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Old July 12, 2010, 07:20 AM   #1
Big Bad Ben
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Best Fixed-Blade Screwdriver Set

Hey folks,

Well, I made the decision last night. After buggering a screw on an Uberti 1873 rifle last night (and then going out and finding where I could buy a replacement screw for it because a buggered screw head is just beyond embarrassing) I decided I'm going to bit the bullet and buy a really good set of fixed blade gunsmithing screwdrivers.

I want a good, complete set, and have a budget of around $200 (though I could go up to $300 or so if there were something really better for that price). I'm just sick of working on fine, expensive guns with cheap screwdrivers.

So who makes the best set out there? I've heard Grace has a good reputation. Some seem to like Forster while others don't. Brownells has a set that looks promising. I'm looking to know what's best, more or less regardless of price I guess. I want to do this once and get it over with, ending up with a set that I can use for life.

I know I want fixed blade. I don't trust the interchangeable tips.

Thanks,

Ben
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Old July 12, 2010, 08:42 AM   #2
drail
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Brownells. Grace used to be good quality but their quality is not what it used to be. Forster's is good also.
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Old July 12, 2010, 08:52 AM   #3
oneounceload
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Who makes the Brownell's set?
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Old July 12, 2010, 09:25 AM   #4
darkgael
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screwdrivers. turnscrews.

I have the Forster set. Very happy with that. Extra drivers readily available.
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:20 PM   #5
Big Bad Ben
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Thanks guys,

I was looking at the Brownell's set. It looks nice and $160 is in my price range.

They show out of stock right now. I think I'll call and see what they expect for shipping time.

Ben
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:38 PM   #6
brickeyee
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Quote:
I decided I'm going to bit the bullet and buy a really good set of fixed blade gunsmithing screwdrivers.
That is a rather expensive way to go about the task.

The separate tip screwdriver sets form Brownells are a pretty good deal.

Why pay for 40 or 60 handles when you can only use one at a time anyway?
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Old July 12, 2010, 02:51 PM   #7
Big Bad Ben
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Every interchangeable tip screwdriver set I've worked with has been made out of cheap metal that bends and twists way too easily.

Ben
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Old July 12, 2010, 03:21 PM   #8
wahsben
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I have the Wheeler enginering set and am pleased with it. I got it from Midway if I remember correctly.
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Old July 12, 2010, 04:13 PM   #9
brickeyee
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Quote:
Every interchangeable tip screwdriver set I've worked with has been made out of cheap metal that bends and twists way too easily.
Try the Brownells set.

All the tips are hardened flat ground tips.
They will even replace anything that breaks.
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Old July 12, 2010, 04:55 PM   #10
drail
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I agree. Brownells screwdrivers are not like the imported junk tools sold in most stores. I have used them and have friends who used them for years and I have never seen one break unless somebody abused or overstressed it. Try one of their small sets and see what you think.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:23 PM   #11
Dfariswheel
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The Brownell's Magna-Tip drivers are the best in the industry.
The bits are made of VERY hard steel. This is deliberate, so in many cases if you over-torque the screw, the bit will break instead of an expensive, hard to get, and possibly unavailable gun screw.
Other than being really hard, the quality of the bits is sky high, with a finely finished surface.

If you break a Brownell's Magna-Tip, all you have to do is email them and they'll send you a FREE replacement. You don't need to return the broken bit.

I recommend buying a set with the Law Enforcement size handle.
The standard handle is too big for good control, and the stubby handle is just to small.

Buy all the extra sizes in the smaller size bits in sizes .120, .150, .180, and .210. You'll use these smaller bits more than any of the others.
For standard 1911 grip screws, buy a .240-7.
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Old July 12, 2010, 07:41 PM   #12
ohen cepel
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Brownell's makes great stuff and stands behind what they make so don't think you can go wrong there.

I have the Wheeler set and it has done me well so far.
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Old July 18, 2010, 06:50 PM   #13
HiBC
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I tend to put a bit of pressure on a screwdriver pushing it into the screw,If an overly brittle screwdrive from a brand new interchangeble point set snaps off
The sharp,jagged end jumps off the screw and finds the color case,or the blue, I'd rather replace a goobered screw.Yes,I did learn the hard way.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:23 PM   #14
Big Bad Ben
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Agreed. That's the kind of problem I have with the bit sets. I also don't like the play between the handle and the bit. I like the positive feel of having a fixed blade.

I got the set in from Brownells on Friday. From what I can tell it's a very well made set.

Ben
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Old July 21, 2010, 04:11 PM   #15
housedad
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When I had a gunsmithing shop for 15 years, the Brownells replacement tip sets were the only thing that I allowed to touch a gun. They are the best.
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Old July 23, 2010, 04:39 PM   #16
drail
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Brownells sells different types of handles and one of them (can't remember what they call it) locks the bit solid in a collett so it doesn't rattle around. Many people don't like the loose bits in a handle. Check their website. I also would rather have a straight fixed blade driver but you need so many different sizes that they would require a huge rack on your bench to keep them sorted.
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Old July 25, 2010, 03:42 PM   #17
safarihunter
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While I would prefer to buy the Brownells set, I started out with the Pachmayr set and have been quite satisfied
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