General Tools has come out with 2 new Express ratcheting precision screwdrivers that feature a dual drive mechanism that allows bit tips to turn in the same direction regardless of the direction of handle rotation.
We’ve seen this before in Kobalt Double Drive screwdrivers, and other brands’ similar offerings.
The new Express precision screwdriver set (70210) comes with (2) bits: slotted: 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″; Phillips: #000, #00, #0, #1; Torx: T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15; Pozidriv: PZ00, PZ0, PZ1.
It’s available now, at Amazon, for a little over $20.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
There will also be an Express T-handle precision driver (70211) that has an ergonomic T-shaped handle. It’s a little shorter than the traditionally-styled driver, and the T-handle appears to be a first in the Double Drive screwdriver market.
The T-handle set comes with (20) bits and sockets: slotted: 1/16″, 3/32″; Phillips: #00, #1; Torx: T5, T6, T10; sockets: 3/32″, 1/8″, 5/32″; Hex SAE: 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″, 5/32″; Hex Metric: 4mm, 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm, 1.5mm.
The “Express” ratcheting mechanism looks like the Double Drive mechanism we’ve already seen, and its functionality is described to work in an identical manner. Because of this, I can’t say I’m too impressed with the traditional precision screwdriver, especially since it costs more than the comparable Kobalt model. But the T-handle driver – that’s something new, and appealing.
That’s strange. I have been using a t handle driver with the same dual drive mechanism for several months now. Sears sells it under their craftsman brand.
Are you sure? I haven’t seen any “Double Drive” screwdrivers under Craftsman branding.
years ago someone made an ergo hand that pivoted in the middle to be a offset T handle – wish I could remember who.
but I always thought it would be a great ratcheting driver for all uses. would like to see a double drive product that did that.
KoKen makes hinged socket spinner handles:
So does Facom: https://toolguyd.com/facom-hinged-handle-socket-spinner/
Cheaper too – the KoKen 2769H is about $39 at Franks Tools and is also listed by a third party on Amazon for a quite ridiculous price.
I gotta say, after owning and using the Kobalt stubby variant of this drive mechanism I’m less impressed with the execution than I had thought I would be. If you have a screw/bolt/nut that moves freely then great — you can blow through the job twice as fast. However, as soon as you encounter a certain level of resistance you quickly realize two things: the engagement ring is far too slippery to grip, and if you somehow are able to keep it from slipping then the torque required to drive in reverse (or vise versa) is apparently multiplied. I could be wrong about that last part.
Given high-torque situations negate the double-drive advantage, I find it hard to understand in what situation that t-drive model have an advantage over a traditional ratcheting t-drive.
In my experience these products have little advantage over a traditional or ratchet driver with helpful knurling on the drive shaft (smaller circumference = faster rotation) or something like the Klein Rapi-Drive system.
While I haven’t played with these, on the Kobalt version you could lock the ‘double drive’ to regain normal torque. For this, the T-handle version looks very interesting to me.
You could lock the mechanism then break the fasteners free. Then unlock the double drive to quickly remove all of them.
However, at home, I just use my little Bosch impact driver to do this sort of work with far less strain on my wrists.
yes it is going to be exactly double the torque necessary when holding the double drive ring to spin it. that’s the whole point of the system – speed up spinning though the longer screws and bolts when the torque is low – then you let go of the ring, and use the drive as a standard ratcheting screwdriver. it is the best of both worlds in that regard.
I love mine – I have a first gen Kobalt one, as it does both functions however it is slightly bulky and heavier – which is the price you pay for extra gearing.
the precision version is awesome for computer case work and laptops. I do like the precision tips in general.
The only thing I don’t like about this is the little groups of bits. I have a hard enough time keeping track of one “block” of bits.
I would like a T handle driver, with just a very smooth ratcheting mechanism, and knurling on the shaft. For my uses, I would prefer that, over the double drive mechanism.