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WORX AUTOLOAD RECHARGEABLE SCREWDRIVER
I thought I'd put up a quick review of the Worx WX254 auto-loading screwdriver that I got for Christmas.
This one got heavily advertised prior to Christmas as having a mechanism similar to the slide on a pistol, to change the screwdriver bit quickly and easily on the fly. It is shown changing bits with each slide back and forward of the top of the unit.
The following are my thoughts on the unit after my first couple of jobs around the house with it.
--> It comes with a nice holster to put it in, but you'd need to be right handed, as the unit only secures properly into the holster one way around, so wearing it on the left side would have the screwdriver facing backwards. The holster has both a belt clip, and a belt loop, so you can clip it on for just a quick job, or thread it through your belt for a more secure carry.
--> A really nice touch is the charger actually has the WORX logo on the charger, so you'll at least know what this charger is for when it's amongst the umpteen thousand other chargers in the garage. I so wish every type of charger had this. My collection of generic branded chargers is getting ridiculous, and many I no longer know what they were for.
--> You can plug the charger directly into the unit to charge it, or you can plug the charger into the cradle that it comes with (wall mountable), and then the driver sits ready for action and charging in the cradle on the wall. I haven't bothered to mount the charger cradle. I'm charging it by plugging it in directly at the moment.
--> The unit comes with SIXTEEN different bits, but the unit only holds EIGHT at any one time, so they supply TWO barrels that you load with the 18 bits, and interchange the barrels within the unit depending on which 8 you think you'll need.
--> The mechanism for changing driver bits is quite different to the way it is portrayed on the TV - you slide the mechanism back, which exposes a rotating barrel of EIGHT driver bits on the inside, you then rotate the barrel yourself to the position you need it to get the next bit that you want, then slide the mechanism forward again to load that bit. It only rotates one direction, so if you were switching a lot between just two bits such as a phillips and flatblade, you'd have to go right the way around the barrel again to get back to the first of the two bits. And as mentioned, you may even need to fully remove the one barrel of bits, and load the second barrel to get to the bit you need. The worst part of that though, is that the holster does not have a place to store this second barrel full of driver bits, nor does the stand that you can place the driver in for a recharge, so you'll need to keep this second barrel somewhere nearby and remember to grab it as you go. That is a pretty major oversight on the planning side. The holster really needs to be able to hold the spare barrel of the other bits. Murphy's law is sure to guarantee that the bit you want is always going to be in the OTHER barrel.
On the plus side, the barrels of bits simply push out, and then the other barrel just drops in, so no tools are needed to switch between the barrels, you just need to keep the one you're not using in a pocket or otherwise nearby and switch them as needed.
--> The unit is quite seriously under powered as far as torque goes. Once the screw starts to struggle to go in, the motor basically conks out completely. You don't seem to be able to lock the mechanism to do the last hard part yourself with the unit as a manual driver, so you'll need to switch to a normal handheld screwdriver to finish the job - I switched to the leatherman to get the screw in the last part of the way. The sad thing is that the job I was doing was putting rotten old fence palings back onto rotten old fence posts, so both pieces of wood were quite soft, so soft in fact, that nails would no longer hold in it, which is why I was using screws, but the driver struggled pretty much straight up despite a full night and half a day sitting on the charger.
They were quite long screws, and I hadn't predrilled holes for them, but I hadn't felt I would need to with such old timber, but the last part by hand was quite tough and would have been beyond any rechargeable driver as the last part did take quite some force with the Leatherman to get the screw fully in, so the inside of the post was probably still reasonable hardwood and not as rotted as it seemed, but it was how much the unit struggled from the very beginning that makes me very skeptical that this thing is going to be useable for anything more than a bit of very light work putting up picture hangers into the gyprock inside the house.,
--> There is no option for a proper drill bit in the unit, so predrilling the holes - which you'll need to do for bigger jobs - will require a separate tool. A bit annoying considering my previous cordless driver could also drill, so you could first drill the hole, then drive the screws, with the same tool.
--> The bits in the unit are all limited to the same very short size so that they fit in the barrels. There is no easy way to use a long driver piece if you can even do it at all, so if you need a longer screwdriver than just a few millimetres you won't be able to use this unit for the job.
It isn't really up to the hard jobs, but it isn't really advertised that way, so you can't really fault them for that. ALL up this wasn't too bad for light work around the house in a position where you can easily reach with a very short driver. If you have harder or more complex jobs, there are other WORX tools for those tasks. This seems to be the tool they have designed to be the tool you can quickly grab for the very simple jobs, and it would do that really well.