Production Tool Supply has a web-only discount running on a pair of slick sets of ball-end Allen keys, inch an metric ranging from 0.050″ to 3/8″ and 1.5mm to 10mm. For anyone unfamiliar with this ball-end style, they let one end of the key sit in the fastener at an angle — a great advantage for starting fasteners in cramped spaces.
At a bit under $15, these are hard to pass up if you don’t have a set. They take some getting used to, but these tools are a real headache-saver.
Bondhus Ball-End Hex Key Set [PTS Tools]
There’s nothing like the feeling of a quality tool in your hand, and Bondhus’ Ergonic screwdrivers give you that good feeling with their special elastomer handles. It may look like your typical screwdriver, but once you grip one you’ll feel the difference. An elastomer in the handle conforms to your grip, giving you increased torque and comfort.
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Ok, despite the name (which sounds like some kind of ne’er-heard-by-ears-like-mine name for a job in the pr0n industry), this looks like a pretty cool ratcheting screwdriver and bit set — something we’ve seen a lot of interest about on Toolmonger recently.
As you can see in the photo, the ‘Boy features a “telescopic magazine” that stores bits right in the handle — and quite a few aparently.
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The T-handle is the big brother of all screwdriver handles. With a two-handed grip you can generate a great deal more of the twisting torque you need to insert or remove screws. The problem is that since they help you generate all that force, you can often break cheap T-handle drivers. Bondhus offers their Pro Guard T-Handle Drivers as a heavy duty step past the normal T-Handled driver sets you might have broken in the past.
At first glance the Bondhus drivers might look like all the others you’ve seen, but they do offer a few not-so-obvious yet significant features: The oversized handles curve downwards in order to put more usable torque comfortably into your twisting grip. And, the handles are welded to the blade to guarantee they will never slip — like the cheap-o friction-fit plastic-handled drivers that eventually begin to wear and loosen.
Bondhus says they’re frequently asked why two of the handles in the ball end T-Handle set are “shorter” than the others. (Hey, we wondered, too.) The answer is a bit complex, but indicates again that Bondhus put some thought into their design. The 5/32″ and 3/16″ blades — and the 4MM and 5MM blades in the metric set — are ball-end blades. Larger handles would easily generate sufficient torque to shear the neck of the ball end tip, thus reducing the tool to a stick with a handle on it. So, you get shorter handles that match up with the smaller tools’ torque-handling capabilities.
You can order sets in eleven different configurations which include varying sizes of hex, torx, standard, phillips and square driver heads. Our searches online indicated that some sets are easier to find while others — like the square head — can prove to be a bit scarce.
Though we haven’t tested them in person, they look like a pretty good solution to us, and we’re thinking about ordering a set to check ’em out. We found sets starting around $30 with a bit of price-sleuthing. If they’re as good as they sound, they’d fit nicely between the cheap plastic sets and the very-expensive ones from pro-tool manufacturers.