Wera: Stainfree with Stainless
According to German toolmaker Wera Tools, much of the corrosion we find in the cross-hairs of our Phillips-head and other stainless-steel fasteners is a result of cross-contamination during the tightening process when traditional, carbon-steel tools are used to secure the fastener. Small bits of the carbon steel are embedded in the fastener, and the particles form galvanic cells that quickly corrode or leave a pit. Solution? Stainless steel tools—the logic being that using stainless on stainless, there will not be any contact corrosion, and therefore no rust.
Last year, the toolmaker launched a line of stainless tools aimed at curing this problem. The line includes screwdrivers, screwdriver insert bits, quick-release bolt-holders, and hex keys. Practical Sailor had the opportunity to try out Wera’s Kraftform Kompakt 60 set, which comes with a Kraftform bit-holding handle; 16 interchangeable, 89-millimeter bits (Phillips-style screwdriver, Torx drivers, hex head, etc.); and a wallet-style belt pack. Aside from no longer having to clean corroded screws and their inevitable trail of rust, another bonus of stainless tools is that you don’t have to worry about them rusting, if they are properly cared for.
The drawback? They’re expensive. The Kompakt 60 costs $148. (Apparently stainless is worth its weight in gold these days.) While we are impressed with the tools’ craftsmanship and like the idea of rust-free fasteners, at such a high price, we’ll be sticking to trusty, inexpensive Craftsman set from Sears. But for those of you who spend a lot of time building boats and have a spare-no-expense budget, these are quality tools worth looking into.