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OEM makes a molded plastic star driver bit identifier that can be used to identify T10 through T60 and E16 through E16 internal or external star bit sizes. They ship the plastic identifiers on a key ring and price it around $3 to $4.

My question is: Are you going to carry this tool around in your pocket waiting for a time when you’re confronted with an unknown star bolt so you can whip it out and say you need a T10? Or are you going to run into an unknown fastener, go back to your toolbox, get this tool, identify the fastener, and go back to the toolbox to get the right tool? Chances are either you’re so good that you can tell the size by just looking at it, or you’re just going to go back to your toolbox once and grab a bit or socket set.

If you think I’m off my rocker, or if you can think of an even more useless tool, let us know in comments.

Star Driver Bit Identifier [OEM]
Street Pricing [Google]
Amazon(B002Q73DAE) [What’s This?]

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33 Responses to Possibly The Most Useless Tool Ever

  1. Brian Stevens says:

    Furthermore, do you really want to buy a “sizing tool” from a company who can’t even correctly identify the type of fastener they’re sizing. Those are Torx, not “star bit”s. I understand “star bit” as common lingo, but vendors should at least use the proper terms…

  2. @Brian Stevens:

    Because as I understand it, to claim these were Torx, they would have to buy a license.

    http://www.acument.com/licensing/faqs.asp

  3. Ben says:

    Hahaha! Is this so you can run back to the auto parts store to get the one bit you need? Also the torx bolts I usually encounter are recessed 2″ in auto trim, making this tool even more useless.

  4. Mike says:

    I would guess that this is targeted to DIYers that don’t come across Torx too often. In that case they wouldn’t be able to recognize the right size, let alone already have the size in their toolbox. This would keep a person from buying 3 or 4 different sizes in the hope of getting the correct one. I probably won’t order a set, but at that price I would impulse buy a set at the checkout line.

  5. Robert says:

    I’m a DIYer and I think a set of drivers for female Torx is kind of a necessity these days…

  6. Dustin says:

    Why bother? In my experience, the star heads get stripped so fast, sometimes I just skip the driver and go straight for the drill and EZ out. At least that’s been the experience with Torx bolts on my Jeep.

  7. Chuck says:

    I actually have a set of these. Bought them about 2 days after I bought my old Wagoneer that had Torx-a-plenty. I wasn’t going to buy a full set of Torx bits, and this let me find out which one I needed and buy them one at a time. Well worth the $3 I paid for it.

  8. jeremiah says:

    when i was in the USAF our shop was a one-tool shop, meaning that no one could have more than a single tool out at a time. we had had a lot of loss/theft previously.

    if we used Torx bits, this would have been something quite useful to us.

  9. Major Al says:

    Some jurisdictions restrict sale of Security Bits (the star bits with a hole in the center). These are “sizers”, and probably bypass the restriction.

    I bet whey would work just fine for low torque applications.

  10. Dave B. says:

    I am wondering if a phillips version of this tool is in the works, so I can know if I need a #1 #2 or a #3 tip….

  11. rob says:

    lol I bet they could serve someone at a parts counter not bad when someone comes in I need more of these screws

    but yeah not super useful in my books

  12. george says:

    i can see the need for this. though i would like to see them made so recessed screws could be measured. several trips to the box is stupid at best. i don’t see them often so it works for me.

  13. kyle says:

    I doubt that a philips version will be made, because it is easy to tell if it is a #1,2,3,or4

  14. Kif says:

    Then you wouldn’t like my tape measure selector. It’s a tape measure-like thing that measures stuff so I know how long a tape measure I’ll need to measure it.

  15. Old Coot says:

    Kif: Nicely played.

  16. ambush says:

    I have this brake gauge, I use it to find out what thickness of brake pads to buy.

  17. fritz gorbach says:

    First of allfor three bucks you an probably buy a set of torx bits somewhere and just use them to try out holes if you must.

    Second, i agree if yo want to do much yourself, a set of torx bits, or drivers, or sockets is a must have. And if you work on cars, the externals are neccessary too.

    Third, I don’t believe anybody actually restricts the sale of tamperproof torx bits. C’mon!!!

  18. steve says:

    Yeah I doubt any jurisdiction could prevent people from buying any type of security bits. You can order whatever you want off the internet. I’ve never seen any “can’t ship to _____” on security bits before.

  19. Brau says:

    I suppose whoever would buy these, might be the same person(s) who would buy a slotted driver bit identifier.

    (weirdest security machine screw I’ve ever seen – no identifiable indentations on screw head, just plain round-topped, but ever so slightly oval, and a matching slightly oval nut-driver style bit to install it. Lose the bit and you’re hooped.)

  20. zoomzoomjeff says:

    Next from OEM…………….Hammer Identifier, for the carpenter!

  21. Dave P says:

    I’m fairly certain that Dave B was joking…

  22. Tetsubo says:

    Somewhere, someone is a marketing genius. An EVIL marketing genius. I bet he even has a lab coat and cackles when he laughs…

  23. TCCook says:

    I need one to tell me if I need a phillips or a fla head. Do they make that?

  24. TCCook says:

    flat head

  25. Dave says:

    Well, something that would tell me when I’m looking at a “J spec” cross-head would almost be useful!

    Dave

  26. David Bryan says:

    When the screws are already installed in a piece of machinery and the bits are in electric or pneumatic tools this is mighty handy.

  27. Jerry says:

    @ Tetsubo – look in the lab coat pocket! Is that a slide rule?

  28. David says:

    Yes, it’s useless.

  29. techieman33 says:

    option A) go to harbor freight and just buy a complete torx socket set for $6

    option B) buy this $3 set so I can find out what size I need, then go to a big box store where I can buy just 1 torx bit and pay at least $3 for it.

    hmm…which one makes more sense?

  30. MarcoPolo says:

    I just push my finger into the fastener for 10 seconds, walk back to the tool box and select the driver based on the imprint.

  31. Marc says:

    @techieman: Or stop the Snap-on guy and buy a 12 piece set of torx sockets for $283 and a set of nine torx screwdrivers for $175. Then you’re covered.

  32. John says:

    This type of tool is for stupid people.

  33. Mark says:

    The funny thing is I’ve actually seen this for sale at auto parts stores.
    I imagine the store simply decided to carry the “full line” of OEM tools, and OEM happly sold them these sets, which they will probably never sell to actual customers.

    Sometimes I wonder about who the “tool buyer” is for the various retail chains.
    Some stores have pretty good tool selections, while others have a random assortment of items, such that someone looking to buy tools would consider going there a waste of time. Consider the tool selections at wal-mart vs. target.

    This item almost seems like it was come up with to take advantage of buyers who are asleep at the wheel. What’s next…. a set of plastic combination wrenches so I can use them to figure out what size combination wrench I need?

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