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Old October 30, 2011, 01:46 PM   #1
4T4MAG
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Gunsmith screwdriver sets...

I am looking at the Brownell's Magnatip 58 bit master set ($124) or the Wheeler Machine 89 bit set ($89) This set says that the bits are designed to break before the screw breaks. ???

Which one do all the gunsmiths recommend?
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Old October 30, 2011, 06:10 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Brownell's Magna-Tip are the industry standard.
They're made in America and are very smooth and high quality.
Break or damage on and Brownell's will send you a new one free. All you have to do is email them.

I recommend buying one of the Law Enforcement size handles. They're the ideal size for good control. The big size is too big for fine control and the stubby is just too short.


The Wheeler stuff is made in China and isn't as smooth or high quality.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:03 AM   #3
oneoldsap
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Buy the best that you can afford , especially if they are going to see any amount of use ! Brownells has a Snap-On like warrenty (life time) buy them just once , and you have them for life .
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:11 AM   #4
drail
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The Wheeler does not even begin to compare with the Brownells.
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Old October 31, 2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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A dirty secret is that a lot of gunsmiths buy cheap screwdrivers and grind them to fit, especially when they need an odd size.

Jim
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Old October 31, 2011, 03:23 PM   #6
brickeyee
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Quote:
A dirty secret is that a lot of gunsmiths buy cheap screwdrivers and grind them to fit, especially when they need an odd size.
And then replace damaged screws since any heat treat was removed.

It is far better to carefully grind a Brownells bit if you need to, and then replace the bit if you want to keep a complete set for other tasks.
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Old October 31, 2011, 07:26 PM   #7
Dfariswheel
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Grinding screwdrivers isn't a dirty secret. Gunsmiths have always had to grind drivers to fit.
The difference with the Brownell's Magna-Tip bits is that they make so many sizes, it's very seldom necessary to grind a bit.
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Old October 31, 2011, 08:30 PM   #8
Clark
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I buy lots and lots of screwdrivers at garage sales.

I grind the tips.

That is a lot easier than grinding lathe tools.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:46 PM   #9
Ideal Tool
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Hello, I have made many drivers from worn out Allen wrenches...both with turned hardwood handles, & short bits for my Chapman handles. Good steel.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:59 PM   #10
drail
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Cool idea. Lot to be said for good steel.
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Old November 1, 2011, 10:20 AM   #11
brickeyee
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Quote:
I buy lots and lots of screwdrivers at garage sales.

I grind the tips.

That is a lot easier than grinding lathe tools.
It is easier because they are low grade steel, and may have little to no heat treat.
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Old November 1, 2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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If it works who cares?
I have a “VERY” old 1/16” flat blade that belonged to my grand-father. It had I chip out of it. This morning I was bored so I sat down with my oil stone and put a new edge on it and made it hollow ground. Guess what! It works just fine for tuning Remington 700 triggers.
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Old November 1, 2011, 04:00 PM   #13
G. Freeman
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The Brownells is nice, but all you really need is thw Wheeler set. You can get these cheaper from other sources. Got mine for $65.00 including S/H from Trophyshuntinggear a couple of years ago. I don't know if they're still around but I would google it if I were you.
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Old November 1, 2011, 05:43 PM   #14
James K
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Hi, Brickeyee,

"And then replace damaged screws since any heat treat was removed."

Or use a super screwdriver to twist the head right off the screw, destroying it and the $50 screwdriver.

Jim
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Old November 1, 2011, 09:03 PM   #15
drail
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Yup, if you tear the head off of the screw you have a much bigger problem than your screwdriver broke. Grinding your own bits also allows you to fit the blade so it torques down at the bottom of the screw slot and not on the top. And because buggered screwheads make little baby Jesus cry.
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Old November 1, 2011, 09:12 PM   #16
Nathan
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You will want the Brownell's bits, eventually. . but you can get a lot of work done with the B Square kit! Wheeler vs. Brownells, I would say Brownells. Also, bit sets are a bit of a waste. You might try measuring guns to see what you really need. Handles. . .Well, you mostly will need just one, I believe.
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Old November 1, 2011, 10:34 PM   #17
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Just remembered..Forster makes a very nice set.
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Old November 2, 2011, 05:04 PM   #18
Clark
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The Forster and Chapman sets lasted no time with my ham fisted use.

For 25 cents at a garage sale, I like a high quality old screw driver with rust, paint, and dull round tip.
I clean it with a wire wheel on an arbor in the lathe.
I grind the tip on my end wheel grinder.

This little project I can handle.

Don't let the wife buy old chisels or old screw drivers at garage sales. They all look the same to wives. They can find low quality tools covered with paint and rust.
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"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
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Old November 2, 2011, 05:30 PM   #19
SIGSHR
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Most of us very casual users can get by with less than professional quality tools that will see infrequent use. I ground down a screwdriver to fit the nipples on bicycle spokes, a number of us French rifle owners have ground a screwdriver to fit the screws on the MAS1936, for example.
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Old November 2, 2011, 10:21 PM   #20
drail
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The French know how to make screws? I thought they used rivets.
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Old November 5, 2011, 11:21 AM   #21
Clark
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Quote:
The French know how to make screws? I thought they used rivets.

LOL
I almost choked on my freedom fries.
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The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
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Old November 14, 2011, 06:53 PM   #22
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Brownells all the way!!!!
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Old November 23, 2011, 04:50 PM   #23
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Forster

Have a full set of Forster screw drivers. Been using for about twelve years. Use them on the GOOD screws(ones that are not already damaged or partially stripped), they are great. If the screws are already damaged, I reach for the wheeler box and use one of their bits. A lot cheaper to replace if you are going to really put some torque on one and risk breaking it. Have heard the Brownells were the ultimate screwdrivers but, never used one. Tomarrow is a new day & who knows what it will bring?
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Old November 25, 2011, 10:40 AM   #24
Don P
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Quote:
Most of us very casual users can get by with less than professional quality tools that will see infrequent use.
So what you are saying with your statement is the firearms you own do not deserve to be worked on even infrequently with quality tools. Don't know about you, BUT I want quality tools when working on my firearms even if its just changing a set of grips out. Noting worse than having a gun with buggered up screw heads. Just like a member on the Beretta forum complaining about the Allen head grip screws and breaking Allen head wrench's trying to get the grip screw out (using a cheapo) Allen wrench. Low and behold when he purchased and used a quality Allen wrench the grip screw came out WITHOUT any issue. Your guns and money investment choose the tools as you wish
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Old November 25, 2011, 11:18 AM   #25
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Brownells plain and simple. You will be amazed at the uses you find outside of guns for them!.

I have turned a few restorers of stuff like crank phonographs on to them and they find them invaluable for not bugggering screws as well.
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