Let’s say you have a whole bunch of 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits, holders, nutdrivers, and similar accessories. Where do you put them – loose in a tool drawer, bag or box, or maybe back into different brands’ assortment cases?
Maybe you have a Dewalt ToughCase parts organizer? Some other solution?
This Ernst Bit Boss is a high density organizer than can hold up to 90 of your 1/4″ hex screwdriving bits and accessories.
The Ernst Bit Boss organizer measures 14.9″ long x 3.6″ wide x 1.2″ tall. There are two color options – black and high-visibility yellow.
There are two types of storage options – 3 rows of holes for 72 vertical bit locations, and 6 clips for a total of 18 horizontal holders for use with longer accessories.
Ernst’s description says that you can easily remove or replace individual rails, although it’s unclear as to how useful this will be seeing as how there are only two rails. Although, this does suggest that if you buy two or more organizers you can swap rails around in case you want all vertical or horizontal storage configurations in a single holder.
Each rail looks to have 3 separate holders that could allow for further customization.
You can use this organizer in a drawer or on a benchtop, and Ernst also says it can be used on the go. It looks like the Bit Boss has small side handles, which would help with portability.
The vertical holes have a “taper lock” design, which Ernst says securely holds bits in place. I would think that tapered contact on the 1/4″ hex bits could potentially make accessory removal a little easier than if they were simply straight-walled holes.
However, Ernst says that the upright bit holes “pinch” the bottom of bits, and can provide a secure hold even when the Bit Boss is upside down. This seems to make the Bit Boss a whole lot more versatile than I had thought.
Ernst says that in addition to being placed on a variety of horizontal surfaces, the Bit Boss can also be hung vertically. This is probably where the Taper Lock feature really comes in handy.
The Bit Boss is made in the USA.
Price: $18 (black) $19 (hi-viz)
Buy Now via Amazon
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Just to be clear, the accessories are all sold separately.
Is this something you would use? Can you recommend a different accessory organizer?
There’s also the Olsa Tools hex bit holder with magnetic base.
This looks very similar to a Mechanics Time Saver product, but certain MTS accessories (including this one) seem to have been harder to find in recent years.
Buy Now: Olsa Organizer via Amazon
Buy Now: Magnetic Time Saver via Amazon
I use 6 different bits.
Six? You must have two jobs.
Designed a 3D printed holder which fits in an Altoids tin:
For the code see:
One full tin of those holders, and two other tins holding various things in various other plastic holders works well for my needs.
I use Altoids tins for bits and fasteners. How would I go about getting someone to print one of these for me ?
Download OpenSCAD, load the code, generate an STL, send it to Shapeways and pay what they want (or get your own 3D printer).
I’ve improved the code a bit — I’ll try to dig it out and get it posted — been meaning to work up a version which could be cut out on a CNC router or mill and then have a metal top bent into place for it.
I posted the updated version at:
Some local libraries have 3d printers
A bit late but apart from Shapeways and other companies there’s also https://reddit.com/r/3Dprintmything/ where you can buy prints from people who own 3D printers. I’ve never used it myself but it’s supposed to work.
Whatever happened to those bit holder grids you posted about some years ago?
There is also the Ullman BH-2
and on that Amazon page they show a Neiko 02449A for $9.30 that looks like the Olsa – but in red
I don’t really need anywhere near that many bits ready at hand.
I use a small Plano organizer with the lid removed and stored underneath the box. If I need to go mobile I just reinstall the lid.
I keep common torx bits in one in one compartment. Phillips in another. And a couple more for my Robertson bits, (yes I’m a huge fan).
A few adapters also in the case and 90% of my needs are covered.
I have a full set of tamper proof torx and other security bits in their own case but I seldom use them since I’m now a retired auto mechanic.
Extra stock is stored in the <$6 DeWalt cases.
Looked at this a while back. Did the price drop? I kinda remember passing it over cus I thought it was expensive. Maybe I am disremembering. Might pick up
the hi-viz version.
Now if I could only find high quality open stock for the different bit sizes/types. Got
s-tons of Phillips #2 but where can you buy just 1 or 2 philips #3 or #4 or hex head or security fastners etc.
Ernst makes good stuff. Have some of their wrench holders. Like them quite a bit.
I think the ultimate for OCD customizable draw storage is tool grid by mantis. https://mantiscanada.com/about-toolgrid
Only sold through tool truck brands so probably very expensive.
You can buy Tool Grid parts online from Obsessed Garage – https://www.obsessedgarage.com/collections/tool-grid
I purchased through them when outfitting a toolbox at work – a bit pricey but definitely a really nice system.
I have a Neiko bit holder that looks identical to that Olsa one but a few bucks less on amazon. I haven’t done it yet, but I figure if you cut it in half it should fit perfectly in a low profile packout organizer bin. Glue it to the bottom, and the bits will stay put with the built in magnet.
Harbor Freight also has an identical one. I have a couple stuck to my rolling tool cart and they work well.
I filled a sandwich bag half full of all the spare bits I could find in my work shop and sold the whole bag for $2.00 at a garage sale just recently. No joke….it was probably a pound or two.
I like the Olsa Tools version above. Would work well for hex shank drill bits, too.
I really like that organizer. I’ve noticed it before – and the Olsa too. I need a bigger tool box for room for things like this.
For the moment, I’m using a 3/4″ piece of plywood with holes drilled in a grid pattern. It works alright – stores a lot of bits in a small space, vertically so I can see the tips. If there was a plastic version, I’d buy that. Not portable like this since I have to carry it flat.
Organizing bits makes them so much more useful. It’s great if I need some security bit, or an extra wide flat blade – maybe I want torx but I’m not exactly sure what size? Grab a handful.
I know insert bits don’t get a lot of love – but I think they’re great. With a Felo insert bit handle I have like 200+ screwdrivers.
If you don’t like insert bits, maybe organizing them will change your mind.
Koko The Talking Ape
It occurs to me that you could use 9/16″ or slightly thicker piece of wood as you say, but drill the holes all the way through, then attach a sheet of rubberized magnetic material, the kind that refrigerator magnets are made of, to the bottom to close off the holes and hold the bits in place.
Make another drilled piece of wood to fit over it as a lid, but instead of the magnetic material, use a sheet of brass or thin plywood. Use a hinge or latches to hold the pieces together.
The magnetic sheet might not be strong enough to hold the bits on their own, but they should keep them from spilling out when you open the lid.
I’ve got the Olsa one – pretty happy with it! Nice strong magnets and compact storage.
That seems nice for bulk storage in a drawer, but not so much for on the go. I use bosch’s large bit cases with their red inserts and make my own bit kits for on the go. It has all the bits I’ll need for a job and easily carries wiht me.
I made mine from scrap oak. Still going strong.
And no signs of corrosion or other issues? I remember someone bringing that up as a concern. Update – that was Fred!
I’ve been thinking of making a couple of over-complicated versions, maybe also with magnetic mounting or retention.
I ordered a box of Birdseye and curly maple wood off-cuts, and one or two of the pieces might be too narrow for anything else.
I made a holder for milling collets years ago out of Oak. I just soaked it in oil, no problems with rust.
Nope, it’s still going strong. A bit of weathering being wood and all. No issues with oak and the bits, although I just upgraded the bits to Wera.
I’m planning to make my own bit storage with a plastic box and picking out some bit holders and cutting them to my needs and maybe incorporating some foam. I’m probably going to use a box from Plano or The Container Store or something similar.
I’m a fan of the DeWalt toughcase+ line. Only things I might want from them would be a source for just the actual bit holder blocks, dividers, and blade holder misc pieces, and a DeWalt solution for adapting it to toughsystem, as I don’t have any Tstak. I’ve picked up a decent collection of the small and medium cases, the more recent smalls were pretty much sources for the blocks they came with. My day to day stack of toughcases has a small case I transplanted the 50pc (?) Wiha terminator bit set, a small case full of backup insert bits of all styles and several lengths of bit holders, a third and final small case holds a light duty drill index (labelled non-metal), then two medium cases-one holds 3 complete sets of Spyder Mach blue drill bits, and the other is divided and holds my Diablo recip and jigsaw blades. And the base of all these is the largest toughcase (with the carry handle and Tstak footprint) which I found difficult to purpose specifically, with it’s annoying permanent vertical dividers built in, so that’s holding one full height compartment of loose spare drill bits, removable dividers make a few bays for various 2″ power bits, and another for 1/16 and 1/8″ drill bits, and the rest of the space is used by 4 of the mini cases that set into the toughcase teeth (under appreciated component if you ask me) each full of a single insert bit style for crew or loaners/backups. I’ve been very happy with the setup, but again I’d be just a little happier if I could source the custom insert stuff without buying cases I don’t need, or rationing however many of each type of happen to have and limiting my options.
Forgot my third medium case that has my full wiha 6″ nut driver set with a 6″ extension, with dividers separating a set of stubby nut drivers and another set of standard 3″ nut drivers. Several of the spare small cases not related to tool accessories are great for small parts as well. I’ve got wagos nicely organized in one, a few with various crimp connectors-one case per size, one’s just a 6-32 set moved into the toughcase for convenience, stuff like that.
I also want a source for the individual dividers, bit holders, etc, that fit into the ToughSystem cases. I actually contacted Dewalt’s customer service about it. They took forever to get back to me only to say that no, they did not sell those things individually.
Frankly that’s mindboggling. If you introduce a new storage system and the whole point is how the dividers, holders, etc, can be moved around and re-positioned in the cases to suit the user’s needs then why would you not sell those things individually? I ended up buying a couple extra bit sets when they were on sale just so I could get some more holders.
For portable work, no, that’s far too large. I keep my commonly used bits in a Toughcase.
On the other hand in my workshop I have a huge variety of oddball hex bits that I rarely use. Right now I keep them in a plano box but honestly this would be much easier to access. I will probably order one.
I just bought this a couple weeks ago! I would have give Stuart his link commission had I known this would be posted.
The bit boss was exactly what I was looking for. A high density way to store all types of bits in a drawer, and be able to take them out and with me for projects. The quality is in line with other Ernst products – decent at a fair price IMO.
I would say it is as advertised. I was surprised at how well the bits are gripped by the tapered holes. They don’t take force to insert, but you can still invert the whole tray and nothing falls out.
I personally find the second rail where you store accessories/larger bits flat less useful, because it’s not as dense. I wish they offered each of these two storage rail types seperately so you could customize.
Something that might not be clear from the picture: this product recycles parts from Ernst’s socket rail organizers. In fact, the tray seems to be the same as their socket boss trays. The bottom portion of the bit organizers are just Ernst socket rails, with different plastic parts for holding bits on top.
So one added advantage (if you have their socket rail systems) is that you can mix and match the bit boss and socket rails into organizer trays and whatnot.
SOLD! As a collision tech, this is a great setup. Upon disassembly, I may run across one to two dozen types of fasteners where I can use a 1/4″ hex drive system. Having most everything I need including nut drivers and extensions is a true time saver.
pssbt. real men keep all their hex bits loosely rolling around in the top drawer of the rollaround. along with the ratcheting screwdriver, a pick set and other crap.
OK serious note. I like to have my 1/4 drive bits (and my 1/8 now that I have that too) seperated into groups of what they are. Example all the philips together, all the slotted together, all the metric hex, all the SAE hex, all the torx. that way I know I need a torx 15 and a 25 to take apart ______ So you could just grab the small bar with all the torx on it.
I like the concept need more divisions and I’d love to color arrange them. Red for Metric hex, yellow for SAE, Green for torx, blue for philps . or you know something like that (the red, yellow green came from the colors of common bondhus holders)
Just needs socket rails. working in bike share we have an odd mix of 1/4 hex shank and 1/4 square drive and a 3/8 square bit or three that every bench needs and anything bigger can live in the shared tool chest. i had to get some hefty chunks of aluminum and drill it for 1/4 hex shank bits and fasten some
1/3 length socket rails to it. tried to do the 5s thing where everything had a place and there was a place for everything. this is so close to my old setup.
I’ve been using an altoids case for a few years. Just recently I bought an array of 6” bits because they stick up out of the small pockets on my tool belt—no case to open up nor are they falling off a magnet constantly. The trade-off is that it takes a bit more finesse to start a screw straight in the work. If I have a lot of fasteners to install the altoids case is still handy.
Ernst’s website has options including colors, socket racks etc
I really like Ernst’s socket and wrench organizers but I’d pass on storing my hex bits like this. Seems like too much horizontal real estate.
I’ve found that organizers only make me more disorganized because the fancy ones are a pain to replace the bits. I get along OK with those that hold a few bits, but not the bigger ones. I have no use for stubby bits either. I keep a handful in case I need them in a tight spot, but I like 2-4″ bits.
My “organizer” is 4 plastic vials with orange screw-on caps. I marked the caps for phllips (+), slot (I) Torx (*) and hex shanked drill bits (8). I keep 4-5 bits in each vial. I keep a couple of accessories in the slot head vial.