Is there such a thing as having too many Wera bit screwdrivers? I don’t think so.
I purchased some of these Wera screwdriver handles at regular pricing for personal, workshop, or ToolGuyd use, some of them during hard-to-pass-up holiday sales, and one or two strictly for review and comparison purposes. Two of them came from advent calendar assortments, and a couple were bundled with 1/4″ screwdriver bit and socket assortments.
There was a bit of debate in the comments section of a recent Hazet bit screwdriver post, where a reader suggested that the Wera 817R might be a better full-size-like bit screwdriver over the 816R. Nothing beats a visual, and so I grabbed all of the Wera bit screwdrivers I could for comparison purposes.
On that note, the 816R and 817R seem to have identical handle shapes and dimensions. If there are any differences, aside from the extending vs. fixed bit chuck, I can’t see them by eye.
There are a couple of Wera screwdrivers missing here, such as the Kraftform Kompakt, but there’s room for an even more expansive comparison later.
Here’s everything you see above:
- Wera Kraftform Kompakt Ratcheting Right Angle RA 4
- Wera Kraftform Turbo 826 T
- Wera 817 R with Extending Rapidaptor
- Wera 813 R (ESD – Electro Static Discharge version)
- Wera 813 (non-Rapidaptor version)
- Wera Kraftform Kompakt Stubby
- Wera Stubby Bit Holder
This isn’t all of it. For instance, I recently picked up Wera’s 393 S “extra slim” flex-shaft screwdriver, as it seems good to have and I felt compelled to put the idea to the test. There’s a similar “standard” model that’s a bit cheaper, but with a chunkier bit holder head; 393 S at Amazon , 392 standard.
Wera has quite a few different options than you could find from other brands. Their handle style is a bit polarizing. Some love it, others hate it, and there are users in the middle that tolerate it. I have no problem with Wera Kraftform handles most of the time, with only certain high torque applications fatiguing my hands more than usual.
Which Ones to Buy?
That’s up to your individual needs and preferences. If I had to pick which two to keep, it would be the smallest screwdriver handle with Rapidaptor bit chuck (813 R), and either then standard-size handle (816 R) or the one with extending Rapidaptor bit chuck (817 R). Maybe the 817 R over the 816 R given its unique features.
I like it when a tools offer features you can’t find by other brands. A lot of brands make stubby screwdriver bit holders, but few make miniature ones like the 813 R. I like to use stubby bit holders for compact tasks and tight spaces, but the 813 R comes in handy for lower torque applications.
You could do what I do, and try them all, but this can very quickly get out of hand.
Rapidaptor vs. Magnetic Bit Retention?
All of these screwdriver handles have magnetic or “Rapidaptor” locking bit holder retention to help 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits stay in place.
I prefer Rapidaptor bit holders, with most featuring the same active lock that helps prevent bit pull-out. There are some that work a little differently, but if I recall correctly, I have only noticed this with socket adapter bit holders – the kind you attach to a ratchet in order to use screwdriver bits.
The three screwdriver bit drivers shown above with magnetic bit chucks were not separate purchases. The two stubby drivers came with advent calendars, and the tiny 813 is bundled with Wera’s “Bit check” compact screwdriver bit and socket sets.
I actually really like the stubby screwdriver, although it’s somewhat pricey on its own. Shopping around, KC Tool has the best price – a little more than $14 after coupon. Actually, MSC Direct has the best price at $12.49, but their shipping fees can be high.
You need to be cautious when looking at Wera’s non-Rapidaptor bit holders. Some have magnets, and others have retaining rings. That’s another option for users that don’t like the idea of Rapidaptor bit holders (or the added expense).
So for say the stubby screwdriver where a locking holder doesn’t look to be an option, Wera does give you magnetic or retaining ring options.
Wera also offers certain screwdriver handles with ESD (yellow-orange) or standard (green) handle compositions. I bought the ESD partially because I figured it could be useful for some of the work I do, but mostly because it was less expensive than the standard green-handled screwdriver at the time.
Questions? Requests? Complaints?
I’d be happy to answer any questions about the Wera screwdriver bit holder handles you see here, and a couple of others that you don’t.
If you have questions about a model I don’t have or haven’t used, I can add it to my list, but it’ll be some time before I’m able to buy or look into them.
Or, if you want to see more of something completely different, please tell me about that too.