Some tools are truly utilitarian like hammers, screwdrivers, and ratchets. Some tools are uber-specific. There are tools for protection, for grabbing, for seeing, for oiling, and for just looking cool. Then there are those certain tools that make your life just a bit easier and specifically in this case, tools that HOLD things. Now I don’t mean clamps, vices, and the like, I mean holding the small things that can get lost in the machine or the carpet. Some of our loved German tool brands make grippers, magnets, and adapters to secure fasteners to our tools as we are working. Let’s look at some.
The most basic one to look at is a simple magnetizer. Many companies make their own magnetizer, some as their own tool, others built in to a tool or set. So what is the advantage? By simply running the shaft of a screwdriver through (or on, depending) a magnetizer, the tool will then become (surprise!) a magnet. This means it will magnetically hold on to a screw or bolt or whatever fastener you are working with. If it’s light enough, this might mean that the head of the fastener will stay latched on the tool, making for an easy job. It should also not be missed that if you drop something metal in a place you can’t get to, a magnetic tool could aid in retrieving your lost soldier.
Maybe you need something a little more secure to hold your fastener. This is where screw Grippers come in. Wera makes a great example of this and were featured in the May 2015 edition of This Old House magazine in their “What is it?” feature. You can place these on the end of a screwdriver (they even come in bigger sizes to accommodate insulated shafts) and it will securely hold screws and bolts in place without the use of magnets. The holder will also slowly cam out when they reach the material you are fastening into. Both Wiha And Felo also make screwdrivers with this feature built in to the driver.
Finally, we come to those holders that are geared more towards hex, nuts, and socket tools. For hard to reach places to get a nut secured, Gedore makes a combination holding tool that will hold one securely in place where fat fingers may not be able to reach. If you would rather have a nut secured to the wrench itself, Gedore also makes a retaining clip that fits directly on the tool and magnetically holds the nut in place.
Gedore excels in this arena though, so we must discuss their socket extensions with built in magnet, which comes in both 1/2” and 3/8” drive versions. Who knew such a simple addition could make work so much easier. The magnet fits through the socket and secures it inside so that it goes nowhere. It is even spring loaded, so it will stay with you for most of the process. This was so clever that it won the prestigious Eisen Award For Innovation in 2014.
Check out this youtube video for a demonstration of a few of these and as always, shop all your little helper tools at KC Tool.