Tired Of People Stealing Your Screwdrivers?

Do you ever open your desk drawer and find that someone has borrowed your screwdrivers without returning them?

Yeah, me too. I keep a decent set of tools in my office. I got this habit from my father, who basically had three sets of tools: one that went with him in his vehicle, one in the garage workshop, and one in the basement workshop. A good quality tool was never far away from where you needed it.

Everybody knows I have a toolbox at work. I’ve made it clear that people can borrow the tools as long as they return them. It is inevitable, though, that eventually I can’t find my screwdrivers. Screwdrivers are the single most popular item, and they disappear. It isn’t malicious, but if I have nice screwdrivers I want them put back, mainly so they’re there for me to use.

I don’t want to lock my toolbox, because that implies an attitude of mistrust, labeling everybody as thieves. Labeling the tool with my name doesn’t seem to help. The question wasn’t “how do I get my tools back” so much as:

How can I stop caring that my tools are somewhere else?

The answer? Lots of cheap screwdrivers!

I stumbled upon the Northern Tool clearance tent at the Minnesota State Fair last fall and found $0.50 multi-bit screwdrivers, in four different, awful, neon colors. I bought twenty of them and put them in my desk. When someone asks to borrow a screwdriver I give them one and tell them to keep it. If I can’t find my screwdriver I take another one. The $10 I spent has come back to me hundredfold in productivity and goodwill, not to mention that I smile every time I see a coworker using one.

So if this happens to you I suggest going to the Northern Tool or Harbor Freight web sites. Find some screwdrivers under $2 each and order a bunch. Avoid the kits of screwdrivers, just get simple multi-bit drivers with bit storage built right in. Double bonus if you can get torx bits, too. Triple bonus if you use your company credit card to buy them.

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Northern Tool or Harbor Freight except as a satisfied customer. Also, I enjoy quality tools, but there’s also a time and place for crappy ones, too. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Tired Of People Stealing Your Screwdrivers?”

  1. You know, I like this idea. I’m forever losing toolkits…I’ll have to watch for a sale like this and stock up.

  2. I can’t remember where I saw it, but somebody had some pink rubber coating for the handles of their tools.

    Supposedly it worked quite well to stop people from absconding with tools, as long as you don’t mind having a set of tools with pink handles.


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