Aimed at:- Professionals who need a high quality and versatile kit with pretty well all the combinations you need to solve fitting dilemmas.
I am sitting at my desk looking at one of the classic black cotton Wera carry bags given out at toolshows. On it are the words “Werkzaug aus Ideen”. As far as I can translate it means, “tools developed from ideas”. In my view it reflects exactly the Wera way, with innovation and new products in a regular stream, and many happy customers willing to integrate the resulting products into their work practices.
This month I was sent the new Tool-Check PLUS kit to look at. I am already converted to the Tool-Check concept and to be honest it is a staple of my toolkit both in the workshop and out.
The Tool-Check PLUS has just one main addition that has been cleverly attached to the side of the Tool-Check case. The holder is made of a flexible rubberized plastic that holds a miniature version of the trademark Wera Kraftform handle - at a stroke adding a whole new range of potential uses to the Tool-Check concept.
On the business end of the handle is a standard hexagon-shaped socket that will accept hex-socketed accessories. The accessories are held in place by a powerful magnet in the handle, so they will be secure while in use.
But to go back a step – the Tool-Check PLUS now shares the high quality black box packaging of all of the new Wera products. In time, all products will be similarly boxed. As a potential user (dealers take note here) the image that the packaging creates is of a super high quality, modern product. Seriously, the packaging would not be out of place on a brand new, top of the range, mobile phone. Users have the message reinforced that if the packaging is this slick then the goods inside must be very good indeed.
The graphics on the box are subtle - to reinforce the message - with a picture of the product on the top of the box picked out in shiny ink against the matte finish of the box. Along the bottom of the lid a few symbols in white ink with brief descriptions, tell the user the highlights of the product in the box.
The Tool-Check PLUS is a good handful that feels weighty, but not too heavy to slip into a work trouser pocket or toolbag. Users familiar with the Tool-Check concept will know that the tools contained in it are held securely while the case is closed, but are revealed when a sliding catch is pushed. Each piece has its place – hence you are able to “check” if you have everything at the start and end of a job.
In the middle of the Tool-Check PLUS, once opened, are two rows of bits. The back row is hinged to open up so that they can be easily accessed with thumb and forefinger. There are 28 bits and a socket adaptor held in the two rows and they provide a huge flexibility for the intended users. Think maintenance engineers, fitters and computer hardware engineers.
Apart from the usual range of Philips and Pozi drivers, there are 6 Torx bits and 5 Hex-Plus bits that are commonly used in more high-tech applications and appliances these days. These bits drive from the flats not on the points, so wear more slowly on bit and screwhead.
Some people might be a bit sarky about the range of bits saying that the Torx and Hex-Plus bits are there just to bulk up the set and the price. The answer is simpler than that – the Tool-Check PLUS set is designed to offer a bit and driver selection for all of the most common applications, hence the wide range of profiles in the set. Most users will have a solution, literally, at their fingertips should they invest in a Tool-Check PLUS.
To help users, all the bits have the size and configuration of the bit laser etched onto the hex shank – a great help for me, especially if I remember my glasses.
Along the bottom of the Tool-Check PLUS is a row of seven sockets. Handily, each one has its size imprinted on the case above for easy selection. The sockets are held securely and it would take quite a knock to dislodge them. The sockets themselves are the usual high quality Wera sockets with a ball bearing retention lock and sizes etched onto the barrel. These were the first production quality sockets to be certified for hand and power tool use. With a size range from 5.5mm to 13mm the sockets cover most common applications, in my experience.
In my view, the real genius of the Bit-Check PLUS lies along the top of the case. Held securely by a sliding sleeve is the Zyklop Mini bit Ratchet and Rapidaptor.
The Zyklop Mini-bit Ratchet is small, just short of 90mm long, but is perfect in every detail –even down to the Kraftform shape of the handle. With its slim head and 6-degree pawl, the Bit Ratchet is capable of working in very confined spaces, such as you might find in a computer installations. Being of all steel construction, the Bit Ratchet is very strong and would be able to withstand a lot of torque pressure – a lot more than will ever be needed in its usual applications.
Changing from clockwise to anti-clockwise movement is achieved via the tiny switch on the head of the ratchet. Despite its size it is easy to use and positive in operation – aiding speed in use as well as being ergonomically comfortable. A black milled steel ring on top of the ratchet can be held between thumb and forefinger and moved quickly to speed up loosening and tightening to fingertight
The Rapidaptor is familiar to Wera users and remains a very useful piece of kit. Attached to the Kraftform handle it provides a bit of welcome extension as well as a quick-change facility for bits and sockets. It also aids the speed at which fixings can be tightened and loosened.
The thing that I most like about this Wera Tool-Check PLUS kit is its versatility. Wera designers have managed to make every piece complement the others so that the configurations achievable are so flexible that it is possible to find a solution for pretty well most small fixing dilemmas. I am told that the total number of combinations possible with drivers and bits is a staggering 162, so users should never be without options. And it will do this speedily and efficiently too – aiding productivity and ease. There is nothing not to like about this set – and it fits into a pocket too.
For more information on Wera Tools, please visit www.wera-tools.co.uk