We recently posted about the new (and I use that term loosely) Bosch Driven screwdriver bits and sets that are coming to Lowe’s. Basically, it seems that Bosch slightly updated the bit design where the 1/4″ shaft transitions to the torsion zone, and they modified the lid styling of their cases. In other words, minor difference.
A couple of readers wrote in that they’ve spotted new Wiha Terminator screwdriver bits at Lowe’s as well.
I took a closer look, and there are bigger differences here than with the Bosch Driven screwdriver bits.
Shown here are typical Wiha Terminator screwdriver bits.
And, here is an example of the new Wiha “Terminator Blue” screwdriver bits.
A search for Wiha Terminator Blue suggests that these impact-rated screwdriver bits are exclusive to Lowe’s.
The new Lowe’s-specific Terminator Blue screwdriver bits are significantly different compared to the standard Wiha Terminator screwdriver bits, which usually feature a red-sleeved torsion zone.
The new Wiha Terminator Blue impact screwdriver bits at Lowe’s are different in power bit sizes and styles as well.
Ignore the branding, and these are completely different screwdriver bit designs. So while they’re branded Wiha Terminator, they’re not the same Wiha Terminator screwdriver bits sold elsewhere.
Lowe’s product pages for the blue Terminator bits say that the “energy absorbing torsion zone” delivers “30 times higher performance over standard bits.” I wonder how this compares to Bosch’s claims of “50X longer bit life.”
Lowe’s product descriptions say that these are designed by Wiha Germany and Manufactured in Germany, but I found an online user report that they’re made in Vietnam. I’ll update the post when I learn more.
Update: These bits are made in Wiha’s 100% self-owned manufacturing facility in Vietnam.
These new Wiha Terminator Blue screwdriver bits appear to be priced considerably lower than Wiha’s typical Terminator bits. Given that their design is completely different, are these even made by Wiha?
There’s also an interesting contextual question. If Lowe’s is bringing Wiha screwdriver bits to their stores, which brand(s) are they replacing? Their fastening selection used to be dominated by Dewalt, Irwin, and Craftsman. Will these new specially designed and likely exclusively Wiha bits take the place of one of those brands?
There were no changes at my local Lowe’s store the last time I checked. Have you noticed any changes at yours?
What impact (no pun intended) do you think these new Wiha screwdriver bits will have with users or in the industry?
Compare: Wiha Terminator via Amazon
Compare: Bulk Bits via Amazon
If they are the same quality as the Wiha bits I buy on Amazon, I’m glad to see them available through Lowes. Wiha bits fit far better in my experience than Dewalt/Irwin. I rarely break impact bits, so fitment is most important for me. Pricing is $9.99 for the torx 2″ 6 piece set, which seems a bit high, but if they are quality, they will be worth it.
On a side note, I used some Haart bits this weekend, hoping they were discount Milwaukee, the fitment on the torx bits was alright, but they wore noticeably after just a few fasteners.
I would assume Hart bits to be of Ryobi quality at best.
I agree, I also got some torx hart branded, withing 10 screws they were extremely worn. I picked up the craftsman 15 peice torx, #2 ph and Robinson. S2, barely any wear
Nice to see a premium brand like that at Lowes. I do wonder whether these are as good as regular Wiha though.
Looks like the blue version doesn’t really have a torsion zone – or at least that’s what I assume since the blue part is so much thicker than the torsion zone on the red version.
Are they made out of different metal too? Or is that just because one is a rendering and the other a picture?
Not even the red ones are made in Germany, but vietnam, I don’t think the cheaper blue ones are any different.
I don’t like the hex shank all the way, not that it makes a difference I just think the red ones are cosmetically better.
My favorite bits so far are the Wera power bits (gold color coated), followed by terminator and dewalt maxfit.
Mike (the other one)
I’m gonna wait for the T1000 Liquid Metal Terminator bits. They will fit any screw type. 😉
Perhaps, but that alloy doesn’t heat-treat well.
G r o a n . . .
Yep – but I hear that it can cool nuclear reactors in submarines.
The metals or alloys for that tend to also be soft, hazardous, or very nasty to work with.
But what Mike is referring to is the shape-shifting T-1000 cybernetic in Terminator 2 that was hunting John Connor. It was ultimately destroyed in a vat of hot molten metal.
The Terminator 2 metallurgy and film genre is a bit out of my wheelhouse. My tongue was way out in my cheek when I quipped about using nuclear submarine liquid metals. I’m not even sure what the plumbing might look like to pipe something like molten sodium around. I do know that none of the plumbers or steamfitters that I hired were equipped to work with it – and liquid Na and water certainly only mix with explosive consequences.
Omg, must buy bits called “terminator”… Or! Save my money and buy something with a less flashy name but better value.
I haven’t used Wiha’s impact bits before; my experience with Wiha has been with their fullsize tools (with handles), as well as the short hex bits without the “torsion zone”. I have been very impressed with those so if these bits are anything like the other Wiha tools I’ve used I’m sure I will like them. It’s also nice they’re at Lowe’s. I think I’ll give these a try whenever I happen to need more bits.
Wiha bits hang in the same crowd as Apex, Zephyr, Wera, Felo and PB Swiss. I use them all interchangeably.
Finally another PB Swiss fan! I think they are fantastic, just wish we had better availability here in the US.
Count me another PB Swiss fan. They just seem to lock into screw heads better than anything else. (This assessment seems to hold true especially with their phillips, pozidrive, and torx drivers.) To me, my Wiha’s are a close second, but there is just something amazing about the “lack of slop” with PB Swiss.
I learned about them (and one of their few US distributors, Tool Lady) a few years back on this site. 2 or 3 times a year they run decent sales.
Terminators have been my go to bits since I first tried em. Highly skeptical about these budget versions in custom retailer blue.
It looks to me like the blue part is a different material (may just be the rendering). Could it be plastic molded over a narrower torsion zone?
I’m way sure it’s just paint. It’s a line of standard Wiha bits (some impact rated) that are color coded. They just don’t have the other colors here (except maybe the yellow one).
That’s exactly what it looks like to me: the blue part looks like plastic covering up the steel bit. I would assume there is a narrow torsion zone under that plastic. The blue part does not look like paint, you can see a small gap at either end of the blue where it is separate from the steel. If the blue were paint then there would be no gaps there.
Over the last two months all my local Lowe’s have done massive clearance sales on the black package Dewalt FlexTorq bits (the yellow package ToughGrip bits weren’t on sale), the Craftsman screwdriver bits, the previous series of Bosch screwdrier bits, some of the Irwin spade bits, some of the Dewalt Gold/Black oxide drill bits, some of the Dewalt Titanium drill bits. Some of it seems to be “Spring Cleaning” for new models, but some seems like true clearance of items that aren’t shifting.
All the Irwin screwdriver bits were sold off a year and a half ago, leaving just the spade bits, Speedbors, step bits, forstners, auger bits, and masonry bits.
By selling off most of the Craftsman bits and the black Dewalt Flex-Torq bits, and shuffling around the wall racks for the Bosch bits (for the new ones), they opened up a two foot by two foot area for the Wiha bits at the base of the driver bit area on the wall.
Cosmetics may not equal function but these blue bits look like bargain basement jobs. That’s how you ruin a premium brand. And does Lowes have a strategy for tools? The only reason to shop there anymore is when they are blowing out the line du jour at deep discounts to make room for the new line du jour – wash-rinse-repeat. Too many brands, too little innovation for the shelf space allocated.
They literally are what standard Wiha bits look like, just with a blue band.
There’s pictures of both in the article, it’s pretty obvious they’re different form, material color, and band style…
I don’t know if lowes everywhere else is as awful as the lowes by me in NJ.
Its impossible to find anything, if it isnt in the obvious place good luck finding it, good luck finding anyone to help you find it, and if you happen to find someone good luck having them actually help you.
Their website and inventory management is atrocious at best.
It seems like a half wit tried tio copy the concept of what a hardware store website should be.
So it’s missing locations of items or they are wrong.
If there isn’t at least double digits of qualities left of an item just assume it’s zero.
I avoid lowes like the plague because of the experience once had at several of their locations in nj and pa
They’re spot on in Illinois. They have increased competition with Menards here, though.
Exactly my long term experience with Lowe’s in the Portland, Oregon ‘burbs. Always, as in years, looks thrown together. Like they don’t receive or can’t actually follow a simple store planogram.
My only real gripe with my local Lowes is the lack of knowledgeable employees. Like you said, if you can’t find what you want on your own good luck finding an employee who knows where it is. They seem to be chronically under-staffed (good luck finding an employee in the first place), and most of the employees are not very knowledgeable about their products. I think the root cause is that Lowes seems to outsource a lot of their inventory, stocking, and merchandising to a 3rd party company. I see those people (who are not Lowe’s employees) frequently while the actual Lowe’s employees are hard to find.
My first job way back when I was 16 was at a mom-n-pop hardware store. We, the employees, did all the inventory, ordering, and stocking products on the shelf. A side-effect of that was that everyone knew exactly where all the products were because we were the ones that put those products on the shelf. When Lowe’s outsources that to a 3rd party it means the Lowes employees themselves have no clue where anything is because they were never responsible for stocking those items in the first place.
“30 times higher performance over standard bits.” I wonder how this compares to Bosch’s claims of “50X longer bit life.”
These companies are reaching Harbor Freight levels of marketing stupidity and exaggeration. This is not how to earn my money or improve your reputation.
I don’t get why they’re still comparing “life” to normal bits. Everyone’s had impact bits for years now, nobody should care how long an impact bit is compared to a non-impact bit. Just makes me assume it doesn’t compare well to other impact bits, personally.
This is from a line of bits Wiha has had in Europe for two or maybe even three years. They’re color coded to denote the application. I could never really get my head around what color was for what. They offered the blue ones here before in limited sets (“33 pc go-box” sku 76889) advertised as “impact rated”. There’s yellow band ones and then maybe red band? They sold enough of the blue ones here that someone can chime in vouch for them or not. I would presume the bits are made in Vietnam , but even KC is saying that they’re made in Germany (and they’re sticklers about COO).
Just an addendum. I’m guessing at some point someone at Wiha realised that they did not offer any bits hardened for impact use that didn’t also have unnecessary and expensive torsion zone machining and over molded plastic. That’s why these bits exist. It’s also why they are much cheaper than Maxxtor/Terminator bits. I gather it cost much more in replacement cutting tools to mill in a skinny neck than it costs to make the driver end. The important part is the driving end and whether or not it’s heat treated for the task. Subtract all of the expensive bs, and you have a cheaper bit.
The Wera BiTorsion bits are similar. Hex most of the way with just a bit at the end for the branding/size band and the tip.
If the tip is of equal quality of the other Wiha tips I have used, just with cosmetic changes to save money, I’m all in. If they are cheapened in terms of quality of steel, or fit, not so much.
These look an awful lot like these limited edition bits from Wiha:
It’s the same line of bits. There’s a blue, a yellow and a third color.
Just because everyone is always asking about COO, I have confirmed that these bits are from the Vietnam plant. I bought a whole bunch from Lowes. They have the same satin finish and overall nicer appearance as the other bits coming out of that plant. You can tell the difference between German and Vietnamese Wiha bits by the better finish quality from the new plant and the info is laser printed all over in huge font vs the classic roll stamped method.
The blue part is kind of a plastic, or some sort of enamal.
I got one of these Wiha 1/4″ ‘Go To’ impact bit sets with the mini ratchet.
I read (or heard) that the ratchet is made in Taiwan.
I actually bought a TerminatorBlue Phillips bit from Lowe’s that has the same design as the Terminator Phillips.
It is the same as the image sold at Lowe’s.