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Which screwdriver handle is best?


Ellr

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Hi I'm a Product Design Student at a Uni in the south of England.

One of our projects is to design an ergonomic screwdriver handle. 

 

My question to you is what is the best material for a screwdriver handle and why?

 

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

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It's all preference. Some like a squishy handle. Some like hard. Some like very ergonomic Ger designs but they are fat and don't get into narrow spots. Some like the huge old U shaped antique auger things.

Personally I believe some of it may be hand shape. I find the Kraftform shape very awkward but I have long skinny fingers. It is also task specific. For large fat screws such as on doors I carry a large portion "impact rated" (can hit the end with a hammer with no damage) screwdriver with a 3/8" flat blade that I can also pry with. The handle is wide with lots of leverage. Intermediate most of them are 1000 V rated insulated screw drivers with rubber cushion handles. I don't like any of them and the blades and insulation are constantly a problem but I've tried several brands with the same result. Mostly in this category outside of those is a Klein 5 in 1. There is something about that particular model that works well and is very comfortable. Very popular with maintenance technicians. The others (11 in 1, 7 in 1) either have junk bits or junk handle. But all of these have serious accessibility problems. A lot of electrical controls locate the screws in extremely inaccessible spots. The screw drivers so far are either too large or too short to reach. That's when I reach for precision style screwdrivers. They are narrow and long, most with a rotating end so you can put pressure on it to hold it in until either the screw moves or the

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...or until the blade snaps. Need also very narrow 1-2 mm blades on small terminals for control power on 5 mm terminal blocks.

Another trouble spot is with a lot of devices they put the screw holes on narrow ears mounted at the base of the device with ridiculously narrow slots along the corners of the housing about a screw width wide. When devices are 100-200 mm deep (4-8") a fat screw driver with some torque pushes out of the slot because it's on an angle. A long narrow one frequently has torque issues either because of the narrow handle or the assumption that everything must be narrow including the blade.

So personally I find the very ergonomic German screw drivers don't fit any if my use cases. They are not insulated, they are bigger and bulkier than the Klein, too fragile as "beater" screw drivers, and too big to get in narrow spots.

To make matters worse in today's environment the safety crowd is demanding that everything is torqued to spec...that is use a torque screw driver. Frankly, those can only actually be used in perhaps 10% of the locations I run into. It's a nice theory but unless all of the equipment is redesigned it can't happen. The only way that can happen is if inspectors push the issue so that craftsmen can push back on the manufacturer and require them to make a way to comply with the torque spec they published. I have no idea how the Listing agencies ever torque anything to specification for third party testing purposes. In most cases it doesn't seem possible or it only works on ONE item at a time on an open bench.

Last issue remember that once corrosion sets in never mind the various effects on screws over time up to 300% torque may be needed for removal especially if thread locker or MbS2 isn't used as a lubricant and screws are not self lubricating brass or cadmium. Most guys assume a screw is once and done. More than once I've just left them or removed with a grinder.

If anything it seems to suggest that the ergonomics issues aren't with the screw drivers but the things they are used on.

Talk to electricians and plumbers. They use screw drivers more than anyone else. Dry wallers and others just use tons of Phillips #2 or similar fasteners usually with a cordless driver of some kind but they are almost always in wide open areas where accessibility is never a problem and rarely removing screws that are seized up over time. They can just cut them witb a reciprocating saw. I do the same when I can but most jobs require removing just one or two parts for replacement. Even replacing an entire panel involves carefully marking and removing before demo of the old one then trying to stretch wiring and plumbing to fit the new stuff.

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/30/2020 at 8:47 AM, Ellr said:

Hi I'm a Product Design Student at a Uni in the south of England.

One of our projects is to design an ergonomic screwdriver handle. 

 

My question to you is what is the best material for a screwdriver handle and why?

 

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

I would prefer to have one similar to this one in the photo (Felo Stubby Handle) but a bit longer (not stubby) and made of one piece of stainless steel with a bit holder in the middle exactly like this one, flush to the body which accepts E6.3 1/4" hex shank bits, of course with a rough surface not polished.   

Felo Stubby Handle.jpg

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