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Old April 22, 2010, 02:36 PM   #1
ks_wayward_son
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Good screwdriver set

What have you found to be the best smithing set? I need a good set before I can start doing some work on my C&R rifles. Sarco has the Grace smithing set 28.00 for 8 drivers; then there's also the B-Square and Wheeler sets. What do you recommend? Thanks.
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Old April 22, 2010, 02:43 PM   #2
dreamweaver
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wheeler has 2 sets. the larger one has more star and hex bits. the smaller set is all you really need. saw one on ebay for 50 bucks. been using one for 5+ years without any problems
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Old April 22, 2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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I use them both. there great.
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Old April 22, 2010, 02:58 PM   #4
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I recently purchased the 'Chapman' sold by most of the big 4
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Old April 22, 2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Brownells Magna-Tip.

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Old April 22, 2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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Snap-On
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Old April 22, 2010, 06:26 PM   #7
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I have a Chapman kit, the little red box, but it is of limited use as it has nothing for narrow slots. I went to Brownells to get the 3 Apex type bits made for S&W revolvers, thereafter I eventually got one of their big kits. Well it is not all of the possible bits. It is sort of intermediate as it skips some sizes but is vastly more useful than the Chapman kit. Has all different widths and blade thicknesses for those narrow slots that you better fit right. While you are at it with Brownells you might get a kit of punches for round head pins and the ones for hollow roll type pins, those are quite useful sometimes. Buggered up pins can be as bad as a buggered screw head.
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Old April 22, 2010, 06:44 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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For quality and the number of sizes of bits that are available, the Brownell's Magna-Tip is the best.
These are a true professional quality set, made of the finest materials.
The bits are deliberately made hard so usually the bit will break, not an expensive and hard to get gun screw.

An advantage is, if you break or damage a bit, all you have to do is email Brownell's and they'll send you a new bit free.

I recommend buying a set with the Law Enforcement size handle. This is the perfect size for good control.
The standard handle is too big, and the stubby is too short.
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Old April 22, 2010, 08:27 PM   #9
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
Snap-On
Haven't looked at their latest catalog, but I don't recall Snap-On making screwdrivers designed for firearms.

Wheeler's set has impressed me enough to buy. No disappointment so far.
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Old April 22, 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
drail
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The Grace drivers used to be very nicely made but the last set I ordered came in with every drivers tip having non parallel sides. I sent them back. I think they're importing them now from Asia. The Chapman sets are pretty good for the price. If you want to just start at the top of the line buy Brownells Magna set. I have a box full of bits from the hardware store that I ground to perfectly fit a screw and then never needed that size again. You'll get very good and custom fitting bits to your work. You will never have enough bits or the right size. There seems to be NO world standardization of screw slots. Huge +1 on the Law Enforcement handle. That's all I use anymore.
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Old April 29, 2010, 09:02 AM   #11
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I've got the bigger Wheeler set and have used it on a couple repair jobs and one build thus far. Seems to be a great product for the money.
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Old April 30, 2010, 05:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drail
The Grace drivers used to be very nicely made but the last set I ordered came in with every drivers tip having non parallel sides. I sent them back.
I have a set of the Grace drivers, purchased maybe three years ago. The blades are ground parallel at the tip, but at least one of them was either severely over-hardened or had a defect in the steel: a corner broke off the tip while I was using it. This wasn't the result of abuse on my part: I was using it to, um, remove a screw, and a rather soft one at that...

This was a big disappointment. And of course the one that broke was the most useful size.
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Old April 30, 2010, 07:21 PM   #13
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Rule of Thumb:

The higher quality, and more expensive the Screw driver set, the faster your kids or grandkids will screw up the tip or leave them out in the rain.

A good quality gun screw driver set needs to be locked up in the safe with your best guns.
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Old May 1, 2010, 04:20 PM   #14
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Check with Brownells
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Old May 1, 2010, 04:25 PM   #15
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For quality and the number of sizes of bits that are available, the Brownell's Magna-Tip is the best.
Yupe. Had mine for a couple of decades now. The best. None better. Accept no substitute.
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Old May 1, 2010, 04:28 PM   #16
Vanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
Rule of Thumb:

The higher quality, and more expensive the Screw driver set, the faster your kids or grandkids will screw up the tip or leave them out in the rain.

A good quality gun screw driver set needs to be locked up in the safe with your best guns.
How true.

And not just screwdrivers. A friend who's a professional woodworker told a story about the time his wife asked him, "Honey... Why do you keep your screwdrivers so sharp?"

She was trying to drive a screw... with a paring chisel.
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Old May 1, 2010, 04:52 PM   #17
longlane
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thanks for the great info!

My father and I have been pondering the same issue (quality smith drivers). Anyone ever used/seen/heard of brass drivers? Any good/useless?
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Old May 1, 2010, 08:11 PM   #18
Dfariswheel
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Brass drivers are useless for gun work.

The idea is that brass won't damage the slots, but the truth is, the soft brass deforms, slips out, and damages the slots.
A properly made, high quality gun screwdriver won't damage the screw since it fits the slot properly and puts all the pressure on the sides of the slot.

A good gun screwdriver should be so hard that if you over stress the screw the driver will break.
This is by intent. It's much cheaper, faster, and easier to replace a screwdriver bit than an expensive, and possibly unobtainable gun screw.
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Old May 2, 2010, 07:44 AM   #19
longlane
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Many thanks Dfarisheel.

I'd always wondered about the softness of brass for this purpose. Will avoid brass and go with some of the quality sets mentioned here.

One more question while we're on the screw topic or at least nearby--any gun blue-friendly breakaway products been good for anyone? We've always used PB (parts breaker) in the squirt or aerosol can but not for guns. Has anyone had good luck with other products for firearms application? I'd like to know before I need it!
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Old May 2, 2010, 09:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
One more question while we're on the screw topic or at least nearby--any gun blue-friendly breakaway products been good for anyone?
I've always used Kroil.
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