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Hands-on with the Worx SD: the coolest screwdriver you’ll ever play with

By Leigh D. Stark | 3:20 pm 23/11/2012

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, and a new gadget we’re playing with is drawing it from a weapon, with the Worx Slide Driver borrowing the design of a pistol to make an easy to carry motorised screwdriver with every tip you could need in one gadget.

Designed like a pistol, the $70 Worx SD is possibly the most fun we’ve had with a screwdriver.

That’s not a phrase you expect to have to say.

As it is, screwdrivers are rarely fun. They’re functional, and really useful when it comes to putting objects together, such as screwing in hooks, computers cases, TV stands, flat packed furniture, and all manner of things that we have laying around here that take screws.

You can use a power drill to do this, or go old school, depending on the application, and put some real effort in, with your hands twisting and turning a screwdriver, with a literal tightening of the screws.

These are not bullets. They're screwdriver bits in replaceable barrels.

Or you can try out the Worx Slide Driver, which takes the form factor of a pistol and throws drill bits into a revolver barrel. You can quickly open the chamber of the Worx SD and rotate the bits to the left – anticlockwise and you’re looking down the shaft of the gadget – shifting to a different screw head quickly and easily.

Close it up, and a small magnetic pole will push the drill bit into place, through the end of screwdriver, ready for you to use and start, well, screwing things in.

From there, it’s just like using a drill, with a squeeze of the pistol grip activating the motor and rotating the head either clockwise or anticlockwise, depending on what you need it for.

Drills don’t really need a review: they either work or they don’t, but the Worx SD is neat because of the form it takes, and it comes with a small holster that allows it to be attached to your person very easily.

There’s even a small LED that activates when you start screwing so you can see what you’re doing, although we wish you could switch this on independently, so we could see where we needed to put the screwdriver in before we started.

It’s also a reasonably thick screwdriver, so you’re not going to use it in tight locations, because you need at least 3-4cm of space for the barrel to fit in.

One other thing we’d love for it to have is an off switch, because it’s always on, and while that’s not a huge deal, if you had this in your holster or accidentally picked it up and it was close to skin, glass, or anything that could easily break, chances are it will switch on when you just touch the trigger.

We’ve run it against our skin, and aside for a little burning, it doesn’t hurt too much – it’s a screwdriver, not a high-powered drill – but depending on the drill piece, that could change, and we can see some accidents occurring.

Outside of these quibbles, the Worx SD is a fantastic little tool, with a design that will bring out the kid in most people, because using a screwdriver isn’t normally fun, and this changes that.

UPDATE (November 29): A reader pointed out that there is a trigger lock mechanism provided you push the rotation switch into the middle, and yup, it works, so that’s useful.

We’d like to point out that it doesn’t take much to push the lock off and back into either a clockwise or counter-clockwise setting , switching the drill’s lock off and allowing you to drill again. In a test, we were able to holster the drill and lean against it just enough to push it back into action and switch off the lock. If we can do it by accident, chances are that you can too.

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