A few months ago I posted about new Klein Multi-Nut drivers. In that post several commenters mentioned the Irwin multiple size nut drivers and wanted us to take a closer look.
The Irwin 6-in-1 nut drivers each come with 3 double-sided sockets that are stored away on a 6mm hex shaft inside the handle, rather than stacking like Russian dolls.
All of the sockets are normal 6-point hex sockets with their size stamped on the rim. But instead of a square recess, they have an internal 6mm hex pass-though. The hex recess slides onto the driver shaft and engages with a ball detent mechanism to help keep the sockets in place. The driver shaft has its own ball detent mechanism that snaps it into place in the handle.
The handle boasts a “3-zone comfort grip.” What they mean by 3 zone is there are areas with high texture, low texture, and no texture on the handle. Irwin says this provides more control and greater torque.
Each driver can fit 6 different sized nuts. The SAE driver includes 1/4″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, and 1/2″ nut drivers, while the Metric driver includes 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, and 13mm sizes. As a bonus, you can use the shaft of the driver on any fasteners with a 6mm hex head.
They’re priced at $15 each at Lowes, in-store and online, and you can also find them at Amazon for slightly more.
A few days after I wrote the Klein multi-nut driver preview, I picked up the SAE version of the Irwin nut driver. I liked it so much that I picked up the Metric the next time I visited Lowes.
First off, these are big drivers, and heavy too. They weigh 364 g each (about 13 oz), and are almost 9″ long. The handle is also thicker than a normal nut driver or screwdriver. They aren’t unwieldy though, and I feel that the convenience of having 6 sizes of nut driver in one handle more than makes up for the larger size.
I don’t use nut drivers very often, but when I do, I normally have to grab multiple drivers to make sure I get the size I need. Now as long as I know if the nut is going to be SAE or Metric, I only have to grab one tool.
The few times I’ve used these nut drivers I’ve noticed very little play due to the multiple connection points and have had no problem breaking loose nuts and bolts or torquing them back down.
Since the handle and shafts are identical between the two drivers, you can mix and match SAE and Metric sockets on one tool. For instance, if you know ahead of time you are going to need a 5/16″, 8 mm, and 13 mm driver, you can load up one shaft with these sockets and only need to carry one tool.
Here’s a short video I put together to demonstrate features of the Irwin multiple size nut drivers. One correction: I say the shafts and pass throughs are 1/4″ hex when they are actually 6mm hex.