The Tip Of The Iceberg

When it comes to tips, there are several kinds. There are the bookies’ tips, beef tips and noodles, and of course the tip of the iceberg. Here at the hardware store though, when folks come in and ask me if I have any tips I always answer the same way, “ Buy low and sell high”. After they finish giving me a funny look, I direct them to the Evco display. You see they are always asking for screw driving tips. These are the little tips of various designs that are used to drive the kind of screws used in building construction and repair.

Screw driving tips are one of the more variable quality items that are sold. Some of the cheap ones are just junk. The better ones are alloy steel and are heat treated for hardness. Most of the ones we sell come from a company called Evco and they are reasonably priced, but are a quality product. Driver bits have a 1/4” hexagonal shank, and can either be chucked directly into your drill-driver, or better yet, into a magnetic tip holder. A tip holder allows you to use less expensive, shorter tips, and conveniently change between them. It also magnetizes the tips, so screws are less likely to fall off before you can get them screwed in.

The tips themselves come in several different designs. Phillips are the most common, although the old slotted ones are still made. Square “Robertson” tips are common, and the star shaped “Torx” are also used. People sometimes complain that the drivers are stripping out the screws. One thing to check is that the right sized driver in being used. All of these tips come in several sizes, and while too big a tip won’t fit in, one that is too small will drive a screw part way in and then when it starts to get tight, it will strip the screw right out. Also any tip, even a good one, will start to round off eventually, and when you are having trouble, switching to a new tip can seem to work miracles.

Evco also makes several other tools that can be really handy. Hex head screws and bolts can be quickly driven with power driver sockets, but what about when you want to take one out? A hand nut driver is the handiest thing for doing that and Evco makes them in all the common sizes. The same goes for the square tipped “Robertson” screws. Most folks don’t have a set of square tipped screwdrivers, but we do! Evco makes them and they are pretty handy.

A step beyond the drivers mentioned above are bit-holding screwdrivers. You’ve already got the tips, right? An Evco bit holding screwdriver, with a built in magnet, will hold your bits and then you can use whichever one you want. The driver even has a built in secret compartment in the handle with a snap shut lid to store some of your extra bits. It comes in two lengths, regular and extra long. So, as you can see, there’s a lot more than meets the eye, so stop in for some “tips” today, here at the Old Hardware Store…