Aimed at:-Fitters, maintenance/electronics engineers and anoyne who needs an easily portable set of general fixing tools.
Pros:-Brilliant small kit in a new nylon case. The kit is amazingly verstatile and very well made.
Sometimes the right tools are just the ones needed for the job in hand – the fewer the better. And sometimes the right tools are the ones that you thought you might not need, but thankfully you have them there anyway. The Wera Kraftform Kompakt VDE sent up for review belongs to the latter category. With seventeen pieces in all it is probably everything an electrician would need in the way of screwdrivers for most, if not all jobs.
I should note first of all the black nylon wallet into which the kit is all carefully arranged. It is as compact as it can be as well as being compatible with ensuring easy use on site.
When folded up via the strong hook and loop closures, it could easily fit onto a waist belt. Indeed, there is a strong belt loop provided on the back of the case.
If used this way, all the tools are made to hang down so that they can be easily accessed from above.
I am not one for carrying stuff on a belt, so I found it equally easy to simple lay the opened case out flat on the floor or a flattish surface. In this position, there are two Wera Kraftform Kompakt handles at each end of the wallet. Wera has listened to some end users who said that sometimes they use more than one driver tip on a job so needed another handle for speed and convenience.
These Kraftform handles are famous for having been tested under very arduous conditions – under crushing loads and right down to -40 degrees Celsius where some plastics can become brittle and hence non-insulating. I guess that electricians working in London boroughs might be well reassured!
But the thing I most like about them is the ease with which it is possible to change driver tips. Simply push back the locking collar between forefinger and thumb, which releases the lock, pull out the driver tip and replace it with another which slides in and locks into place as it is pushed home. Literally a matter of seconds.
The handles themselves are the standard bright yellow and red VDE colours, with the yellow parts of the moulding having a slightly rubberized feel for easy grip.
The driver tips are arranged into four sections in two groups of four tips and one group of seven tips. It helps end users to keep the whole case as compact as possible if they replace the tips after use in the same order and orientation in which they arrive from Wera. In this way the more bulky hex ends are balanced by the less bulky shanks and they kind of fit into each other more compactly. This works for me only because I just get used to replacing a driver tip in the opposite orientation as the one it is next to.
The first section of four driver tips is the straight screwdriver. These go from a small 2.5mm wide tip right up to a more robust 5.5mm wide blade tip. Each one is 154mm long, and as we would expect, the 1000v rated insulation goes all the way down the shaft leaving only 15mm of the working end exposed.
The next section of four tips is the Torx section. Much more commonly used now, Torx screws are found in all sorts of appliances and junction boxes nowadays. In the past, whenever I occasionally took apart a power tool, a simple Phillips or Pozi would do it, but Torx and other patterns are common now. Perhaps to keep the unqualified and incompetent out? – like the ones who wouldn’t buy a full set of Wera VDE screwdrivers?
The Torx drivers are arranged in order as a 10, a 15, a 20 and a 25 – which again is a pretty comprehensive coverage of common Torx sizes. The insulation also goes all the way down the tips leaving only the last 15mm as the working tip.
The last seven tips kind of open out together and they are arranged alternately as Phillips and Pozi drivers and a standard straight driver. There are four Pozi drivers in all – PZ2, PZ1, PZ1/S and PZ2/S and Phillips PH2 and PH1. The straight driver is a 6.5mm width for those bigger screws in casings.
And of course, there is the extra handle at the end to bring the set to completion.
I liked the fact that the driver bits are all held in place by an elastic strip that is stretchy enough to hold the bits firmly, but also flexible enough to make them easy to pull out or replace. This arrangement means that the user can see all the tips easily and can select visually. But in usual thorough Wera fashion, all the bits have the sizes and types of bit printed in black on the hex shanks. I doubt whether end users will take the trouble to arrange the bits print side up like the way in which the set arrived out of the packaging, but it is very easy to twist them around to see the printed sizes if needed.
Confirmed Wera fans will know that damaged bits in a set can be replaced individually and that different sizes and types of bits can be bought to substitute others in the set. However, I think that this set is pretty well comprehensive so I guess there won’t be too much of that going on.
The plus points of such a comprehensive set are really a big bonus for busy electricians – you get easy changing of a wide range of bits as well as a pair of handles for those jobs where more than one fixing is used, plus all the advantages of quick-change handles and the peace of mind of a well tested VDE range.
For more information on Wera Tools, please visit www.wera-tools.co.uk