A reader noticed and asked about the one-piece bit socket shown in my review of a Wera Zyklop sliding T-handle.
These are PB Swiss Tools bit sockets with 5mm straight hex tips. I have these in 1/4″ drive and 3/8″ drive sizes. As usual, I bought just two samplings to get a feel for the products. This way I’m not out too much money if they don’t get used a lot, and if I splurge for a set I then have a duplicate or two in the size I use most.
Bikes often come with a lot of metric fasteners, with the most common ones requiring 5mm hex tools. I will often use these in lieu of a bit holder with removable 1″ 1/4″ hex insert bit. They also come in handy when tightening certain fasteners with a torque wrench.
There are pros and cons to these sockets. On the plus side, their tips are very well machined and very precise. You also get a little more reach compared to other types of bit sockets. These fall somewhere between standard bit sockets and long/extended reach bit sockets, and PB Swiss also offers an even longer version.
On the downside, you cannot replace the tips. If they break, you need a new socket. Bit holder sockets, and press-fit bit sockets such as the SK bit sockets I recently reviewed, are better options in that regard. If they break. I have been using PB Swiss hex keys and screwdrivers for a while. They don’t wear easily, and I have yet to break any of my PB Swiss tools.
They’re also a little pricey, but not as much as you would think. Each is regularly priced at about $10-$14, and there are a couple of set options as well. That’s not bad for Swiss-made tools.
I don’t use these bit sockets often, but I do like them a lot. The added reach is worth it, and the sockets are top quality, from the square recess to the precision tips. I don’t use metric hex keys as much as fractional ones, and so I haven’t bought a set yet. PB Swiss doesn’t make any in inch sizes, but if they did I would have bought a set of the short and long ones by now.
These sockets are available in 3-6mm in 1/4″ drive, 4-10mm in 3/8″ drive, and T20-T50 in 3/8″ drive. You can buy them individually, and there are also a couple of sets options:
- 1/4″ 3-6mm short (V6.210H-4)
- 1/4″ 3-6mm long (V6.211H-4)
- 1/4″ 3-3mm short and long (V6.Set)
- 3/8″ 4-10mm short (V10.210H-6)
- 3/8″ 4-10mm long (V10.211H-6)
- 3/8″ 4-10mm short and long (V10.Set)
- 3/8″ Torx T20-T50 long (V10.400H-7)
I couldn’t find these in the latest PB Swiss catalog (huge PDF), but the 1/4″ sockets have model numbers starting with V6, and the 3/8″ ones V10.
With Count On, there’s no category to link to, you have to search for “drive socket” to see their offerings.
I bought these from Amazon back when they still sold PB Swiss Tools directly.