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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.

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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Showing 5 comments
  • 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.

  • Arkie

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

  • 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!.

  • jeberle

    Got a set last year and I can attest to their quality

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