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I have roughly one zillion screwdrivers at my disposal. I’ve got a few sets of general purpose screwdrivers, many small jewelers and electronics screwdrivers, and even some nice ones attached to Swiss Army knives and Leatherman multi-tools. But the one I use most for servicing small electronics when I’ve wandered away from my workshop is my Technician’s Pocket Screwdriver ($3.99 from CountyComm).

The technician’s screwdriver clips to my pants pocket like a pen — it’s slightly smaller than a Sharpie. I truly appreciate the end caps that protect me from an accidental leg stabbing. The caps have side holes in them so I can see which tip is which. Each bit is double-ended, giving me a #0 and #00 Philips choice at one end and a 1/8″ and 1/16″ slotted bit choice at the other.

The barrel and caps are made of a soft-ish, durable composite plastic. Pull out a bit, flip it around, and push it back into place. It makes a nice click as it goes in. The bits are high-quality hardened steel (“S2 Tool Steel”, according to the description), but the plastic barrel (and size) mean that this isn’t a tool for high-torque action. That isn’t what I need it for. I need it for dealing with tiny little screws that are keeping me out of an enclosure, for tuning small pot switches, or for tightening down screw terminals on an Arduino project.

The technician’s screwdriver is perfect for all those things. Especially if I keep it clipped inside my pocket, at the ready for those in-the-field repairs I wasn’t expecting to make. Honestly, having a #00 Philips screwdriver on hand when I need one beats the heck out of trying to make do with the smallest slotted screwdriver on my multi-tool; it fits better and I can twirl it with precision like a “real” screwdriver.

I’m not sure who manufactures them (it only says “Pat.” on the side) but I got mine from CountyComm, in black. They also sell an O.D. green model for losing in the woods, and a snazzy orange one that I secretly covet.

When I’m at my workbench I usually reach for my fancy Wiha screwdrivers, but the one that gets used the most when I’m up and about is my excellent Technician’s Pocket Screwdriver.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not bad, but I’m sticking with my adjustable wiha with the phillips/slot combo bits. I’ve used it pretty much exclusively for all the small stuff for about 15 years now. The free rotation top cap is surprisingly helpful when one-handing it (other hand holding part). The only thing I’d do different is probably get the ESD version, but I’ve never had a static problem.

    It rides in my Nite-Ize tool pouch, so I always have it handy along with the leatherman and mini visegrip.

  2. I have a similiar one not as small drivers on it as that one but at 20 SEK/ 2 € the price is unbeatable for the quality of the piece.

  3. Home Depot has one similar in orange or yellow for about $4.
    Personally carry one with me at all times.

  4. How do you take these close up photos? Is the camera on a small tripod with some sort of trigger? Or is the camera mounted to your head? :)

    1. John Edgar Park says:

      Silvia, yes, my camera’s on a tripod and I built a wired remote trigger from an arcade button. If I’m using both hands in the photo the button is in my mouth. “Normal” people would have made a foot switch. http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/11/john-edgar-park-has-a-trigger-mouth.html

  5. Timothy Gray says:

    Home Depot also sells one that is black but theirs is $2.99 instead of $3.99 + shipping.
    They also sell a nice micro torx screwdriver set that is perfect for the “I hate customers that unscrew cases” products.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I just got the security torx set at Home Despot, very useful to take apart a damaged microwave. Stanley I think, in the tool section with driver bits usually.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I just got the security torx set at Home Despot, very useful to take apart a damaged microwave. Stanley I think, in the tool section with driver bits usually.

  6. JamesB says:

    I keep a SwissTec on my keychain: the #1 Phillips is hard to do without. Way back when I was actually a technician, I used a hollow handled multi-bit screwdriver (Compaq tool). Had the common Torx and Phillips sizes, and could break loose large screws with lockwashers on the old dot-matrix printers. That type of screwdriver is hard to find (they all want to use the reversible bits) but I keep a couple around my different work areas. I have a little one like this from Home Depot that I use for opening camcorders and that type thing.

  7. Zap Branigan says:

    1. Cargo Pants = Awesome!
    2. Using Imperial measurements = Massive Fail.

    1. Anonymous says:

      1. Cargo Pants = Awesome!
      2. Measurement system holy war = Epic Tiresome Fail.

    2. Anonymous says:

      1. Cargo Pants = Awesome!
      2. Measurement system holy war = Epic Tiresome Fail.

      1. John Edgar Park says:

        Equally good point!

    3. John Edgar Park says:

      Good point — the slotted ones are 1.5mm and 3mm!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a couple of the Countycomm versions, and several of the almost identical Stanley model from WallyMart that cost $2.24.
    Very handy when I don’t want to run out to the garage, I keep one in my go bag, in the kitchen, truck, etc.
    Countycomm can do bad things to your credit card, I can always find lots of gadgets there!

  9. Daniel Kim says:

    Needs a Torx #6 bit. It looks like the bits can fit into a quick-release bit holder used by electric screwdrivers, etc. If you need extra torque, you can clamp pliers or a wrench to the straight sides for better leverage.

    btw: “make do” not “make due”

    1. Uncle Ed says:

      Making due–one of my favorite annoyances. Right up there with a “mute” point.

      1. John Edgar Park says:

        Oh, wow, I’m gonna fix that error, thanks for the correction. My copy-editor wife would kill me if she saw that!

  10. Wes says:

    Grainger sells a nice four-bit driver, not as heavy duty but only a dollar.

  11. MrMike says:

    $3.99 ?
    If I need 5 of them perhaps OK…but from CountryComm, with a $20 minimum order (hence quantity of 5) + $10 shipping they are $6 a crack…$30 total order.
    How about Wired ‘Tool Store’ order a bunch, put them in #10 envelopes with a couple of stamps for postage and offer them for $5 shipped???

  12. John Edgar Park says:

    Reblogged this on Site of J. Edgar Park.

  13. Barnes says:

    Amazing! Everyone wants one of these portable tool.