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Wiha wins Red Dot award with new slimBit boxes

HAND tool manufacturer Wiha has been honoured with a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019. Its new slimBit boxes have earned the prestigious Red Dot, which the meticulous jury awards exclusively to products displaying excellent design.

Wiha has created a compact transport, removal and storage option with its new slimBit boxes for 6 or 12 slimBits. The product has been developed to provide users with a significant advantage in handling slimBits during their day-to-day professional life.

In the large sets, 12 slimBits with different profiles are stored in two boxes containing six bits each. This allows users to carry slimBits around safely, neatly arranged in a box. When open, the box offers users an optimum view of screw profiles, enabling users to select and remove profiles quickly. Users can handle profiles with a single hand thanks to the practical belt clip.

Wiha slimBits excel due to their slender shape and protection against electric shock, making them particularly advantageous for use in the electrician's trade. They have been developed based on new market knowledge and user surveys to offer a functional solution with added value.

"Being awarded the Red Dot affirms the high design quality behind the product. We are immensely proud that the special features in the product's design have been recognised and honoured with the Red Dot," said a pleased Ronny Lindskog, Wiha's Director of Sales and Marketing.

Professor Peter Zec, the Red Dot initiator and CEO, also praised the winner: "I congratulate the award winners warmly on their great success. The fact that their products were able to hold their ground during the jury's strict assessment is a testament to their exceptional design quality. This allows the winners to set influential trends in the design sector and point the way to where things may lead in the future."

The Red Dot Award: Product Design is one of the world's largest design competitions. Designers and manufacturers from 55 countries submitted more than 5,500 products to the competition in 2019. The international jury, composed of acknowledged experts from different fields, have been coming together for over 60 years to seek out the best designs. During the assessment process over several days, they attach great importance to criteria such as degree of innovation, form quality, functionality, durability and ergonomic design.

www.wiha.com

Wiha: talking the Torque

FOUNDED almost 80 years ago in 1939 by Willi Hahn, grandfather of the current Wiha Managing Director, Wilhelm Hahn, Wiha remains an owner-operated family company with an international presence and reputation, writes PETER BRETT.

The company aims to make daily life much easier for users with a product assortment of innovative hand tool solutions geared towards user needs, which increase efficiency, reduce costs and preserve health.

Quite a mission statement and one that covers a lot of ground.

The design teams at Wiha are constantly developing, designing and making products that meet the highest functionality, durability and ergonomic demands. They provide a comprehensive range of tool concepts and sets, screwdrivers, torque tools, multitools, L-keys, bits, pliers, soft-faced hammers and much more.

The VDE (The Association of German Electrical Engineers) sector is a speciality for Wiha and it has tested, developed and brought to market many innovative solutions based on actual needs of the industries they serve.

Design teams at Wiha are constantly developing, designing and making products that meet the highest functionality.

Wiha is a multi-award winning company for both products and innovation.

Recently, Wiha received the Focus Open Design Award 'Special Mention' 2018 and the German Design Award 'Gold' 2019 for its product innovation speedE, the world’s first e-screwdriver from Wiha.

In 2016 it was recognised as belonging to the top 100 most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany, and other prestigious awards they have won include the Manufacturing Excellence Award in 2014 as the best German SME.

Why Torque?

I can’t give a better explanation of why we need specialist torque products than Volker Lehmann, Product Manager and Torque specialist at Wiha, who said: "New application fields, technologies and materials, coupled with ever advancing miniaturisation, are leading to a growing necessity for applying the right torque for fastening. Here, in order to prevent quality problems, process safety is at the forefront.

"However, it’s not just today’s shift system that results in people with different training or experience failing to meet the required safety level with exact power transmission due to not using the correct hand tool. It’s all about using the right tool to prevent the high costs involved with reworking or product recalls, and thus avoiding the loss of our own quality image."

In addition, Lehmann states that “correct torque usage prevents damage to materials, eliminates the need for retouching and protects against warranty claims.

In today's industry, using torque tools is one of the decisive factors in terms of increasing process reliability. This makes fully certified Wiha torque tools essential for mechanics, electricians and electronics technicians in different segments as they combine precision with security.”

Torqueing Tools – some of Wiha’s finest

The TorqueVario®-S range of screwdrivers is very sophisticated and intended for industrial and professional users.

The handles contain mechanisms to adjust the torque settings and cover a range of common torque brackets depending on the size of the screwdrivers. For example, the 0.5 – 2.0 Nm TorqueVario S screwdriver is a bit smaller than the top of the range 2.0 – 7.0 Nm version.

The handles are graded to suit the sizes and applications of the tools and are set using the torque setting tool supplied. All the screwdrivers feature the patented SoftFinish handle design that is recognised as being easy to use and causes reduced strain on hand and back muscles.

The VDE versions of these tools give the user protection up to 1000v while also encompassing the SoftFinish handle design.

Taking the next step up the ease of use ladder, the mechatronic iTorque screwdrivers can be set without tools.

The settings are guaranteed to be accurate and are easy to set via the integrated setting wheel on the end of the handle. A digital display confirms the chosen setting.

For users like electricians and electronics fitters who might find it uneconomical to invest in a range of torque tools, Wiha provides a simple and cost-effective solution in the form of the easyTorque adaptors.

They will fit all the variants of the slimVario family of Wiha screwdriver sets – both VDE and conventional.

The user simply chooses the adaptor from a range of preset torque adaptors and inserts it between the bit and the handle. In this way, the user can get accurate torque settings on sensitive fixings without breaking the bank – or the screwdriver!

Checking the Settings

Having been educated into some of the intricacies of torque tools recently, I know that torque tools have a life span during which they have to be regularly checked for accuracy and, if necessary, be recalibrated. Guarantees and warranties may depend on torque tools being accurately set, so it makes sense to have a system or even a tool that does informal and more regular checking of accurate torque settings.

It could be very costly and time consuming to find out that a production tool is outside the torque parameters and then having to recall or recheck products.

The Wiha solution is to use the Torque QuickCheck that enables all Wiha screwdrivers to be checked for accuracy very regularly – before each use if needed.

The checks are very easy to carry out – simply insert the screwdriver into the TorqueCheck and they will be checked at 2.8 Nm as a standard. If the TorqueCheck and the handle settings match up, then a green light will indicate that it is accurate.

But a red or amber light would indicate an inaccuracy that would need further investigation and recalibration.

The virtue of the QuickCheck system is that it is light, compact, accurate and can be slipped into a toolbox so that regular checking is not a chore.

While it is not a substitute for recalibration, its use as a diagnostic tool that avoids expensive rechecks on jobs already completed is a cost-effective solution.

I acknowledge that this is a swift and broad-brush overview of the range of Wiha torque tools.

But I hope that it helps readers to understand a few of the trends in torque tools available and the levels of sophistication that we have already reached in using torque applications.

Like Brexit, torque applications aren’t going to go away, and end users will have to get to grips with the increasingly sophisticated systems in which torque tools are used.

Checks are very easy to carry out – simply insert the screwdriver into the TorqueCheck and they will be checked at 2.8 Nm as a standard.

Even your average ‘sparky’ and plumber these days need to know torque settings for RCDs and boiler fittings. The Wiha range might be a good place to start looking at the tools needed.


www.wiha.com

The Torque solution?

THE packaging of the Wiha speedE sends out a powerful message that the tool inside is valuable, high tech and modern. It is not just another electricians’ screwdriver, writes PETER BRETT.

In the world where electricians need efficiency and precision even on standard domestic electrical installations, the speedE aims to provide a solution.

The problem

Increasingly, manufacturers have been specifying that electrical installations need to be fixed at certain torques to ensure electrical contact is optimised and safe.

When electricians can be working on anything from a complex RCD installation - where overtorqueing can be an issue on some materials - or simply unscrewing the patress screws on a light switch, the balance between high tech and mundane practical is crucial.

Of course, the big question for potential users is ‘Did Wiha get the balance right when designing the speedE?’ This is what I examined in depth.

As mentioned before, the presentation box is designed to press home the point that the speedE is a modern precision instrument. Inside the box the impression is reinforced.

Presentation

On opening the box, the first layer contains a product information booklet and the user manual – rather like opening up the box of your new phone.

Underneath that is the speedE itself – held in its custom-fitted space. A further layer is lifted to reveal a small L-Boxx that contains the batteries, charger, torque adaptor and eight driver bits in a slim plastic container.

All these are individually packed in their foam slots. Apart from the sheer practicality of having your speedE all in one place ready to pick up and go, the message is reinforced that this valuable kit should not simply be flung into a toolcase or toolbox with all the other tools.

With some tradespeople I know, this will still happen anyway and the speedE has been developed to be used like a normal screwdriver. Wiha has done their best to encourage tidiness and efficiency.

Getting going

The compact charger has a USB fitting that means it is possible to charge the speedE in a modern USB mains socket, or in a van. There is also the option to use the mains plug adaptor supplied.

Charging the Li-Ion cells takes around 75 minutes, and the two cells in my experience provide enough 'oomph' for even a demanding day’s work.

The battery is loaded into the speedE by simply unscrewing the cap on the top of the handle. Polarity is important here – the positive (+) needs to be at the bottom of the battery holder in the handle.

Once the screwcap is replaced it looks and feels exactly like the well-established Wiha VDE handle that users have become accustomed to.

Next, the optional easyTorque adaptor can be slotted into the hex socket on the handle. This adaptor is fully compliant to ensure electrical safety insulation standards. Using it extends the length of the screwdriver by about 40mm.

This is very useful when reaching into wiring boxes for example, but bits can also be inserted straight into the handle for a shorter and more controllable feel.

The little case of eight screwdriver bits has a range of tips from PZ, Phillips and SL and SL/PZ included. These are all identified by looking at the white writing in the insulation above the tips.

The writing is quite small, and I needed my glasses – but then I should be wearing them for doing detailed work anyway.

The screwdriver bits all have a hex shank and fit quite snugly onto the torque adaptor or directly into the handle with no play at all, and with no danger that the bits are going to slide out under working loads.

Using the speedE

It pays to experiment with the speedE before using it on a real job, as there are a few things to get used to. For example, there is a very tiny, but very handy LED light in the handle which is directed straight onto the workpoint.

I am very much in favour of worklights now with my ageing eyes, and this is particularly good because often electrical boxes and fittings can be hidden in dark corners and cupboards.

To activate the light, simply give the ring switch a quick turn to left or right and it will come on and stay on during any powered screwdriving activity. Once the driving stops, the light turns itself off after a few seconds.

The light also has the job of indicating when the battery needs replacing. When the battery drops below 20%, the light will be flashing/blinking.

Power screwdriving is still possible with a low battery, but when only the light works the battery has no power left but can still be used as a normal screwdriver.

The ring switch is very easy to use as Wiha have got the ergonomics just right.

Operated between thumb and forefinger, you just have to choose to tighten or loosen the screw by turning the switch to the right or left respectively.

The speedE tightens screws to a maximum of 0.4Nm, which is enough torque to ensure that plastic electrical fittings like plug boxes and junctions don’t crack. The user can then use a sensitive human hand to tighten up screws where necessary.

This is really where the ‘speed’ part of the speedE comes into play. I still come across the need to tighten long patress screws into light switches, and the speedE makes this a painless and mercifully shorter task.

However slick the operator is, he or she cannot remove or tighten screws faster than a speedE. I know, as I did some experiments with an electrician colleague - armed with the speedE, I beat him every time.

There is no doubt that this is a quality piece of kit that needs to be used to its full potential to get full value from it.

It is, at once, a standard interchangeable bit VDE screwdriver as well as a powered VDE driver - which will save time and effort when doing some of the boring jobs such as unscrewing the long screws which are a feature of some electrical components.

www.wiha.com

Wiha easyTorque adapters

Wiha easyTorque adapters have been added to the torque range for electricians and are compatible with all Wiha slimVario products

Tool users are now being offered a user- and cost- friendly addition to the Wiha torque range with the new easyTorque adapters. With full protective insulation and total compatibility with the Wiha slimVario range, they allow users to fasten screws safely in a controlled way.

The Wiha torque range is growing as well as the slimVario family. The new easyTorque electric torque adapters enable all products in the slimVario family, such as the LiftUp electric magazine bit holder, Stubby electric or slimVario bit-holders, to be 'upgraded' into fixed-torque tools once inserted. The versatile slimVario product range thus gains an additional function with controlled screw fastening, increasingly important in the electricians segment.

 

The correct torque safeguards against damage to materials, eliminates the need for retouching and protects against warranty claims. Just like all Wiha slimBits or slimVario ergonomic screwdriver or magazine bit holder handles, the easyTorque adapters have been individually tested to 10,000 V AC and are approved up to 1,000 V AC. In addition to the set available from retailers, comprising a SoftFinish® ergonomic bit holder handle, two slimBits and the easyTorque adapter, this new Wiha innovation is also supplied as a separate item. A five-piece set containing all adapter variants with fixed torques of 0.8, 2.0, 2.5, 2.8 and 4.0. is also offered. The adapters are not suitable for use with power tools. 

Demolition Screwdriver Refined – punch holes effortlessly and safely with the Wiha dowel racket

Hand tool manufacturer Wiha presents an innovative new product making it easier than ever to insert dowels into soft materials. Unique in its shape and versatility, the dowel racket allows users to safely insert dowels without a drill.

A simple strike of a hammer on this new hand screwdriver avoids the need for heavier power tools, and guards against the risk of electrocution, should users hit hidden wires or cables beneath the plaster, thanks to the galvanic separation in the solid steel cap.

"Isn't there an easier way of embedding dowels in softer construction materials such as hollow block masonry, plasterboard or porous concrete, than the hassle of using a drill and an extension lead?" This is a question aimed at the manufacturer which consistently came up in Wiha user-surveys regarding existing gaps in the range. Wiha’s aim was to provide a simple, easy-to-use, quiet, lightweight and, most importantly, safe solution. What they have delivered is a hand tool for your pocket as an alternative to a conventional power drill.

The scaled 6-mm round screwdriver blade also allows you to measure depth precisely. The dowel hole itself is perfectly dimensioned as a result, thanks to the proportions of the impact screwdriver blade. With a potential electric shock prevented by the galvanic separation of the striking cap and the blade within the ergonomic handle, users avoid the risk of an electric shock if they should happen to hit wiring or cables hidden in the wall.

This new product is available from retailers in a set consisting of the dowel racket (6 mm round blade, PH2 profile) and a total of four Fischer dowels. After a prior comprehensive survey on needs and demand, and a thoroughly positive follow-up user survey on the Wiha dowel racket, Wiha is looking forward to a market launch which will not only fill a gap in the market, but will also bring user benefits.

Wiha’s MagicRing and Magic Spring L-Keys

Why Get Them?

Sometimes you need to attach the fastener to the L-Key without a magnet – computer for eg don’t like magnets!

Wiha’s team has come up with several solutions that fit the bill

Features

The pack of nine ErgoStar MagicRing Hex keys have a ball end with a spring retainer – they retain the fasteners even at an angle of up to 20 degrees on the ball end.

Made with 57-60 HRC Chrome steel and meeting all the ISO and DIN standards they are of professional quality.

The short end of the keys allow max torque and maximum access for the tools in confined spaces.

The above is all very well for hex keys, but Torx fixings are becoming much more popular these days, especially for more demanding applications. Wiha also makes a ball end Torx L-Key and its engineers have solved the problem of retaining a Torx bolt onto an L-Key. The clue of course lies in the name – the ErgoStar MagicSpring.

The MagicSpring Torx L-Keys are in a 13-piece pack and have a black finish.

 The same ingenious holder is used so there is no hassle needed to get at the keys, but at the same time the set stays safely together.

Included is a wall hanger for the entire set so that it can be attached to a rack or van interior.

Overall, there is no doubt that these Wiha L-Keys are professionally rated pieces of kit with a few handy innovations that will make jobs easier and more efficient. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJzGksW1oi8

Wiha MagicRing L-Keys The Non-Magnetic Solution for Screwholding

Enter the L-Keys from Wiha. Designated the MagicRing and MagicSpring range they offer several features that will surely find favour with many end users – particularly those whose everyday jobs have very specific requirements.

Such is the pace of innovation in the fixings and fasteners arena that it is sometimes not enough to introduce one innovation at a time – they have to come in twos or threes. Enter the L-Keys from Wiha. Designated the MagicRing and MagicSpring range they offer several features that will surely find favour with many end users – particularly those whose everyday jobs have very specific requirements.

Retaining the fasteners to the driver is a feature that many users like. It is really handy to be able to start the process of screwing in a fastener by introducing it into the aperture mounted on the tool, and being able to get the thread started. In cramped spaces this is often a necessity. The usual method of retaining a screw fastening to the tool is to use a magnet – and this is usually very effective. However, what if the magnet is near to sensitive electronic components or what if the fastener is made of quality stainless steel and is therefore not magnetic? Clearly time for a bit of head scratching and a referral to the R and D team.

Wiha’s team has come up with several solutions that fit the bill – and they have already found favour in the market.

The first of these that I looked at was the ErgoStar MagicRing Hex key set. Retailers and end users will like the clear plastic bubble packaging that shows all that you need to know before purchase. A clear graphic shows all nine sizes of metric hex key in the pack and shows that only the biggest six sizes have the MagicRing feature – the smallest keys are simply too small to machine the retaining ring and spring onto them.

Made from 57-60 HRC Chrome Vanadium steel and meeting all the ISO and DIN standards for these types of tools, they are up to the demands of professional users who need quality every time they use the tools.

The MagicRing feature is very easy to see on the largest key on the set (10mm). On the long end of the L, a small groove is machined into which a round spring washer is inserted. When the hex end is pushed into the corresponding head of a screw, the spring washer slides into it, but still exerts some pressure onto the inside of the hex head, thus retaining it strongly enough for it to be held securely. This is enough to hold a screw in place while it is located and then screwed in.

Also only on the long end, Wiha’s designers have include a “ball end” – essentially the way that the hex shape has been relieved by cutting a big v-shaped slot into the end so that the key can be used at angles up to about twenty-five degrees off the right angle when loosening and tightening a fixing.

Clearly this makes it a lot easier to work in confined spaces and also to locate the screw in the first place. What I liked about the MagicSpring feature was that it did its job without affecting anything else that a hex key is supposed to do. It held the fastener securely, but not so securely that it interfered with tightening or moving it.

With the removal of metal required to create a ball-end, the hex keys, particularly the smaller sizes, are not as strong and could therefore be short in the applied torque department. However, Wiha has made the solution obvious by keeping the short end of the L-key a full hex shape, capable of exerting the torque you need. With the short end of the L-key, it is usually possible to fit into most spaces.

The above is all very well for hex keys, but Torx fixings are becoming much more popular these days, especially for more demanding applications. Wiha also makes a ball end Torx L-Key and its engineers have solved the problem of retaining a Torx bolt onto an L-Key. The clue of course lies in the name – the ErgoStar MagicSpring.

The MagicSpring Torx L-Keys are packed in a similar transparent plastic bubble pack so that buyers can see what is in the set.

There are 13 pieces in the pack and they are made with the same steel as the hex keys above, but with a black finish. The range is in several popular Torx sizes from T45 down to T5. I chose the T45 to examine because it is easiest to see how the spring retainer works – looking at it through a magnifier I could see a couple of springloaded hooks that grip into the side of the Torx aperture of the fixing. It is an impressive bit of micro-engineering since it needs precise placing on the end of the L-Key to ensure that it works correctly. And it does work. It was easy to set a fixing into and then place it into the right spot to start threading it into place. There is usually a little bit of angle flexibility on Torx fixings so there is some scope to use the L-key at a slight angle and still get good results.

But as I have said, multiple innovations seems to be the norm these days, and the presentation of the sets will win friends. The standard method of presenting a set of L-Keys is to slot them into a plastic block arranged in order. It is time consuming and fiddly to access the keys like this so Wiha has come up with a neat solution. Each laser marked key has its own slot in a plastic block, but simply pull one of the keys out to 90 degrees from the storage position and all the keys are revealed and ready to pull out without interfering with each other. The geared mechanism enclosed in the block works smoothly and the casing also has each size of each key marked in its position.

Included is a wall hanger for the entire set so that it can be attached to a rack or van interior.

Overall, there is no doubt that these Wiha L-Keys are professionally rated pieces of kit with a few handy innovations that will make jobs easier and more efficient. 

 

TriCut electric installation pliers from Wiha – three functions combined in one hand tool.

 "Have you already finished?" Electricians love hearing this question, and customers love posing it! Time is money, and achieving high-quality, professional results safely and simply is the ideal scenario. Hand-tool manufacturer Wiha Werkzeuge offers just that with its innovative TriCut pliers. These VDE-tested installation pliers make cable processing significantly simpler, safer and more efficient, thanks to their ergonomic, cutting, stripping, and skinning functions.

The three main steps for processing cable - cutting the cable to length, exposing the wires, and skinning the individual conductors - usually require three separate tools: diagonal cutters, a cable stripper, and stripping pliers. The TriCut combines all three functions, eliminating the need for multiple pliers, which is a compelling reason to use them, especially for frequent work up ladders or near live parts.

TriCut electric installation pliers from Wiha

 

In narrow spaces, for distribution or junction boxes, the TriCut comes into its own, due to its specially angled head, which allows for ergonomic and energy-saving stripping and skinning lengthwise. Due to the manufacturer's high quality standards and extremely robust processing and production, the TriCut promises a long lifespan and will make light work of hard wires, cables and even chains. Saving space and weight on belts, in bags, and in toolboxes, it is available in a VDE version tested individually at 10,000v AC and approved for use up to 1,000v AC, as well as in a classic design without protective insulation.

 

For more information please visit wiha.com

Wiha BitHolder Sets - A Cure for Crowded Toolbox Syndrome?

Aimed at: Pros with crowded toolboxes

Pros: Capacity for lots of screwdrivers without the bulk of a screwdriver set.

Crowded Toolbox Syndrome afflicts many UK tradespeople. With so many useful and even “must have” tools available these days it doesn’t take long to end up with one or more heavy toolboxes that always seem to end up on the site just because “we might need them.”

This is particularly true with screwdriving tools. Not long ago we only needed a couple of Phillips, a couple of Pozis and a slotted screwdriver or two, with a nondescript “big one” used for levering, breaking and chiselling. Now, we have to have all of the aforementioned, plus Torx in various sizes, several hexes and maybe even a couple of square drives. Chuck in a VDE set and that all adds up to a lot of individual drivers – and inevitably to Crowded Toolbox Syndrome.

Various companies have come up with ingenious solutions to the problem and for that we have to be grateful because it really does help avoid a crowded toolbox.  In the past Wiha has come up with some of the best solutions for using the screwdriver handle as a method of storing the range of extra driver bits without losing its excellent ergonomic handle design in the process. And now there are a couple more designs that extend Wiha’s range that you need to consider in your quest to reduce toolbox clutter.

The Wiha 26 One has been around for a few months and as the name suggests it has one handle but 26 different driver bits in the kit. Wiha suggests that it will save 90% of the volume and 85% of the weight of carrying all of the individual screwdrivers and that is a claim that is easy to believe.

The bits supplied are 2 slots, 4 Phillips, 2 Pozi,4 Torx, 10 hex drives (metric and imperial) and 2 square drives. Clearly some of the hex drives are aimed at the American market so I would have extras of some tips – frankly, I always like to have a couple of spares of Phillips and Pozi.

The real ingenuity of the 26 One is the way in which the Wiha engineers have shoehorned the 26 bits into the handle without making it too bulky and without making it too fiddly to find the bits. In fact, they only had to find space for 12 bits because the tips are double ended. They are all clearly laser etched and logically arranged – for example both square drives are on the same tip, as are 2 Phillips, 2 Pozis etc.

The bits are sprung out of the handle by pushing in the red release clips on the top of the handle. They are then revealed with their ends at a handy angle for easy access. The bit holders are made of a flexible red plastic so that bits are easy to take out and replace and the holders are also open top and bottom for easy identification.

The whole “carousel” of bits can rotate easily so aiding quick identification.

Simply push down on the red top of the carousel to close it down into the handle.

The trouble with some of the handled bit sets is that when it comes to everyday use they become impractical because the tips can easily fall out of the hex bit holder on the end of the driver shank. To cure this the Wiha engineers have introduced a spring loaded collar that locks the bits into place. The collar can rotate too, so is handy for the one hand to hold when guiding screws into place while the other hand rotates the handle. The clever packaging is not only eco-friendly and fully recyclable but the transparent sleeve also provides potential buyers with a very good look at the way in which the tool works as well as details of the bits.

The market is a good test and so far the 26 One is selling very well as trades make an effort to unclutter their toolboxes.

The LiftUp Electric is a VDE version of the 26 One seems to have the same size handle and bit storage mechanism, but with VDE safety levels. However, pushing in the release clips reveals only one set of six bit holders, each with a different version of the Wiha Slim VDE bits in it. The bits are: - three slotted, a PH1, a PH 2 and a SL/PZ2 – some of the most commonly used driver bits in VDE circles. Each bit is fully insulated nearly to the tip and certified to highest VDE standards, as is the handle, so the choice of this tool is not a second best. The insulation is flush with the blade and gives full access at any time.

The flexible bit holders in the handle carousel again make it easy to take out and replace the screwdriver tips and the spring mechanism is so slick that it works smoothly every time with no danger of the tips getting caught in it.

Unlike the 26 One, the VDE screwdriver bits are simply pushed into place and held there by friction and a small detent. The hold seems to me to be quite secure and the tips never felt in danger of falling out. There is also a rotating collar on the screwdriver shank and in electrical work this is quite important because the screws can often be small and need the guidance from both hands to locate successfully.

To be honest, when working with the VDE BitHolder I often didn’t bother with a toolbox – I just took the BitHolder, and a pair of VDE pliers and shoved them into my back pocket. The ultimate revenge on Crowded Toolbox Syndrome.

Finally, in tool reviews as in life, I have kept the smallest to last. The Stubby BitHolder is a short and chubby screwdriver with magnetic hex bit holder and 6 bits stored in the short handle. There is no room for springs so the cap that holds the bits is kept in place by a friction ridge and is easy to lever off with a fingernail. There are three slot bits and three PZ bits, but it would be easy to customise for your needs. I know that some trades can’t live without stubby drivers because they reach to places longer drivers just can’t, and it is really handy to be able to change bits to suit rather than carry a number of “Stubbies”.

So, by now you should have had some clues on how to solve the problem of crowded toolboxes. The Wiha drivers are excellent solutions with the necessary quality and strength for professional users.  

 

Wiha recognised as one of the TOP 100 most innovative companies

Hand tool manufacturer Wiha can now consider itself as amongst the TOP 100 most innovative companies in Germany’s SME sector. The prize was awarded by the innovation competition presenter and mentor Ranga Yogeshwar within the framework of the German SME Summit on 24 June in Essen.

The competition, which was held on 23 May, involved analytical examination and the evaluation of criteria such as the innovation management and innovative success of the companies. Wiha impressed the jury with its firm commitment to its culture of innovation and is delighted to have its deep-rooted attitude to change, optimisation and progress acknowledged.

For Wiha, being awarded the TOP 100 seal is much more than the mere recognition of its innovative strength. “This is a fantastic confirmation of the strategy we uphold,” emphasises Wilhelm Hahn, Managing Director of Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH. “Innovation, continuous improvement and change are firmly anchored in our company philosophy. The company’s management itself has always been a driving force,” continues Hahn. Managing directors Wilhelm and Wilfried Hahn and Ronny Lindskog all agree that development, growth and success can only be achieved through the ability to question things, embrace creative change, or develop new ideas and innovations.

Ever since its founding in 1939, Wiha’s heart has focussed on developing, producing, and selling high-quality professional hand tool solutions for trade and industry. However, not only the countless national and international patents and design awards for their hand tool innovations serve to prove the innovative strength of the Black Forest-based manufacturer. Distinctions such as the MX Award as Germany’s best SME in 2014 and the latest quality seal from AGR e.V. (Aktion Gesunder Rücken) confirm the health-preserving effect of its screwdriver ergonomics and highlight the innovative spirit and firm dedication to optimisation and further development.

As an internationally active leader in its sector, Wiha is deeply committed to its core aim of offering users the best solutions for simplifying their daily tasks, whilst making their work more efficient and especially safeguarding them from injury. In order to remain in touch with the requirements, demands, and desires of users, Wiha regularly visits construction sites, workshops, and industrial production plants to exchange thoughts and ideas. Questions are posed, processes questioned, and risks or potential possibilities are identified “directly at source”.

During the selection process for the TOP 100, participating companies were assessed once again by Prof. Nikolaus Franke and his team at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Over 100 parameters in the five assessment categories of “Innovative Spirit of Senior Management”, “Innovative Climate”, “Innovative Processes and Organisation”, “Innovative Marketing/Outward Orientation”, and “Innovative Success” were analysed. Wiha is extremely proud of its distinction and the associated recognition and appreciation of its culture of innovation.

TOP 100: the competition

Compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal for exceptional innovative strength and exceptional innovative success to small- and medium-sized companies since 1993. Since 2002, it has been coordinated by Prof. Nikolaus Franke from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Business and Economics. Scientific journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar is a patron of TOP 100. Project partners include the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and BVMW. manager magazine assists with the company comparison as media partner. More information is available at www.top100.de.

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