Craftsman Ratcheting Screwdriver

Several years ago after failing to get my-son-the-mechanic to take a hint and get me the premium SnapOn ratcheting screwdriver reviewed earlier in Cool Tools, I bought the (much cheaper) Craftsman Ratcheting Screwdriver (yeah, good ‘ol Sears!) model #41796. Turns out, it was a great buy.

This tool is well thought-out by someone who actually uses tools. The handle is round-and-rubberized rather than square-and-slippery, and it is a bit oversized, so you can actually apply significant torque and work with it for a long time without ruining your hands. It has the best ratchet I’ve ever used. There is no slack whatsoever. Feels like a clutch-action rather than a geared ratchet. However, if you’re like me, you’ll never use it, since there’s a much better way. The back-end of the driver handle swivels effortlessly, so if you lock the blade in the fixed position, you can keep pressure on the back of the driver and swivel your hand in either direction instantly, without ever having to push a button, flick a button or twist anything to switch back and forth from ‘tighten’ to ‘loosen’. The handle also contains a pull-out bit storage device that keeps 14 additional standard-size hex bits instantly available in individual slots. Just pop one out and swap it for the bit currently in the magnetized driver tip. (no more lost bits.) Comes with a good selection of all the common sizes of blade, Phillips, Torx and square-drive bits.

-- Steve Waskow  

[Please see the more recently-reviewed Klenk Ratcheting Screwdriver. -- SL]

Craftsman Ratcheting Screwdriver Set
$25 (Model #41796)
Available from Sears