PSA: The perils of a cheap screwdriver set

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Friends, I come to you today with a grave warning. If you're going to pick up a screwdriver set, do NOT cheap out on it.
I've spoken several times on drops about my disassembly woes in particular with anything using T6 screws. I learned as of yesterday the problem isn't with the screw, but with the driver I was using. After swapping from some off brand driver set I got through Walmart to a more reputable brand (in this case Wiha) I was able to unstick several screws I thought were too damaged to move. This includes: An overtravel stop screw on my Kizer Alter Ego, a body screw on my Benchmade 940-1, and a clip screw on my newly acquired Gent.
I can't tell you how infuriating it is to have something appear stripped when it really isn't. I hope no one here will ever suffer the same awful shit.
Also the Alter Ego's action is now stellar after a lockbar adjustment, the benchmade finally got a good cleaning, and my Gent now has a properly centered blade with some non-permanent locktite holding it in place.
I'd love to hear from the community of their own faceplam moments brought on by crappy equipment.
thumb_upJonasHeineman, darren.craine, and 8 others
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Xymnslot
381
Sep 19, 2018
Amen...the temptation to cheap out on tools is easy with so much garbage in the market. Quality tools will last you forever and save a great deal of headaches.
MaxwellDemonic
833
Sep 20, 2018
I'd love to see Massdrop do a drop with Wiha or one of the other well known brands for a set of torx bits.
Kodai
17
Jun 9, 2018
I second the Wiha recommendation. I use a T6 to T25 Gorilla Grip set made by Bondhus. They can both be purchased from your favorite on line retailer. If you love your knives don’t buy one of those cheap kits from a knife maker, I have two, both from American manufacturers and neither is good. The torx bits are poor quality. I wonder if Massdrop could put together a maintenance kit with quality tool and lube and loctite in a small case? I have a tool box with sharpening tools, maintenance stuff, and cleaning cloth. I put it together over time but it would be have been great to have all that when I started out.
MaxwellDemonic
833
Jun 10, 2018
That's an awesome idea. I had to do a bunch of research when setting up my full kit.
Kodai
17
Jun 11, 2018
Yeah, it took me several years to get a good setup and I bought some crap along the way.
DougS63
10
Jun 3, 2018
Maxwell you picked up some fine tools !! Wiha makes good quality tool, but if you own firearms then Grace is the way to go !! I don’t like to mar my screws and Grace has saved me money from having to buy new grip screws.
Xymnslot
381
Sep 19, 2018
Thanks for this recommendation...I have ruined more grip screws than I care to admit and hate the way they look.
BlueCrowned
5304
May 22, 2018
I just used a cheap $2 screwdriver set from Walmart to change the battery on something and it was fine, so to each your own I suppose
MaxwellDemonic
833
May 22, 2018
I'm not saying they're always bad, but for me it turned out to make all the difference on my main driver set.
Trvr2940
37
May 21, 2018
Well said! I suffered through years of bulk hardware store micro bit failures. I truly didn’t understand that they don’t harden those bits. One wiha set, and 2 years later.....one of my best purchases to date.
A community member
May 21, 2018
Another vote for Wiha--I've used the same set, for ages and they're great.
Hatuletoh
835
May 20, 2018
Oh god, the T6! The T6! It haunts my nightmares. I have a collection of T6 bits--not the screws, mind you--that no longer work because they have been stripped or twisted into spirals. This collection represents a few reputable brands llke Husky and Kershaw (the Kershaw bit failed the very first time I used it), and many other nameless knock-offs.
I will be the first to admit I'm less handy than a group of finalists in a "Most Realistic Portrayal of Capt Hook" contest, but in my defense and to give a little context: I've only stripped ONE torx screw on ONE knife, ever; it was on a ZT 0055 of all things, and I wasn't as cautious as I should have been about seating the driver head and applying gentle, gradual torque because, well...it was a ZT. It were the last brand I'd have expected to have a badly over-tightened and/or over-loc-tite'd screw.
I don't know what it is about the T6 though. Never had problems with any other size, but Ive bought every brand of wrench, driver, bit, etc. I can find in T6, and they seldom last a month. Actually, they seldom last a week.
Btw, Ive had my Alter Ego about 8 months, and when I first bought it the detent was almost too tight to flip. But it was a great price, so i figured I could fix that, and indeed, after adjusting the pivot screw and the frame lock insert, and breaking the knife in with regular flipping, its smooth as silk today--literally perfect, at least, perfect to my taste. And I love the knife overall: the recurved blade, and its ratio to the handle size are excellent. And the way the handle trails downward at the butt fits my grip exactly. Hope you like the thing as much as i have. Its a great knife, but Ive always thought maybe not for everyone? Sounds like youre happy with yours now though.
MaxwellDemonic
833
May 20, 2018
Oh absolutely. I did a bunch of breaking in via flipping and when I finally got the OT stop off, i was able to bend it out just enough to loosen the detent. I can have my finger on the lockbar and it still opens smoothly.
method_burger
556
May 20, 2018
I use general. It's was under 5$, and I bought a few to rotate. Based on experience, a T6 will last maybe a year and a half if you use it everyday. I still have it to feel the difference between that and a new bit. Always love the contrast!
Sammi
106
May 19, 2018
There are other good brands of TORX bits such as Wera and Felo. Wiha is the most common i believe. I bought a few bit holders but are currently using these. So far i‘m using the T8’s only on the pivot screws and probably the two bits i own will last a very long time. So far I’m only using the T6 and T8 sizes.
I recently bought the more expensive Wiha T6 align bit. This fits in the screw head with zero play. It looks like the tip on a regular one ground shorter.
The regular T6 on top, the align bit in the middle, and the T8 on the bottom.
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Bought a Wiha security bit set ages ago for work. Windows were locked completely closed since it was a hospital with a locked psych ward. But since we were on an office floor my cow orkers begged me to do something about it. So I made the windows adjustable such that a person couldn't pass through. Facility had installed a random variety of security screws, and used an electric drill since it wasn't intended to come out.
So I did this at least twice a year for seasonal changes, more if there was an inspection. And of course I used it for more legit uses like our servers. So good I bought a set for personal use. Both still working like brand new. And yeah, rescued a lot of worn Torx security screws using the spanner. It's that solid.
Recently got the iFixit 64-bit set (thinner driver handle than the fat Wiha one but T-handle can be inserted) and they are sized perfectly and made from machined 6150 tool steel so it should last a while. Can definitely recommend both.
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