Neiko makes a 7pc set of low-profile screwdrivers, which might come in handy in tight spaces.
The set comes with Phillips #1 and #2, 6mm slotted, and hex bits in 4mm, 6mm, 3/16″, and 1/4″ sizes.
Unlike the Anex drivers I previously posted about, these have a slight offset angle, which might make them a little more comfortable or improve accessibility under certain conditions.
Amazon’s user reviews have me a little doubtful of the quality, at least compared to Anex-branded low-profile screwdrivers. The angle also seems to make them a little less “low profile” compared to straight drivers.
Still, here’s a problem-solver that you might not have seen before.
If you want quality, Anex’s drivers are made in Japan and are more highly regarded. However, Anex doesn’t offer much selection, and there are some reviews of bits popping out, same as with Neiko. So… there’s no guaranteed safe bet.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Compare(Anex Low-Profile Drivers via Amazon)
Snap-on Low Profile Screwdrivers
Anex Low-Profile Hex Drivers
There’s also the option of “bit ratchets,” such as Sunex’s 38pc bit ratchet set, priced under $20.
The Anex are definitely great tools but you hope you rarely have to use them because they really suck to use(you’re normally going to get a 1/4-turn then reposition, 1/4-turn, etc) but sometimes it’s the only tool that will fit without a lot of extra work…I’m sure the Neikos will be fine.
VIM also offers half-length bits to which you can pair with a low profile ratchet such as the Sunex above or my preferred Felo.
VIM stubby bits: https://www.amazon.com/Tools-VHC77-77-Piece-Half-Stubby/dp/B005MVBGAU/
Those are pricey but VIM normally makes really good tools. I personally cut down a spare 1″ PH2(my most used bit in these situations by far) then paired it with the thinnest bit ratchet I could find: The Neiko’s cheap, crappy bit ratchet. It does the job and it’s under 3/4″ thick with the bit. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XYOUS6/
Actually, I realized I had a comparison picture uploaded of the two(Neiko with cut down bit and Anex) compared to a 1″ bit. http://i.imgur.com/5GSLa6V.jpg
You’ll see there is room for improvement with my cut down bit. I didn’t have one that is hex all the way into the philips head, that could buy me another 1/8. Also note I did take a bit off the ph2 tip to thin it out a little more.
Oooo…. I like that half-cut bit set. I might just have to get it. Thanks for the tip!
Just FYI there’s several bit ratchets (of higher quality than that Neiko one you linked, where the overall height is limited by the bit, not the driver.
I have a Wurth/Zebra that comes to mind. I push on the top of the bit with my thumb to pop it out of the driver (i.e. the bit sits flush with the top of the driver, but the hole where the bit fits through is slightly concave so when you push your thumb into it, it displaces the bit). Even that Craftsman Stuart featured in a recent post that looks like it would be pretty similar.
I see there’s a torx version too. I would buy that but it’s not listed on the amazon.ca website. Could be handy working on my dirt bike (KTM – every flange bolt has a Torx center).
This looks like a useful little set. I never considered Neiko much for tools (Japanese for “cat”???), may have to check this out.
When bit ratchets are brought up, Chapman should be mentioned. The ratchet is low tech but the profile is low and the bits are strong.
Picked up this ratcheting replaceable bit low profile driver kit from Neiko a few weeks ago when I had to reattach an oil pan underneath a low clearance car. Worked great for that purpose but that’s all I’d really use it for — the occasional fix in a really really tight spot.
Obviously, at like 7 bucks shipped it’s hard to complain, and of course you can buy a case for it, but with the small tool and set of bits, it would have been nice if it came with a small case to keep it all together.
I bought these a while back thinking that they would help me get access to some screws with very little clearance – they wouldn’t get in there. So – to me – they aren’t as low clearance as I needed, and thus disappointed me.
Also, when I did get them seated into some screws, they didn’t seem to stay seated well – so, they didn’t seem very effective either.
These super-low profile driver sets come with a single slotted-blade driver, which means to me that it needs a full half-circle swing for the next bite, which seems at odds with the purpose of the thing. Maybe they should put an opposing slotted blade at the other end?
Anex has a nice low profile ratcheting set with 9 short bits. Very nice, made in Japan.
I hate this site. It always costs me money.