Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Every Schmoe Should Have One

It started off with the county Info Tech leaving hers on the workbench on the apparatus floor. A dainty thing, it laid there for almost a month before she came and picked it up. I saw it every time I climbed into the rig and I incessantly commented on what a worthless piece of crap it must be.

 Of course I played with it a little bit. A power tool is a power tool and is always worth checking out - no matter how sissified it may appear. The first thing that I noticed was that the charge never ran down, despite me and several other firefighters constantly messing with it.  I also noticed that for its sissy la-la size, it did seem to produce adequate torque.

It felt pretty good in my hand, the ergonomics seemed good for most actually. The more I messed with it, the more my scorn turned to curiosity. Maybe this tool was OK for (WARNING - TYPICAL MALE SEXIST STATEMENT ALERT!!) women, small boys and men who lacked the testosterone to own a real driver. Yet, I knew this tool was no match for my most manly De Walt 18v drill/driver.

I decided that I would send a blanket e-mail and if no one claimed it I would take it home and let the Saint I Am Married To "try it out".

It's rightful owner showed up a few days later.

"Man, I'm sure glad you guys didn't kype this" she said "I use it every day. I've had to use my old one since this one went missing."

Of course I grilled her on how long the charge lasted, how did she use it, did it ever not meet her needs etc. She gave it glowing reviews, then packed it up and left the station. Now my curiosity was getting the best of me. After lunch, we jumped on the rig and headed over to Starmer's Hardware.

They had two different models, a cheaper one that had kind of a weak looking directional switch and this one.  This one also came with more bits and a charging stand. I think I paid 40 bucks or so. I probably could have saved a few bucks by going to Home Depot, but there isn't one in our first-in district and I wanted it before I went home.

I gotta say. I love this thing! I use it all the time. I hardly ever pull out the De Walt any more, nor do I use my ratcheting screwdriver much. It is so convenient that I just grab it.

If you need to pull a panel off of the A/C unit or the back off of a stove, this is the tool for you. Lock sets, furniture assembly - you name it, it is the best tool for the job. I noticed one of the electricians that was working at my house the other day had one and was using it to remove receptacles.

In these pics, note that I just drove this wood screw into the 4x4. That's about as big of a screw as I would drive with this, and if I had to do more than one, I would break out the De Walt.

Still, not bad for a small driver like this. Counter sinking and a pilot hole would have made this a piece of cake.

I go months without charging it, though I don't use it every day and sometimes go several weeks without touching it. It always works.

So, whether your a handy-man, gentleman farmer, soccer mom or just someone who needs to drive a screw, you won't get screwed in buying this driver.


Disclaimer: Joseph R. Schmoe, his friends, family or members of the Kinda Big Fire Protection District have received no compensation or merchandise in the evaluation of this product. Should Skil, De Walt, Bosch or any other tool manufacturer feel the need to give something away, please contact Capt. Schmoe at the e-mail address listed on his profile. He will be glad to accommodate you.

Ya never know who might be reading this, it can't hurt!.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Oh that's nothing Cap.
    Makita, Bosch, and Milwaukee all have 12 volt drivers out that use an little plug in battery pack like your big Dewalt. If the basic driver can't cut the mustard they have little impact drivers that run off the same batteries. They've got enough torque to do anything just short of breaking frozen lug nuts free from a wheel. A little pricier (just over a hundred bucks around here) but vastly more powerful and not much bigger.


  2. If you use that around the firehouse-man card, revoked!

  3. John - I guess I'll just have to be a closet skil-driver user. I'm not giving it up!