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Using mini driver bits for models with no corkscrew - without modifying your SAK

gb Offline RustandToil

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Hi All

I wasn't sure where to post this - it isn't a modification so doesn't really belong in the 'mod' thread.

As a Super Tinker owner I chose the Phillips over the corkscrew, but the ability to store the mini driver was a real loss for me. Alas, I did some tinkering and came up with my own solution - hopefully this might help someone in the same position!

Step one is to acquire some mini driver bits. These screwdrivers come with tonnes of different heads from flat drivers, to Phillips and Torx bits and are very cheap at less than £4 for the Rolson and around £7 for the other:

 
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 If you have a way to store these about your person, then they work really well when locked into place by the parcel hook (a trick for the ballpoint pen too I recall). 

 

I initially planned to do this and to store a small Phillips bit inside a paracord keychain, though I store a sewing needle and thread here so this wasn't ideal. Instead, I took a closer look at the slots on the back side of the tool, opposite the awl/hook/Phillips, and though they could be used to hold a bit instead. So - I broke out a file and some wet/dry paper and spent 10 minutes filing one of the hexagonal bits into a rectangle:

 
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gb Offline RustandToil

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Now the small rectangle profile bit fits snugly into the slots on the back side of the tool!

They fit with enough force that they are easily usable, especially resting your thumb at the base of the bit for some support. You can still use with the parcel hook of course and it fits even more securely, but the key chain gets in the way and I've not found the need for such force yet. It's a great way to get to those small toy screws / eye glass repairs etc:

 
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What's more, when you turn the bit to face the other way, it can be stored inside the tool. It's not perfect of course and I would expect it to fall out if I left the SAK in the bottom of my bag loose - but I carry this in my jeans pocket and it hasn't come out yet without me pulling it out myself. There's a surprising amount of grip. As you can see it adds very little to the profile of the knife too.

 
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I imagine this could work well on other models, and with all sorts of mini bits. You could even store more than one bit in the various slots, though I think they would be more prone to falling out.

Hope this helps someone, I've found it really useful so far!!


us Offline Explorer

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This is brilliant R&T!!  :ahhh

Really appreciate the detailed description and pictures as I’m going to give this a try  :cheers:


gb Offline Rizio Il Ghiro

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ca Offline Jazz

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Nice. Thanks for sharing.


us Offline OldBoy2016

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Nice! Can the Leatherman proprietary bits work? They are already flat and double ended so you get more functions.  Sorry I don’t have a Tinker so I cannot check.   :dunno:


gb Offline RustandToil

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Nice! Can the Leatherman proprietary bits work? They are already flat and double ended so you get more functions.  Sorry I don’t have a Tinker so I cannot check.   :dunno:

Interesting! I don't have any to test but I'll have a look at the dimensions - would be interested to see if anyone can test this out.

I do have a longer double sided bit from a Stanley screwdriver that I'd like to make use of, that might be my next challenge!


gb Offline RustandToil

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Hi All

Just to update - Last night I filed down a small flathead, much like the eyeglass screwdriver that screws into the corkscrew. The slots on the rear vary in thickness so there's no one-size-fits-all; but this one sits nicely in the outer layer. Easy to store both side by side and both useable in their own slots  :2tu:

 
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us Offline Neon Sunset

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 :like:

Great idea, modification and work space  :cheers:


us Offline DavZell

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Nice! Can the Leatherman proprietary bits work? They are already flat and double ended so you get more functions.  Sorry I don’t have a Tinker so I cannot check.   :dunno:

You would need to file them down to make them much narrower.  As those bits are expensive, I'd think starting from a 4mm bit would be less expensive and easier.  That said, the Leatherman bits may be of higher quality.  Flipping around again, you probably can't apply enough force to destroy a decent 4mm bit using this holding method anyway.  You could file down an excess regular bit you have around, too, for that matter.

If you were to try this and decided to use a grinder/Dremel/belt sander to speed up the process, be careful of heat generation.  The bit will overheat quickly and need to be rehardened. Most of us aren't into mastering that process.
My Mods: 58mm Workshop, 91mm Picnicker, CyberCompact
Some Fav's: long nail file models, vintage unusual stainless
Quirk: I like the metal file more than the wood saw


gb Offline RustandToil

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You would need to file them down to make them much narrower.  As those bits are expensive, I'd think starting from a 4mm bit would be less expensive and easier.  That said, the Leatherman bits may be of higher quality.  Flipping around again, you probably can't apply enough force to destroy a decent 4mm bit using this holding method anyway.  You could file down an excess regular bit you have around, too, for that matter.

If you were to try this and decided to use a grinder/Dremel/belt sander to speed up the process, be careful of heat generation.  The bit will overheat quickly and need to be rehardened. Most of us aren't into mastering that process.
Good input, agreed!

I'm a big fan of getting the most value out of low cost items. I'd recommend the bits that come with the Rolson screwdriver over unbranded one. These were much harder to file, but still easily manageable with the right files and a bit of effort. I ground down one of the others from the red set above and it was a bit too easy for my liking. Like you say there is only ever going to be pretty minimal force applied to these, so unlikely to be too problematic, but I feel the harder bits will last longer. 

I've been using both bits the last few days; I've used them in appliance plugs, a few battery powered electronics, and a wall socket. I'm still quite impressed by how well this setup works and I still haven't had any bits fall out of the tool!

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