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While leafing through my “Ideas for TM Posts” file, I found a page I had cut from the Feb. 2009 issue of Popular Mechanics that mentioned the Klenk DA86450 Select-A-Bit™. It’s a ratcheting screwdriver with a 4:1 gearing produced by holding the nose piece (which causes the bit to turn four times for each single turn of the handle). The 4:1 option is for driving screws and nuts in low-torque applications; the 1:1 ratio is recommended for higher-torque.

It comes with the eight, double-ended 3″ long bits stored in the handle, giving you the following 16 bit sizes:

And, unless there’s some new bit standard out there that I’m unaware of, I’m assuming that “Torks” is a typo for “Torx.” If no bit is inserted, the bit holder can be used as a ¼” nut driver. The DA86450 costs around $20.

TM has covered geared screwdrivers before (10/5/09), and had lots of comments when we asked who makes the best multi-bit screwdrivers (3/5/09), so where does this one fit in the mix? Let us know in comments.

Klenk DA86450 [Manufacturer’s Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

5 Responses to Klenk Geared Ratcheting Select-A-Bit Screwdriver

  1. Eric says:

    I like the idea of the 4:1 ratio. Anytime I can get some ratcheting mechanical advantage, I’m interested. But I’ve also had bad luck with a lot of “cheap” ratchet tools that either jam or fall apart, or are horribly difficult to change direction. These days, I use the multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver from Kobalt. It has taken a lot of abuse, had way more tools and bits inserted in it than it ever came with, and continues to perform well for me. I am hoping that this new Klenk tool falls closer to the Kobalt and farther from the “fall apart” tools.

  2. Justin says:

    I’ve never had any luck with ratcheting multi-bit screwdrivers. The tool I use more than any other tool, though, is a Stanley 6-in-1 screwdriver. I’ve got a nice set of screwdrivers at my workbench, but I find that I still pull the 6-in-1 out of my back pocket even with a nice selection of clean, ergonomic, magnetic-tipped drivers staring me in the face.

  3. David Bryan says:

    Eric and Justin, this is a good one.

  4. Zack says:

    Bought the Select A Bit from Klenk last month and was not as impressed with it as the writer from PM. When I got it, it would not multiply the turning bit. It seemed to be jammed so I lubed it and worked with it until it loosened up some. Still tends to jam with the slightest resistance.

    Then I found out that the phillips bits are cheaply made. The small bit didn’t fit most of my screws properly and the larger phillip bit won’t fit at all. When I tried the small flat blade screwdriver, the larger end would not go in the hole. I had to force it in and it looks like I may have to grind or sand some of the side off. I had thought of sending it for a Christmas gifts, but not this one I won’t…

  5. Zack,

    Hey I’m from the Manufacturer. Sounds like you might have got an odd driver. There are actually 4 phillps bits, sizes 0, 1,2 and 3. The 0 fits pretty small screws and the 2 is probably most common. If the larger flat wouldn’t go in the hole it is possible your bit missed a final grinding operation. Making a 1/4″ Flat blade so that it fits into a 1/4″ socket hole takes one final operation and sounds like your’s missed it.

    The speed and ratcheting mechanisms should work easily, extra lubrication is not required. Send us an email from the klenktools website and we can send you a replacement.

    They are very heavy duty and sold mostly to contractors in wholesale supply stores. We assemble them in the Ohio. Most of the parts are made for us in the USA also. And yes, the speed mechanism is meant mostly for machine screw operations, such as installing an electrical switch/outlet into the electrical box. Huge time saver for those types of long thread screws.

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