General Purpose Tools

Klein Switch Drive

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Handle fits any driver with a ¼” power tool accessory shank

Screwdriver bits: Most people seem to love those itty-bitty insert bits, the 1/4″ hex drive magnetically-kept bits for all sorts of screw heads. A huge assortment of these bits are available for pretty much anything appropriate. However, insert bits (small & usually only kept by a magnet) are easily popped out and, for me, tend to roll away. Get lost, too. And, being so short, the driver end is thickened up – sometimes too much to end up being useful in all situations.

So rather than those frustratingly too small insert bits, I’ve been using power bits. These are, in one sense, the same as insert bits with the same wide assortment of useful ends, but with the significant difference being that they *lock* into their chuck. Also, they can be much longer; some I use are a foot long and really reach in past a lot of stuff. A great solution. Really. Power bits don’t cost a lot more, and getting good ones isn’t difficult (most of mine are from Wiha). They can reach further and there’s no worry about leaving the bit in a fastener or wondering where it rolled away to. All mine were collected with the intent to use them with cordless drills &/or impact tools. For manual use, my tool bag still had a thorough assortment of traditional screwdrivers.

The rub: All those driver handles add a lot of weight. Finally, it popped into my head that I needed to find a handle that fit all my Power Bits. While I can use the machines, I can also not carry any machine with these bits and still put them to use, saving myself the weight of those gizmos and losing the weight of all those handles. There are different versions of these handles by different manufacturers. I prefer the Klein Switch Drive for its “manly” size and how its locking mechanism works: Just press its washer-slim disk against the handle to swap bits. Again, any Power Bit will fit this handle. (It’s not appropriate for insert bits though a Power-Bit-based insert bit holder can be used.) It’s a good product that really lightens up my tool bags & adds flexibility.

-- Wayne Ruffner 05/24/18