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PB Swiss Pocketable Screwdriver Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Stuey, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    In-Depth PB Swiss Tools Insider Bit Driver Review!

    [​IMG]

    Synopsis (for those of you that don't want to check out the review via ToolGuyd):

    The Insider is the best carryable screwdriver that I have ever encountered - it sits comfortably in both pockets, and hands, and is almost a pleasure to use. Of course, the bits are of great quality as well.

    I have been EDCing an Insider for a few months now to give it a fair review, and haven't come up with any issues thus far. It's not as small as say, the CountyComm "versadriver," but the full-size handle has its perks.

    I originally had my eye on the CRKT get-a-way driver, but that tool only holds four bits.

    Let me know if you have any questions!
     
    samuraishot likes this.
  2. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

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    :thumbsup: Great review. Thanks!
     
  3. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! :)

    I am also working on reviewing the Felo driver that you recommended, so we'll see how that goes. It's a bit tough, though, since the Insider set my expectations of EDC-able screwdrivers really high.
     
  4. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    C'mon guys, I could use some feedback to help me shape future reviews.

    Did I cover all EDC-relevant aspects? Are there any questions that I missed that I should try to tackle the next time around?

    Any and all feedback is welcome!

    I suppose the review didn't anger anyone, but indifference is almost as bad!
     
  5. mrsean2k

    mrsean2k Empty Pockets

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    Hi Stuey, I think you've suffered a bit from covering all the bases in advance - you were so comprehensive I couldn't think of a single follow-up question myself. If you'd been less diligent in covering it, you might have had more of a repsonse.

    I would say I thought it was a great review and the photos and video were used to very good effect.
     
  6. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

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    I did ponder one question about the PB Swiss Pocketable Screwdriver while reading your excellent review. Does the "hatch" on the rear of the handle unscrew if you are applying pressure with your palm while using the screwdriver?

    This happens sometimes with the Felo.
     
  7. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! I was just concerned that I missed something, especially from an EDC POV.
    I don't recall the Insider's cartridge ever being unintentionally unscrewed, but after handling it a bit just now, I can see how something like that can happen. As far as I can tell, there are two scenarios that could cause slippage: using one hand to apply pressure and loosen a fastener, and using two hands, one to apply pressure via the palm, the other to turn the driver to tighten a fastener.

    In using one hand to loosen a fastener, the cartridge will only unscrew if a lot of pressure is applied while the hand continuously slips over the handle. Since there is minimal slippage, even with oily or sweaty hands, this is not much of a concern. As for the other case, if one's hands are not sweaty, there could be enough friction such that the palm of one hand holds the cartridge cap stationary while the other hand turns the driver, essentially unscrewing it from the cartridge cap. In my opinion, this is also unlikely since it requirs a rather awkward and uncomfortable usage configuration - the Insider simply is not large enough to facilitate two-handed operation.

    I completely missed that concern, but now I know what to keep an eye out for. I just handled the Felo bitboy a bit, and did not notice the hatch popping up either. I'll be sure to test for this in that respective review.

    Thanks for the feedback, and hopefully others will follow suit. =)
     
  8. bartsdad

    bartsdad Loaded Pockets

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    Are the bits warrantied for life, and what hoops must be jumped through to warranty them?

    Can you order other bits from PB Swiss to customize based on needs?

    Great review. O0 Looking forward to future reviews.
    Chris
     
  9. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    This is what is says on pbswisstools.com: Thanks to the marking of all PB Swiss Tools with a serial number, we can trace their manufacture right back to the raw materials. We offer a unlimited guarantee with all PB products. Now, the bits do not have individual serial numbers. Besides that, most manufacturers consider bits as "consumables" and won't warranty them. Given this, I would not assume that bits are warrantied unless they are found to be defective. It also seems that there is no special department to contact via warranty or guarantee concerns, and that one should just contact PB Swiss Tools or a distributor for all warranty inquiries. I plan on sending them an email to get a better idea about their warranty/guarantee policy, and will post back with their response.

    Yes, PB Swiss does offer bits individually. Most bit types are available individually for $2.50-$3.50 apiece via Count-On Tools (a PB Swiss distributor), and there are a little over a dozen different 10 pc bit sets for about $20 that are available via Small Parts Inc (via Amazon). So yes, you can customize your bit load as needed. You may want to request a catalog to help decipher bit set product numbers. If you want bit set recommendations, let me know and I'll find specific links to throw your way.
     
  10. wmcamp0

    wmcamp0 Loaded Pockets

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    Anyone have any idea where you can get these? Amazon says they are out/gone. :mad:
     
  11. peterxyz

    peterxyz Loaded Pockets

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    in terms of a review, other things to cover might be;
    - are they standard size bits
    - bit retention in the tool head
    - what are the standard bits and what do you think of this selection
     
  12. peterxyz

    peterxyz Loaded Pockets

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    wmcamp0 - they seem to be available in the US from http://www.pbtools.us/ for about $32 plus shifting. that seems on the steep side
     
  13. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    They're back in stock.

    I covered all of those things in the full review. The bits are standard 1" insert bits, and the bit holder has magnetic strong enough that no other physical retention is needed. Photos and a description of the included bits can be found in the full review as well. As for the selection, it's great for all-around use, but the cartridge can hold any other standard sized bits. e.g. to take the tool mountain biking, you're going to want to swap out some of the bits for metric hex bits.