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Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: Jim M] #170761 11/11/07 07:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
walrus Offline
Use a good screwdriver(as in Snap On) and not crap like Klein,Ideal,etc and you'll find Philips head screws don't strip out as much. 1 Snap On 1/4 bit will last longer than a whole package of 1/4 bits bought at Home Depot or at a supply house

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Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: walrus] #170769 11/11/07 12:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I love the 'blame the tool' assumptions I've heard!

There are many fine drivers out there .... to refer to any of them as 'junk' is, IMO, being a bit hasty.

Now, screw heads are another matter. First of all, there are at least three different head styles that look pretty much alike: Phillips, Reed & Prince, and Posidrive. Very many of the 'Phillips" screws out there are actually Posidrive.
AFAIK, all of the drivers at the electrical supply house are Phillips. So, it's not too hard to imagine someone using a Phillips driver in a Posidrive screw.
Then there is the matter of the 'combo' drive type screws. You know, the ones that are made to accept Phillips, Straight, and Robertson drivers. This is almost, by design, a 'torque limiting' design.

Screws are subject to faults, as well. The head may not be properly formed, or crud may get in the recess during the various plating processes. NO driver will perfectly fit a poor head.

It's been my experience that drivers 'run away' from the screw for two main reasons: the driver is not held in a straight line with the screw, and not enough forward force is applied. The spiral "Yankee" drivers are a big help to solving this problem.

Unlike many others, I will NOT say Klein drivers are the absolute best ever made. In part, because that's a pretty bold claim .... and in part because I own two other brands that are better! laugh
Still, having multiple Klein drivers fail is a cause for concern. That should NOT be happening. Indeed, I have never seen a Klein screwdriver fail in any way. I asked a friend at the supply house, and he has had a few ... very few ... warranty claims involving screwdrivers.

I can't help but think there is something else at work here ..... abuse, mis-use, an extreme environmental condition, or even a playful poster tossing out a fish - to see who nibbles!

Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: renosteinke] #170772 11/11/07 12:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,487
gfretwell Online Content
When IBM switched from Excelite to Snap-on screwdrivers they got nicknamed "Snap off". The tips were hard enough to last forever, unless you put too much torque on them or tried to pry something with them.
The problem was so bad they ordered thousands of blades with a softer temper and told us how to drive off the handle and drive in a new blade. I am not sure how many actually got fixed but there were always a couple spare blades laying around.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: BigJohn] #170774 11/11/07 01:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 391
BigJohn Offline OP
Great minds think alike: One of the main reasons I like the idea of a spiral-screwdriver is that I could put in #1, 2, and 3, Robertson bits and do everything from receptacles to 3" conduit couplings with ease.

From what I've seen around here, Klein has honestly been going downhill lately. My Klein Robertson driver rounded out after about two weeks of steady use. That's ridiculous. Maybe there are better brands, but for example, Wiha, while more ergonomic, have smaller handles that don't fit my hands as well.

Renosteinke, NJelectricmaster, Jim M, and other's who've used spiral screwdrivers: Did you find them strong enough to use as an all-purpose screwdriver? My goal would be to get one spiral-screwdriver with a bunch of replaceable tips and use it for everything; including locking the handle and using it as a regular driver when I needed tight torque.

Is this reasonable or am I going to end up with a $40 screwdriver that's dedicated to #6 device screws?

Thanks for the replys.


Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: BigJohn] #170778 11/11/07 02:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
classicsat Offline
I, at times, use a regular ratchet hand driver (one of those front bin loss leaders from the tool store I got for the cottage). I also have a non ratchet one with a handle that flips out the side for torque. Not to mention the good old cordless drill (but the bits that came with it were no hell). All hex bit drivers, although I have fixed handle drivers on my bench.

I favor Robertson where I can, mostly for larger wood screws. Smaller projects I use drywall screws typically, of course they are Phillips.

Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: BigJohn] #170782 11/11/07 04:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I never had any problems with the 'strength' of the Yankee drivers. Yet, you're not going to be rid of ordinary drivers!

The biggest drawback is their length. The shortest version - the one with the plastic bit-storing handle - I found to be of little use. The others are too long to fit in many places. You also, as mentioned, need to line yourself up behind them ... this limits their uses in stud bays, between rafters, etc.

They work best when the screw needs to be driven some distance; I'm not sure how well they'd work in attaching wires to devices.

Naturally, the Yankee drivers make lousy knock-out punches, rotten chisels, and terrible pry bars. One CAN bend the drive shaft.

If you're doing that many high-torque jobs .... maybe you need to try one of those cordless impact drivers. I've been using one on the current job, and am most enthusiastic. Use one once, and you'll never reach for the drill/driver/screwgun again.

Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: renosteinke] #170795 11/11/07 10:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 889
NORCAL Offline
Snap-OnĀ® ratchet screwdrivers are great IMO,need to find a dealer to replace mine. (stolen)

Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: NORCAL] #170796 11/11/07 11:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
leland Offline
I like screwdrivers.Never had an issue in twenty years.
(yes I have worn some out)

Well,Ya, the tips wear out from banging locknuts (remember them). For the most part, the screw gun works for devices, and with a little practice and time.... You can give them a run for their money.

Re: Spiral Screwdrivers [Re: BigJohn] #173555 01/13/08 12:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 391
BigJohn Offline OP
Since everyone was nice enough to give their input here, I figured I'd follow up:

I ended up getting this screwdriver as a gift and have been using it for a little while now. It's really growing on me, and if it holds up, it may be a permanent replacement for most of my general-use screwdrivers.

  • Seems like high quality German construction: All metal, no plastic.
  • Speeds up screw installation/removal and greatly reduces fatigue (think 6" toggle bolts).
  • Provides speed without the weight of a drill.
  • Can be locked to work as a regular or ratcheting screwdriver for high-torque.
  • Can be locked in its extended or collapsed position making it both a 9" or 14" screwdriver.
  • Will accept any hex-shank bit: Robertson, nut-drivers, tamper-resistant, etc.
  • Quick, tool-less bit changes.
  • Low torque on spiraling mode. Works well for installing or removing most screws, but if they're stiff (i.e., installing screws in plastic anchors) the spiral mode is useless.
  • Expensive. At $40 this will only pay for itself if it ends up lasting for at least a year (which is how long it takes me to go through $40 in Klein drivers).
  • To make this last it probably needs to be oiled regularly.
  • Using this to chisel/pry/poke holes in sheetrock, etc., would quickly ruin it.
  • Requires carrying multiple hex bits.

    So, this won't completely replace my screwdriver collection, but they will definitely be spending a lot more time gathering dust in my bag. I hope it proves as durable as it seems. A guy I work with is interested in it already, hoping to relieve some of the reppetative stress injury that comes with driving screws all day.

    Thanks for the replies, guys.


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