General Purpose Tools

Klenk Ratcheting Screwdriver

4:1 Hyperdriver

I know Cool Tools has featured ratcheting screwdrivers before — that’s where I got the idea to get one. I went out and bought the Sears version, since I couldn’t justify the cost of the Snap-on, and right after picking up the Sears driver, I found this Klenk 4:1 Multi-ratio driver ($23). It is a basic ratcheting screwdriver with two big advantages over the Sears model.

First, it has a black knob on the shaft that when held, allows the bit to turn four times for every one handle turn. It’s phenomenally fast and rivals drill drivers on small to medium jobs, where you don’t want to drag out the heavy equipment. It’s best suited for long screws, where the 4:1 gearing can really speed them in or out. However, since it is essentially high gear, you can’t put a lot of torque on it.


The second improvement is the bit storage and retrieval. The Sears version has these clips to stick the single-sided bits in. Getting them in or out isn’t smooth. The Klenk has a system with a hole in the top and you sort of lift to disengage the lock and dial the hole to the bit you want, which you can see through the side of the handle. The bits are also double-ended. It holds 8 double-ended bits for a total of 16 heads.

One improvement I’d like to see on this tool is for the ratchet mechanism to be tighter, since in narrow spaces where you can’t turn your hand much, the play in the ratchet can result in not getting much of a turn. Also, the 4:1 knob prevents it from reaching in narrow places to begin with. Overall, though, the 4:1 gearing is worth the $20 even if you already have a Snap-on or Sears model.

-- Mike Numamoto 10/29/18

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2009 — editors)

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