I don't want to break out any metallurgy textbooks, so we'll keep the conversation pretty simple. The only way to make a stainless-steel shaft black is to coat it, as steel is inherently silver in color.
Coating has a few issues. The biggest one being that when you damage the surface finish, you lose the applied color - exactly like scratching the paint on a black car, or getting water on your satin wall paint (shoutout to all the eggshell lovers out there).
This damage is purely aesthetic, but it does expose the uncoated silver stainless steel underneath. With a black coating, the contrast with silver is stark, and it leaves the driver looking a bit cheap and worn out if you're giving it the daily use that we hope you will.
As of this week, we've overcome the final challenges we had before production. This thing feels, and looks, f*cking awesome. We are days away from giving the final approval for production, and this was our last decision to make... do we go with the black chrome, which looks FANTASTIC on day 1 but wears away through normal use, or switch to the standard silver stainless, which also looks great and will look just as good after months or years of normal use?
Even if we don't prefer it aesthetically, the decision is obvious. This product is built to last. We want it to be your go-to ratcheting driver for years and years to come, and it needs to look the part in 5 years just as much as it does when you unbox it. As great as the black chrome looks on day 1, it doesn't align with that primary goal of longevity.
So that's it. It's final. This is the LTT Screwdriver.