September 8, 2009

Having a good set of screwdrivers, all kinds, can save time and money

A good set of Craftsman screwdrivers was one of the first additions to my tool chest when my wife and I bought our first house.

All too often, those screwdrivers were used “as needed.” I hate to think how many times one served as a pry bar or a punch.

I still have a couple of those originals 30 years later. Over that period, I would like to think I have learned a little about appropriate use of tools. Some of those lessons have been painful.

About ten years ago, we needed a shelving unit for our storeroom. Of course, I overbuilt with 3/4-in. plywood for the back, sides and shelves. Everything was screwed together in the 2-ft. deep by 8-ft. long by 4-ft. high unit.

While I did drill pilot holes, I had no power screwdriver. Each and every one of the 40 to 50 1 to 2-in. screws were driven in by hand power with a standard screwdriver. When I was done, my wrist and elbow were in pain. I had overdone the shelving unit structurally and my arm physically. 

I ended up going to physical therapy on a weekly basis for about two months to relieve the pain. Needless to say, the cost in time alone, not to mention gas and medical bills, exceeded the price of a good power screwdriver many times over.

Since then I have invested in several models that take the strain out of projects of all sizes, including difficult to reach household repairs. In my next entry I will review three that fit my needs to a T.

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