Saturday, January 9, 2016

Vessel screwdrivers, Osaka, Japan

Above, a Vessel screwdriver that looks like it was made for a sewing machine or some other mechanical appliance.  Below, a newer example of the brand:

It's good to know that it's "all hard."

Below, a picture of his Vessel impact driver sent to us by Steve, a frequent visitor to, and commentator on, the blog:

Ginosuke Taguchi founded Taguchi Tekkosho in Osaka in 1916, becoming Japan's first volume manufacturer of screwdrivers.  This was at a time when most of their competition was producing agricultural implements.  In 1933, the company introduced the "Vessel" trademark, using an English word in the hopes of associating the quality of their products with that of large ships.  In the 1950's, products were expanded to include bits for pneumatic tools, and in 1967 the firm offered its own air impact wrench.  In 1962 the company name was formally changed to VESSEL Kogu Co., Ltd., which became Vessel Co., Inc. in 1974.  The company is still going strong:

Given the company's age and pre-eminence in Japan, it's no surprise that it was a contributor to the establishment of the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS).  Under this standard, a very different cross-head screw and driver were developed in Japan, specifically designed not to cam-out as easily as the American Phillips.  For this reason, Phillips screwdrivers should never be used on cross-head fasteners found on Japanese cars, motorcycles and other products. The JIS designation was eliminated in 2008.  For more on the difference between JIS and Phillips, Vessel Tools has posted an informative article.

Below, Phillips tip (round shake) compared with JIS tip (square shank):

Notice the straight sides and smaller bottom taper of the JIS V-shape, versus the Phillips, which has a much wider secondary taper.  This is the feature that causes greater cam-out on the Phillips.


Mister G said...

All those years of ruining Japanese motorcycle engine case screws because we never knew the Philips drivers were wrong....

Steve said...

One more guy here, guilty of the same thing. Fortunately, Vessel also sold a pretty skookum impact driver (with the correct JIS tip), which saved my bacon more than once.