Is there such a thing as having too many Wera bit screwdrivers? I don’t think so.
I purchased some of these Wera screwdriver handles at regular pricing for personal, workshop, or ToolGuyd use, some of them during hard-to-pass-up holiday sales, and one or two strictly for review and comparison purposes. Two of them came from advent calendar assortments, and a couple were bundled with 1/4″ screwdriver bit and socket assortments.
There was a bit of debate in the comments section of a recent Hazet bit screwdriver post, where a reader suggested that the Wera 817R might be a better full-size-like bit screwdriver over the 816R. Nothing beats a visual, and so I grabbed all of the Wera bit screwdrivers I could for comparison purposes.
On that note, the 816R and 817R seem to have identical handle shapes and dimensions. If there are any differences, aside from the extending vs. fixed bit chuck, I can’t see them by eye.
There are a couple of Wera screwdrivers missing here, such as the Kraftform Kompakt, but there’s room for an even more expansive comparison later.
Here’s everything you see above:
- Wera Kraftform Kompakt Ratcheting Right Angle RA 4
- Wera Kraftform Turbo 826 T
- Wera 817 R with Extending Rapidaptor
- Wera 813 R (ESD – Electro Static Discharge version)
- Wera 813 (non-Rapidaptor version)
- Wera Kraftform Kompakt Stubby
- Wera Stubby Bit Holder
Buy Now via Amazon
Buy Now via KC Tool
See Also via Amazon DE
This isn’t all of it. For instance, I recently picked up Wera’s 393 S “extra slim” flex-shaft screwdriver, as it seems good to have and I felt compelled to put the idea to the test. There’s a similar “standard” model that’s a bit cheaper, but with a chunkier bit holder head; 393 S at Amazon , 392 standard.
Wera has quite a few different options than you could find from other brands. Their handle style is a bit polarizing. Some love it, others hate it, and there are users in the middle that tolerate it. I have no problem with Wera Kraftform handles most of the time, with only certain high torque applications fatiguing my hands more than usual.
Which Ones to Buy?
That’s up to your individual needs and preferences. If I had to pick which two to keep, it would be the smallest screwdriver handle with Rapidaptor bit chuck (813 R), and either then standard-size handle (816 R) or the one with extending Rapidaptor bit chuck (817 R). Maybe the 817 R over the 816 R given its unique features.
I like it when a tools offer features you can’t find by other brands. A lot of brands make stubby screwdriver bit holders, but few make miniature ones like the 813 R. I like to use stubby bit holders for compact tasks and tight spaces, but the 813 R comes in handy for lower torque applications.
You could do what I do, and try them all, but this can very quickly get out of hand.
Rapidaptor vs. Magnetic Bit Retention?
All of these screwdriver handles have magnetic or “Rapidaptor” locking bit holder retention to help 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits stay in place.
I prefer Rapidaptor bit holders, with most featuring the same active lock that helps prevent bit pull-out. There are some that work a little differently, but if I recall correctly, I have only noticed this with socket adapter bit holders – the kind you attach to a ratchet in order to use screwdriver bits.
The three screwdriver bit drivers shown above with magnetic bit chucks were not separate purchases. The two stubby drivers came with advent calendars, and the tiny 813 is bundled with Wera’s “Bit check” compact screwdriver bit and socket sets.
I actually really like the stubby screwdriver, although it’s somewhat pricey on its own. Shopping around, KC Tool has the best price – a little more than $14 after coupon. Actually, MSC Direct has the best price at $12.49, but their shipping fees can be high.
You need to be cautious when looking at Wera’s non-Rapidaptor bit holders. Some have magnets, and others have retaining rings. That’s another option for users that don’t like the idea of Rapidaptor bit holders (or the added expense).
So for say the stubby screwdriver where a locking holder doesn’t look to be an option, Wera does give you magnetic or retaining ring options.
Wera also offers certain screwdriver handles with ESD (yellow-orange) or standard (green) handle compositions. I bought the ESD partially because I figured it could be useful for some of the work I do, but mostly because it was less expensive than the standard green-handled screwdriver at the time.
Questions? Requests? Complaints?
I’d be happy to answer any questions about the Wera screwdriver bit holder handles you see here, and a couple of others that you don’t.
If you have questions about a model I don’t have or haven’t used, I can add it to my list, but it’ll be some time before I’m able to buy or look into them.
Or, if you want to see more of something completely different, please tell me about that too.
No T-handle? 😄
That’s a nice collection.
These seemed to go together better.
If there’s interest, I’ll put together more. In other words, yes – I’ve got a T-handle too. =)
I found this Wera screwdriver on the KC tool website – is this one you are familiar with?
I’ve got that – maybe a different configuration – and like it a lot. BUT, it’s got a huge handle.
I couldn’t locate mine quick enough for this post.
Are you sure you’re not thinking of something else Stuart? I’ve got one and wouldn’t call the handle “huge”.
I don’t like mine as much as my dedicated Wera drivers, but it is still pretty good (and the reviews seem to suggest I’m in the minority and everyone else thinks it’s great).
It’s not a precision screwdriver, but I’m sure a Megapro driver, for example, is much bigger.
Wait – maybe I’m wrong. I tried looking this up and I didn’t realize Wera has so many versions of what looks like the same thing.
Is the Kompakt 26 bigger than the Kompakt 25 or is it just the load out? What about the 20?
This one – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HSNHM2/?tag=toolguyd-20
Maybe not huge, but much larger in comparison.
I’ll have to dig it out, but I’d bet it’s around the same size as the Turbo, which is at the top of my photo.
If everything in the photo above can be classified as small, medium, or large, my Kraftform Kompakt 25 would be large.
If you put the Kraftform Kompakt and say the 816 R or 817 R in front of me, I’d pick either of the latter, as I find the narrower handle to be a little more comfortable for most tasks.
I believe the multi-bit drivers are all the same size with only the bit configuration being different.
That’s actually the first Wera product I heard of, on Deviant Ollam’s recommendation. His use case may not be the most common but he seems to love it. I haven’t held one though. https://youtu.be/TjyXwgSzs6k (it’s the first item he shows, actually looks like it’s the 25 version).
My favorite wera bolder is M.I.A. sadly. 🙁
816RA; ratcheting version of the 816 R. I use it mostly with 2″ or 3″ power bits, but it works fine with 1″ bits too.
Koko The Talking Ape
And none of them are ratcheting, right?
IIRC, they don’t make a ratcheting handle with a bit holder, but you can put a Rapidaptor in one of their ratcheting handles you buy separately.
I can tolerate the handles, but they don’t fill the palm of your hand, or offer especially good grip. And the soft sections don’t seem to have much purpose, and I’ve seen videos where they’ve softened into cheese.
The right angle driver has a ratcheting mechanism.
I sort of like the Williams right angle drivers – but current prices on Amazon are about $8 or $9 (about 33%) more that I paid for mine 4 years ago:
I have the Snap On version. It’s identical to the Williams. Had it now for over 15 yrs. One of my favorite tools in the box.
They do have a ratcheting handle with rapidaptor, the 816RA. They also have the new ratcheting stubbies with bit storage, but those don’t have a rapidaptor, just magnetic or ring retention (not sure).
I have been looking for something like this. Searched the GJ, but no luck. I have the 813R ESD and like it. Wish they had a stubby with the rapidaptor. Another thing I wish they had is an ESD version of the 816RA.
I too like Wera handles – and own 9 – scattered around 3 domiciles:
Mine are these: 05003263004 , 05008880001 , 05013390002 , 05023404001 , 05051024001 , 05051105002 , 05051462001 , 05051462003 , and 05073230002
The 27RA ratcheting screwdriver with on board bit storage is I think the best on the market. It covers 95% of everything I need day to day, taking standard 1/4″ bits, 6 in the handle and one loaded. 2 Philips, 2 pozi, two torx and one flat, good to go. The convenience of the pop up storage is unequaled.
I’m looking into the Wera handles… Also the Wera Joker auto-adjust wrenches that Stuart wasn’t so fond of… Some strange problems pop up and you just want to grab the right tool, and go straight to work. You don’t want to necessarily futz with adjustment too much.
Wera is an investment brand. Instead of getting something that will survive the next couple paychecks, you’re spending more for a tool that will last until your own body gives out. I see Wiha the same way. Though, from them… I mostly prefer just their various bits. They’re well machined, high quality, and are really good replacements for standard bits one might need. Especially the precision 4mm sized.
Does Wera make a screwdriver that has bit storage, rapidaptor bit holder and ratchets?
If not, whats the best ratcheting handle with storage that will accept a separately purchased rapidaptor ?
Thanks for this great post!
The 90 degree ratchet appears to do exactly what you mean… If not… I believe there’s also a straight one on the site… Just check the main Wera website to be sure.
There’s 5 or 6 Wera bit driver handles that aren’t seen here, bare minimum. There could be up to 10 missing.
One that I have has been discontinued:
but i also have this one:
One of my stubby’s also seems to have been replaced: