German hand tool company Wiha recently received a 2017 Red Dot Award for its Ultra Driver 26-in-1 multi-bit driver. As with many such tools, the bits store in the handle. But instead of accessing them by unscrewing a cap, bits pop out with the push of a button.
Pressing a button on the handle releases a spring-loaded cartridge that contains 13 double-ended bits. Each end is different so the tool offers 26 options. The Ultra-Driver is available in trade-specific configurations with different combinations of bits.
The Tradesman model offers the greatest variety: Phillips, slotted, PoziDrive, square, Torx, and hex in inch and metric sizes. Different selections of bits are available with models aimed at technicians and industrial users.
The 26-in-1 is a second generation tool. The original, the Pop-Up Driver, came out in 2014 and contains 12 single-ended bits in a single level holder. This one contains 13 reversible double-ended bits in a bi-level holder.
The ergonomic handle has a cushioned grip and a locking holder that prevents bits from accidentally coming out—as sometimes happens with magnetic holders. The holder is in effect a longer slimmer version of the single-handed hex chucks found on impact drivers. Bits lock when you press them in and are released by pulling back on a spring-loaded sleeve.
I get why this tool received a Red Dot Award; it’s an elegant way to carry and use a single driver with 26 different bits.