Extra Fox Reviews - Precision Screwdrivers

So I promised to do a review of the Precision Screwdriver sets I own once I got the big fancy Kinetic one from Placed Atoms. So it has arrived, along with two others and now I have opinions. So let’s get it on. I paid for all this stuff, so nothing was gained by providing this review.

I do not know what the technical name for the rotating end cap is on these types of drivers, so I’m just going to refer to it as the “spinny bit”.

Here we have;

  1. Left - Nanch H1B (?!) Ultimate 55 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Set.
  2. Top - iFixit Mako Driver Kit.
  3. Middle - Placed Atoms Kinetic Driver.
  4. Left - Xiaomi 36 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Set. This set is no longer listed for some reason.

From top to bottom;

  1. Placed Atoms
  2. Xiaomi
  3. Nanch
  4. IFixit

Placed Atoms Kinetic Driver

Now I’ve wanted one of these for a long time, but it just seemed excessive. Heck, even the marketing for this driver says you don’t need it, but I was not deterred so in a fit of consumerism I purchased one at long last.

It comes packaged in the interesting foam-based case. I’m guessing it’s a recycled material of some sort and inside were the driver, an assortment of bits, and that’s it. The case closes with a band and Giacomo’s logo graces to top. It’s not a case I can see using long term, but definitely something that wouldn’t look out of place in a trendy, leather bag as you go to repair some artisanal mechanical device… with really small fasteners.

They offer a 3D model you can print as well that serves as a stand for the tool. Which is kind of neat, but I’m likely going to design my own.

The tool itself is beautiful, well made of steel and brass with a ceramic bearing in the spinny bit. I can see why they feel justified charging the price they do. It actually fits in my hand pretty well and the mass of the “flywheel” does help with insertion and extraction. That said, it’s heavy. Really heavy and I do find my hand fatigues quickly when I use it.

Xiaomi Precision Screwdriver Set

Very similar in appearance to the Placed Atoms driver, the Xiaomi is not made of the brass and steel, but mostly aluminum. It is also much smaller and lighter. What I’m not sure about here is why it’s no longer listed, so you may actually have trouble buying this one if you want it. Xiaomi seems to have several subsidiaries that sell products and it’s possible they’re going to brand it after them. That or Giacomo sued them for copying?

The set comes with an assortment of bits which have been helpfully color coded. I genuinely like that they did this. This case is two halves connected together with magnets. The magnets seem strong enough, but this isn’t a set I’d toss around.

The size thing for this driver is a problem for me as it’s just too small. I wear Large sized gloves, but I can’t palm a basketball. So I don’t think of myself having giant hands, but this driver just doesn’t fit well enough to be comfortable. Here I’m actually wrapping my ring finger around the spinny bit and that’s just not going to work for me.

Nanch Precision Screwdriver Set

I actually bought two of the smaller Nanch sets for my kids and I was genuinely impressed, even jealous with those sets. So I went out and got my own and I was really not disappointed.

The set I acquired is the largest set they currently have on offer and curiously had a different driver than the set I got my kids. In addition to the all the different bits there’s also a magnetize/demagnetize tool included with the set. The case for this one is pretty nice presenting the bits well and having latches for keeping things closed up.

In hand this tool feels fantastic. The profile is nice, the spinny bit is just spinny enough, and it has a solid weight to it so I’m able to get it to spin really well using that momentum to deal with fasteners.

The bits for this tool are unique to Nanch. They’re using a spline drive instead of the usual hexagon profile. This is and odd choice to me and one that makes it so you can only use their bits and can’t use the bits elsewhere. On the plus side, the bits are longer which helps with reach and the tool itself holds them by means of a locking collar. Which means no more bits slipping out of the driver (e.g. sometimes I get a bit stuck and the magnet isn’t strong enough to keep it in the driver). You can buy bits individually from Nanch.

One interesting thing that I’ve noticed regarding the Nanch drivers, they seem to be available individually on Aliexpress. I’ve found the driver my kids have plus the black one from this set offered without branding. Kind of unusual, but I’ve come to expect that from companies like this.

IFixit Mako Screwdriver Set

Last, a set that really doesn’t need any introduction is my trusty IFixit Mako set. I’ve had this set for a very long time and still love it.

The assortment of bits is nice, you get an extension with this set, and the magnetic storage case many of us have come to know and tolerate.

The driver of this set is very close in length to the Nanch set, and is kind of the standard I used to judge the others by as it’s the perfect length for me. Despite being mostly aluminum there’s still enough mass to this driver to use a spin to get it to speed fasteners in and out. It will always be a favorite to me.

TL;DR genuinely decent tools, but the favorite is turning out to be the set from Nanch. It feels good in the hand, seems of decent quality, has a wide assortment of bits, and a locking collar that holds the bit in securely. My only gripe about it being the choice to use spline driven bits. Making it incompatible with any other sets.


Nice write-up! It’s been a really long time since I saw one of the old-design ifixit drivers with the rollstop on a bulbous end.

Do you know what the intent of the huge chunk of brass on the placed atoms and the xaomi? Do they also spin freely? Looks like they would get in the way.

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Yeah, I hadn’t really realized how old my IFixit set was until someone mentioned it elsewhere. That driver is over 12 years old at this point. I guess I need to compare it against their current driver now?

The giant brass chunk (aluminum on the Xiaomi) is intended to act as a flywheel. So if you spin the tool the weight of that allows the tool to keep spinning. Thus allow you to drive or extract a screw more rapidly. It works very well on the Placed Atoms version, not as well on the Xiaomi. Also, the weight of both the IFixit and the Nanch drivers allow this to some degree as well. It all relies on the spinny bit being able to turn without much friction.

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With this knowledge, and counting these fingers, I have some questions.

Great writeup, as always, Mr. Fox.

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I always name my fingers wrong. :sweat_smile:

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