We recently posed about new USA-made Southwire screwdrivers. The company still has not respond to our requests for a press release, and no other official announcements have been made. Luckily, a local Lowe’s store had a couple of screwdrivers in-stock.
Overall, from looking over the samples they had in-store, I wasn’t impressed or turned off by the new Southwire screwdrivers.
I was a little tempted to pick up the Phillips #2 for review purposes, but with a sticker price of $16 and change, I decided to pass. Perhaps they’ll mark it down, as that driver size is priced quite a bit lower on Amazon.
I didn’t think they could fit size markings on the end of the handle, but they can! The end of the new Southwire screwdrivers are tapered, but not by much, leaving a lot of room for size markings.
The Lowe’s store only had a couple of sizes, and it seemed that the new screwdrivers might be replacing the existing imported ones. See, this is the kind of question that I wish Southwire could answer for us.
Comparing the existing 5/16″ nutdriver to the new 5/16″ slotted screwdriver, the new markings are much smaller, but still readable.
There’s looks to be plenty of space left on the ends of the handles for larger markings, but small size markings are better than nothing.
It will remain to be seen how well the legibility of the size markings hold up with time and use.
I didn’t have any glaring objections to the new handle style, but I also wasn’t impressed or compelled to bring a review sample home.
There’s still no clarity as to what the screwdrivers’ “corrosion-resistant shanks” are made from, or if they’re chrome-plated.
If you’re inclined, with a couple of sizes at Lowe’s stores, you can check them out there, or they should start shipping soon from Amazon.
Buy Now(Southwire USA-made Screwdrivers and Nutdrivers via Amazon)
Compare(Klein USA-made Screwdrivers via Amazon)
They look quality. They should make screwdriver bits also 🙂
I know screwdrivers don’t need to be “pretty”, but they sure are ugly. I hope it has nothing to do with the quality of the product.
I know, I can’t get over how ugly they are either. They also seem oddly dated – but not in a pleasant retro way. Just changing the color of the acetate portion of the handle would go a long way.
I think the design is actually pretty impressive, at least in terms of the handle shape, if it winds up being comfortable and practical to use, of course. Too many brands are just copies of Klein or Craftsman drivers, as if there is nothing better made since.
I agree on the color, though. Brown is Southwire’s “trademark” color apparently, and they haven’t picked up on it being ok to use that for your company logo but that doesn’t mean you have to make all your tools brown, too.
It’d probably look a LOT better if it were a clear handle with red and blue accents to emphasize it’s made in the USA.
The Southwire logo on the handle is plenty and it doesn’t need any brown anywhere to show it’s their product.
Those prices have to come down. Although, I feel like Klein is too expensive for what they offer too…
I really like the laser-etched tips of my Wera screwdrivers. I think I paid about $29 Canadian for my six insulated screwdriver set (on sale though, so maybe that’s not quite a fair comparison).
Just shopping around, looks like individual Felo laser-tipped drivers are $10-16 Canadian. That’s my favorite handle shape. I’d choose them over these Southwire ones any day.
The debossed southwire logo in the rubber grip is going to collect all sorts of gunk and be difficult to clean. I wonder who makes these for them. Besides Ideal (western forge and pratt read) and SBD who else makes usa screwdrivers?
Maybe if they were less expensive, more ergonomic (like tri-lobe shape), increased the font size a bit and had a semi decent set in a bundle?
I get the idea they are made for electricians and I don’t know if there are specifics there that might lean one way or another.
They would have to be cheaper than the Klien for me to consider one. As far as the color and look I mostly like them but yes that acetate could be brighter or clearer.
Would be very interesting if that shaft was SS. Anyway options are good they need to adjust the pricing though.
It’s good the handles are at least marked, but it’s a missed opportunity to have some kind of a more permanent marking, either a recessed marking that could be touched up with a paint marker when it wears off, or something that would show through the acetate from below. I guess there’s always permanent marker when the factory stuff wears off, but that looks cheap.
The pricing is way out of line with other offerings. You can get not only regular Klein screwdrivers for less, but Wera, Wiha, etc. insulated screwdrivers don’t cost as much. Southwire isn’t a premium brand, and even top of the line USA-made screwdrivers aren’t $16 a pop, at a big box store, even. Lowe’s and even HD do have plenty of tools at regular prices that make sure you know they don’t really want you to buy it.
I absolutely like the handles, they’re the best ever. The blades, on the other hand, are terrible. I bought two to try out, a #2 phillips and 1/4″ cabinet tip. The phillips is nothing special and I’d give it a favorable rating. It has not bead blast, or roughed up finish to help with cam out, but is sized appropriately so, it gets a pass. The 1/4″ flat blade is absolute junk of the worst order. It is too thick, with rounded edges, that almost guarantee a cam out, and add to that the ultra slick chrome finish, you’ve designed the worst flat bit ever.
Southwire tools are generally pretty decent, but these are….total junk, sorry, but it’s true.