Snap-on Socket Drive Screwdriver
In a December post I featured the newly introduced Snap-on model SGD155BR screwdriver that works well for removing and installing gearcase drain screws, especially the hard to loosen ones. Its wide blade and large handle make removing reluctant screws a much easier task than trying to turn a regular screwdriver that may or may not fit the slot securely.
Sometimes with neglected and salt-water gearcases, the fill and drain plugs are “frozen” into place due to corrosion from the dissimilar metals such as a stainless steel drain plug and an aluminum gearcase housing. In those extreme cases a more substantial tool is required. Coming to the rescue is the Snap-on Tool Company which manufactures the SW40E, a wide bladed screwdriver with a ½” square drive socket attached. That way you can use a breaker-bar or an impact driver with it to help break free a stubborn drain screw.
The screwdriver socket is about 3-1/4″ long with a blade that is 5/8″ wide and .093″ thick. With a just light touch on a grinding wheel, the blade can be tweaked slightly to fit into the slotted screw head snugly. Sometimes on a worn screw, a tap with a hammer is all that is needed to position the screwdriver bit securely. An impact driver saves a good amount of time and effort when extra removal force is needed. Fit the SW40E socket screwdriver on the drain plug and twist the impact driver counter-clockwise with your hand to take any free-play out of the system. Hit the end of the driver forcefully with a large hammer and the screw should loosen easily. Be sure to wear eye protection whenever you are striking two pieces of metal together. The best hammer to use is one with a heavy brass or bronze head to avoid deforming the impact driver’s end. My impact driver is over 20 years old and its striking surface still looks like new because of the use of a brass hammer.
You can obtain the SW40E screwdriver from a Snap-on Tool truck that calls on repair shops or order one from **www.snapon.com** for $47.50.