May I use a stainless steel screwdriver as burnisher?

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Forum topic by OCristo posted 12-25-2016 03:39 AM 930 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1013 days

12-25-2016 03:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: burnisher stainless steel

I am buying a couple of Bahco scrapper – they will my first ones… I am considering to purchase a stainless steel PH2 to work with my very rare stainless screws and to use the same screwdriver as burnisher when sharpening the scrappers.

It sounds logical to me as stainless steel is very hard but perhaps I am missing something.

Your experience and advice is very welcome.

Thanks in advance for your input.

-- An Amateur Woodworker

10 replies so far

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1357 days

#1 posted 12-25-2016 03:42 AM

I was wondering the other day if a metal knife sharpening rod could be used.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 1941 days

#2 posted 12-25-2016 04:20 AM

It might work. I know some stainless varieties can gall or smear. You’ll know pretty quick if it doesn’t work. Worth a shot.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bandit571's profile


23441 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 12-25-2016 04:22 AM

Might try to find an old Stanley #3 phillips screwdriver ( I have a couple..) the kind with the long shaft on them. Should be plenty hard for what you need. BTW: old means those older, wood handled ones. Phillips instead of the flat tipped ones, to avoid running out of round shaft. I have two that are about 8-12” long on the shaft.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View bondogaposis's profile


5497 posts in 2807 days

#4 posted 12-25-2016 04:24 AM

I have had to make do on job sites using a putty knife for a scraper and a Phillips screw driver shaft for a burnisher. It works surprisingly well.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MrUnix's profile


7452 posts in 2654 days

#5 posted 12-25-2016 04:28 AM

Like Fridge sez… give it a try and see! I’m more curious about those stainless steel screws though, and why they are so rare!


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View OSU55's profile


2381 posts in 2445 days

#6 posted 12-25-2016 04:33 AM

It will probably work to some degree – might be too soft. I had some success with scrwdrivers, drills, etc, but carbide works much better.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 1941 days

#7 posted 12-25-2016 04:36 AM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View OCristo's profile


12 posts in 1013 days

#8 posted 12-25-2016 12:18 PM

Thanks guys for your fast answers! Great comunity here!

I will try a Wera PH2 stainless steel screwdriver… at USD 10 it is cheaper than an “actual burnisher” and probably that German steel is harder than most of the offered burnishers.

Have all of you a great Christmas.

-- An Amateur Woodworker

View Redoak49's profile


4107 posts in 2444 days

#9 posted 12-25-2016 12:35 PM

Yes, you can do it but probably not well.

Good Scrapers are about Rc 48-52. The shank of a screwdriver is probably not that hard because you want some ductility in a screwdriver shank so that it will bend before it fractures. I have some screwdrivers that are bent but none that have fractured.

The burnisher needs to be harder than the scraper.

If your burnisher is too soft you will not get as good of a hook on the scraper. You can buy a burnisher for about $20.

View Tim's profile


3829 posts in 2417 days

#10 posted 12-25-2016 01:14 PM

Here you can get the hock burnisher without a handle for $16 and it’s hardened to HRC 64
and here you can get a carbide one from Lee Valley for $11.,310,41070

From what I’ve read, the finer the cabinet work you want to do, the more important the polish is on the burnisher.

The stainless driver will probably work ok, but not great. Stainless steels that I could find hardness data for are pretty much all under 100 for HRB which is equivalent to an HRC of about 23, way less than tool steel. There are apparently hardenable alloys, and maybe a driver would be made out of that, but I couldn’t find how hard they can get.

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