Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So, You Want To Know About This Stanley Screwdriver? It (Only Sometimes) Works!

The Good: Durable, Works. . . so you don't have to.
The Bad: Handle is not comfortable/hard to hold onto.
The Basics: Very durable, but with a serious design flaw in the handle, the Stanley 6 5/8” screwdriver is a good basic screwdriver, but not one for big projects.

I have several Stanley screwdrivers in my toolbox and the 6 5/8” flathead screwdriver is one that I used for quite some time . . . until, ironically, I received a much older screwdriver. The Stanley 6 5/8” screwdriver has a 3” steel shaft and a medium-sized (3/8” wide, a few millimeters thick) head which is ideal for single-slot (wood) screws. And when contemplating a screwdriver, I think what everyone wants to know is “Does it work?” Well, it's a manual screwdriver, so you do the work; this tool just makes it easier for you. But yes, the Stanley 6 5/8” flathead screwdriver works.

For three years, I used this screwdriver on projects around the house that required a flathead screwdriver. I also used it to pry open paint cans and once as a wood chisel (not recommended). The steel shaft never bent, the head remained sharp and intact. This is a very solid piece of hardware and at its $2.00 (or less) pricetag, it is a steal. This tool will remain in use for years by anyone who does projects around the house.

Why, then, do I not recommend it? The reason is pretty simple. The 3 5/8” handle, which is made of a solid plastic that is enough to not crack when hit by a hammer, is too smooth. As silly as it sounds, 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 6 5/8” 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. When it is being used properly, it is very easy to use and get the results one would hope for. But prolonged use (like, for example, when I was screwing fence segments to their posts in my yard on a hot summer day) is likely to make this an unnecessarily harder tool to use because maintaining a grip on it is harder.

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!

For other Stanley tools, please check out my reviews of:
84-110 10" Pliers
60-006 6 5/8" Cabinet screwdriver
42-468 ABS level


For other tool reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission

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