I reached for my Hitachi 18V brushless triple anvil impact driver test sample (be sure to check out Ben’s review of it) and some screws, but I was lacking something important – an impact-rated bit holder and an impact-rated Phillips #2 screwdriver bit.
After some quick rummaging I came across a black-cased Dewalt bit set. The black-cased sets are usually for impact-rated sets, and yellow for drill/driver bit sets.
I grabbed the bit holder and a slightly worn bit that still had lots of life.
The task was a quick one – installing a baby gate across the 6-foot doorway between dining room and living room. I could have used a drill, but the Hitachi impact driver was the first tool to come to mind.
The first 5 screws went in nicely. The next 5, not so much. On screw number 6, the bit popped out of the holder, and took the magnet along for the ride.
ARGH! I did what I could, but ended up grabbing a Milwaukee locking impact-rated bit holder to finish the task.
So… what went wrong?
Well, the magnet popped out. Duh. But how? Why? I haven’t done an extensive study, but a quick evaluation suggested that the adhesive failed, allowing the magnet to pop out. Either that, or the coating failed and the magnet broke apart. While the magnet is discolored on the adhesive side, there are no fragments, so I am decisively leaning towards believing that the adhesive failed.
This happened to me before, most notoriously with a Craftsman L-shaped wrench that came with a hex bit assortment. With that Craftsman L-wrench, one of the magnets was liberated with the first use.
I have not used this Dewalt bit set all that much, and so the bit holder has seen some use but not extensive use.
It’s a simple defect. Either it’s a manufacturing defect, or it came about due to temperature or humidity swings where it was being stored. All signs point to a manufacturing defect. Maybe a little less glue or epoxy was used than there should have been, or it wasn’t cured properly.
Or maybe something I did caused this to happen. But what?
Oh, well. I’ll consider this a fluke occurrence.
My search for a recommendable impact-rated bit holder still continues. Last year we asked you about impact bit holders that don’t suck. I still haven’t found an impact-rated bit holder that I can enthusiastically recommend. Generally, all the ones I’ve found are *just okay*.
The somewhat new Milwaukee Shockwave bit holders that came to the rescue are quite good. My only complaint might be their bulkiness, but they’re strong and sturdy, and have a locking mechanism. Acme has them for $8 each.
Now, I’m off to install some cabinets, just as soon as I can find a slender impact-rated bit holder. I’m sure I have another one around here somewhere. The most common one I have seems to be this Dewalt all-silver style, and despite this incident, I still have faith in their accessories. Although these types of failures seem to be rare, it still sucks.
Have you ever had this happen to you with any brand’s magnetic bit holder, impact-rated or otherwise?
The bit holder was included in a Dewalt FlexTorq screwdriver set, I believe it was DWA2T40IR, which sells for $30 on Amazon.