Advantages Saves getting out a whole screwdriver kit
Disadvantages Tape measure is very short, not sturdy enough for furniture
|Ease of use|
|Value for money|
Every Christmas I tend to buy a few bits and bobs from Hawkin’s Bazaar as stocking fillers, along with a selection of their pocket money toys to fill up the kids’ prize boxes. Whilst browsing around I saw this wee tool and thought it would be quite a handy thing to have. At three quid, it wouldn’t break the bank if it turned out to be utter rubbish.
What does it do?
It’s a mini-screwdriver with three interchangeable bits; it has a tape measure and an led light. It’s an odd thing to buy myself as a treat, but I have fond memories of a Christmas cracker gift that was a set of mini screwdrivers. They looked comically tiny but were actually one of the most useful things ever, as they were just the right size to tackle watch battery compartments, covers on electronic toys and the ickle screws that hold spectacles together. I had high hopes for this gadget providing the same kind of functionality.
Disappointingly, none of the bits are small enough to cope with those really miniscule screws that I mentioned above; in fact they seem much the same as ordinary screwdrivers. You get two slot bits and two Philips head bits of varying sizes. Once in position at the front of the gadget they remain attached in place via means of a reasonably strong magnet and none have ever come loose when I’ve been using them. Once finished with, there is a small plastic compartment hinged at the bottom of the tool in which they can be stowed away. They’re fine for occasional use – opening remote control units and the like – but the tool itself is only made of plastic so won’t withstand the kind of pressure you need to apply when building furniture.
The tape measure
I’m not sure why they bothered adding this, as it’s so small to be pretty much useless. Unless everything you need to measure is under 39 inches (I shall leave you to come up with your own jokes) then this is never going to replace the need for a proper tape measure. The quality of it also feels quite flimsy and I fear it’s only a matter of time til it fails to retract properly.
Although it’s a tiny bulb, it does cast quite an impressive beam. Not enough to read by but certainly enough to find your way around in a power cut. I tested mine out by shining it directly in the eyes of my nearest and dearest, and by casting the beam on the walls and ceiling in order to drive the cats mental. It coped admirably on both fronts.
This is a handy little gizmo that is small enough to be slung in a back pocket or handbag and is useful for those occasions when you can’t be bothered hauling out the big tool kit. The serious DIY enthusiast will probably think it’s a waste of time, but most of the rest of us will probably manage to find a use for it (even if it’s only to throw it at the head of aforementioned serious DIY enthusiast).
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