Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set Recommendation


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H.m.B
April 12, 2013, 02:49 PM
I'm looking to buy a good gunsmithing screwdriver set and found the Wheeler Engineering 89-Piece Professional-Plus Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/439523/wheeler-engineering-89-piece-professional-plus-gunsmithing-screwdriver-set) on the Midway USA site for $62.99. Anyone use this set and is it a good deal? Would you recommend it? If not, what would you recommend? I am looking for a quality set that will last.

Thanks for your feedback.

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X-Rap
April 12, 2013, 02:57 PM
Your on the right track there, mine is from Brownells but that one looks to be a good set too.

lightman
April 12, 2013, 07:14 PM
I also have the Brownells set. They were about the only game in town, back then. The Wheeler set looks good, but I have not seen one yet. Either should serve you well. Lightman

rcmodel
April 13, 2013, 11:11 AM
I am not sure whether Wheeler sells replacement bits separately.

But Brownells does.

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx

As far as that goes, the Chapman set will do about anything you need to do.
It's what I use.
They sell replacement bits too.
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/non-magnetic-sets/deluxe-gun-screwdriver-set-prod4979.aspx

rc

Drail
April 13, 2013, 06:35 PM
Everyone I know that bought the Wheeler hated it. The bits are considerably softer than most screws. They're like - disposable. Chapman or Brownells are the best sets for the money.

Haxby
April 13, 2013, 06:47 PM
The Chapman set that I have looks like the one linked above. It is not worth whatever I paid for it.

zoom6zoom
April 13, 2013, 08:14 PM
I've been using my Brownells kit for twenty five years. I think it's been worth the money.

rcmodel
April 13, 2013, 08:21 PM
The Chapman set that I have looks like the one linked above. It is not worth whatever I paid for it.Would you care to elaborate??

Chapman sells many screwdriver sets, all in the same yellow case, that look like what I posted.

If the bits don't fit gun screws?
Maybe you got a set for working on 55 Chevys, or woodworking, or something?

All I can say is, I have been using them for gunsmith work for about 40 years.
And I have no complaints at all with the quality, bit fit, hardness, or easy replacement of the standard bits if you need to grind down a special size or something.

rc

Haxby
April 13, 2013, 10:22 PM
Sure, I'll elaborate.
I bought a set years ago and still have it. I bought it at a gun shop, from a gunsmith. The box doesn't say anything about Chevys. I bought it because I wanted screwdrivers to fit the screws on my guns. The bits are too short, and the socket they fit into too bulky, to be usable in quite a few applications. And a few of them broke too easily. I still use them, but carefully, and only if I have to.
If I was buying a set now, I'd go with a fixed-blade set.

rcmodel
April 13, 2013, 10:28 PM
I guess results, or techniques may vary, a lot?

I have been perfectly satisfied with my Chapmans, for a lot of guns, and a lot of years.

I even use the hex-adapter in a drill press with the little ratchet wrench to break tight screws loose in old guns that can't be removed any other way.

Seems most of my fixed-blade Gracie type screwdrivers went in the junque box years ago when the wood handles broke, or the blades wore out and couldn't be re-ground anymore.

rc

oldfortyfiveauto
April 14, 2013, 12:00 AM
The Chapman bits tend to be be too hard. The Wheeler set is fine and the Brownells are overpriced APEX bits (which are very good).

toivo
April 14, 2013, 12:36 AM
I have the smaller version of the Wheeler set. I'm satisfied with mine -- my only complaint is the more than once I've ended up with bloody knuckles trying to pull a bit out of the case. Sometimes those suckers just don't want to come out.

CLP
April 14, 2013, 02:34 PM
I can't speak to the quality of Chapman but I have a small set of Wheeler bits and a good number of Brownell's Magna-tip bits. I don't use the Wheeler anymore. Once you compare the Magna-tips to the Wheeler you'll notice the difference in quality right away. The Brownell's tips are excellent quality, American made with a lifetime guarantee, and do job perfectly. The Wheeler tips aren't bad, but they don't even come close to the Brownell's tips. I've had a couple of scope mount screws buggered up by the Wheeler's due to design- not because of user error. That was the last time I used them. It's been Brownell's ever since. And eventually, I'm going to splurge on the big set. I'm confident they'll last me the rest of my life.

sleepyone
April 14, 2013, 10:56 PM
I have the same Wheeler set you linked to. Great set!

Everyone I know that bought the Wheeler hated it. The bits are considerably softer than most screws.

Don't agree with them being too soft. Which set of Wheelers did your friends buy? I had gunsmiths recommend the Wheelers.

Drail
April 16, 2013, 11:25 PM
All of the Wheeler sets I have seen were made in China. Every smith I know uses Brownells drivers. They are a big investment but they will hold up. Like RC, I have been using a basic Chapman's set for many years and have never broken or mangled a bit (yet). I have bought quite a few loose bits from the hardware store and ground them to fit what I need for a one time use. You really have to be able to custom grind bits to get a perfect fit. If the fit ain't perfect really bad things can happen. Of course, if the screw was made from cheap steel or has a very shallow slot it won't matter.

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