Thursday, November 18, 2010

Egonomic Grips Bring Down The Stanley Phillips Head (60-002) Screwdriver Just A Bit!

The Good: Durable, Works generally well
The Bad: Handle is not comfortable/hard to hold onto.
The Basics: A superlatively durable screwdriver is diminished by its ergonomic grip which is too slippery for common use.

Sometimes, things are good before people begin messing with them and when change comes, it is hard to argue that it is for the better. It might seem strange, reading that from an avowed liberal such as myself, but there you have it. Sometimes, good design trumps revision and with the Stanley 60-002 Phillips Screwdriver, that is where I fall. I have a ton of Stanley screwdrivers and I generally enjoy using them, however, I have found I use the newer ones less than the (arguably) antique ones I got when I was first given a tool box. Fortunately, Stanley tools are so durable someday I may be able to pass off the 60-002 I am less fond of to someone else to use for the rest of their life while I continue using my older two-point Stanley Screwdriver.

The 60-002 is a Phillips head screwdriver, which means it ends in a pointed end with four fins that project out at 90 degree angles to one another. This screwdriver is designed solely for Phillips head screws which have a female slot which has four pronged receptors for it. The “two point” is the standardized size of the Philips head and because it is standardized, the 60-002 will fit into any #2 Phillips head screw, regardless of that screw’s shaft length.

The Stanley 60-002 is a 7 7/8” screwdriver has a 4” steel shaft and a medium-sized (1/4” wide, a few millimeters thick) Phillips head blade which is ideal for Phillips head screws. As a screwdriver, this works just a little harder than the user does; unlike a power tool which does the work for you. The Stanley 60-002 screwdriver makes work easier for those screwing in screws.

For five years, I used this screwdriver on projects around the house that required a Phillips head screwdriver for #2 screws. Then, I uncovered my original toolbox (the one I had before my first marriage and all of its gifted tools) and I returned to the #2 Philips head screwdriver (also from Stanley, just much, much older) that I loved.

And it’s not that this is a bad screwdriver. The steel shaft never bent, the head remained sharp and intact. This is a very solid piece of hardware and as it may usually be found for less than two dollars, it’s an excellent value. This tool will remain in use for years by anyone who does projects around the house.

Still, this screwdriver does not impress me. The 3 5/8” handle, which is made of a solid plastic that is enough to not crack when hit by a hammer, but unless one is trying to use the screwdriver as a wood chisel (NOT recommended!) there’s no reason they would be hitting it with a hammer. The ergonomic grip on this screwdriver is so smooth that if one is either working in conditions where one’s hand sweats or they are wearing gloves that have less grip, it becomes impossible to use this screwdriver. While the smooth, hard surface is more comfortable than the ridged grips of many older screwdrivers, the Stanley 60-002 screwdriver has little friction so when one is twisting screws with it, it becomes very easy for the hand to slip. When that happens, one will find their hand sliding around the screwdriver handle, but not actually moving the screwdriver.

I still rate this Stanley screwdriver so highly because the major defect does not come into play each and every time one uses it. This screwdriver is ideal for screwing the appropriate-sized screws into pre-drilled holes, especially ones which might be in recessed holes which require the longer shaft of this screwdriver. When it is being used properly, it is very easy to use and get the results one would hope for. But prolonged use is likely to make this harder to use because maintaining a grip on it becomes more difficult.

Also, as one’s hand becomes sweatier while using it, the tension of trying to torque screws is likely to cause one’s hands to blister. This, naturally, will lead one to put on gloves, which increases the likelihood they will be unable to maintain a grip on this particular screwdriver!

Finally, I ultimately gave this a very weak “recommend” because the screwdriver is exceptionally durable. While I’ve stripped some screw heads with this, the blades on the head of the 60-002 has never dulled even over five years of pretty constant use. That, despite the flaws with the ergonomic grip, makes it a winner for most people who want to use this in more of an industrial setting than for home use.

For other Stanley tools in my toolbox, please check out my reviews of:
Stanley 66-052 6-piece Precision Screwdriver set
Stanley 64-105 Phillips head screwdriver
Stanley 8" Adjustable wrench


For other tool reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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