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Insulated Screwdrivers

11021 Views 40 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  MechanicalDVR
Didn't see a thread on insulated screwdrivers, thought I'd get one going.

I currently have a basic setup with Klein slotted, phillips, cabinet tip, and 11 in 1. Got a little spooked today when I was using my slotted to pry out a knockout ring on a live panel. Knockout gave out really easily and I almost slammed the shaft right onto the incoming terminals. I know I'm pretty stupid for putting myself in that situation, but it got me thinking "Why don't I have any insulated drivers?" Better safe than sorry, right?

I want to keep my 11 in 1 and swap the rest with Wera insulated drivers. Probably just phillips, slotted and square ones. The grip seems like it's very comfortable, but I cant get my hands on one to try it out. Anyone have these drivers or any different ones they like?

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Arsholeprentice
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Are you an apprentice?

WTH are you working in a situation where you require insulated screwdrivers?

If these are just to build the corral, then more power to you. But if you are working for an EC that lets you work live, you need to find another shop.
 

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I have those same ones Mechanical DVR posted above. They are very comfortable. I really like them compared to kliens. The insulation on the shaft is a hard plastic that doesnt get damaged as easy as the rubber on kliens. That being said I rarely use insulated screw drivers. The tips fit screws perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have those same ones Mechanical DVR posted above. They are very comfortable. I really like them compared to kliens. The insulation on the shaft is a hard plastic that doesnt get damaged as easy as the rubber on kliens. That being said I rarely use insulated screw drivers. The tips fit screws perfect.
didnt know that they were hard plastic instead of a rubberized coating, good to know. Do you have larger or smaller hands? My hands are kinda small (M or S glove size) and the klein handles aren't comfortable for that reason.
 

· Old Grumpy Bastard
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didnt know that they were hard plastic instead of a rubberized coating, good to know. Do you have larger or smaller hands? My hands are kinda small (M or S glove size) and the klein handles aren't comfortable for that reason.
Bahco screwdrivers have pretty slim handles.
 

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After 30 something years I just bought a Whia straight blade insulated screwdriver, just to have. Haven't used it.

If you do buy some just to have, buy the individual. The kits come with some pretty small ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you an apprentice?

WTH are you working in a situation where you require insulated screwdrivers?

If these are just to build the corral, then more power to you. But if you are working for an EC that lets you work live, you need to find another shop.
It's a bit of a tricky situation. Working farms lately, and we sometimes don't have the liberty of killing power to the panel and shutting off other systems like incubators, hatcheries, feeders, etc. It's very rare and never on high voltage equipment.

For me it's not so much as building an arsenal, but I don't find much disadvantage to using an insulated driver over a standard one. I would prefer to just carry an insulated set and not have to worry about making that one mistake where I forget to test the circuit or slip past something and puncture a sleeve.
 

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It's a bit of a tricky situation. Working farms lately, and we sometimes don't have the liberty of killing power to the panel and shutting off other systems like incubators, hatcheries, feeders, etc. It's very rare and never on high voltage equipment.

For me it's not so much as building an arsenal, but I don't find much disadvantage to using an insulated driver over a standard one. I would prefer to just carry an insulated set and not have to worry about making that one mistake where I forget to test the circuit or slip past something and puncture a sleeve.
Be safe... I work in a rural area too, not too far South of you....

Farmers and Ag places love to make contractors take shortcuts, because it seemingly works in their favor. The question you need to ask is "Is my life worth a couple of chickens?".

It isn't a joke...

Build the tool corral, but take every precaution when working. You can always get another job, when your gone.....
 

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didnt know that they were hard plastic instead of a rubberized coating, good to know. Do you have larger or smaller hands? My hands are kinda small (M or S glove size) and the klein handles aren't comfortable for that reason.
I'm a true size M glove. L and S do not fit me well.

First of all, the panel should be dead when you're working on it. Secondly, insulated screwdrivers have a dedicated purpose. Sure you can use them as daily drivers in case you touch something live by mistake but they will get nicked up and their insulating value compromised.
Agree totally. I don't keep them in my normal bag. I really only use them when I have to change a breaker on a commercial panel and don't want to shut the entire facility down. As an apprentice you should not be touching anything hot with a screw driver.
 

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Estwing magic
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It's a bit of a tricky situation. Working farms lately, and we sometimes don't have the liberty of killing power to the panel and shutting off other systems like incubators, hatcheries, feeders, etc. It's very rare and never on high voltage equipment.

For me it's not so much as building an arsenal, but I don't find much disadvantage to using an insulated driver over a standard one. I would prefer to just carry an insulated set and not have to worry about making that one mistake where I forget to test the circuit or slip past something and puncture a sleeve.
There is no disadvantage to using insulated drivers daily. It gives you an extra level of protection. It isn't a level of protection, however, that you want to rely on.

If you were taking out a knockout in a live panel, it's safe to assume that the intention was to work on that panel live. If that's the case, it is up to the employer to provide proper PPE, dedicated tools and to set up safe work practises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is no disadvantage to using insulated drivers daily. It gives you an extra level of protection. It isn't a level of protection, however, that you want to rely on.

If you were taking out a knockout in a live panel, it's safe to assume that the intention was to work on that panel live. If that's the case, it is up to the employer to provide proper PPE, dedicated tools and to set up safe work practises.
No intention to work on it live. Power is always off when landing breakers or doing anything involving contact with conductors. I was adding a connector to start a pvc run that would be pulled later on. Panel was only open for that purpose.
 

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Estwing magic
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No intention to work on it live. Power is always off when landing breakers or doing anything involving contact with conductors. I was adding a connector to start a pvc run that would be pulled later on. Panel was only open for that purpose.
Sounds like you know what's going on. I use Weras. They're good once you get used to the odd feel of the handle.
 

· Cool Kid
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Also like Wera. Medium to large hands. Their Robertson however rounds easily (at least the two I bought). I have an insulated Wiha #2 Roberta purely for live breaker swaps. Ought to get a slotted also, because not all breakers/noodle bars use a square drive I know.

Anyhow, a vote for Wera, since that was your actual question.
 

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I work on Telecoms, but ended up with some insulated tools because one of the places I worked required them for all work in there equipment room, not just for on the power side.

Apart from the added protection, one thing I like about most brands I have come across is that the tips seem to be better ground/shaped than many ordinary screw drivers.

I try to keep mine just for electrical work to protect the tips, and of course the insulation on the handles and shaft...

If you need a beater type insulated driver, I would buy an individual one from one of the cheaper brands and keep my decent ones for when you really need them....
 

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I use them as daily drivers. I like the color. :smile: Always been an IKEA type guy. The drivers are very comfortable Wera does make uninsulated sets of course. Green I think.

As 99 suggested you do want to watch out for the beater driver as the shaft goes right through. Banging your KO out with it could have caused you the same grief. Banging KO's out with the insulated driver will soon wreck it.

It's best not to work on live stuff.

Maybe there should be a law that all our tools be bare metal?

 
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