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Earle Baldwin

RIGID #2 Phillips Head Screwdriver (O Gauge Tool)

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A key to successful railroad maintenance in any scale, including the prototype, is a supply of quality tools. Upon entering a prototype facility such as Metro-North’s Harmon, NY shop during the annual open house, one can view a wide variety of tools required to keep every facet of the railroad in prime operating condition. Without the ability to maintain the physical plant, trains don’t run.


The same principle applies to modeling. An experienced model railroader will tell you his best asset is a well stocked tool box. As a veteran modeler, I am always looking for quality tools to assist me in keeping my railroad running. One particularly useful item for O gauge I have found is a RIGID #2 Phillips head screwdriver. A frequently performed maintenance activity is the removal of locomotive bodies for electronics work, lubrication and traction tire replacement. This head of this screwdriver mates perfectly with body mount screws of locomotives built by a variety of contemporary manufacturers. It fits snugly and provides ample torque to loosen the screws which are quite frequently over tightened due to the use of power tools at the factory. The tailored fit protects the integrity of the screws as they are removed. The screwdriver continues to perform well in servicing pieces made by Atlas, K-Line, Lionel, MTH and Weaver….a very versatile tool.


The screwdriver is equipped with an easy grip red handle. On the handle is “693-425” which I believe to be the item number. “RIGID” is printed in capital letters on the opposite side. “#2” is printed on the top of the handle. The shaft and head are treated steel which stands up well to frequent use. The head of my screwdriver shows no distortion or wear along its edges.


I purchased my RIGID screwdriver at a Home Depot. If you operate recent production O gauge equipment you would be well served to acquire one for your railroad’s shop forces. They’ll thank you for it!


Happy repairs,



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