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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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John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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