The Perfect Screwdriver?

Rick Granick

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I think mine would involve Titos and OJ :)
 

DVieau2

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Screwdrivers don't get the respect they deserve.

You can get a cheapy set of twelve for $12.00 at the discount store, or you can get a set of Snap On for $390.00.

Guess what the desired name is at any auto repair shop?

Any idea who makes the private label of Lowes?

I've got lots of Craftsman (they're OK) and a set of Stanley 100's (better than Craftsman and not to be confused with other some Stanley brand crap)


 

Larry Peterson

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Larry Peterson

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On a semi-serious note, what makes this one special to you? Is it the magnetic tip, the Rubber Handle or something else? Other screwdrivers meet those criteria.
 

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alacrity8

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Ylva

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Rick, all the screwdrivers I use are Lowe's Kobalt brand.

I don't know why I love them, they just feel right. Good weight, good comfortable handle, solid feel.
I have several of them, the ratcheting ones with rubber handles and multiple bits. I have at least 3 of them and use them daily.

Looking at their stock, it seems they are moving to plastic handles. I will have to go check our local Lowe's to see what they have in stock.
 

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The tip insert on the Kobalt brand looks to be hardened steel, kind of like the newer driver bits you can get from DeWalt. The crisp edge fits the slot in the screws better and grip the screw better as a result.
Another option, if you want to invest in beautiful as well as quality screwdrivers, is to look at cabinetmaker's screwdrivers from woodworking supply businesses.
 

Rick Granick

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All the features listed on that web link are what makes it perfect. It is comfortable, sturdy, and balanced. The tip is exactly the right size, and is both slightly textured and magnetized.
I think I got it from a Christmas stocking-stuffer display at Lowe's a number of years ago.

Another great Kobalt tool I have is this. It locks or ratchets in either direction, PLUS, if you hold the big black ring, it will turn in one direction when you work the handle back and forth. Extra bits are in the handle. (Ylva, is this the same one you have?)
IMG_0756.jpg

:cool: Rick
 

Larry Peterson

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Ylva

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All the features listed on that web link are what makes it perfect. It is comfortable, sturdy, and balanced. The tip is exactly the right size, and is both slightly textured and magnetized.
I think I got it from a Christmas stocking-stuffer display at Lowe's a number of years ago.

Another great Kobalt tool I have is this. It locks or ratchets in either direction, PLUS, if you hold the big black ring, it will turn in one direction when you work the handle back and forth. Extra bits are in the handle. (Ylva, is this the same one you have?)
View attachment 42724

:cool: Rick


Not quite, but similar. The top one is the one I use the most and I have a second one at home. The bottom one is the latest addition, all micro bits
All ratcheting, all bits in the handle

Kobalt collection.jpg
 

Framar

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If I lost any of these four tools, I would have to retire. The Stanley screwdriver is the BEST! No other screwdriver I own (and I have over a hundred screwdrivers) even comes close.

Favorite Tools.jpg
 

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Mar, I have two of those Stanley screwdrivers that came with the shop when I bought it in 1979. I've had to regrind the blades a couple times, and one has been modified to pry staples out of stretchers. I also have the matching Phillips head model. .
I wore out the original side cuts, but replaced them with a matched set that I found on the road at two different times and places.
I have a legacy awl that was my great Aunt's*, as well as a couple of the Stanley awls where the shank runs completely through the wooden handle so hammering on it is very effective.
I still have ball end glass cutters, but never had the clip-on handle.

*I don't think this was designed to start holes in wood, more likely a palm-awl like a leather worker or sailmaker would have used.
 

Al B

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Oh, and did you know - you can easily magnetize or demagnetize any screwdriver by rubbing it on a strong magnet? :thumbsup:
I do that quite often.

You could also buy a screwdriver (if it is decent shape) at an antique/used tool shop. There was one in Liberty and also Searsport, Maine when I was on vacation. The steel in older screwdrivers and tools is so much better than what you can buy today.
 

Rick Granick

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Yes. Yard sales and antique malls or fairs are also good sources.
This particular screwdriver just "has it all", though. The vintage ones don't have curvy rubber handles.
:cool: Rick
 

Rick Granick

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Oh, and did you know - you can easily magnetize or demagnetize any screwdriver by rubbing it on a strong magnet? :thumbsup:
Yes. I keep the hex bits for my cordless drill on a magnet bar just under the edge of my workstation top. I also keep a file on it, which makes it useful not only for filing, but also for picking up a pile of staples or old points that you just removed when unfitting an old frame.
:cool: Rick
 

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If I lost any of these four tools, I would have to retire. The Stanley screwdriver is the BEST! No other screwdriver I own (and I have over a hundred screwdrivers) even comes close.

View attachment 42739
I have four of the sane Stanley vintage screwdriver - 2 each of #1 & #2 slotted and phillips. By far the best screwdrivers I've ever had (other than Tito's and fresh-squeezeed).
 

Prospero

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My best screwdriver is a Snap-On. Magnetic bit holder and extra bits can be stored in the handle. The handle
itself is square(ish) and permits you to get a firm grip. It weird, but it always seems to succeed where other screwdrivers
fail and is particularly adept at getting knackered old screws out. Even if it has a cheapo bit in it. 🙄

I came by it in 1980 when I took my car in for a tune up. They left it under the seat so I stuck to it. 🤣

** My go-to tool for metal frames.
 

David Waldmann

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My best screwdriver is a Snap-On. Magnetic bit holder and extra bits can be stored in the handle. The handle
itself is square(ish) and permits you to get a firm grip. It weird, but it always seems to succeed where other screwdrivers
fail and is particularly adept at getting knackered old screws out. Even if it has a cheapo bit in it. 🙄

I came by it in 1980 when I took my car in for a tune up. They left it under the seat so I stuck to it. 🤣
Yeah, probably $50 today...

I really like the semi-triangular shape of the Stanleys. Very easy to hold.
 

Rick Granick

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There is something about the rubber grip on this Kobalt one that makes your hand into a "human torque wrench".
:popc: Rick
 

Larry Peterson

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artfolio

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Those Kobalt screwdrivers look good but I have never had much luck with any screwdrivers with interchangeable bits. My best buy was a mixed set of Stanleys in various sizes and shapes. At work I used a bradawl (try buying one of those nowadays) and a ratchet screwdriver for years until I switched to a battery powered screwdriver. When the awl broke I was able to find a spike in a stationery store which made an acceptable substitute.
 

monkey

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For phillips head manual screwdriver my ABSOLUTE favorite is Wiha. I also like Wera but I don't like the handle I find it really uncomfortable. The Wiha and Wera tip is amazing and holds up well. I've tried them all Wera, Klein, Craftsman, Stanley, Kobalt, husky. The phillip tip on Wiha and Wera is so perfectly machined that I can stick a phillip screw on it and it will stay on while holding the screwdriver upside down (neither the screwdriver or screw is magnetized).

I bought some Wera phillips bit for my power screwdriver like 15 years ago and it still works better than the newer bits from Dewalt and Milwaukee that I recently purchased for use at home. The Wera bit grips the screw really well. The Wera bits were a little more expensive, something about diamond impregnated tip bla bla bla.......
 

David Waldmann

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Oooh! Those Garret Wades look lovely - of I was a bit younger I would buy me a set. *wipes away drool*
You're only as well as you feel.

And in my observation, you feel a lot younger than you look are.
 

wpfay

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Been thinking about these from Garret Wade, but I don't really want the whole set. I really just want the parallel ground slotted ones for Nielsen hardware. I have a few others with handles like this, and I find them very comfortable to use.
View attachment 42858
My recent buying experience from Garret Wade hasn’t been so good. When I first discovered them in the 80s they handled only top of the line woodworking tools. Now, and in particular, their branded tools, just don’t have the quality GW was once known for.
Kind of depressing, like looking for restoration hardware at the rebranded RH.
 

Mary Beth van der Horst

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I have 3 sets of stanleys floating around. The top one came with my current shop, the bottom two came from my last shop. I thought I was ordering the same thing as the middle when I got the bottom one but it is a worthless piece of garbage. The phillips head is much more rounded so it doesn't bite/hold a screw well at all. Not all Stanleys are alike, but the good ones sure do last!
IMG_1787[1].JPG
 

Rick Granick

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I have one wood-handle Phillips screwdriver similar to those, but generic. I mainly just use it for diasassembling/reassembling my old C+H cutter for cleaning.
:cool: Rick
 

Nikodeumus

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I dislike slotted and Phillips screws and drivers almost equally.
Many of todays screws are too soft, it's very tough to find a "good" driver that doesn't skip out of, or strip the screws.
Who else has had a slotted screw on the back of a Clark or Nielsen metal frame break in half?
Who else has had Phillips screws strip when using a power drill?
At least with a Robertson screw and driver there is a better chance I won't get frustrated from a driver that slips and damages either the back paper, the frame edge, or myself.
Plus, Robertson screws are Canadian, eh! :D
As others noted, getting the best fit with no "wiggle" will minimize these problems, but I think the screws are just as much to blame as the quality of the driver.
 

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My best #2 Phillips Head screwdriver. These were supplied by Grass Fittings who make the concealed zero-clearance hinges we used in cabinet making. They are a German manufacturer and the screwdriver is beautifully engineered. If you can blow this up, you will see a sharpened ridge in between the blades of the screwdriver. The hardware it was designed to work with was equally well made with really good steel components, and there is no weakness in the connection between driver and screw. Unfortunately, the screws available to our trade are generally inferior and of softer steel as Nick points out.
I am transitioning to McFeely (Robertson) screws with square drives for most of my operations. The first was for pocket screws and it was an amazing difference. I've used square and Torx drive screws for heavy duty jobs before, but not for light weight applications. Each screw has a self drilling feature which speeds the process along. No need to drill other than the pocket itself or clamp when attaching a strainer to a hardwood moulding.
My concerns with metal moulding are pretty much limited to taking the frames apart, throwing them in a box and taking them to the recycling center about once a year. I haven't sold a metal frame in a long time, and they are far from the economic option they once were.
 

Larry Peterson

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Now that we have segued from screwdrivers to screws, I can add me $2.00 worth.

For my personal use I have been 100% square drive (Robertson) screws for over 25 years. I have boxes of just about all lengths and sizes; #4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. From 3/8" to 3". My most used is a #8x3" size that is my go to for all the home projects over the years. I have drivers in #0, #1 and #2 sizes. My source for all things square is https://www.mcfeelys.com/ McFeely's - Home of the Original Square Drive Screw

For framing my needs are a little different. I have a wide variety of all the above in the shop for shop type things but for framing I have two go-to screws.

Some of my framing uses turn buttons for the customer to place their items in the frames so I need screws that the customer can open but also that are productive for me. I hate phillips and slotted screws so the right screw for this is a combo screw that can be driven with either a #2 square drive or a phillips. I install it with a square drive and the customer can open/close it with a phillips. Almost as good as a pure square driver for productivity. I use this one https://www.mcfeelys.com/6-x-1-2-in-wood-screws-truss-head-black-combo-drive-qty-1000.html 6 x 1/2 in. Truss Head, Black, Combo Drive - Qty:1000 and watch for sales and buy them in batches of 3-5000.

0604-trb-2.jpg


The other screw I use is for frames with a very narrow stem. Most folk use a #4 phillips for these. Trying to drive a #4 phillips screw is problematic for me. Its too easy to misdrive or strip small #4 screws. My goto for this is a #4 x 3/8 or 1/2" #0 square drive. https://www.mcfeelys.com/4-x-1-2-in-wood-screws-unplated-steel-flat-head-square-drive-qty-1000.html 4 x 1/2 in. Unplated, Flat Head, Square Drive - Qty:1000 I also predrill for these tiny screws.
0404-fsl-2_3.jpg




As with all square drive screws with a good bit, you can put the screw on the bit and hold it at any angle and the screw won't fall off. Makes any square drive screw far more productive than any phillips or slotted carp.
 

Larry Peterson

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Amazing that you all have been waxing poetic about screw drivers since the 7h of July!!! :faintthud: :faintthud:
Almost 3 weeks!!
WhaddaXpect from a forum that has had , not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR Tool Porn threads. There may be more but being the lazyBustard that I am, who knows.

https://www.thegrumble.com/threads/tool-porn.83800/

https://www.thegrumble.com/threads/tool-porn-black-friday-edition.83924/

https://www.thegrumble.com/threads/more-tool-porn.84617/

https://www.thegrumble.com/threads/tool-videos-the-other-porn.55957/


buy-more-tools-jpg.32643
 

David Waldmann

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Ok here are my favorite screwdrivers (and no, I don't really care for OJ unless it's fresh picked and squeezed).

The newer one is just as good (maybe a slice better) tip-wise than the older ones (with the translucent handles), but the handles on the older ones are the best I've ever, uh, handled.

The older ones are 35-40 years old.
 

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Framar

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If you want a great read, find a copy of One Good Turn, A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw, by Witold Rybczynski.
 

Nikodeumus

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If you want a great read, find a copy of One Good Turn, A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw, by Witold Rybczynski.
A quote from the book blurb on Amazon:
"From the genius of Leonardo da Vinci to the ambitious marketing plans of Canadian Peter Robertson (critics agree that the Robertson screwdriver is still superior to the Phillips), One Good Turn is a book for all those who love tools and inventions, woodwork and metalwork, and who are curious to know more about the origins of our mechanical world."

See, I didn't make it up! 💪🇨🇦:D
 
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