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Old 09-12-2009, 11:52 PM   #1
wyndycity
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Default Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Here’s a rare retro tool oddity from the swingin’ 70’s…the aptly named Screwball!

I know ratcheting screwdrivers aren’t exactly that unique or unusual but the name "Screwball" just begs for attention.

Approximately 30 tooth ratcheting screwdriver with a roughly 2” diameter handle. Handle has both a red and yellow colored hemisphere (overall, it looks like a fishing bobber). The handle feels ergonomic and comfortable – using the Screwball feels much like operating a standard household door handle. The shaft is aluminum with a strong magnetic bit holder. I only have one original standard bit but modern ” bits fit nicely as well. Integrated into the handle are three bit compartments enclosed by a clear plastic component which can be rotated about the shaft to reveal/store bits. The blue switch is a forward/reverse selector and can also be aligned directly in the middle to lock the shaft and disable the ratcheting feature to enable use as a non-ratcheting driver.





Hard to see in pics but handle reads:
“SCREWBALL
Pat
Pend
RATCHET
DRIVER
USA
S/V Tool Co."

I've never heard of the company S/V elsewhere. I also found out that there’s an ad for it in the 1978 May issue of Popular Mechanics which can be found in Google books. Looks like it was a Ronco product. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Here’s a direct link to it:

http://books.google.com/books?id=n88...age&q=&f=false

Enjoy.

Last edited by wyndycity; 10-26-2009 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

I got one as a gift years ago, I never took to it. I don't think I even gave it away, I just tossed it out. I never regretted tossing it though.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

I don't think I've ever even really used it either despite it's comfy feel, yet I can't bear to just get rid of it. It's not even in my toolbox...it just sits in a utility drawer in my kitchen.

I just find it quite interesting to have. If it wasn't called "Screwball", I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Do you still have that screwball? I had one while I was going through my carpentry apprenticeship in the late 70's. The finish carpenters would borrow it to install doorwalls. Now, in my 60's I would love to have it since I have some arthritis in my hands. Any chance you would sell it?
Thanks,
Marilyn
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

i remember getting one as a gift...Know I never used it (just looked funky), but don't remember if I tossed it, or if it is stashed away somewhere...oh well, when I'm gone the kids can figure out what to do with it.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

I had one once, I can't remember breaking it or giving it away, the ball end was yellow and the other plastic pieces were a orange red mix. I do remember using it to remove those tough to loosen phillips screws holding the ring around a sealed beam headlight in place. The "ball" end made it easier to keep the tip from camming out.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwilkie View Post
Do you still have that screwball? I had one while I was going through my carpentry apprenticeship in the late 70's. The finish carpenters would borrow it to install doorwalls. Now, in my 60's I would love to have it since I have some arthritis in my hands. Any chance you would sell it?
Thanks,
Marilyn
Do a search on the forum. There have been several people lately who have gotten round drivers in tool lots they've bought.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwilkie View Post
Do you still have that screwball? I had one while I was going through my carpentry apprenticeship in the late 70's. The finish carpenters would borrow it to install doorwalls. Now, in my 60's I would love to have it since I have some arthritis in my hands. Any chance you would sell it?
Thanks,
Marilyn
I have found a couple of these within the past year.

I may have one around for sale if you can't find one. PM me if interested.

-BWP
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

my grandpa had one of those. it was yellow and red and he used it all time. that was until he got an ssdmr4b then it was never used again
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Just got rid of one at the flea market the other week, got a buck for it, looked like it would work well but was just so damn ugly.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

OH MY GOD PEOPLE

My dad built my first workbench when I was 2 years old. For my entire childhood while other kids played with toys I played with tools. My father could build just about anything and he had a funky style which gave his projects a nice appeal. He had this screwdriver that was yellow and red and it was a standard part of his tool belt. He had it for some 20-30 years and he used it very often. It was great because the ball allowed the weight to bear on the palm rather than the fingers.
Well, when I was about 15 years old I was using the screwdriver on something and things were going fine. Then I needed a soft mallet and decided to use the screwdriver handle instead...The damn thing popped open and blew apart right before my eyes. I was petrified to go upstairs and show my dad what I did. Still, I walked up and held out the tool and said "Dad, I broke your screwdriver. I used it incorrectly and I broke it." He was upset that he lost the screwdriver but he was impressed and proud that I admitted what I'd done and admitted that I did it wrong.
As a replacement, I bought him another ratcheting screwdriver though it wasn't as nice as the "screwball" as I've come to learn it's called.
My father has had problems with depression and alcoholism and just recently attempted to take his life. He's now in a vegetative state in the hospital and we aren't sure what the future holds.
In his will, he left me all his tools. I hope that one day he'll be able to use his tools again so I'm cleaning and refurbishing his entire set.
Some of them I want to just hold and possibly frame because they have such sentimental value to me as they bring back memories of childhood.

If any of you care to part with your screwball screwdriver, I'll certainly purchase it from you. I've been searching for 13 years now trying to find him a replacement. There are other similar screwdrivers, but I want to give him the same thing that I broke.

Please contact me and we can go from there. Thank you so much!
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

I have one in perfect condition. PM me.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Had an orange one that you flipped the shaft around one end for straight blade and end for a phillips head. It was a piece of crap.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

They are still sold, never heard the ScrewBall name, always Easydriver.

http://www.easydrivertool.com/features.htm

Best thing ever for applying torque to a screw. Really only negative is that the ratchet is noisy.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

I bought my dad one of those for Christmas back in about 1980. I remember he really liked it and used it a lot. It did work pretty well.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:33 AM   #16
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Thanks guys. I have those easy drivers. They are pretty good because they are versatile but not as solid as the screwball was because the shafts can fall out of the easydriver.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

PLEASE PM me. I'm desperate to obtain a Screwball Screwdriver. My mother recently broke hers and can't use any other screwdriver because of her advanced arthritis. She is quite the handywoman and she was just so upset when she broke hers. I'm trying to be a hero and get her one. Please help me!!!
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Has she tried a battery powered screwdriver?
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Yes, but she's old school-lol! (No offense, mom). Likes the satisfaction of using own blood,sweat, and tears to get work done.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: Screwball Ratcheting Screwdriver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwballseeker View Post
PLEASE PM me. I'm desperate to obtain a Screwball Screwdriver. My mother recently broke hers and can't use any other screwdriver because of her advanced arthritis. She is quite the handywoman and she was just so upset when she broke hers. I'm trying to be a hero and get her one. Please help me!!!
It seems as though there are a few people on here with them, and they said to PM them.
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