how screw theory can help us to rapidly develop several standard and less standard results in classical mechanics. The connection with the Lie algebra of the group of rigid maps is clarified.