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Old August 10, 2022, 02:28 PM   #1
veprdude
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Are gunsmithing screwdrivers worth the cost?

I get that some (most?) quality ones are hollow ground. Seems like a tight fitting regular flat head should be just fine.
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Old August 10, 2022, 02:42 PM   #2
Schlitz 45
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Kind of depends on how much you care about the firearm your working on. If it's a beater a plain old flat blade will get it done. A professional set of gunsmith screw drivers isn't all that expensive & you'll always get better results using the proper tools.
"All tools are hammers except for chisels, they're screwdrivers"
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Old August 10, 2022, 03:04 PM   #3
OneFreeTexan
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A good set of gunsmithing screwdrivers is worth it…Wait until you scratch your favorite gun with cheap Walmart screwdrivers
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Old August 10, 2022, 03:19 PM   #4
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Regular screwdriver blades are tapered. You may get by with them for awhile but sooner or later you will mar your finish and/or booger up a screw. You don't absolutely have to buy gunsmith screwdrivers but you do need quality hollow ground screwdrivers. The gunsmith sets have more bits that you will need.
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Old August 10, 2022, 04:07 PM   #5
veprdude
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Any brand recommendations you like?
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Old August 10, 2022, 06:50 PM   #6
Unkl Chuck
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My preference is towards interchangeable bit screwdrivers. Right now, I'm using mostly Brownell's and Chapman bits. I like the Brownell handles and Chapman bits, they aren't completely interchangeable, but they get the job done. Check out their websites.
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Old August 10, 2022, 07:18 PM   #7
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Good advice !!!

Quote:
Regular screwdriver blades are tapered. You may get by with them for awhile but sooner or later you will mar your finish and/or booger up a screw. You don't absolutely have to buy gunsmith screwdrivers but you do need quality hollow ground screwdrivers. The gunsmith sets have more bits that you will need.
Good advice and sadly, some folks have learned a hard lesson by not spending just a bit more for a set. They fit the slot perfectly and don't walk out ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 10, 2022, 07:44 PM   #8
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Short answer…YES

Long answer…see post #4
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Old August 10, 2022, 09:33 PM   #9
tangolima
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Unless they are paying a decent sum for a good set, my answer is no. A lot of economical (made in china) products just pretend to be gunsmithing. They don't really know what it means. A have a Wheeler set that have the bits twisted under torque. The steel is too soft.

True that general purpose driver bits are taper ground, but it is not that hard to grind them into proper profiles. Too much work? I found bits that are rated for impact drive are pretty good, even the economical types. The only problem is they don't have a lot of sizes to choose from. Well some grinder work will fix it.

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Old August 10, 2022, 10:01 PM   #10
L. Boscoe
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I am not a fan of sets, as I only shoot pistols, and many sets have a lot of bits that are no use to me, and some don't have the tiny ones for sights.
That said, you can buy single bits and handles from Chapman, they are easy
to work with. You will need to have a good idea of what sizes you need, but
the tapered commercial drivers are a risk to damaging your weapon
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Old August 10, 2022, 10:04 PM   #11
Nathan
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Look at Wiha bits and drivers. Brownells has the speciality bits you need.
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Old August 11, 2022, 02:36 AM   #12
std7mag
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I learned a long time ago, good tools are worth the investment.

I use a Snap-On racheting screwdriver with interchangable bits, mostly.
I picked up a good set of the hollow ground screwdrivers also for the stuburn screws.
Sometimes it helps to give a couple light taps with a hammer to help jar the screw to loosen it.

If really stuburn, or somewhat rounded out screws, i'll put a dab of valve grinding compound on the screw driver tip. Helps it to "bite " into the screw.

Penetrating oil & time are your friend!
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Old August 11, 2022, 09:22 AM   #13
veprdude
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Looking at this set: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018049646?pid=523982
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Old August 11, 2022, 09:28 AM   #14
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Grace is good.

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Old August 11, 2022, 09:32 AM   #15
BillM
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Bought the standard Magna tip set from Brownells many years ago.
Added to it as needed over the years until all the holes are full, plus
a box of specialty bits. Absolutely worth it.
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Old August 11, 2022, 10:30 AM   #16
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I bought a set of 8 from Bonanza Sports Mfg. in Faribault, Minn. many years ago and never regretted it.

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Old August 11, 2022, 10:36 AM   #17
tjmga
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Not if you buy Grace. They are junk. They are soft and I don't believe they are hollow ground, they are just painted to look that way.
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Old August 11, 2022, 01:49 PM   #18
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They are worth it.

Chapman bits are said to be great. (I have not had any, personally.)
Brownell's bits are very good.

Wheeler bits are okay.

Grace screwdrivers are ... easy to break. I really wish I could stand behind Grace and pump up a small American company. But all I can really say is that their warranty and customer service are great -- but that's because I've had to use them, multiple times.



If you're like L. Boscoe and don't like the 'universal' sets, go poke around on the Brownell's website. They occasionally offer gun-specific or category-specific Magna-tip sets, like "S&W revolvers", "US revolvers", "Marlin lever actions", "Winchester rifles", etc.
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Old August 11, 2022, 04:26 PM   #19
veprdude
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I like the idea of the bit sets, but most of the stuff in the sets I already have in automotive grade like Torx and Hex (Allen). I'm leaning more toward fixed handle screwdrivers since I don't need most of what's in the kits.

The Forster ones look nice, but expensive. I'm placing an order for some S&W magazine parts from Midway so I was hoping to get them from there since I'm already getting free shipping.
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Old August 11, 2022, 04:27 PM   #20
veprdude
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These: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1007061396?pid=751576

I'm only really interested in the flat tips.
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Old August 11, 2022, 11:57 PM   #21
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Buy quality and you pay a bit more, ONCE. Buy cheap crap and not only will you probably have to buy it again at some point, but you'll also need to get/repair screw heads and finishes.

Quite whining about a handful of dollars today and buy something that will be the right tool for the job and last the rest of your life, and your kids lives as well...

I'm a firm believer in quality tools and cheap food.
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Old August 12, 2022, 12:31 AM   #22
AzShooter
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If you are real serious buy the Grace screwdriver set. They've lasted me the longest.

For range trips I keep a set of Winchester screwdrivers that are hollow ground because I may need other than flat screwdrivers for my scopes.
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Old August 12, 2022, 12:17 PM   #23
Bob Willman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veprdude View Post
These: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1007061396?pid=751576

I'm only really interested in the flat tips.
looks like Forster bought Bonanza at some point. Those look just like mine.

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Old August 12, 2022, 08:29 PM   #24
44caliberkid
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Yes they are. I have put a gouge in Colt Royal Blue twice, once on a Python and once on an SAA. Leaves you heartbroken and feeling stupid. I’ve had a Chapman bit set since the 70’s, and Brownells bits and individual screw drivers in the last couple decades. Also have a few I made for a specific purpose. They are kind of like files, seem simple, what’s to know? But there is some wisdom to be imparted from someone who knows their stuff.
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Old August 12, 2022, 08:39 PM   #25
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Are hollow ground screwdrivers worth it? Yes. And you can get a small set that will do just about anything you need to and many things you don't need to for a relatively inexpensive price from Midway or Brownells.
Do regular flat/beveled screwdrivers work? Sure, but they work differently than hollow ground blades.

Flat ground screwdrivers wedge into a slot and fit tightly and bear on the top corners of the slot, forcing metal away from the slot and out from the slot opening, eventually leading to the screwdriver camming up out of the slot as you apply torque. Hollow ground screwdrivers bear against the BOTTOM of the screwdriver slot and exert pressure inside the slot and force metal horizontally in the bottom of the slot, not outward, so they don't open up screw slots and cam out of the slot as easily.

Now, you can do whatever you want to with your own guns, and I see a lot of guns that people have used whatever tool they had handy to work on their guns. But as a gunsmith I have to make sure I don't vandalize my customers' guns if I want to see those customers again. And I do want to see them again, because repeat business is good for a business.
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