Sunday, 17 November 2013

Chosing a good screwdriver - review of the Facom ProTwist (1000V insulated screwdrivers)

My personal first choice:
1000V insulated quality
screwdriver set

Get a good quality screwdriver

A good screwdriver set is crucial.

It is one of the most used tools, even for DIY enthusiasts. Here is a non-exhaustive list of bad experiences I got with cheap screwdrivers:

Avoid poor build quality 

There is very little to say about bad tools: you get what you pay for. A poor build quality or inappropriately designed screwdriver can give you lots of issues:
  • A short life
  • Blisters
  • Bad grip on the handle -> pain
  • Bad grip in the screw -> damaged screw + screwdriver
  • A broken handle
    ok... this happened only once to me only once
As a kid or teenager, I've been using tons of cheap screw drivers while fiddling around and discovering quality tools changed my life.

Replace worn-out tools

This usually happens quickly with cheap screwdrivers but eventually happens to all of them. Using worn out screwdrivers will lead to:
  • a slipping screwdriver (in the screw),
  • damaging screws, wearing both the screw and screwdriver (even more), and 
  • a waste of time trying to remove (too) tight screws, difficult to impossible to unscrew.
Who has never had difficulties screwing/unscrewing? Chances are your screwdriver is ready for retirement. The ones below are still usable but starting to slip. I'll replace them soon:
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Always chose the matching screwdriver bit

I've probably used hundred of times inadequate screwdrivers to (un)screw. Doing so, you WILL reduce the life of your tool/screw. This is especially true when using:
  • A flat screwdriver to unscrew a Phillips or Pozidriv screw (see illustration below)
  • A Pozidriv screwdriver to unscrew a Pillips screw as it wont fit well
  • Using a Phillips screwdriver in a Pozidriv screw should however be fine
    if you do not apply too much torque as to make is slip
     
Flat    Phillips
  (PH)
   Pozidriv
  (PZ)
The best solution to this problem is to have at your disposal the most commonly used sizes and formats ... or at least the ones you are likely to use. See next section.

Remark: if you are likely to work with electricity, you should buy insulated screwdrivers (1000V).

Choosing an appropriate screwdriver

My choice went to the Facom 1000V insulated screwdriver set (same one from Amazon Germany). Here are the reasons why:
  • They are extremely durable
    This also means they'll destroy your screw before wearing out
  • They come with the standard sizes everyone uses
  • They are electrically insulated
Note: any other decent brand should provide a reasonable alternative.
Here are the sizes I use the most:
  • Flat/sloted: 2.5x75; 3.5x75; 4x100; 5.5x125 mm
  • Phillips: PH1 and PH2
  • Pozidriv: PZ1 and PZ2