Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The plastic moulding of the screwdriver is a little rough and it takes a few uses for it to loosen up to allow the easy removal of bits.
72 Tooth Mini Rachet
ESD Safe Precision Handle
Micro Bit to 1/4" Drive Adaptor
Slotted: 0.8, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0mm
Phillips: #000, #00, #0, and #1
Hex Metric: 0.7, 0.9, 1.35, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and 4.0mm
Hex Imperial: 0.050, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, and 5/32"
Torx: T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T15, and T20
Nut Driver Metric: 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5mm
Nut Driver Imperial: 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3,16, and 7/32
Pentalobe: PL1, PL2, PL3, PL4, PL5, and PL6
This is a great tool kit that easily fits into a pocket, it has a generous range of bits included which should cover most work/repairs on small pieces of equipment. There is a 72 tooth mini ratchet which allows for finer control for when you have limited swing space, and there is the ESD safe bit holder made of a conductive plastic. The bit holder required a bit of cleaning up with a knife from the moulding process to allow the micro bits to be inserted.
The ratchet requires the use of an adaptor to take it from a standard 1/4” bit size down to the micro bit size, this adds length which at first I didn’t think would make a difference until I needed to use this in quite a tight area and I wished the ratchet had been made to just take the micro bits directly. I was able to use a 1/4” bit from another kit to carry out the task but I found the ratchet was slightly smaller than 1/4” and the bit would only insert a few millimetres before getting stuck.
I took the kit to work and gave it to some of my coworkers to use and provide some feedback, this was overall positive for the quality of the product but they felt the price point was a little high when compared to some of the competing sets on the market. It was noted that the other sets were not ESD safe, and that this is likely why the price is that little bit higher than other sets on the market, and come in a sturdier metal case compared to the plastic or material cases that the others come in. The lack of security Torx bits was a bit disappointing given a security bit can be used to undo standard Torx screws too.
There are several competitors in the market for pocket tool kits which I have linked to at the bottom of this review. The iFixit Precision Driver Kit; which has the added benefit of having a compartmentalised lid to organise screws as you take disassemble units, it has a similar range of bits but lacks the ratchet, and the bit holder isn't ESD safe. There are also much cheaper kits around the £10-20 price range, my experience with these hasn't been great, I won't link to any of them as I have tried a multitude over the years from different places. The quality of the bits leaves a lot to be desired and they normally ended up rounding off or edges snapping off when trying to undo screws. So far the Wiha bits appear to be much stronger, they are made of a high grade chrome-vanadium.
Having been using the kit in work for a few days I had to move between labs and put this kit into the side pocket of my lab coat. On my way to the new work area I leant over to pick some paperwork up and the kit slipped out of my pocket landing on the floor with a loud thud! There was no visible damage, not even any marks on the metal case, upon opening the case the only thing that had become dislodged slightly was the ratchet.
iFixit Precision Driver Kit
To answer your question, I used the tools on a variety of applications at work and at home.
At work I used the tools for disassembly of LRU's, while the tools were of a very good quality I did find it difficult to use the tools in tight spaces due to the overall length of the ratchet due to the adaptor that is required, in this case I ended up having to revert to a tool from a different kit to complete this part of the disassembly. The use case of these tools is definitely when working on a fairly open unit for removing PCB's and minor disassembly of metalwork. Also why is the ratchet not ESD safe? They could have put a dissipative material on the handle to make all the tools ESD safe.
At home I had a job on my laptop which required the use of the P4 bit to undo the bottom panel and replace the wifi card; this is similar to a job I had to do before and used a £10 kit for, to draw a comparison, the cheaper kit I rounded off the bits trying to undo the first screw and had to shell out for the iFixit kit in the end. The Wiha kit was able to do the job without any problems, no evidence of damage to the bit or to the screws on the laptop.
A further job at home was recovering some data from an old hard drive, required the use of the #0 cross head bit, again it was able to do this task without a problem.
I had a job at home that required tightening a screw in a very tight space, I used the ratchet from this kit with a 1/4" bit from another kit and this is when I found that the ratchet doesn't quite take 1/4" bits as it is very slightly too small!
For a RT review about tools that can practically have many use cases, I really expected more details about the field tests/testing procedures.