I gave a couple of Zoom classes where I mentioned some tools I’ve been happy with. Here are the details.
Top to bottom:
Posidrive for Yamaha
Vessel JIS 900 P2x100 – $12.00 Amazon
Felo 18061 Pozidrive 2×100 – $15.00 Amazon
Hollow ground slotted for Steinway
Bit: 5/16″ Slotted bit 1/4″ hex shank length 3″ McMaster Carr #5748A31 $1.84 – Shown in a Wera ratcheting handle
Bit: 23/64th” Slotted bit 1/4″ hex shank length 2″ McMaster Carr 5748A21. This is my favorite but it takes slight modification because it is just a little too thick to fit the Steinway flange screws. The part number is correct even though the image on the McMaster Carr website looks a little different.
Why is it my favorite you ask? Because once you put it in a Wera 051462 Rapidaptor Bitholding handle as shown, it looks really cool.
There a couple of points I’m trying to make here. The first is that not all Phillips are Phillips. There is a type of Phillips head called Posidrive. Its tip profile is slightly different from standard Phillips and it doesn’t “cam out” the way Phillips are designed to do. You should use only Posidrive on Yamaha.
There is also another adaption called JIS or Japanese Industrial Standard. The Vessel screwdriver shown is the JIS version of a #2 Posidrive tip. I find these work just as well, but not better than regular Posidrive on Yamaha flange screws. However both Yamaha and Kawai adhere to the JIS standards so it makes sense that you should use JIS drivers whenever you can.
The third point is that it is hard to find a screwdriver that accurately fits the current Steinway flange screws and not having the right screwdriver is not an excuse to mangle the screws. The bits from McMaster Carr are hollow ground, not tapered so they fit to the bottom of the slot. They are also wide (5/16″ and 23/64″) which fit much better leading to less mangled screw heads.
The McMaster Carr 5/16″ bits fit the Steinway flanges out of the box (or bag). The 23/64ths bit is wider so there is better bite on the screw, but it is a little too thick meaning you need to take a couple careful swipes with a file.
Don’t buy all your tools at Home Depot. Take your time, spend some money and buy the right tools for what you’re doing.
This was inspired by a couple of Instagram posts by Hibiki Piano, a maker of tools for piano technology in Japan. He offers a combination tool shank just for Steinway flanges. Follow him on IG: hibikipianokoubou or his website www.hibikipianokoubou.com. Awesome voicing tools but no, I don’t own one…yet.
Also, check out KC Tool, a great distributor of German made tools.