Chris Schwarz's Blog

The 2014 Anarchist’s Gift Guide: Day 5

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It is not always the screw’s fault.

Yes, home-center wood screws are too soft. Some off-shore screw manufacturers use substandard materials and manufacturing processes. But sometimes it’s your screwdriver that’s at fault (or the, cough, screwer).

Many modern screwdrivers are too soft or poorly ground. It’s enough to make you reach for a nail gun or hammer. Here is the solution to both problems: Gunsmith screwdrivers.

Grace USA makes excellent, well-priced screwdrivers that are accurately ground, properly hardened and nicely turned. If cared for, these drivers will last you the rest of your life. You can buy sets designed for woodworking from a variety of places, including Lee Valley Tools and The Best Things.

After using these drivers, you’ll be happy to use your old plastic drivers to open paint cans, guilt-free.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. All of the gift guide entries (including last year’s) are here.

5 thoughts on “The 2014 Anarchist’s Gift Guide: Day 5

  1. cagenuts

    If we are to drag the American woodworking community into the 21st century, then Grace needs to bring out a proper Woodworking set that includes a #2 Pozidriv, a couple of Hex ball ends, two Phillips and a maximum of 3 Slotted.

    Those sets of 5 or 7 Slotted are simply quite silly.

  2. Arkie

    Gun smithing screwdrivers are great. The grind on the tip prevents, or at least minimizes, the slippage. Try the Smith and Wesson kit.

  3. Sawduster

    Many thanks for this tip. Neither Lee Valley nor your article have a chart of information on which size driver is designed for each screw size. I most often use # 6 and 8 screws occasionally 10 and 12. The smaller screws most often experience my poor technique damage with slotted drivers of the typical driver design. I am not in need of a full set so HELP Please!.

    1. tsstahl

      Grace sells a woodworking set: http://www.thebestthings.com/newtools/grace_screwdrivers.htm

      I LOVE them. I have pretty much one of everything they make, plus three custom screw drivers. 🙂

      I got turned onto them by happenstance and Chris a long time ago.

      They are not objects d’ art like a lot of contemporary boutique offerings. These things are solid well made tools that are meant to be used often. OK, I guess I’m done gushing now.

      And inexpensive enough to lend to the brother-in-law.

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