Furthermore, I like the best classic English turned oval boxwood handle - have a pretty full set - all bought for peanuts in flea-markets etc over many years. But although many swear by carbon steel for edge tools, I actually think some alloys (Cr Mo?) may be better for the needed combo of strength and hardness for a driver as opposed to, say, a chisel.
Anyway the chain of thought and new topic was kicked off by seeing a new tool in the Dictum online catalogue, namely a wood-handled screwdriver from Vessel of Japan of the 'Perfect' or 'Tank Crew' type (forged end-to-end with scales of wood) price about £40 for a 150mm blade length and £50+ for 200mm - nearly fell of my armchair.
So what's in the pix?
Top one shows turnscrews of average 450mm total length -- top to bottom boxwood turned oval cabinetmaker's by Clay of Sheffield, flat blade London pattern (different catalogues call different patterns 'London') by Roebuck Sheffield, 'Perfect Pattern' by US maker, a Spiralux (also sold as Spear and Jackson) from about 2000 - very nice handle and screw fit but may be over-hardened - one chipped on me, and finally a rather rough and ready but absolutely indestructible - blade through handle and leather top - no idea who made it, been used as a lever, crowbar, cold chisel, punch and even screwdriver - no bends, no damage.
The bottom pic shows drivers about 250mm long - from the top a Spiralux Posi, Melco (Sheffield) UK Phillips (also a nice handle), a Vessel (Japan - about 25 years old? US Phillips), another 'Perfect' and finally a last 'Perfect' found today at a local shop for 50p (a little larger than the £50 Vessel from Dictum - not so pretty, but blade just fine and it'll clean up).
Back to the start - how do folks find the old carbon steel drivers in use?
ps - the quality of old Stanley wood/cabinet handles is quite good - especially the later ones which I think are chrome-moly (?) and their cabinet handle is nice but the black paint is awful (looks and ageing).