It's time I purchased a nice set of screwdrivers for the ol' workbench.
I frequently see large collections of 'em at Costco, but I'm wondering
whether I should go someplace like Sears or Home Depot and pick up a
quality set of a well-known brand? Is a screwdriver a screwdriver, or
are there superior products to be had?
About 15 years ago I took a Phillips Craftsman back to Sears and got
into a shouting match with the clerk as he didn't think the chewed up
tip was bad enough to warrant exchange.
On 16 Nov 2006 12:06:12 -0800, "The Reverend Natural Light"
I was in a Sears in Cleveland Tenn. about 30 years ago. I had a 25 ft
tape with the tape broken. The clerk said that the tape was not
covered under the warranty.
I took the tape outside and threw it at the ground hard enough to break
the case. I took it back inside and handed it to the same clerk. He
swapped it for a new one without saying a thing about what happened.
I quit buying Craftsman when they came out with a Sears brand. They
would replace tin snips with the Sear's brand which did not have a
life time warranty.
On Fri, 17 Nov 2006 08:25:58 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I bought a ( rachet ) screwdriver
that came with a set of accessory tips
that fit darn near anything that fastens.
It replaced the dozens of different drivers I'd been
lugging around in my toolbox.
Allen, torx, hex-head, ...they all fit the driver.
AND... with another adaptor,
I can use them with my electric drill.
Their guarantee says specifically they'll exchange any Craftsman hand tool
if it fails to give complete satisfaction. If a grunt ever denies me an
exchange of a tool, I plan to point that out to his boss.
"A man\'s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and
woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."
I'm no expert but better screwdrivers, like used in gunsmithing, have
beveled heads, unlike tapered heads in common screwdrivers. You don't
need a whole set of beveled ones, but it is nice to have a few around.
Get a quality, well known brand. A cheap screwdriver is just as bad as
any other cheap tool. I like my Klein screwdrivers FWIW although
Craftsman, Snap-On (if you like spending lots of money for a slightly
better product) etc. are good.
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
Most brands of tools have a few grades. Craftsman, Stanley, probably many
others, make a higher end as well as some crappy ones. Most of us need 4
screwdrivers for 90% of what you do. A #1 and #2 Phillips, a 1/8 and 1/4"
flat blade. Torx is becoming popular, especially with automotive. T-12 and
T-15 seem to be the most used. The other 10% are the very small sizes.
The #0 Phillips is often used for electronics and such.
Two things to look at. First, the handle. Better drives have a nice hefty
handle with a contour that is easily gripped. Cheap ones are smaller
diameter, hard to grip, and can actually hurt your hand it you do a lot of
turning with a lot of pressure.
Next is the tip. I know a few brands will heat treat the tip and they are
precise in the size and grind. Cheap ones are not, will bend, break, ruin
Good tools make a job go faster, easier, less prone to damage. Cheap tools
can cause nightmares when they strip out screws.
Once you get the screwdrivers, look at a couple of wrenches, sockets, etc.
Quality just feels good in the hand.
Don't forget a #1 and #2, red and green handles are the most common in
Robertson or square drive used in furniture and electrical work. Sometimes
you need smaller, yellow and the smallest, orange handle. Black handle is
The other 10% are the very small sizes.
On 16 Nov 2006 11:25:57 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
I just bought a Stanley multi bit screwdriver at Home Depot. The
screwdriver has bits in the handle. It also has a magnetic tip which
is a must for me. For heavy jobs this would not be the best
selection, but for every day jobs it is perfect. This would be more
of a kitchen drawer tool than a shop tool but I consider it a very
useful tool. The bits also fit the magnetic extension I have for my
Here is the same one at Amazon
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Kline, Craftsman and Snap-on are the "real" tools.
I used to dislike all this "bit" stuff. I wanted a whole driver
attached to, one piece with, the bit.
But lately, the solution to my big bugaboo, phillips head screws,
seems to be high quality bits, which seem harder than almost any
screwdriver (well, Stanley and one other famous brand I can't think
Actually I have been using a 1 or 2 inch thing that is phillips on one
end and flat on the other, for use in a drill, and for a handle I've
been using a big ratchet ball that they used to sell at JCW for a
dollar. It's 2 or 3 inches in diameter and the extra diameter makes
for great leverage. It came with bits too but I don't know where they
are and I'm sure they are cheap.
If I ruin a flat blade screwdriver it just makes me proud of my
strengtth, and I can regrind it, and then not use it for such hard
I used to blame myself when I ruined a phillips, that I didn't hold it
in well enough, but I know now it's not me. When I do (because I
still have cheap ones, or find cheap ones, all I can do is grind it
into a scratch awl or a hole maker, and I have too many of them by
So just by a small and a larger good quality Phillips and you can imo
use whatever you want for the other stuff.
If you were the type of tool user who would see a difference between a
decent screwdriver and a really good screwdriver you wouldn't be asking
here, you'd be out buying the Klein, Snap-On, etc. screwdrivers.
Since you are asking, you will most likely be well served by the $30 or
so Craftsman screwdriver set at Sears. With the lifetime warranty any
you manage to mangle will be replaced. I use mostly Craftsman
screwdrivers myself, can be pretty hard on them and still rarely need to
have one replaced.
i have always enjoyed sears craftsman. a screwdriver is not a
screwdriver especially when it is used as a mini-crowbar by your
helpers. for the beginners, buy a variety of tools at walmart.
for the children and for spares an assorted set of home tools in the
$25 price range is a good starting point. or the same money buys you a
sears craftsman screwdriver set such as
at www.sears.com search for:
Craftsman 24 Pc. Screwdriver Set
Sears item #00947155000 Mfr. model #47155
Screwdrivers vary in two places: The handle and the tip (well, that's pretty
The manufacturer can stamp out a screwdriver from pot metal, or go to
exacting lengths in fashioning the tip.
A quality tip will be made of the right kind of metal to hold an exacting
temper such that it won't bend, dull, or warp under tension while at the
same time not be so brittle as to crack or break. For Phillips, sufficient
iron content to hold a magnetic charge is a plus. The quality screwdriver
will have a precision shape to properly engage the screw.
In actual use, you'll appreciate a quality screwdriver perhaps 20% of the
time; that is, a piece of junk will suffice for most jobs.
If you have a high frustration threshold, buy the junk. If you simply cannot
tolerate exasperation or botched projects, go for the quality.
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