|Regular screwdriver: good enough for most jobs|
What's the big deal about screwdrivers, one might ask. It is the one tool that most of us take for granted. Virtually every household has a set, like kitchen knives and hammers. These days an ordinary screwdriver set costs little and is available everywhere. Use them, lose them, buy another set, why give them a second thought?
|Screwdriver set: cheap, easily available and good enough for electrical repairs and most household jobs|
Well, if you are a DIY chap like me and do a lot of work with screwdrivers, you will soon appreciate that there is a world of difference between the cheap, supermarket throwaway sets and really good screwdrivers. Let me explain.
Nowadays most screwdrivers come with hard plastic handles, usually transparent, green, yellow or some such colours. They are cheap and do the job. But there are problems with this type of screwdrivers: they are fine for most electrical work but not meant for woodworking.
The plastic handles are usually small and do not provide a good grip. Worse, their tips are not hardened and wear off after a time. The first sign of deterioration are the edges of the tip which start to crumble and then you are left with a jagged tooth like tip. This has happened to me many times and I have invariably had to grind the tip to get it back in shape.
|Old screwdriver with worn out tip: I use it for stirring paint|
|My old favourite: used it till its rubber grip melted|
I prefer screwdrivers with rubber grips; these are usually easier to hold and I had one that I kept close to me all the time for a variety of tasks. The problem was the quality of rubber; it was a type of butyl rubber which literally melted and came off after a few years of use.
|My new stanley set; ordered on amazon.in for about Rs 600 something|
Last week I ordered a set of Stanley screwdrivers, prompting my wife to remark that sometimes I buy tools for no reason at all. Not so. These screwdrivers are among the best available in India. The tips are hardened and the hard rubber or nylon grip is comfortable in use.
|My long Stanley screwdrivers: great for tough jobs|
Larger Stanley screwdrivers are useful when a job requires more torque as when twisting big fasteners into walls or wood, I have a set of these larger screwdrivers and they make a huge difference to my wrists.
A good tool makes a significant difference when you are working at a stretch or doing something frequently: it reduces fatigue, helps you do a better job and is often easier on the hands and wrists.
|Old traditional type screwdriver: don't see these nowadays|
So don't take the humble screwdriver for granted. Buy a good one and find out the difference for yourself. Someday I will try one those wooden handle screwdrivers like the ones we had when we were kids but which seem to have disappeared altogether.
23 September 2015