It looks like Craftsman has a couple of new ballgrip screwdrivers that just came out. These new screwdrivers feature large handles that are designed to nestle comfortably in the palm of your hand.
There are 2 new drivers available in 3 color options.
There’s a Phillips screwdriver, and a slotted one. Both come with reversible screwdriver bits that presumably magnetically attach to the ball grip handles’ bit holding sockets. It’s unclear as to whether the handles can work with off-the-shelf 1/4″ hex power bits, but I hope to find out soon.
At first, I thought these were smaller screwdrivers, perhaps suited for EDC carry or portable tool bags, but the photo of the driver in-hand makes them look like regularly sized tools. They can be gripped with a palm and fingertip hold, as shown, but it seems that you should also be able to grip the screwdriver as you would one with a typical straight handle.
The Phillips version especially caught my attention because it features something I don’t recall ever seeing before – a combination Phillips #1 and #3 bit tip. It looks like both Phillips cross tips should be perfectly usable independently.
- Polypropylene plastic handle with elastomer (rubbery) cushioned grip zones
- 5-inch removable bit
- Bit is made from heat treated alloy steel with a corrosion-resistant black oxide finish
- Magnetic bit tips
- Ball grip handle design improves grip and battles fatigue
- Textured grips for secure gripping and quick turning
The Phillips driver has #1, #2, and #3 tips, and the slotted driver has 1/8″ and 1/4″ slotted tips.
These new Craftsman ball grip screwdrivers look identical to Vessel and Hozan made-in-Japan ball grip drivers, don’t you think?
If you’re interested in fixed-blade drivers, or specialty bit sizes, Amazon carries a selection of Vessel and Hozan tools, although I don’t see anything exactly like these new Craftsman screwdrivers.
Buy Now(Other Ball Grip Brands via Amazon)
These new Craftsman ball grip screwdrivers look pretty appealing. The grip does look comfortable, and I am curious as to whether it allows for varying grip positions. The removable screwdriver bits means they break apart for storage, and I hope it also means the potential to use them with other sizes and styles of 1/4″ hex bits. That remains to be seen.
The $9 pricing certainly adds to the appeal.
I’m a little worried, though. A couple of months ago, Craftsman offered a tiny 3.6V rechargeable screwdriver in many different colors. Now, long past the winter holiday season, none of the sizes are available anymore. That makes me wonder if these new screwdrivers are intended for a high volume short selling season for Father’s Day. And if so, are there compromises in the design?
What do you think – is this something you’d be eager to add to your toolbox?