The Good: Durable, Works well, Easy to clean
The Bad: Not ideal for long-term (in a day) use.
The Basics: A surprisingly good little screwdriver, the Stanley 64-105 3 1/2" Phillips Head Screwdriver is a great tool that most would not suspect needing until they truly need a reliable tool!
Screwdrivers: how much is there truly to say about them? I've been surprised about how much I can find to write about the various screwdrivers in my toolbox, like the Stanley 66-183 I reviewed before (click here for that review!) and it seems I've never actually reviewed any of the Phillips head screwdrivers. So, I figured I would start small with the 64-105, a 3 1/2" Phillips head screwdriver that I have used for years.
It ought to be noted right off the bat that the Stanley 3 1/2" Phillips head screwdriver is just about a perfect screwdriver and for the projects one ought to use it for it probably is perfect. My robbing it of a perfect rating comes more from how it stands up against all tools in my toolbox. This screwdriver is durable, easy to clean and has a head that has not worn for the fifteen years I have had it. However, because the handle is so short, there are very limited uses for the 64-105 and prolonged use on a project is likely to cause hand cramps.
Stanley is not to blame for this; it is a problem with all such tools. Because one is applying the force so close to the head, they tend to expend more energy than when the shaft is longer and the work is distributed along the tool better. Add to that that most adult hands will find it tough to grip this smaller handle and you've got a handle on my difficulties with using this screwdriver too long!
That said, the 3 1/2" Phillips head screwdriver is a useful screwdriver for when one is working in tight corners, like screwing things in in-between drywall layers where there is only about a hand's width to move around it. I'm not sure what one would be screwing in there, but I know I've found uses for the small screwdriver that involve having very little room to move and needing a very small screwdriver. It occurs to me that the built-in dishwasher which had a screw mount behind it was one of them. This tool is ideal for such specialized projects.
The Stanley 3 1/2” screwdriver has a 1 1/2” steel shaft and a medium-sized four-point Phillips head which is ideal for Phillips head screws. The 64-105 is a manual screwdriver, so you do the work; this tool just makes it easier for you. Fortunately, the 64-105 Phillips head screwdriver works and it is useful for those tight places one never expects to find a Phillips head screw binding something.
For three years, I used this screwdriver on projects around the house that required a Phillips head screwdriver when the screws were standard wood screws or when I found any Phillips head screw in a location I could barely fit my hand. I used the screwdriver for about ten years prior to that and the two years since sporadically, so I've been using the 64-105 Phillips head screwdriver on and off for about fifteen years. The steel shaft never bent, the head remained sharp and intact. This is a very solid piece of hardware and for only $5.00, it has saved me time and headaches. This tool will remain in use for years by anyone who does projects around the house.
At least as important is that the 64-105 has the old style Stanley handle. This is a handle that has little fins which offer much better gripping potential when one has gloves or when one is using the small screwdriver in circumstances that have water. Stanley has changed many of its grips to an ergonomic grip which is smooth and becomes worthless when one truly has to bear down on the screwdriver. The 64-105 is not hampered by that defect and is easy to use under all conditions.
In other words, this is great tool for every do-it-yourselfer. I know I've grabbed this screwdriver with vice grips and it has not dented the handle or stripped the plastic coating. So this stands up for abuse and is still in service, making it an undeniable asset!
For other tools and gadgets, please check out my reviews of:
Craftsman Electronic Studfinder
Howard Leight Laser Lite Corded Hearing Protection
Stanley 8" Adjustable Wrench
For other tool reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.