Tagged: handyman screw shorten
November 18, 2023 at 6:20 am #40638
A few years ago I stumbled across one of those crazy tools that any real “handyman” would find useful. Here is the setup.
Have you ever needed to shorten a screw? One example might be putting knobs on kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors. You snug the handle/knob down on the screw…and it isn’t snug on the door. The screw bottoms out inside the knob before tightening onto the door. Time and again I have run into this. At one point I was trying to put knobs on multiple cabinet doors and was looking at having to cut down 20-30 screws. Otherwise, the knobs were all going to spin. Little things like that drive me slightly mad.
Don’t ask me why they have them, but wire strippers oftentimes have a small number of threaded holes just for this purpose. When you are young they might be just fine, but as I have gotten older my hand strength has not improved. And if I spend a day doing that, my hands remind me the next day. So, what did I finally locate?
Searching high and low and with zero – ZERO – success, I stumbled across the long-discontinued Stanley Jobmaster 84-205 Soft Steel Bolt Machine Screw Shear Cutter. This one is linked to an eBay auction. Through the years I have bought three of them, one for me and then later Kathy and I bought two more and gave one to my dad and the other to my brother-in-law. The look on their faces when they opened them convinced me that they were not sure of the utility of the device. When each later started a cabinet door handle/knob update they told me basically “Holy cow! That dude works like a charm!” Yes, it does.
They tend to sell for $100-150 when they come up. Some have been neglected and have a lot of rust, skip those. Usually they just show some signs of use, not abuse, like the one at this auction. Whether you buy this one or not, you owe it to yourself to set up an automatic search on eBay and when they do come up, keep an eye on them. The next time you start a project and you have to trim a bunch of screws and you are putting nuts on them, cutting them with a hacksaw and then backing them out of the nut, fiddling around and dropping various screws and nuts on the floor as you attempt to chuck them up in your vise; you are going to remember this dude and then you will start looking for one that is available. If you buy one now, show it to your buddies. They may ask to borrow it or they may go and buy one for themselves. I suspect anyone that buys one won’t turn loose of it.
Phillip Beall (W5EBC)November 18, 2023 at 8:04 pm #40644
In case you want to see what it looks like without clicking the link to the now closed auction, I am adding a picture below.
November 19, 2023 at 7:21 am #40653
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Phillip Beall.
Cliff and I were chatting last evening and he asked what was the largest bolt the thing will cut? It looks like 5/16-18. It is meant to only cut soft bolts, probably why they stopped making them. People no doubt abused them and tried cutting hardened bolts. But for screws? Perfect. All of what I consider to be the “most common” standard, non-metric, screw diameter and threads. Here is a picture that shows the sizes.November 20, 2023 at 8:40 pm #40671Jerry KeislerParticipant
Not all are that robust. I use mine all the time. Just remember to put a nut on the screw before cutting threads off so you can fix the threads by removing the nut.
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