I was looking for something on Amazon and came across the Wowstick, a slim pen-sized cordless screwdriver.
Checking my inbox, I actually had a brief conversation about it in 2016, and there have been a couple of review inquires about it in the years since.
There was a Kickstarter campaign in late 2018, where it’s described as a pen-shaped decorative accessory, a creative gift for all ages, and a desktop fidget toy. It’s also of course described as a 56-but multi-functional electric screwdriver.
The current version, Wowstick 1F+, comes with a desktop dock, built-in rechargeable battery, micro USB charging port, and 3 LED lights. Charging time is 40 minutes.
The Wowstick 1F+ screwdriver operates at 200 RPM and can deliver up to 0.15/3 Nm of torque, which converts to 1.33/26.6 in-lbs. I take it that there are two torque settings.
It also has an integrated aluminum body for a smooth use experience, one-key operation for direction selection, and LED shadowless lamp lighting.
The Wowstick is described as being a tool for the future, to explore the new world.
It comes with a wide range of mini screwdriver bit types and sizes, which they say can fit all kinds of devices, including corrective glasses, cutlery, shavers, drones, engines, guns, phones, gamepads, among others.
- Phillios: PH0000, PH000, PH00, PH0, PH1, PH2
- Slotted: SL1.0, SL1.5, SL2.0, SL2.5, SL3.0, SL3.5, SL4.0
- Torx: T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, T20
- P2(*0.8), P5(*1.2), P6(*1.5)
- Y0.6, Y1.0, Y2.0, Y2.5, Y3.0
- Square: S0, S1, S2
- Hex: H0.7, H0.9, H1.3, H1.5, H2.0, H2.5, H3.0, H4.0
- U2.0, U2.6, U3.0
- Triangle: 2.0, 2.3, 2.5, 3.0
- Needle:0.8(SIM card tray pin) W1.5
- Extended 45mm bits: PH0, PH2, SL2.0, H2.0
The first Wowstick screwdriver package I came across also includes with a storage mat, suction cup, fins, “magnetizer and magnetic eraser,” and “1x [assortment of] common screws.”
It comes packaged in a magnetic absorption storage box.
Price: $50 for the kit
Batavia introduced me to the Wowstick in 2016, but it’s not clear if they’re the maker. Presently, there are different packages of Wowstick screwdrivers sold by many brand son Amazon, including Ruputas, Autolover, Elecguru, GuDoQi, and others. It seems these are just customized packages of the same screwdriver.
I have a soft spot for innovative tools, problem-solvers, and tools that make my life easier. But this? I find myself hesitant.
Okay, let’s say you want or need a mini screwdriver set for device upgrades, component replacements, or what-not. Xiaomi and Wiha make a 24 bit screwdriver set at around half the price of the Wowstick kit.
Buy Now(Xiaomi/Wiha mini screwdriver and bit set via Amazon)
I can definitely see the benefit of a cordless precision screwdriver. But, even when working with any dozens of screws on robotics projects, I use manual screwdrivers. When dealing with teeny tiny fasteners and parts that can strip easily, I really need the feedback that comes with turning a screwdriver. With palm spinner end caps and fingertip-turning, work goes relatively easily and without much hand fatigue.
I have used precision screwdrivers or bits to open battery compartments, open and close project enclosures, upgrade laptops’ hard drives and other components, and occasionally repair or maintain other kinds of devices that have small fasteners. I use my precision screwdrivers in hobbyist, household, and I suppose you could also say professional applications. I don’t have one of these Wowstick screwdrivers on my desk, and I don’t plan on buying one.
To be fair, I have spent more on my various sizes of precision screwdrivers than I would have had to spend for this device and its included bit set. But my precision screwdrivers will presumably last me for years and years. Also, my money went into bit styles and sizes I could use. I can’t say the same for the majority of the bits included in this set.
There are other electric precision screwdrivers. General Tools makes an AAA-powered cordless precision screwdriver for $10-15. Wiha also makes an electric screwdriver, the speedE, although it’s quite pricey.
I can think of worse tools to spend ~$50 on, and there are a lot of users that might benefit from the Wowstick screwdriver (or something like it). Maybe I’ll pick one the next time I have a project requiring many dozens of small fasteners, but probably not.
It seems to me that the Wowsitck is marketed as a must-have general purpose tool, for “daily repair needs.”
What turns me off of the Wowstick is the unshakable feeling that most of the people buying one might probably be served just as well – or better – with other solutions, perhaps even less expensive ones.
Ironically, over the course of this discussion, I half-convinced myself that I would benefit from one. However, I’m not a fan of built-in lithium or LiPo batteries in tools or devices I don’t use daily. I do use precision screwdrivers very regularly, but I just can’t seem to let myself want a tool like this.
There apparently was an AAA-powered version, and I’d find that one to be more appealing. But, I’d sooner pick up the General Tools version since it doesn’t come with a whole lot of bits and accessories I don’t really need.
Do you really need one?
Well, that’s a question only you could answer. The Wowstick is the type of tool that a lot of users will imagine themselves using in new projects. But could you have used this in the past week? Month? Year? Would you have?
When tools are described as being for the future and to explore the new world, it immediately activates the skeptic in me.
It looks a nicely-polished device that I do find appealing. But then again, it’s designed that way. Check out this video:
One of the advertised features is that it’s a desktop fidget toy you can twirl with your fingers and tap your chin with?
If you search YouTube for videos on the Wowstick, you’ll find titles like you don’t need any other screwdriver! and that it’s a 2019 invention that will blow your mind. Then there are the reviews, vlogs, and unboxings.
Is the Wowstick screwdriver a tool you’d feel compelled to try? Would it save you time or effort in your hobbies, projects, or work?
It’s definitely a good-looking tool, but is it useful?
One more thing I’m curious about – exactly what type of engine work could a screwdriver like this be used for? What part of a TV – stand assembly or VESA wall-mount screws?