With so many cordless tools to choose from, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to drive fasteners by hand—or why it’s frequently preferable to do so. German hand tool company Wera has not forgotten and continues to develop new and better hand drivers.
The Kraftform Kompakt Pistol RA is a bent-handle version of the company’s Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA straight-handled ratcheting driver.
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Ratcheting action allows you to drive with greater speed because it eliminates the need to reset your grip when you reach the limit of your wrist’s flexion.
The ratcheting mechanism is the same in straight and pistol grip models but the pistol grip alters the ergonomics, increasing leverage while allowing for a more neutral grip.
Ratcheting is controlled by a twist ring that allows for clockwise and counterclockwise ratcheting action or with the bit holder locked in relation to the handle.
If the shape of the Kraftform handle looks odd, it’s because it’s designed to fit the palm of a hand.
A press of the spring-loaded button on the end of the handle causes it to pop open to reveal the magazine where 25mm long 1/4-inch hex driver bits are stored. It contains #1 and #2 Phillips, #1 and #2 PoziDriv, and T20 and T25 Torx. There aren’t any slotted bits—but then who uses those anymore? And if you did need to use them you could install a slotted bit (or any other kind of 1/4-hex bit) and go to town.
It’s a cleverly designed tool, and while it won’t replace powered models for driving large numbers of fasteners in wood it’s a good choice for working on vehicles and machinery—where finesse is more important than raw speed and power. And with no need to carry a power tool and batteries it allows you to travel light.