Ideal Extendable Screwdriver Review
Electricians can drop a few tools and do more with less using the Ideal Extendable Screwdriver. This one screwdriver replaces up to eight or more drivers you currently carry.
We placed this tool in the hands of one of our resident electricians. He quickly put it to work on some motor control panels used to drive large pumps. These control panels feature tons of electrical components, heat sinks, power supplies, and more. Each of the components secures to the rear of the panels which might be well over 12-inches deep. Depending upon whether your work sits at the front or back of the panel—you need a screwdriver that can reach where it needs to.
Ideal Extendable Screwdriver Features
The adjustable length of the Ideal extendable screwdriver makes it a perfect fit for this type of work. Different than the Ideal 12-in-1 Multi-bit screwdriver, this model features two long, removable double-sided bits or blades. These double-ended bits retract partially into the Ideal adjustable length screwdriver handle. You end up with a 3.5″ screwdriver on the fully-retracted side, and a 7″ screwdriver when extended.
The two included double-sided bits measure 9-inches in length. Because the bit tips themselves take up a combined 1-inch of length, the maximum driver length ends up around 7-inches with the handle gripping another inch of material. We could squeeze out 7.5 if we really had to, but it pushes the design.
The first bit has a #2 Phillips on one side and 1/4″ slotted on the other. The second bit gives you a #1 and #2 square (“Roberts”) drive. We got the most use out of the Phillips and slotted combination bit.
One other thing we enjoyed included the rotating collar. This came in handy when you needed to hold the bit steady but screw in a longer fastener. The thick rubber grip also felt comfortable, but it does feature a slicker surface than most. Finally, Ideal manufactures these tools in the U.S.A. They don’t just get assembled here—everything is U.S. sourced. Pros tend to like that, so it’s worth pointing out.
Using the Ideal Adjustable Length Screwdriver
This isn’t the first extendable screwdriver on the market, and so we knew how it operated even before we put our hands on the tool. The driver bit can adjust anywhere in between its total range. Pushing down on the collar lets you extend the shaft. Pushing it up lets you retract it. You lock the bit in place as soon as you release the collar. There’s nothing to spin or secure. Do it once, and you immediately get a feel for it.
With the blade inserted and locked, the screwdriver felt just like any other Ideal screwdriver I’ve used. There is zero slip on the blade—even when we pushed very hard against it to force the blade to move. It didn’t.
Our electrician used the Ideal Adjustable Length Screwdriver in his place of business and we tried it out in the shop. It tackled everything from securing wire in terminal blocks, to fastening heat sinks and power supplies to cabinets. It also did well reaching into standard Square D breaker panels to install new circuits and secure both 12-gauge and 10-gauge wiring.
Wrapping It Up
We have high expectations for Ideal Electrical screwdrivers. These met our expectations and then some. The fact that Ideal manufactures them in the USA just puts the proverbial icing on the cake. You can leave your 4″, 6″ and 8″ screwdrivers in the truck or van and reach for this tool. The Ideal 35-947 adjustable screwdriver has a retail price of $18.53, making it competitive with similar products on the market.
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