Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tools: 10-in-1 Screwdriver

I thought it would be nice if I started posting about some of the tools that I've collected over the years. I have no motivation for advertising particular brands, but I will try to describe my rational for choosing what I did.

So let me start with a great screwdriver. In fact, I would go so far to say that this is probably the only screwdriver you will need for most projects you face. Needless to say, this is a great start for building a basic tool collection.

This is the Klein 10-in-1 screwdriver. I got it for a summer job a few years back doing low-voltage electrical work. It runs about $12 at most places I've seen. I've had it for about four years, and it's never let me down. When I need a screwdriver, I grab this one about 90% of the time.

What makes it so special? Well, for starters, it really is 10-in-1. It has two phillips, two slothead, two Torx, and two Robinson (square) tips. In addition to that, it also provides two different sizes of nut-driving ability (I thought about it, and that's probably the least funny way I could say that). One nice feature is that you can just pop off the end of it and throw it in a drill. Heck, it even works as a drill extention.

I only have one issue with this screwdriver. Probably the best thing about it is that you can use any old 6-sided screwbit tip for it. However, it doesn't lock in when you do. I wish it used a different mechanism to hold in the bits so that generic ones worked too. Also, it's not magnetic. That's a handy feature sometimes (but then again, sometimes you *don't* want a screwdriver to be magnetic).

This has got to be one of the most reliable and useful tools that I own. If you're looking for a screwdriver, or even a set of screwdrivers, you might want to consider this one. But be careful, I know a lot of places sell low-quality 4-in-1 screwdrivers or ones that appear to be similar to this one. I can confidently say that Klein makes high-quality tools that should last many years.


Jim R said...

The handle is to thick for those who must carry a lot of tools for multi-trades work. In addition, the bits are proprietary and not available locally.

I find a standard 4/6-in-one driver with thinner handle, Enderes or the China equivalent, handles 80% of screw needs and bits are available at most hardware stores.

Blogger said...

Thanks for the comment, Jim.

I think you bring up some valid points. But for me, when I was a low-voltage tech for a few summers, I only needed this one screwdriver to cover all my tasks. Thankfully I didn't lose any bits!

If this Klein screwdriver had a magnetic insert of sorts, it could accept all sorts of conventional bits. As it is now, they fit but don't lock into the screwdriver (since these proprietary bits have a ball bearing locking mechanism).

I've had luck with other drivers as well. I guess it just comes down to the right tool for the job.