While rummaging through some of my toolboxes, I discovered I had a variety of screwstarters and screwholders as pictured above. The four on the right are true screwdrivers with a screw-holding spring clip that slides down the shaft. They work well, allowing you to start the screw, release the clip by simply pulling back on the handle and giving a little flick, and then finish tightening the screw. Two (Hold-E-Zee) are made by Upson Tools, and two “clones” by Stanley and VA; the Upson versions have a patent number, but neither the Stanley or VA do — perhaps the patent expired? I don’t know if any of these are currently available.
The next two brass-colored rods are — ta dah! — brass screwholding screwdrivers made by the H.J.J. Co. These two (one for slotted and the other for Phillips screws) are my favorites when I’m working inside a computer on a motherboard and such, as they are long and thin and do allow a reasonable amount of torque to insert or remove screws. They also make versions with vinyl handles.
The next three, from Vaco (now apparently part of Klein [What’s This?]), Stanley, and Ullman, are for Phillips screws, using different types of spring-loaded holders. The Ullman version (type F-2) can handle Torx, also. All of these start screws well, but tend to twist out when you attempt too much tightening.
The blue-handled one second from the left is a Quick-Wedge. TM has discussed versions in April 2009 and Jan. 2008. It’s probably my least favorite because it seems to twist out of the slot too easily when you apply a bit of torque, but its length can be handy.
The last one on the left is a Craftsman spring-loaded type for slotted screws. Its length is handy; it has a magnet on its other end (as do two of the Phillips starters), and it tolerates some torque when tightening.
Those devices still available are in the $5–$10 range. What’s your favorite screwstarter/screwholder?