With so many combination tools available, my tool pouch has lost some weight and gained some space. You might have seen my recent review of Southwire’s 6-in-1 Heavy Duty Nut Driver. Well, this week, I have the Southwire 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Precision Bit in for review. The word “precision” being in the title should give you a clue that this tool isn’t for standard sizes, but let’s see exactly what else you can expect from it.
- Precision Phillips bits on a full-size multi-bit driver
- Excellent value at $10
- Good blend of driver sizes for more precise electrical work
- No major drawbacks
If precision work comes your way frequently or even just from time to time as an electrician, this multi-bit driver from Southwire should be in your tool bag. You’ll still want to have a driver that has a #2 Phillips in your bag, though. This is a full-size driver design, so IT Pros may want to stick with the more slender electronics precision drivers.
- #0 Phillips Bit for precision work
- Includes: #0 and #1 Phillips, 1/4 and 3/16-inch slotted, 1/4 and 5/16-inch nut drivers
- Chrome plated finish for corrosion resistance
- Heavy-duty steel shanks
- Comfort grip handle
- Precision machined bits for exact an fit
Design and Use
I spend most of my time these days building control panels for enormous pumps. These panels have a lot of small screws for which the #0 and #1 Phillips come in really handy. The bits swap in and out the shank, which doubles as a nut driver on either end, in just a couple of seconds.
But there’s a caveat: the lack of a #2 Phillips means that its standard field use is limited.
On the other hand, the 1/4-inch and 5/16-inch nut drivers are excellent for my control panel work, as well as any field work I get into. I often have to remove the sides of illuminated signs to replace bulbs. Curiously, nut sizes alternate between 1/4-inch and 5/16-inch. Annoying, but true.
The size and feel of the Southwire 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Precision Bit is excellent. Precision work often has tight spots and awkward angles, but this tool fits well.
You’ll notice Southwire takes an interesting turn from typical electronics precision screwdriver with a more standard driver size. It not-so-subtly hints at its intention for electricians to use rather than someone working in the IT department.
Price & Value
You can pick up off-brand screwdrivers with all kinds of interchangeable bits and some sockets for the change you probably have in your pocket. They might come in handy, but you’ll have to carry the cheap, plastic case, as well as a bunch of stuff you’ll never use.
The compact, nested design of the Southwire 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Precision Bit is really its selling point. You can pick up similar tools, like Klein’s 11-in-1 (32505) or Stanley’s 6-in-1 (68-012M), for $20 or $8, respectively. But both competitors offer #1 and #2 Phillips heads instead of the precision Phillips head that the Southwire offers for about $10.
Klein does offer a couple of 4-in-1 precision drivers with a very slim profile designed more for IT guys for around $10. Southwire doesn’t have a lot of competition here with its more full form factor.
The Bottom Line
For control wiring or other small-screw related work, the Southwire 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Precision Bit is an excellent tool. If your job calls for switching between precision and standard fieldwork, be sure to pair this with another multi-bit driver that has a #2 Phillips bit.
Southwire 6-in-1 Screwdriver with Precision Bit Specifications
- Item Number: SD6N1P
- 5/16 & 1/4-inch nut drivers
- #1 and #0 Phillips tips
- 1/4 and 3/16-inch slotted tips
- Price: $9.97 at Lowe’s