Chris Schwarz's Blog

My Screwdriver’s Little Brother

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At Christmas, my preference would be to receive nothing. But that’s not an option with my wife and kids.

The kids got me some stickers for my tool chest (Johnny Cash, Foo Fighters and Nirvana). My wife bought me 12 beers I’d never tried before, she replaced some worn out socks and bought me this little screwdriver.

It’s the elemen’tary-brand No. 2 driver carried by Hand-Eye Supply (and other sellers). I’ve owned the larger version of the driver, the No. 1, for some time now, and think it’s the best interchangeable-bit driver I’ve ever used. The beech handle feels like an old turnscrew. The locking magnetic collet holds the bits with fearsome power.

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My No. 1 is surprisingly patinated, especially when compared to the new No. 2. Installing hundreds of bits of brass hardware will do that to a tool.

The little No. 2 is different than its big brother. The round handle is actually bigger in diameter than the No. 1 – it’s not going to easily get at screws that are less than 3/4” from an inside wall or partition.

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The other difference is that the No. 2’s bit holder doesn’t have a locking collet. It will be interesting to see if my bits are pulled out of the holder by the fastener. As it’s a specialty driver intended for close-quarters work, it’s probably not a big deal, but we’ll see.

The No. 2 comes with six bits in a nice little cardboard box – four Phillips and two straights. The straight bits have parallel tips – not tapered – so they actually will be useful for my work.

The elemen’tary drivers are made in England by a small tool-making company. The fit and finish are excellent. If you are tired of plastic screwdrivers, give these a look.

— Christopher Schwarz

3 thoughts on “My Screwdriver’s Little Brother

  1. bbrown

    “…..At Christmas, my preference would be to receive nothing. But that’s not an option with my wife and kids.”

    I asked folks to give something to charity instead of the usual obligatory token gift, but alas, no one has taken me up on it yet. Hard to change deeply ingrained ways.

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