After writing about the Felo pivoting T-handle screwdriver handle earlier in the month, I realized there were a bunch of unanswered questions. How well does the pivot work? Can it be used with regular 2″ power bits? Bit holders?
The handle is normally a part of Felo’s interchangeable shaft screwdriver sets, but it is also available separately. Ashkon from German Hand Tools sent over a sample for testing.
Just to make it clear, I only tested the Felo Smart handle, model 60427. None of these bits are Felo bits, they’re whatever I had in my toolbox.
The Smart handle has a ball bearing on the inside, meant to help lock in Felo’s double-sided screwdriver bits in place. It’s too close to the front of the 1/4″ hex socket to lock onto standard 2″ power bit grooves, so the bits must be pushed past the ball detent until they bottom out.
I first tried the Smart handle with my Wera Rapidaptor locking bit holder. The bit adapter was seated deep within the Felo’s 1/4″ hex socket, which didn’t work out too well since it made it awkward to operate the Rapidaptor’s push-pull quick release mechanism.
If you want to use a Rapidaptor or other locking bit holder that has spring-loaded or push-pull mechanisms, make sure they’re longer than 2″.
The Smart handle worked quite well with my Craftsman 4″ bit holder. I found that the bit holder attached securely, with no wobbly movements.
Switching from inline driving mode to T-handle mode is quite easy.
Step 1: Push forward to unlock the bit socket shaft. It’s spring-loaded and will swing into the 90° T-handle position by itself.
Step 2: Push down again to lock the shaft in place.
To switch the handle back to inline driving mode, pull the shaft out to unlock it, fold it back to the 0° position, and then press down to lock it in place.
Following are two more examples of the types of bits and bit holders you can use with the Felo Smart handle.
Ordinary 2″ power bits? Yes, no problem.
2″ and longer bit holders? They fit with no problem, as long as there are no complex push-pull or sliding mechanisms on the outside.
Technically I can use this handle with my short Wera Rapidaptor and other bit holders that have sliding parts, but switching bits is a greater hassle.
I am generally fond of Felo’s ergonomic screwdriver handle profiles. They fit my hand well and allow for moderate torque delivery. In the 0° position the driver feels just as good as any of my other Felo hard-handled screwdrivers.
The handle’s design allows for quick switching between inline and T-handle positions. This means that you can quickly spin the handle when low torque is required and switch to T-handle mode when a task calls for more torque.
Symmetrical T-handle drivers are going to be easier and more comfortable to use, but that’s not to say that I’m displeased with the Felo Smart handle.
For $12 you get a bit holder that works well as a straight driver and reasonably well as a T-handle driver. It fits standard 2″ bits and bit holders just fine, and is comfortable to use. I wouldn’t want to use this handle for long periods of time, but it seems ideal for mobile tool kits and casual use.
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Thank you to Ashkon/GHT for providing the review sample unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for benchmark and comparison purposes.