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What’s the fastest way to drive a nut 9″ down a rod of 3/8″ all-thread? Smart Tools’ Big Willy. They’ve come up with a line of hollow shank nut drivers specifically for 3/8″ threaded rod and only for 3/8″ nuts, since 3/8″ nuts usually require a 9/16″ socket.

They claim the Big Willy has a collet drive shank, which might mot mean much to you, but given that they show it chucked into a small impact driver, it looks to be just a standard 1/4″ hex shank. The driver is hollow for most of its length, except for an inch or so that the shank occupies. Be cautioned: Smart Tools made this tool for high-speed driving, not high torque applications, so don’t exceed 50ft lbs. with the driver.

The 3″ version of Big Willy runs about $11, the 6″ version — about $14, the 12″ version — about $20, or buy the full set of three for $40. Smart Tools claims they can manufacture the Big Willy in any length you require, so if you need something longer you can contact them.

Big Willy [Smart Tools]
Big Willy [Licensed Electrician]

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7 Responses to My, That’s A Big Willy

  1. matt says:

    I took my kleing cushion grip nutdriver, welded an extension on a drill bit and drilled clear through the handle (using the nut driver shank as a guide. I then welded a nut on the outside of the driver (to use a wrench with it). I now have an unlimited depth nutdriver for assembling unistrut structures (with spring nuts and / or 3/8 threaded rod). Nice and light, easy to keep in the toolbag,

  2. matt says:

    Yes, I know, I meant to write KLEIN but my typing sucks

  3. McCheese says:

    Just chuck the rod instead

  4. Russ says:

    Ok, old electrician tip. Wrap some rubber tape around the outside of a regular nut setting bit, and use that to “roll” the nut on. Imagine one wheel rolling another. I’ve done about 5 to 7 inches a second depending on the driver and the size of the bit.

    I did a lot of this while using 3/8 allthread to hang unistrut.

  5. fred says:

    For about $5 – you can buy a Xcelite 99PA – adapter to chuck any size 99 series Xcelite driver:


  6. Jereme Green says:

    This extension is a pretty good tool my brother used one like the picture above to tke the starter off my car

  7. Greg says:

    Big Willy is also referred to as Hollow Shanx. Yes I agree that there are as many methods as there are imaginations in reference to spinning a nut up a threaded rod but they are mostly hand crafted in the field. This is one well crafted tool that fits in your side pouch that has many more applications. Look for larger drives for heavier applications in the near future @ http://www.smartoolsinc.com.

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