There are few things worse than too-soft screwdrivers. Lima beans, Care Bears and eye surgery with a teaspoon immediately come to mind.
When I blogged about my favorite “perfect handle” screwdrivers before I headed off into the great Sausage Kingdom, I mentioned that I didn’t have the heart to test the imported ones sold by the Garrett Wade catalog. But then I had a change of heart and ordered a set. What the heck. It’s just my kids’ college fund.
The drivers arrived last week while I was teaching, but I had a chance yesterday and today to take them out and give them a good beating. I was skeptical. So far, here’s the good and the bad.
First the bad:
These drivers won’t win the “Miss Screw” beauty contest. The catalog company is up front about this on its web site. There are significant gaps between the metal and the wood. The wood looks like it was shaped in time to escape from a burning building. As to the finish, let’s just say there was someone’s hair embedded in one handle.
The tips need to be re-ground so they properly fit my screw heads , but that’s the case with every screwdriver I’ve ever touched.
The tools are covered in yellow stuff. I don’t know what it is, but our shop solvents cannot touch it.
Now the good:
The screwdrivers are indeed tough. If they are half as tough as the yellow goop covering them then I’m going to be happy. I pried stuff with them. Hit them with a hammer. Scratched them with a file. I’m satisfied with the way they work. And with some “perfect handle” tools going for $30 to $50 each, $29.95 for four isn’t bad.
But I’m going to have to do something about their appearance. Time to get the sandpaper. We’re out of #40-grit, which is about where I need to start.
– Christopher Schwarz
Other Screwdriving Resources Related to this Post
– A history of H.D. Smith & Co. at “I Like Rust.”
– A reprint of the company’s catalog from Martin J. Donnelly Auctions.
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