I am in love with a screwdriver.
A tool that we often use (especially here at ITP) is the screwdriver and we’ve often take it for granted. It’s a tool that’s always there, nothing special, it just works the way we want it to work: Place the screw on the driver tip and hold both screw and tip together with the fingers of one hand, apply little pressure on the driver while turning in a clockwise direction until the screw engages the wood.
According to wikipedia, the modern-day screwdriver was invented in Germany or France in the late 15th century. The tool’s original names in German and French were Schraubendreher (screwturner) and tournevis (turnscrew), respectively. Screws were used in the 15th century to construct screw-cutting lathes, for securing breastplates, backplates, and helmets on medieval jousting armor—and eventually for multiple parts of the emerging firearms, particularly the matchlock.
Screwdrivers of today, apart from minor aesthetic changes on the grip and material, is essentially the same as it’s 15th century grandfather.
So how does one reinvent or redesign something that’s just works?
Reinventing the Screwdriver
A problem I’ve always encountered with using screwdrivers is that one will always need to lift the driver tip from the screw after one full rotation (or adjust one’s grip) in order to proceed with the next. This is can be troublesome especially when you need to screw something against gravity. Adjusting one’s grip or lifting the driver tip releases the pressure from the object being screwed, potentially causing the screw (or the object itself) to fall.
In late 2009, I came across a new kind of screwdriver that a lot of board sport enthusiasts use to retool their boards.
What’s special about this screwdriver (and why a I’m in love with this) is that it features a two-way ratcheting driver for more efficient loosening and tightening. The ratcheting driver system makes screwing a lot more efficient and easier.
The handle was redesigned to be ergonomic as well. The grip was adjusted to make applying pressure easier at it sits comfortably in one’s palm.
Here’s a video of me retooling my snowboard:
And the best part, this tool retails for $10 on any outdoor sports store or $6 dollars on Amazon.