Your atop a 20 foot extension ladder. The sweat drips from your brow. You lean out. The ceiling fan… it’s almost hung. *Ker-plop* Yeeeeeah, that last screw just plummeted 24 feet into your unfinished, single-serve blueberry yogurt cup. That’s all sorts of frustration you just don’t need. If this were a TV infomercial, Phil Kauffman would pop out of that yogurt cup and introduce you to the Screw Grabber. It’s not a TV infomercial, but Phil is still going to introduce you to the single screwdriver accessory to kill your screw dropping frustrations.
Screw Dropping Screws
Phil Kauffman is the inventor of the Screw Grabber and only the 1 trillionth person in history who has slipped the screw off the tip of a driver. Phil, however, decided to put an end to that. He’s a Graphic Designer and Photographer by trade, but that didn’t stop him from designing and manufacturing a prototype in February of 2013, then launching the Screw Grabber kickstarter project a year later to bring it home to you.
I had that “aha” moment and thought (insert cheesy phrase) “there’s gotta be a better way!” I started researching to see if there was anything else out there on the market that would do what I was trying to do. To my surprise there was so I purchased every single one of them and tested them. All of them fell short of what I wanted to create and within the price point that would be affordable by the masses so I started sketching out ideas for the Screw Grabber.
He went through three different designs before coming up with something that would be the most universally functional device. His brother, completing a mechanical engineering degree at Cal Poly Pomona, churned out the first mold in their Grandpa’s shop. Using different durometers of silicone and urethane Smooth-On, they then created the prototypes.
We went through about five different materials before we found one that worked with the hardness and flexibility that we were looking for. We kept refining the design–adding a thinker lip and the interior ribbing–each time making a new mold with seven molds in total. We gave our friends the final design receiving great feedback to refine the design even further. My brother drew up the final design in SolidWorks to source manufacturers and go through the patent pending process, talk with lawyers and complete the business paperwork that goes with starting a new business.
The Screw Grabber packs start at $7 with three large and one small Screw Grabber. There’s also a ‘Fixer pack’ with eight and a ‘Contractor pack’ that will put 20 Screw Grabbers in your tool box. They’re looking at a June 2014 ship date, just in time to reduce the screw dropping frustrations on some of those Summer projects. Check out the project and grab a set of Screw Grabbers here.