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When we first saw these a while back, we called them “screwdrivers designed to do all the things you’re not supposed to do with a screwdriver” — like hammering, prying, and generally destroying things.  We also knew that we needed to get our hands on a set to see if they’re really as sturdy as they look in pictures.

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And what better way is there to test a demolition screwdriver than to break s#!% with it?  That’s exactly what we did.  The results: we hate to use the word “unbreakable,” but these are some tough-ass screwdrivers.  Read on past the jump for some serious first hand abuse and lots of pictures. 

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Unboxing/Features

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Note: Click on smaller pictures for larger ones. 

Bless Stanley for skipping the ubiquitous clamshell packaging for good ‘ole cardboard backing.  Getting at these drivers is as simple as pushing on the package to poke the tips out the back.

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The heart of these drivers’ durability comes from what Stanley calls the “thru-tang bar” — which in plain English means that the shaft extends all the way through the handle to a cold-formed steel “striking cap” at the top.  So, when you bash the crap out of it with a hammer, the force you’re applying is borne by the driver’s steel components as opposed to the plastic handle. 

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As you can see in pictures, there’s also a significant plug of metal beneath the end cap to help absorb your destructive force and transfer it through the driver.

Stanley also thoughtfully provided these drivers with a specially-formed shaft that’s “shatter resistant,” a feature helpful when you’re using it as a pry bar.  

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These screwdrivers also feature a rubber grip with a little indent at the front that’s perfect placement for your thump when prying. 

In Use

Once out in the shop, our first order of business was to find something to demolish.  The 2×4 you see in these pictures is actually an old one that we used a long time back in our test of Bosch’s PS10 I-Driver; we drove hundreds of screws into this board, and only removed some of them.  Hence it was sitting over in the corner waiting to serve as fodder for a test like this.

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We started out by using a framing hammer — which seemed certain to mar the demolition driver’s end cap — to drive it into the 2×4.  As you can see from the photos, it did make some little dimples, but nothing significant.

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Continuing along our theme of doing everything you shouldn’t with a screwdriver, we drove the demo driver in deeper, then used the shaft as a pry bar to split the 2×4 completely in two.  We then gouged out a hole using the end of the driver as a chisel, twisting it to apply radial stress to the handle.

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Finally, we used a FUBAR and a small sledge to actually drive the screwdriver completely through the 2×4, handle and all.  This is clearly something you’d never want to actually do with your tools. 

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The results: a few gouges in the handle, shaft, and tip and a few “craze” marks inside the handle’s plastic.  This driver still feels sturdy and comfortable to hold.

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In short, it’s fine.

Read on to page 2 for our conclusions.

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15 Responses to Test To Failure: Stanley’s Demolition Screwdrivers

  1. Joe Brown says:

    I want to see these drivers fail. You said “test to failure,” but, in your words, “they’re fine.” C’mon Toolmongers—you can break these durn things. Go to the junkyard and pry open a car door with ‘em, carve your names in some granite or something, but please, please BREAK THEM. Thank you.

  2. Sir Fix-a-lot says:

    Why would you waste a perfectly good set of screwdrivers? TM proved they’re tough, and that’s cool enough for me. More than most other “tests.”

  3. Joe Brown says:

    No, it’s not more than other tests. More than other tests would be actually testing the things to failure.

  4. nrChris says:

    The guys are right, if you are going to TTF you need to make the tool fail. Other than that, it took a lot of abuse and the test was at least entertaining. I will probably pick up a set of these–I heard that they can also be used to drive screws, too.

  5. MikeR says:

    I’ve got these and really like the flahead and beat the crap out of it on a regular basis. Haven’t found a time or place to beat the crap out of the phillips, any suggestions?

  6. Crashin says:

    My main question is how well do they operate as an actual screw driver? What about after the test to failure. There is nothing worse than a screw driver that doesn’t turn screws.

  7. Kurt Schwind says:

    Crashin, have you actually seen screwdrivers that are in good condition not able to drive screws? For me, the difference between screwdrivers is how long they stay ‘in good condition’ and these look like they’d last a LONG time. Then again, I’m using some craftsmen screwdrivers I got from my father and he got from his. They are probably 60 years old. They still drive screws great.

  8. Old Donn says:

    Bravo Kurt & Crashin. Whatever happened to the credo “use the right tool for the job.” Cold chisels, hammers, wrecking bars and Stanley’s own FUBAR are for hammering, prying and beating the crap out of stuff.

  9. [...] Lowe’s is currently offering Stanley’s 2-piece demolition driver set for a hair below $10. In case you don’t remember, these drivers can take a serious pounding. As part of the the set, you get a 5/16″ flat driver and a #2 Phillips driver — both massively overconstructed and ready for abuse. For reference purposes, street pricing on this set is about $15. [...]

  10. Andrew says:

    Just bought a couple of them, but can’t decide if one of them is faulty. There seems to be a bit of free play in the handle to blade point. I know someone mentioned this in an earlier post, but is it part of the design or have I bought an over priced dud? I welcome your thoughts,

    Andrew

  11. kyle says:

    If you ever have a screw where the head is rusted over you can the philips head drver put it on the screw and whack it with a hammer and now you have a recess clear of rust to remove the screw with

  12. heywood says:

    I bought these and used them at work. I still don’t like them for chiseling (had to use a screwdriver for this, taking plastic pieces out of concrete forms) as much as the $4.44 special found at the auto parts store. I took a sawzall and cut the end of the handle off the driver and put a 1″ chase nipple (electrical part) on the end of the handle to keep it from shattering and used some tie-wire to keep it from falling off. Lastly put duct tape all over the outside of everything to hold it together.

    I’ll still use the stanley versions, but I wish thru-shank screwdrivers were still being produced en-masse. Just my 2c.

  13. sean johnson says:

    I agree 100% with Joe Brown: you gotta break ‘em. Just got to.

  14. zion says:

    how do the handles hold to hydraulic oils

  15. Mike says:

    I had these and was glad I did, since I usually see people using ordinary screw drivers for beating. I used them everyday knocking open romex holes on electrical boxes. The screw drivers can take a beating. I got these at Home Depot 10 years ago, but don’t see them anymore. Now I see Dewalt and Milwaukee brands.

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