Yes, the advertising industry missed one small opportunity to contribute to the dumbing down of America when this ad his the pages of Mechanix Illustrated.
The Quick-Wedge screwdriver claims to grip the screw, instead of the standard behavior for flat screwdrivers, which is to leap out of the screw head and plunge deep into your radial artery... again.
How does it grip the screw? The explanatory illustration in the ad explains nothing, so don't waste your time rotating your eyes towards it. Toolmonger.com explains it thusly:
To use the Quick-Wedge driver, seat the slotted screw on the tip of the screwdriver. Then move the tube forward to apply force against the edges of the screw slot. Drive the screw, then release it from the screwdriver by sliding the tube back towards the handle.
So the Quick-Wedge blade (whose company still exists!) is split, and the halves are cleverly wedge-shaped in such a way that, when you push on the telescoping handle (which telescopes), the two halves of the blade spread out in the screw's slot, hopefully gripping it, instead of making it spring off of the screwdriver, skittering under the refrigerator.
We could just discontinue the use of stupid, horrible, slotted screws entirely, which were made obsolete in 1908 with the invention of the square-drive screw, and again in 1936 with the Phillips screw! Why buy a special, expensive, complicated, articulating screwdriver to restore some utility to a primitive, outdated design, when you can just use a better, widely available screw that only requires a simple one-piece screwdriver that won't make you stab yourself, first on accident, and then in rage? Haven't you wiped enough arterial spray off your walls already? I once read that the Japanese names for Phillips and slotted screws are just "plus" and "minus" (...possibly because of the shape of the hole they make in your skin when you slip?). So smart and straightforward, the Japanese.
It must be pointed out that Quick-Wedge are not to blame for slotted screws. They simply figured out how to finally make them work, and the answer is a robotic telescoping scissor-action screwdriver, and that is pathetic.
Here's a neat article on the history of screws, to get you good and mad at stupid, horrible slotted screws.
The Chest of Many Things. Home of screws. Make a left at the
Peeewee Herman bike, and open every drawer in turn,
muttering under your breath about labeling these goddamn
drawers some time.
It's a little surprising to find that square-drive screws (whose driver is square in cross section, duh), predate Phillips screws by like thirty years. The story of why they took off in popularity and then came crashing back to Earth in popularity is one of patents and lawyers, and can be read in the neat article on Mental Floss, linked a few paragraphs back. I have a box of those somewhere, and a screwdriver to match, but I will never voluntarily use them unless I have no choice. But, at least the squaredriver isn't as blade-like as a flat screwdriver and as a result, doesn't slide as easily into my wrist, if it does slip out of the screw, which it won't, because it's merely uncommon, and not stupid or horrible.
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