Giaco Whatever, a maker and YouTuber, has come out with a new Kickstarter for his Kinetic Screwdriver.
I’m going to tell you right away – this is the first Kickstarter product I have ever backed, and for it’s a tool that I really don’t need.
A lot of Kickstarter tools and products these days aim to convince you why their doodad is a game-changing problem-solver, and some of them are.
But here, Giaco emphasizes that you don’t need his Kinetic Driver.
I backed the project because the screwdriver looks neat and because Giaco says this will be the only opportunity to get one. It’s kind of like Woodpeckers’ One Time Tool designs, where it’s now or never.
Since Giaco successfully delivered on their “Maker Knife” campaign, that and his reputation has me feeling comfortable that my pledge will result in an actual product being delivered.
With all that out of the way, what exactly are we looking at here?
Basically, this is a precision screwdriver bit driver.
There’s a ball bearing end cap, which allows for smooth and effortless finger-twirling of the screwdriver. But, the biggest feature is the brass cylinder located close to the bit holder. This creates a very low center of gravity and a “flywheel effect” where you can quickly spin small fasteners as you install or remove them.
The ball bearing end cap gives you speed. The brass cylinder gives you mass. The low center of gravity gives you stability.
The effect should be quickly-turned fasteners.
With traditional precision screwdrivers, there’s too much friction and too little mass to gain momentum.
Here’s Giaco’s Kinetic Screwdriver summed up in one image:
I suppose you could think of this as a tall spinning top with a screwdriver bit holder at the bottom.
Giaco’s marketing angle repeats but you don’t need that as he describes the screwdriver’s features. He’s perfectly right.
This isn’t a must-have tool. Maybe it will provide some usage advantages, and there could be downsides as well.
I worked with small fasteners over the weekend, and the kind where I just had to deal with how slow the process was. The fasteners were too small for use with cordless power tools, and there wasn’t enough friction where a ratcheting screwdriver could have helped with anything. I am very confident that this Kinetic Screwdriver would have saved me some time and effort.
I pledged/ordered one because I use precision screwdrivers a lot, and it would be nice to have something like this at reach for when I need to use precision bits instead of my individual screwdrivers.
I probably wouldn’t have purchased one if not for ToolGuyd, though. I find the design curious, and wonder how well it actually works. I’ll let you know in a few months, after the Kickstarter screwdrivers are made and delivered.
There’s nothing wrong with tools being fun to use, or designed to inspire their users.
The way I see it, Giaco designed the screwdriver as a fun tool for himself, and is making more for the rest of us to enjoy.
Not to mince words, this is a screwdriver for folks who have money to burn on non-essential tools. As mentioned, if not for ToolGuyd’s encouraging me to explore new and novel tools, I’d probably have more tool needs to put the same money towards.
(1) is €75 plus €15 shipping to the USA, (2) are €150 plus €15 shipping to the USA.
That comes out to be ~$107 for (1) or ~$197 for (2). Ouch.
To me, this is for makers and hobbyists who want a fun connection to their work, or have lots of small low-torque fasteners to turn. Or, if you’re a tool reviewer compelled to explore new tools with a small budget dedicated to “interesting but non-essential” tool sample purchases.
This is a pricey screwdriver with an almost toy-like top or fidget-spinner-type appeal.
What I find appealing about the design is that it seems to aim for a 50:50 form-to-function ratio.
It looks good, but it also looks like a good tool to use as well.
I couldn’t pass it up – I need to check this out.
Pledge/Support Deadline: September 16 2020 8:30 AM EDT
Shipping ETA: November 2020
Each screwdriver comes with a kinetic driver, 24x precision screwdriver bits, and an organizer case.
You can choose between a brass and stainless steel bearing ring.
At this time, the Kinetic Driver will be made in Italy.
It Costs HOW MUCH? Alternatives
Here are some lower priced alternatives:
This Xiaomi precision screwdriver set is made by Wiha and is priced at $25-30.
Buy Now via Amazon
Read More Here
This Wera Kraftform Micro screwdriver set is a good buy with stellar reviews. I own quite a few and think they’re fantastic.
If you want a premium screwdriver that sports a more traditional design, Scout Leather makes a small 1/4″ hex bit screwdriver with spinning end cap. The titanium model (right) is priced at $85. Copper, brass, and zirconium (left) models are also available.
So 1/4 bit or 1/8th bit?
what I use that I’ve loved so far is my Kobalt dual driver 1/8th bit precision. when I want to speed down a screw – hold the collar and double twist. smooth ratchet motion too.
I think they still make them. 1/8 bits are great for the small stuff.
I do like the idea of the spinning mass but the cost seems quite high.
I’d assume 4mm. But since they don’t specify, I can’t guess.
Very timely considering Countrycomm sent an email about a TPSK – Titanium Precision Screwdriver Kit
I was actually about to post a link to it. At first I thought the one the article is about was a very fancy version.
Hmm, looks interesting, but there’s no mention of where it’s made (County Comm is usually specific about the many USA-made products they carry), and the half-coated bits look to cheapen everything in my opinion.
Regardless of origins, it looks well-shaped and $30 could be a very good bargain.
I’ll take a look at it, thanks!
Countycomm has been in the doghouse with me for a while. I ordered something, contacted them about it missing a tiny o-ring. They sent a couple of o-rings of the wrong sizes and when I asked for size spec so I could source my own correct one, they said didn’t know because it could change from batch to batch. They tried to make things right, bit it didn’t help, and that left me frustrated for a while now. Might be time to give them another chance.
Paul E Hacker
O-rings at your local hydraulic cylinder repair shop have almost any size you could wants also places that make hoses.
That’s a great concept, but for that price, for me, I might just mod an $8 bit-holder with some epoxy and a chunk of scrap steel or stack some washers
That might look really cool actually, and with washers you could potentially alternate layers with a different material such as colored acrylic.
and the knife makers thought they had the market for cool coloured liners.
Koko The Talking Ape
I was just thinking the same thing. If you heat up the scrap steel and drill the hole, it might shrink enough when it cools to make a tight fit without the epoxy.
A chunk of copper would be easier to drill, heavier and would expand more when heated. A circular disk would be nice, but it could be square. I guess ideally it would be drilled first, then mounted in a lathe or something to round it off.
Koko The Talking Ape
The reason I circular disk is that it would have more moment of inertia than a narrowish cylinder of the same weight (like in the Giaco), so you could make a tool that performs better (spins longer) and weighs the same, or performs just as well but weighs less. The downside is that the flattened disk makes the tool more awkward to carry in a pocket or toolbox.
I suppose a compromise might be a copper bar with a threaded hole. You could disassemble it for transport. The bit holder would have to be threaded on the outside too, of course.
It’s very pretty. I will give it that. There are some that may actually cross into the boundaries of “Must Have” for this though. Watchmakers and Phone Repair techs these days may well want one for speed of applying a screwdriver and precision bits with little effort.
I think he’s chosen the wrong market to offer this to. He should approach Tag Hauer, Cartier, and go looking at specialty Austrian and Swiss Watchmaker shops for customers. To THEM? One of these is worth a lot more than what he’s asking, it’s worth hundreds more. These are the guys that spend $500 on a specialty hammer, and $2000 on a work mat cut to their specifications.
If not for the fact that I don’t do enough precision work to warrant one, I would justify that price in a heartbeat. He could make a set of fixed head ones, for $1000, and I would still find that to be a reasonable price. With the ease it would give those with Arthritis, it might get my 74 year old Mother doing her precision hobbies again for the joy of it. I think he just has too small a scope set on his ambition here.
I think this would be too uncontrolled for watchmaker-type of work.
I thought so too, but my Mother stared at it, and instantly knew how it would be used by watchmakers. Since they’re perfectionists, they’d get used to slowing the rotation as the screw was about to be in final position, thus reducing all the torque on the screw very slowly.
I wish I had taken a video of her measuring the use with her fingers. She wished she had one 40 years ago, it’s THAT remarkable a design. And I wish I was joking or exaggerating. This thing is literally just being shown to the wrong market. Watchmakers pay hundreds, if not thousands, for precise machined tools. The prices for their time and the costs of the watches and timepieces they work on these days, more than cover those costs by several extra zeroes.
Well the guy in the video is right…
Honestly, I could see a use for this. It better say Snap-On for the price they’re asking. But I could also just make my own. The many perks of being a machinist ?
Mike (the other one)
I’m intrigued. When I work on small electronics, I wouldn’t mind a bit more speed, but I dislike powered screwdrivers, because they can often damage what I’m working on. This might provide speed, but low (almost no) torque, so it will stop before it damages anything.
Also, it’s literally a kinetic feedback device… You can feel the kinetic energy being used, as it spins the screw. When it comes time to stop, you can always close your fingers and slow it down, so the torque is reduced.
I showed the video to my Mother, who used to repair watches before I was born. She imagined the design and spun it in her hand, and said “Yeah, it’s the perfect precision driver… Removes all repetitive stress, and gives you more control than a manual…”
If he was willing, he could approach the precision screwdriver business users in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, and they’d probably drop thousands each on just a single one. WE may not need it, but it would probably revolutionize the watch repair, maintenance, and custom creation industry in Europe. The average high-end watch has between 17 and 20 Jewels (Watch Gear components so precisely filed and machined they are worth the same as a gem stone, according to old Watchmaker lore.) but there are companies charging tens of thousands of dollars for watches that have exposed mechanics, and can operate up in the 30-40 jewel range, being able to have full planetarium and constelation movement in the design.
That’s where this screwdriver shines. With such a simple kinetic weight, regardless of its weight, the tiniest screw could stop it, and transfer the excess energy directly into the opposite direction. Or, the watchmaker could do as I suggested, and use their fingertips to slow it down at the last minute to come to a full stop at its natural, perfect position.
Just a shame it’s only a Kickstarter campaign, and the maker isn’t planning on going full scale production on these. He could be an overnight billionaire if he marketed to the high-end timepiece folks. He could genuinely be the man who revolutionized precision timepieces. And I’m not even exaggerating on this. The look on my Mother’s face when she saw it told me all I needed to know.
Mike (the other one)
Honestly I think he should consider licensing the design to established companies.
I could easily see the Starret brand on this, or maybe Moody.
I think it’s just generally disappointing, and short-sighted, of him to be using the sales model he is using.
Nearly any other method, licensing, direct marketing to precision service and maker industries, hell, made-to-order ongoing sales… EVERY model would net him more money, and give people longer to let the impact of this design sink in.
It’s sad to see such a beautiful, perfect, design go to such a foolish purchasing model.
What a waste of money. Start a Kickstarter and upload a fancy artsy video with high production value and people will buy anything…
What can I say, I’m a sucker for artsy machined tools.
You forgot the Wowstick as an option.
It’s electric, and for precision bits…
I considered whether it would have been advantageous for my use, but I still don’t feel compelled to buy one.
For those who don’t know what the Wowstick is: https://toolguyd.com/wowstick-cordless-precision-screwdriver/
I love the Kickstarter model. It allows makers and creators to bring products to the market without incurring enormous debt, giving away their company to venture capitalists, or abandoning the concept. I regularly scour the site for tools and products I don’t need. I feel good about investing in someone’s entrepreneurial dream.
You’re right, I really don’t need it. I already have the Xioami set, and more Wera Kraftform Micro screwdrivers than I can count. So tell me why I just ordered one?
I feel like you left off a pretty good alternative the Tekton precision repair kit. It isn’t as beautiful but it works great for me and it has a larger grip for spinning too.
Sears used to have something similar under the Craftsman name. It had a shape
kind of like a cross.
I hope he improves his production quality. His Maker Knife I wanted & needed. That screwdriver I do not need & don’t want. Not at that price anyway. I don’t mind spending money on good tools but this one is not for me.
The Maker Knife was well presented & the price was fair. Loved the design & bought 2 from the first production run. Wasn’t too happy that production got moved to China & wasn’t happy about the quality. I still use them though cause I like the design. Then he came out with upgrade parts for the 1st gen (basically second gen internals). Although I never had any of the reported issues with mine I bought the upgrade parts. They made my knives feel worse.
He sure is good at marketing though. He’ll probably always sell his future products with his following. I’ve got nothing against him & he’s doing a great job but I’ll think really hard & long before I buy another one of his products.
“I’m going to tell you right away – this is the first Kickstarter product I have ever backed, and for it’s a tool that I really don’t need.” – Shouldn’t that read “it’s for” and not “for it’s?”
Also, I thought you’d backed the Reekon M1 Caliber?
No – I said I planned on buying one at retail, and that’s still true.
With this, it’s pretty much “now or never.” They’re building 5% extra, but if those sell out quickly after this launches, interested buyers are out of luck.
It’s a strong marketing strategy.
With Woodpeckers, they relaunched some One Time Tools, but most are one-time-only.
So here, it’s not a question of “will I have to spend more if I want one later,” it’s “if I don’t back the Kickstarter, I won’t have a second chance.”
I’ve purchased quite a few Kickstarter products after they launched, usually at slightly higher prices.
At this point I don’t think I’ll get my hands on a Reekon review sample until it launches, and I still anticipate liking it enough to buy a production sample.
I’ve been burned so many times on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that I wouldn’t back any product no matter who the maker is.
I’ve watched Giako for years and he’s a great guy. While the screwdriver is well out of my price range, I nearly bought his maker knife which looks great and also started as a Kickstarter. Giako bought a factory in Italy where he runs his company. I wish he posted more, but his company was shutdown for months due to COVID.
Another YouTuber who has some useful products is Jimmy Diresta. I’ve used his icepick for years and he’s getting into maker clothing. Check him out.
Kurt - Warship Models Underway
I bought his knife, and love it. It’s pricey, but I figure he is making interesting stuff, and the world is a bit better off for that, so why not.
The screwdriver is very sexy, but the price, with delivery tops out at over $ 100 to me. I’d probably pull the trigger at 60 – 70 dollars.
Oh, I have a DiResta ice pick, and that big utility blade. Use the pick all the time, and I’ve found the blade is just the thing for trimming edge banding and the like. Plus my buddies get a kick out of it when I show them, so it’s worth it as a conversation piece / interesting object.
In a comment on the KickStarter it is confirmed that they use 4mm bits. So if you have Wiha’s “micro bits” or other 4mm bits, they will work.