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using a screwdriver as a chisel

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    NHscrapman started this thread.
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    using a screwdriver as a chisel

    Hammering open electric motors yesterday using a screwdriver instead of going to get my chisels and had the plastic handle of the screwdriver explode sending shrapnel into my hand. Nothing serious but it definitely can be avoided by using the right tool or wrapping the handle of the screwdriver in electric/ duct tape. Luckily it was a craftsman so i got a new screwdriver. now if craftsman only sold hands....

    There ain't nothing wrong with an honest days work. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool.- Old Man

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    waredu's Avatar
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    I have several extra holes in various body parts from using screwdrivers as chisels/prybars/punches etc. You'd think I'd learn - but they're always around and work "almost" as I intend them to.

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    NHscrapman started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by waredu View Post
    I have several extra holes in various body parts from using screwdrivers as chisels/prybars/punches etc. You'd think I'd learn - but they're always around and work "almost" as I intend them to.
    Yeah they are too handy sometimes
    Pun intended

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    Ouch, I usually have a chisel for that kind of work, but screwdriver as prybar is a habit I need to break before it bites me.

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    I sharpen a small screwdriver on a whetstone and use it as a chisel to break IC chips loose from RAM. Maybe not the right tool but works great. I think the screwdriver is easier to grasp and readily takes a sharper angle. I'm not hitting it hard - mainly using it to "cut" the solder on 1 or 2 sides (half of the soldered sides), then twist the chip.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    NHscrapman started this thread.
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    Excessive force was the main factor in the explosion i'm sure. The wonders of kinetic energy

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    I use Harbor freight screwdrivers as punches. I cut the tips off them. The only handle that's ever exploded on me was the handle of a screwdriver from home depot

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    Its not a screwdriver, its a screwturner..........

    Yeah, its a bad habit to get into, sorta like stripping wire with your teeth... Untill it bites you back.

    I remember those little blue rectangles in my left hand from a slipping screwdriver too.

    But, the same effect the op got from the plastic handle is magnefied a thousand times if you do not grind off the gradually widening head from a cold chisle.
    Neighbour got bitten, found part of it embedded under his fingernail.

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    There are screwdrivers available with the shank running right through the handle...so you can beat on the top of the handle and be hitting the steel screwdriver shank. One brand I use that is made that way is "Jet", but I'm sure there's lots out there if you look around for them. I have heard them called "mechanics screwdrivers". Maybe they should be called "scrapper's screwturners--SST's".

    Jon.

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    Thanks for sharing ... I know I have taken lots of short cuts... so thanks for the reminder...
    J

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    Ha! I do better with a chisel as a screwdriver then I do using a chisel for it's normal uses!

    My scars can testify..

    Sirscrapalot - There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with. ~ Harry Crews

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    They're simply designed different due to having different uses. Screwdrivers are designed to turn, and chisels for blunt impact. Better chisels usually have a full length shaft with a full strike on the end, and the handles are usually considerably larger than screwdriver handles, no doubt to give most people a better chance of hitting the strike instead of their hand ; ) The strike isn't hardened as much as the point so not to throw sparks when hit with a hammer, but glasses are still mandatory if you appreciate your eyesight. Cold chisels are tempered the same way (hardened point, softer strike) and are intended to be used with both glasses and gloves

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    Jillyenator's Avatar
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    Wrapping the plastic handles with tape is an excellent idea, and thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    They're simply designed different due to having different uses. Screwdrivers are designed to turn, and chisels for blunt impact. Better chisels usually have a full length shaft with a full strike on the end, and the handles are usually considerably larger than screwdriver handles, no doubt to give most people a better chance of hitting the strike instead of their hand ; ) The strike isn't hardened as much as the point so not to throw sparks when hit with a hammer, but glasses are still mandatory if you appreciate your eyesight. Cold chisels are tempered the same way (hardened point, softer strike) and are intended to be used with both glasses and gloves
    They're also usually made of an impact resistant resin or hardwood with steel banding on the top and bottom to keep it from cracking/splintering.
    Like these old Stanleys
    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNj...S1a0z/$_12.JPG

    If you're going to go the screwdriver route, usually the ones with the rubberized/not-plastic composite handle are better for banging on. Just don't whack too hard, an off-center strike will bounce the hammer. The material also tends to not mush out (?). They will cost you a few dollars up front, but I have a 12" flathead that I've used as a prybar, beater bar, awl, etc. and that sonofa***** is still kickin.

    And definitely stay away from any that seem very light and/or have visible seams down the handle.

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    I went to Harbor Freight and got my hands on a set of chisels (four for $6 - i think that is the current sale price). Walmart has a set of three for $6, btw (regular price). Lowes is the most expensive option; their sets are around $12.

    I am amazed at how much easier it is to get the ICs off. Pop!

    You got the tools, you got the talent...

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  25. #16
    NHscrapman started this thread.
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    yes i now own chisels for metalworking (house set). bite me once... that's it, make it count.
    I took Micks advice and made the broken screw"turner" into an IC and component remover it works well and the price was right up my alley
    Last edited by NHscrapman; 02-27-2014 at 05:16 PM.

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    I found this a interesting read.

    I have a few screwdrivers/screwturners of different sizes that I use as chisels. I also have a nice assortment of chisels of different sizes and shapes as I'm always on the lookout for older chisels and odd shaped ones.

    I have had the plastic handles break on many screwdrivers, but most times they just split and it might take awhile before the handle breaks as I'm not using much force most times. I use the smaller cheap ones when I have a chore where the screwdriver is a better choice.

    I also have a selection of the screwdrivers with the shank running all the way through so you are hitting the metal on the end of the handle. Those have mostly clear green handles that have not broken in the many years that I have been using them. They are not top quality, but they are older and better made when new. I have medium and large of these with both types of tips. The main reason I use them is that the tips are wore and rounded and some times that is what works best for the chore.

    and REMEMBER to wear safety glasses when you are hitting, grinding and such as "things gone wrong" can happen out of the blue.

  27. #18
    hills's Avatar
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    I dunno .... i was a carpenduh for many years. Lol... they used to call us chislers back in the day, for very good reason, but that's another story.

    A chisel is a special purpose cutting tool with a hollow ground razor sharp edge for cutting wood. Cold chisels are for stone and metal. Air chisels are like cold chisels and made for the purpose.

    No offense intended, but using a screwdriver as a chisel is like using a rock instead of a hammer to pound nails.It can be done but it's not the best idea. Better to use a hammer.

    On that note ... you want to make sure to keep your hammer heads ground flat. They tend to get rounded over with use and go dinging off to the side. The nail you end up striking ends up being your thumbnail and that hurts like hell. Ever get a blueberry under your thumbnail ? It takes forever to go away. The best way i've found to get rid of blueberries is to use a small drill. You drill through the thumbnail and it pops the blood blister underneath. You can use a small finish nail that's been heated up cherry red and burn a hole through the nail to the blister underneath but that hurts real bad too.

    * Remember * Always use safety glasses or a face shield when you're doing this kind of work.


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