The Engineer DR-55 is a low-profile right angle ratcheting screwdriver that fits into tight spaces other drivers won’t reach.
It could also be considered a bit ratchet, but is different from other tools in that it’s optimized for use with the included “bullet-style” bits. According to the product description on Amazon, it’s said to work with standard 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits, but we have not confirmed this firsthand yet.
See Also: Made-in-Japan Low-Profile Screwdrivers
With the included bits, the Engineer bit ratchet is just 22mm tall, which is even smaller than the height of standard 1″ insert bits. The handle measures 111mm long (~4.37″).
The ratcheting direction is set by a lever (positioned mid-handle), and the ratcheting mechanism also has a “quick rotation dial” that allows for fast driving with your finger tips.
The bit storage holder has a tab that can be used as a bit removal aid. Since the included screwdriver bit tips could be difficult to pull out, you can use the accessory to push them out from the top.
It comes with Phillips #1, #2, #3, and slotted 6mm screwdriver bits.
Price: ~$19.20 (as of the time of this posting)
COO: Made in Japan
Buy Now(via Amazon)
I’m not much a fan of proprietary screwdriver bit interfaces, but do like that the Engineer low-profile bit ratchet can be used with the included bits or standard 1/4″ hex bits. Engineer also makes a more “standard” sized bit ratchet that only works with 1/4″ hex bits, but I can’t find a good source for it at the moment.
(Note: We have not yet confirmed firsthand that it works with standard 1/4″ hex bits.)
The DR-55 looks like a good solution for low-profile screw-fastening needs. It seems reasonably priced at ~$20, although there are others – such as one by Craftsman – with enclosed gearing. Laminated and open-gear-style bit ratchets are simple but tend to be very robust.
In the image above, from top to bottom: AA-sized battery, Wera bit ratchet, Craftsman offset bit ratchet, Proto 1/4″ square drive ratchet.
The Wera bit ratchet, now called the “Zyklop Mini 1,” remains one of my favorite tight-space fastening tools. It measures ~3-3/8″ compared to ~4-3/8″ for the Engineer.
Price: ~$34 by itself, $38 with a holder and bit set, ~$70+ as part of a larger screwdriver bit set.
See Also(Wera Bit Ratchet via Amazon)
For the smallest profile possible, nothing has come close to the Neiko low-profile screwdrivers.
Being an electrician. If I was on the job site and saw someone attempting what is shown on picture 6, I would probably send them somewhere to get checked for concussions…
I love bit ratchets. My current favorite is the Zebra/Wurth since it’s very small and has a nice rubber grip. I use them a lot working on motorcycles. I’ve yet to find an open-gear model I like though. I’d be more interested in a set of shorter-than-standard bits to work with my current drivers. Does Engineer (or anyone else) sell the bits separately?
I noticed you wrote: “It comes with Phillips #1, #2, #2, and slotted 6mm screwdriver bits”. The product image seems to show a #1, #2, and #3 Phillips plus the flat head – Amazon listing says “supplied with a 6pc bit set Phillips sizes #1, #2 (x 2) & #3 and 1 x 6.0mm (diameter) slot head.”
Sorry, PH #1, #2, #3, Slotted 6 mm.
Engineer’s listing only mentions the three bits: http://www.engineer.jp/en/products/dr05_06e.html
What I’m worried about now is that the part about 1/4″ hex bit compatibility is also in error. It could be true, but none of the images show any more than the 4 bits in the included holder.
I ordered one and should know for certain tomorrow.
I’ve seen different styles of low-profile screwdriver bits, but don’t recall ever seeing replacement bits sold separately. The exception would be Chapman and their proprietary bit style.
Even if Engineer did offer replacement bits, what’s the chance they would be easily available in the USA?
Maybe 4 bits in the holder and one in the ratchet gets you to tge total 5 bits advertised plus tge holder gets Amazon to 6 piece bit set
Hmm, that’s possible!
It *does* look to have 5 bits in the one dark and blurry image of the packaging I found via a Google image search.
Still, I’ll know for absolute certainty tomorrow, and if/how well it works with 1/4″ hex bits. I also ordered two other styles and might swing by a hardware store later to see if I can round out a comparison with an entry-priced model.
You’re as curious (goofy?) as me. I have many Engineer tools and I just ordered this too.
We shall all see…
Wow… this looks like a very nice set! I’ve had a cheap knock-off ratchet of similar design (more like this: https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-03044A-Ratcheting-Screwdriver-Close-Quarters/dp/B000XYOUS6/ ), but have always thought it was lacking, but pretty much the only option. The custom short-length bits and thumb wheels sure look like a very solid improvement! Glad to have seen this…
Minor typo: the Wera is “Zyklop mini 1” rather than “Zylop”
Thank you! *fixed*
Engineer really seems to make lovely little toys, don’t they, Stuart? EDC Scissors, Solder Sucker, Screw Pliers, now these Screwdriver Ratchets?
Hard not to like this company. No, seriously, it’s very hard not to like them. I’ve tried, but they keep coming out with stuff I want!
For really tight situation, non ratchet slim ones from Lee Valley is really good http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=76800&cat=1,43411,43417&ap=1
Yep, I mentioned those in the post above (https://toolguyd.com/snap-on-anex-low-profile-offset-screwdrivers/).
Not sure if you posted before about what Vim (Durston Mfg.) calls half-cut bits – which are only 5/8 inch long – rather than the more common 1 inch.
I just picked up this set! One of my gripes with a lot of these other low clearance ratcheting solutions is the lack of a comprehensive set of short bits. VIM might be one of the few that offer a full set.
And in addition to the ratcheting wrench included, they also sell a 12” ratcheting wrench with a full pivoting head. I wish they would offer that on the shorter wrench included in this kit, but….
My intent is to use these on my cars mostly. Everything is packed in so tight and these can save a lot of unnecessary disassembly or sometimes be the only solution to get things apart. So for me, hex and torx would see the most use, maybe Phillips.
I should add, I didn’t even take it out of the box yet, but I’ve never been dissatisfied with VIM. They make some clever tools (Taiwan usually) and quality hardline tools.
The smallest setup I’m aware of is the Silca T-Ratchet (I have the variant with the Ti-Torque Kit) — it’s one of my most favourite tools (and it keeps me from lusting after a 1/4″ Snap-on ratchet to match the 3/8″ my Dad brought home from Vietnam).
I keep it in my small/precision tool bag, and it comes out to work on pretty much everything.
The RESQ right angle driver looks about the same. I’ll measure the low-profile height tomorrow (it’s in my toolbox at work).
This Engineer bit driver is most likely of high quality like all Engineer’s tools. It is let down slightly by its big thumb wheel.
On Anex many similar models you can turn the bit with the ratchet wheel making it more compact.
The Neiko bit drivers are also very good but they do not have the “thumb driving” function.
Regarding replacement bits, most japaneese Makers like Anex, Vessel and many more make bits of all sizes. You can find them on Ninja-tools on Ebay
I bought the Vessel version of this type of tool. https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61klgmmionL._SL1500_.jpg
I especially like that one since it has both a bit drive & 1/ 4 square drive.
I’ve tried several and I decided on a Topeak Ratchet Rocket. It comes in various kits, including this one:
I especially like that I can use it as more of a screwdriver handle (stick the bit in the end of the handle) or a ratchet. And – the slim handle means it takes up the least amount of space possible, but I find it comfortable and easy to use.
That one looks appealing too. I posted about it a while back at https://toolguyd.com/topeak-ratchet-rocket-edc-bit-wrench/ . Unfortunately, the new version has more tools but a higher price tag.
I used an iron tron angle grinder chop saw to cut bits to an extremely low profile with my topeak rachet. It makes the bits to 3/4 in total from head to tip of the bit and I can use any crappy bit I have laying around.
So many machines I work on have these torx screws in odd crevices. BTW I work for a knife maker that Rhymes with weatherman. I told the CEO Ben to get you some more multitools for you to review like the free K4 Stuart.
SO is it safe to assume these take the standard 1/4 hex or M6.3 hex bits also?
“accepts standard 6.35mm (1/4″) hex shaft bits (single or double ended) supplied with a 6pc bit set Phillips sizes #1, #2 (x 2) & #3 and 1 x 6.0mm (diameter) slot head” is a direct quote from the amazon page so that’s a yes!
It most likely means 6mm wide slotted tip.
I received mine today and was surprised the box contained five of them. I assume that was a mistake. Price was $19.20.
My wife saw a tiny Craftsman at Lowes, which takes any standard 1/4 hex tool bit. I mean, the whole thing must be no more than 2-1/2″ long. She liked it so I bought it for her tool pouch. (she does a lot of sewing and tinkers with her machine). I tried it, and it’s awkward. In fact, the whole general type is awkward, even the larger sizes. Sometimes they come in handy, but I will make do without one.
I’ve been rather pleased with the low-profile ratchet sold through McMaster: https://www.mcmaster.com/#52725A31
I bought one for a job with tight clearance and soon everyone I work with had ordered one too. Takes regular 1/4″ bits, it has a fine-toothed ratched, and so far nobody has broken the mechanism on theirs. And at 12 bucks, the price is right.