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Bit kits, in general 376

Full Member Posts: 225
Bit kits, in general
« on: May 25, 2019, 08:32:33 PM »
Must be a well-hashed subject: Driver bit kits that come with name-brand multitools. Often so soft as to be useless. Especially the flathead or slot driver bits.

The Phillips bits have more bulk, and bulwark. But can strip long before screw heads.

Why?!  I am not alone in finding the lack of quality bits an absolute travesty. Do they assume most people will not use the bits?  Ah...

And of course bits are not usually under warranty.

I can buy a cheap set for a few sheqels. Pot metal bits from China. Bend if you scowl at them. Dissolve if you actually growl audibly.  A genuinely durable set though would be worth  good money. I have some 40+ year old bits for my drill, a bit worn but still good. My Gerber CenterDrive slot head driver bits twisted first time out. A tool sold as the ultimate multitool driver platform! Oi vey iz meer.

Leatherman bit kit not much better. Torx and Phillips better than slots, but not great.

Surely the engineers must test, or chose not to test, or see the dreck and pass it anyway.

Like with shattered wire cutters, bit kits on our ticket--or are they warranty covered? Sheaths not coveted, ok. But actual tool parts accessories?

I feel seriously had by most bit kits. Especially given the selling point of the highly touted CenterDrive, and LM bit exchangers. 
 :dunno:
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 08:41:30 PM by israelpiper »
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,465 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 08:57:39 PM »
I drive screws with my LM bit kit hundreds of times a week. Haven't damaged any of the LM kit bits yet. And, I'd like to add, I drive a lot of screws into undrilled oak, which is really hard on the bits. Maybe I got lucky with my sets. :think:
I haven't used the bits that come with the CD, and use aftermarket bits instead, so can't speak to those. :dunno:

There is always the fact that you can put several times more turning force on multitool drivers than regular round handled drivers.

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 1,272
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 09:06:11 PM »
I can't really comment on the multi-tool bits in particular, but my general experience is that you get what you pay for. There are good bits out there but they cost more - and there are sets with 30-120 bits for a few dollars that works for a while. For those ones I try to throw them away and replace before they go so bad as to damage a screw head.

I might remember wrong, but I think the bit standard specifications calls for a HRC hardness of 55 or so. I suspect many bits are softer than that though.

"If only simple wasn't so hard" - me
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 3,228
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 10:13:38 PM »
Dewalt here, and my main knife using bits, the Opinel DIY has two in the handle (Phillips and flat). But they don't make anything like T-27 (which is a necessity if you've ever worked on anything by Stihl); just stuff you'll typically see in construction. I plan to eventually switch to Wera/Wiha.  It's just Granddad buys Dewalt bit sets every time they're on sale, and I have a huge stock of Phillips bits at my hands.

The key to buying bits in my opinion is to look for "Impact Rated". "Power Driver Bit Set" like often seen on the POS pot metal sets from your local supermarket is meaningless. And for MT bits, if it doesn't accept standard 1/4 without any kind of adapter, forget about it. But I do have an LM bit kit (which if you're like me, and own the Surge, Wave, and Skeletool; you've got to have it), and it seems the bits do work. Used the T-27 bit out of it some time ago, and put a lot of torque on it. In fact, the job broke the cheap Craftsman offset screwdriver, but the LM bit still looked new.
No Life Club Posts: 2,070 "My real name is Cosmo Pombal"
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 03:13:53 AM »
My experience with 'bit-kits' is "pay-a-littlle-more-to-get-a-little-more".  Impact-rated are a reasonable-choice, if you drive a lot of fasteners into decks, and drywall.  For general usage stick with the decent, domestic marques like S&K, Snap-On, or Proto.  They are properly-hardened and heat-treated.  Lately, I've been really impressed by the euro-brands like:  Wera, Wiha, and Felo.     

"Those who do evil to others:  the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists.  Will come to know me well.  Frank Castle is dead!  Call me . . . The Punisher."

"Out of the night comes a man who saves lives at the risk of his own:
Once a circus performer, an aerialist who refused the net...
Once a cat burglar, a master among jewel thieves...
And now, a professional bodyguard - primitive, savage, in love with danger."  - T.H.E CAT
Full Member Posts: 225
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2019, 06:57:10 AM »
Yes, good bit sets are out there. But the issue I have, more than any other, is the softness of the bits sold with CenterDrive. Especially the smaller slotheads.  But even my LM bit kit slots are a "bit" soft.

I have a Korean small bit set that has held up well. But if you sell the bit driver function as a major selling point, then why not sell excellent bits.

LM is better than Gerber. Still, the slot drivers twist too easily. Why not include excellent bit drivers?

The tiny eye glass driver in my LM bit kit broke first time out. On my sunglasses. 
No Life Club Posts: 1,272
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 09:23:22 AM »
..Why not include excellent bit drivers?

The tiny eye glass driver in my LM bit kit broke first time out. On my sunglasses.

Excellent sunglasses at least!  :D

"If only simple wasn't so hard" - me
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 3,904
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 10:11:50 AM »
The "free" bit kits you get with tools/tool kits (usually to round out the number of "tools" on offer - 99 piece tool kit! - 20 of which are hex bits, 16 of which you'll never use.) are generally pretty crappy (probably because they are made by companies that don't necessarily specialise in that field)

All my good bits are ones I've bought individually, around $2 each. I'll save myself a trip and go from guess/memory, I think they are mostly Irwin or Sutton branded.

I have no idea who makes the ones for the Centredrive, whether Gerber outsourced to a reputable company, or just ordered a million from wherever and stuck the gerber label on them.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 10:17:45 AM by Sea Monster »
No Life Club Posts: 1,323
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 03:51:16 PM »
All Bits are really just disposable.

Some are just more easily disposable than others! :whistle:

I am not too sure if the ones that have a bad fit are the fault of the bit or the terrible fasteners we tend to see more often these days?
No Life Club Posts: 2,084
Re: Bit kits, in general
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 08:10:12 PM »
I replaced all the “multitool-bit-sets” - I have some from leatherman and some from Victorinox. Only old leatherman bits were great (they came with the tool adapter).

Today there are only 4 brands I trust in for EDC and working tasks - Wera, Wiha, Hazet and Stahlwille...

 

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