Where to get "thin" flat screwdrivers
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  1. #1
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    Default Where to get "thin" flat screwdrivers

    Sorry this is not really a suitable topic for this forum, but I trust the people here and am sure someone will know the answer.

    From time to time when working on precision things (high-speed spindles, microscopes, dial indicators, ...) I come across slotted screws with slots that are much too narrow for my standard screwdrivers. Often the standard screwdriver that fits the slot is 1/2 of the width of the screw, and sometimes less. Often these screws are torqued to the max, so without the right screwdriver, the head gets galled.

    So....

    -- What are these screw slots called? Is there a standard for them?

    -- Do I need to grind down some spare screwdrivers, or can I purchase a set of the correct ones? Where? Are there both metric and imperial versions?

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    Ballen next time you go to an automotive repair shop ask the tech to see his screw drivers and you will see a drawer full (if he is an old timer or a good one) Most techs have an assortment of first class tools. Over here in the states, Snap On Company serves most shops with professional tools. They are expensive, but are guaranteed for life. You will see screw drivers you could use on optical up to Mack Trucks. I bet you will find hand ground which takes some practice doing it right. If you need to grind a screw driver practice on some cheap ones for a while. I either use the side of the wheel of a pedestal grinder or belt sander. Have a can of water to keep the blade cool or you will take out the temper. Another hand screw driver that is really handy on stuck or tight screws Bigger ones) is a Hammer impact screw driver. It looks like a thick punch with a screw driver end and you set it on the screw, push down on it and then hit the top with a hammer so it is unlikely to gall the edge of the slot and it turns it out. You can reverse it so it tightens too. Another trick on bigger ones is to use a small tipped torch and heat up the screw / bolt as many times they use loc-tite on them and the heat melts it. https://store.snapon.com/Screwdrivers-C629033.aspx 1/2" Drive Impact Driver

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    You need eyeglass screwdrivers

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    Wouldn't specialty screwdrivers used by gunsmiths be the ones you're looking for?

    Stuart

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    Gunsmithing screwdrivers. I got my set from Brownells many many years ago, it has been really useful. Also seen them referred to as hollow ground screwdrivers. This has been the brand I got, by large, I like them, some have broken over the years and I should get replacements.

    Gunsmithing Screwdriver Sets – Chapman Manufacturing

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    Brownell's sells screwdriver handles and interchangeable bits, including a small set of very thin ones,
    BROWNELLS MAGNA-TIP(R) THIN-BIT SET | Brownells

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    Wera and Wiha are both good names with quality precision screwdrivers. I have some Wera and am happy with them. Everything else I've tried seems to be too soft or as you say too thick. Download their catalog and you can find the sizes available.

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    I like Wiha a lot, but I still often make up a custom screw driver if something special is needed. Good reason to keep some cheap O1 rod, a grinder and a torch around.

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    Wera has very good selection of screwdrivers, different sizes and shapes

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    Bruce,
    I think if you search "precision screwdriver set" on the US or UK eBay oder vielleicht "Präzisions-Schraubendreher-Satz" auf ebay.de , you will find what you are looking for. The cheap set I have has straight knurling on the bodies which is nice on small screws.

    Good Luck,
    Nigel

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomarc View Post
    Wouldn't specialty screwdrivers used by gunsmiths be the ones you're looking for?

    Stuart
    Primary set, a definite "yes". Parallel ground tips are good stuff for lots of uses.

    But also clock and watchmakers - the "good ones", not the junk too-often on-offer alleged to be "Jeweler's".

    Time was, I was pleased to make some of mine. Too complicated now, when even changing SSD, HDD, or RAM on a laptop 'puter wants 2 or more El Weirdo special tip forms and sizes.

    Just buy whatever you don't already have as they cross your radar. $9.95 to cover the Wife's MacBook Pro, for example. The only one I did not have has a "Y" shape, and tiny, to boot..

    Sod's Law. If you HAVE the weird ones, their mating fasteners will avoid your sight and go confuse some OTHER Pilgrim.

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    i have a set of Micro screwdrivers from this place

    Series Kraftform Micro - Wera Product finder

    Its a tool place so have a look around the site its also in Germany so should be a easy source for you.
    However if they are not big enough in the width versus thickness try the previous post on gunsmithing screwdrivers.

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    Many thanks to all who responded:

    Franz: that looks like a great set. I have the Phillips (PH) ones. What I need are exactly the five flat ones, especially the larger sizes.
    I will see if I can find those online at a reasonable price.
    0,4 x 2 - 0,4 x 2,5 - 0,5 x 3 - 0,6 x 3,5 - 0,8 x 4

    Richard: Yes, I can regrind some of my fatter-tip screwdrivers but would prefer to buy some specialty ones. I have a couple of impact drivers, but don't think they are appropriate for this kind of screw, which is typically attached to optical or precision parts.

    Plastikdreams: I have tons of eyeglass screwdrivers. I need wide screwdrivers (up to say 5mm) which have thin hollow ground straight tips.

    Stuart: indeed googling "gunsmithing screwdrivers" turned up lots of useful (and expensive!) hits.

    DennisCA: Brownells does indeed seem to be a good source for these.

    awander: I will order a Magna-Tip set when I am next in the USA. Hard to find these in Europe.

    Cwilcox: I looked through the online Wera and Wiha catalog but could not find screwdrivers with wide but very thin blades. If you have a link that would be helpful.

    Conrad: yes, if all else fails I will make my own. But I'd prefer to just buy a set if possible.

    Harri89: I looked through the online Wiha catalog but could not find what I was looking for.

    Nigel: the query you suggested turns up "narrow thin" screwdrivers. I need "wide thin" screwdrivers.

    Bill: I would love to just buy some thin wide parallel ground tips screwdrivers. Please give me a link if you could, because it's hard for me to find these in Europe.

    Street: I could not find wide and skinny screwdriver sets on the web link that you provided. If they are there, please provide a link.

    Franz: THANK YOU again. I will first look for the flat bladed versions locally. Changing topics, are you ready for Richard's classes again this year? How many students have you got?
    Last edited by ballen; 07-15-2019 at 01:05 PM.

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    I'm not sure what sizes you are after but Wera has the sizes you list above.
    0.4x2.5 0.5x3 0.8x4 etc

    2035 Screwdriver for slotted screws for electronic applications - Wera Product finder

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    Just an FYI, most screwdrivers made in USA are actually made by Pratt and Reed. I believe that these days they are owned by Ideal Industries who also owns SK. But I know they make screwdrivers for Craftsman and Armstrong, as well as some other US brands. They make virtually all of the screw driving bits that are made in USA.


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