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Yankee spiral ratchet screwdriver

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Woodchips2

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Went into a department store with the wife on the weekend and there was a shopfitter making up display units screwing them together with a Yankee spiral ratchet screwdriver and not a cordless drill in sight. Being more interesting than shopping I watched him for a while and then had a chat with him. He reckoned for his type of work the Yankee was quicker than a cordless drill, was more powerful and the batteries didn't run out. He buys the genuine Yankee on E-Bay for around £30 and said beware of cheap imitations.

My first introduction to woodworking was at around 10 years of age making wooden accessories for my model railway. My father had a small Stanley spiral ratchet screwdriver with drill bits in the handle and I borrowed his drill to put a small hole through a hardwood block. Holding the block with my left hand on the dining chair I started drilling but the bit slipped with all my weight on the handle and I manged to drill right through my little finger. :cry: The scar still reminds me that the first rule of woodworking is clamp the wood safely! (hammer)

Anybody still regularly use a Yankee today?

Regards Keith
 

Jacob

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Certainly do. They are very handy. Several big advantages - the length makes accurate alignment to the slot or posi head much easier, they have a slim "aspect ratio" and so can be used on screws close to another surface such as sash window catches sitting next to the glass, they can be used extended or retracted according to need, etc.
 

Sawyer

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Sometimes, yes. They have advantages, as Jacob suggests. I have a Spiralux, not a Stanley. It's good, but I doubt if I'll ever find any replacement bits when they finally wear out.
 

DTR

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My Spiralux is my "go to" screwdriver. I very rarely use the Makita.

Sawyer":3karost3 said:
It's good, but I doubt if I'll ever find any replacement bits when they finally wear out.
It's very easy to convert a magnetic bit holder so that it fits in a yankee chuck :wink:
 

Modernist

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I had reason to use mine recently when screwing a post box to the wall. The screws had to be driven in through the post slot and aver an 8" gap into the back of the box. Try that with a Makita!
 

Harbo

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I've nothing against spiral screwdrivers - I have a few, but you can get extension rods for Drills.
LV also do an extension chuck.

Rod
 

Vann

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I've brought mine out of retirement (a #130) and bought a 2nd hand #131. I probably still use the cordless drill more often, but use of the Yankees is increasing.

I bought square drive bits for both Yankees from LV - at least that way they don't slip out of the slot :oops:

Cheers, Vann.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi,

I last used mine when all my batterys where flat, it did the job very well.

Pete
 

Modernist

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Paul Chapman":gjhxp1v5 said:
woodbloke":gjhxp1v5 said:
I expect Paul C will be along presently with his collection :lol: :lol:
If you insist :)



Great screwdrivers - I use them all the time.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
Paul, where did you get the Yankee/hex bit drivers?
 

Paul Chapman

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Modernist":378tg0bo said:
Paul, where did you get the Yankee/hex bit drivers?
The red ones were from Rob Lee at Lee Valley - Harbo has posted a link. They are very good. A mechanical grip as well as magnetic.

The silver, magnetic ones are from CK but they appear to have stopped selling them in the UK. However, they are available from Dick in Germany http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/product ... driver.htm

The large, brass coloured one is from the Trend Snappy range. It's a bit clunky and only fits the largest of the Yankees but is readily available.

Hope this helps.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

TheTiddles

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The bits in them are hard too it seems, that or it's very hard to make them slip and therefore mash up the head of the screw and wear away the bit. I have my dad's old one and use it prety often too, but for lots of screws... I have a pair of Makitas.

Aidan
 

Fromey

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For some reason the UK doesn't seem to sell any quality Yankee-style ratchet screwdrivers. The nearest supplier I can find is Dickand Dieter Schmid's Fine Tools. They look to be the same i.e,. made by Schroder.

Does anyone know how good these Schroder screwdrivers are? I know Schroder have a fairly good reputation so I expect they'll be fine, but it's always nice to hear from someone who's actually used one. More expensive than a second hand 'original' from e-bay, but I suspect it's a bit hit or miss what you get from that source.

Edit: I also notice that Dieter Schmid offer a short and long version of these screwdrivers. Apart from the obvious increase in reach of the longer, is there a good reason for choosing one over the other? I imagine the longer one gives more turns per push and so is more efficient to use.
 

Alf

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The Eriba Turner":3oyzr8nj said:
Anybody still regularly use a Yankee today?
Yup; I like the earlier pre-Stanley ones for preference. Also absolutely love the Yankee push drill; a tool I fully intend to "take with me".
 

dickm

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One thing to remember with the Yankee is not to get any bit of hand on the spiral as it is pushed in. They bite :(

Chatting to an old boy who used to be in the Wolverton carriage works where he said they used Yankees all the time and asked if one had ever bitten him. "Only once" was the reply..............
 

toolsntat

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Alf":brs68mp2 said:
The Eriba Turner":brs68mp2 said:
Anybody still regularly use a Yankee today?
Yup; I like the earlier pre-Stanley ones for preference. Also absolutely love the Yankee push drill; a tool I fully intend to "take with me".
Is this early enough for you Alf ?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Pre-Y ... 3a6af4e5e9

I see there is no spring and it only go's one way....

I have a lovely minty new North Brothers one in the original box tucked away somewhere :wink:

Andy
 

t8hants

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When I was an apprentice Yankee screwdrivers were one of the status tools you were "unofficially" not allowed to use until you were out of your time. Odd, but I suspect it had something to do with not slipping across some nicely varnished piece of yacht.

G
 

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