View Full Version : Why do you use nut drivers? same reason as screwdriver?


volunteers
02-14-2012, 04:58 PM
A nut driver set like this:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=365&group_ID=744&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

For my application, I exchange different size 1/4'' sockets on my spinner handle, just like switch bits on my ratchet screwdrivers.
So what is the advantage of using single nut drive? exactly same reason as multi-tool screwdriver vs single screwdriver?

canuckian
02-14-2012, 05:06 PM
The ones you linked have a hollow shaft so long bolts can go up inside there and you still have contact with the nut youre threading on. Thats one application where they shine. That, and some people, like myself would rather use one instead of fiddling with a ratchet or multi driver with a socket. Now, the ones without hollow shaft, to me have little advantage over a straight multi bit screwdriver with a hex/square adapter and a socket.

mtkst19
02-14-2012, 05:12 PM
i use flex shaft nut drivers sold by wiha. mostly for hose clamps where cant get straight on w/ my little cordless impactor. use 6, 7, 8 the most. 10 i will use on liscense plat bolts on occasion. the 5 and 13 seldom get used.

Outlawmws
02-14-2012, 05:12 PM
No not really for that reason.

Nut drivers (Also known as spin tight's), come in two main varieties. Hollow shaft and solid shaft (Not sure why that Snap On page does not address what those are...)

Solid shaft would be about the same as using a driver and socket like your example.

Hollow shaft can go onto a long threaded screw and get to a nut that a solid shaft or standard socket cannot. This occurs a surprising amount on numbered machine screws that spin tights are ordinarily used on.

I have at least three sets, plus loose individual ones one place and another, and most if not all of them are hollow shaft.

Super Sport
02-14-2012, 05:15 PM
I too have never understood the point of a solid shaft nut driver. Same with the nut driver bits. I just use a 1/4" driver and a socket. A hollow shaft as mentioned could be useful though.

jjjrmx5
02-14-2012, 05:18 PM
A nut driver set like this:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=365&group_ID=744&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

For my application, I exchange different size 1/4'' sockets on my spinner handle, just like switch bits on my ratchet screwdrivers.
So what is the advantage of using single nut drive? exactly same reason as multi-tool screwdriver vs single screwdriver?

I use nut drivers for those jobs where fasteners are installed with low torque and often do not have a phillips or flat head as a second means of removal. (As mentioned above, the hollow shafts are extremely useful as solve several problems if you face that type if dilemma often.)

Those most often for me include car dash fasteners, underdash and firewall fastneners, engine bay components , small and large appliances, electronics, small gasoline engines like lawnmowers, weed wackers and motorcycles as well as bicycles. Anywhere the nut is torqued only to hand tight they are quick and useful in my life.

Unless used daily and very very very very often, I feel the SO is a high price to pay for most who have a need for nutdrivers. Even more cost efficient instead of buying individual driver sets is buy a ratcheting screwdriver, a 1/4" hex to 1/4" sq. drive adapdtor, use 1/4" sockets and be done. Plus you get the beneift of the magnetic tip to hold the nuts that most nut drivers do not have. Even cheaper is a std. bit holder with the adaptor.

For $330 for SO Metric and Std. sets, I could find a LOT of different ways to get both hollow shaft nut driver sets AND a shit-tonne of other tools with setting foot on the "truck".

On the other hand, if you have money to burn or are shitting rolls of quarters like some Federal Reserve Bank mutant goose, by all means get both Snappy sets. They do get used once you have them no matter the brand.

Tribalvision
02-14-2012, 05:40 PM
Hose Clamps... Nut drivers work great for Hose clamps. I have a set just for them. It's really the only reason I bought them.

RRmech
02-14-2012, 05:43 PM
I still use the VACO nut driver set that my late Grandfather gave me......in 1969.
Like others have said, good for the small stuff.

Steve

gtlaw
02-14-2012, 06:03 PM
the head of a nutdriver is shorter than a socket, and won't fall off like a socket

bobcatdan
02-14-2012, 06:09 PM
I personally never saw a point for them and don't even own a set. I have spinner handles and do ues those from time to time. On the other hand my grandpa uses them all the time working on small engines, to each his own.

mrbreezeet1
02-14-2012, 06:11 PM
I find them nice when working on small engines.

TreePointer
02-14-2012, 06:17 PM
I find them nice when working on small engines.

Same here.

franzdom
02-14-2012, 06:21 PM
Also, like wrenches the smaller ones on nicer sets have smaller handles.

98TJ
02-14-2012, 06:21 PM
They come in handy in the world of car audio. Instead of constantly switching from 8mm to 7mm to 5mm on your 1/4" drive ratchet, you can just grab the proper nut driver.

Nut drivers are also more difficult to lose in a vehicle.

archirelic
02-14-2012, 06:32 PM
I've done a bit of electrical work here & there and nut drivers sure do beat having to transport a ratchet & sockets around in your electrician's tote. Furthermore, most are color-coded for quick grab & go while say standing on a ladder, etc. No need to fumble around with a socket & ratchet. Also previously mentioned was the hollow shaft of nut drivers, which really allow you to work w/fittings on threaded rod which protrudes slightly farther than a conventional socket would be able to accommodate for. And finally, for ease of use & convenience.

Outlawmws
02-14-2012, 06:32 PM
And they are color coded as to size (well, maybe not Snap on...)

Outlawmws
02-14-2012, 06:33 PM
I find them nice when working on small engines.

This too, great on lawnmower engines and similar equipment.

bluebolt
02-14-2012, 07:36 PM
I like hollowshaft nutdrivers for several reason already mentioned.

1. It can't separate like a socket and driver. Working on armrests is my favorite place to use them, the small holes grab the socket right off of driver or ratchet.
2. Easier to grab the right one because of color coding.
3. Easier to find at the end of a job then a socket that might find a new hiding place.

Gtamazing
02-14-2012, 07:42 PM
I like the 5/16 for hose clamps?

bsaint
02-14-2012, 08:40 PM
I use a 8mm socket and ext for hose clamps.

PowerGenGuy
02-14-2012, 09:04 PM
I carry 5/16 and 8mm and 10mm hollow for hose clamps, everything else i use 1/4 sockets and spinner!

larry_g
02-14-2012, 09:11 PM
It amazes me that so many in the automotive field know nothing of what other trades do and the tools they use. Let me say that all tools are not primarily for the vehicle repair trade. I have worked in electronics, electrical, mechanics, building, and rigging. Each trade has and uses tools common to all the trades and each trade has some that are primarily or uniquely used in their trade.

lg
no neat sig line

Greatbear
02-14-2012, 09:16 PM
I tend to use nutdrivers primarily on electrical applications, I seem to run into terminal studs that would otherwise need a deep well socket, the hollow drivers (I use Kleins) work perfectly.

fivespdcat
02-14-2012, 09:22 PM
Another one for electrical. I always carry a few in my electricians tool belt...

Andy Griffith
02-14-2012, 10:03 PM
Because I don't like to screw around with changing bits/sockets all the time. Waste of energy and time. Get the right nut driver for the job and get it done.

Vvmvbb
02-14-2012, 10:04 PM
Yup- for electronics, Xcelite 99 series for hollow shaft nut drivers:

http://www.amazon.com/Xcelite-99PS51MM-12-Piece-Compact-Nutdriver/dp/B000PDOHYM/ref=sr_1_16?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1329274733&sr=1-16

http://www.amazon.com/99-Metric-Nutdriver-Set-Piece/dp/B002KEJINE/ref=sr_1_25?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1329274911&sr=1-25

skruft
02-14-2012, 11:00 PM
A hobby of mine is clock collecting. In repairing clocks, nut drivers are often just right for removing the small brass nuts that hold things together.

Also, if you need to remove small sheet metal screws, nut drivers work.

I don't find much use for the very large sizes.

theoldwizard1
02-15-2012, 11:03 AM
A nut driver set like this:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=365&group_ID=744&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

For my application, I exchange different size 1/4'' sockets on my spinner handle, ...

I have been doing that for over 40 years !

I have almost never run into a situation where I need a deep socket, or if I have I loosen it with a combination wrench and spin the nut off with my fingers.

Best thing about this approach is I have a small blow molded box that holds all my 1/4" drive SAE and Metric sockets, a 3" and 6" extension, a universal and a "breaker bar" (no ratchet).

Personally, I don't know why folks buy nut driver sets.

zjrog
02-15-2012, 12:12 PM
I like using nutdrivers for hardware in softer metals. Or for brass fittings. I can better feel the tightness as opposed to breaking things off or stripping threads.

bimmerZ5
02-15-2012, 01:06 PM
this thread has been great and educational! I never knew what the advantage of nut drivers were and even though I have 2 sets of them I never used them. (they were part of some sets of craftsman tools I got a long time ago) after learning that some have hollow shafts I went to my garage to take a closer look at the nut drivers I have. they only seem to have the hollow shaft for about 1 inch up the shaft, is this typical or do others have the shaft hollow all the way up to the handle?

archirelic
02-15-2012, 01:13 PM
this thread has been great and educational! I never knew what the advantage of nut drivers were and even though I have 2 sets of them I never used them. (they were part of some sets of craftsman tools I got a long time ago) after learning that some have hollow shafts I went to my garage to take a closer look at the nut drivers I have. they only seem to have the hollow shaft for about 1 inch up the shaft, is this typical or do others have the shaft hollow all the way up to the handle?

Most nut drivers offer a 3" hollow shaft. Klein does offer a 6" hollow shaft as well.

Outlawmws
02-15-2012, 01:29 PM
this thread has been great and educational! I never knew what the advantage of nut drivers were and even though I have 2 sets of them I never used them. (they were part of some sets of craftsman tools I got a long time ago) after learning that some have hollow shafts I went to my garage to take a closer look at the nut drivers I have. they only seem to have the hollow shaft for about 1 inch up the shaft, is this typical or do others have the shaft hollow all the way up to the handle?

They come both ways; some are hollow all the way, and I prefer those.

jeffmoss26
02-15-2012, 03:44 PM
I use 1/4 and 5/16 when installing hex washer head screws or tapcons. Also when taking various things apart.

bibman
02-15-2012, 04:06 PM
Electrical and Electronic and Biomed...use em all the time. However I've never been a fan of the series xcelite 99.

Robbie UK
02-15-2012, 04:32 PM
Electricians best friend:

http://cloudfront.zorotools.com/product/full/6CRW3_AS01.JPG

junk4dummies
02-15-2012, 04:55 PM
Hose Clamps... Nut drivers work great for Hose clamps. I have a set just for them. It's really the only reason I bought them.

I have had sets of drivers for 40 years and never have used them. I have Kleen insulated ones in my electritons box but I never use them either.

I never would have given a thought to using them on hose clamps. They would work well for that app. You need hose clamp plires for factory clamps but for replacement band clamps they would be great. Then again do doe a ratchet with socket. I have had so many sets that My sons and grandsons all have them and use them. Once in a while I put a socket on a drive handle but that is once every 10 years. I have restored old cars and tractors. In my former life I a mcahinist and I just never think to use them. Once a year I wipe the dust off my tools. California is a dust bowl and my tools get more dust than greese. LOL At least things don't rust here.

Just because they make it does not mean you need it. I have wonderd why they even bother making them. I can see it for small screws on appliances or electornics but not in other fields. Just call me crazy. I always have driven a full size Ford truck, RV and Linclon Town cars. They all have plenty of room and are easy to fix. If you make a living busting knuckles then I can see where they would be used.

el tanque prohibido
02-15-2012, 05:01 PM
Nut drivers come in handy for hex-head sheet metal screws. The screws are usually slotted also, but the nut driver will give you better control of the screw. By the way, I think the words nut and driver should be all one word like screwdriver is. nutdriver.

crewchief888
02-15-2012, 05:26 PM
hose clamps (if i'm not using an impact)
wiring for guages and senders
lot of the wiring harnesses i deal with are "bolted" together.

i cant count the amount of 1/4" dr sockets ive lost over the years, havent managed to loose a nut driver yet...


:beer:

JASTECH
03-17-2012, 12:41 AM
I've used them many times over the years. I have a set of Klein SAE in my AC house wiring bag, a set of Matco SA that I use for carb. work and over carb. or open engine to make sure no sockets fall into the galleys below. My last set in a award from Crysler in 84' as Master Tech Award, they are gold w/blk handles. Don't know who made them. I use to work on engines by feel, it was fun and beat the lot of them diagnosing the fastest ect. old new I know it was yester century, lolE

yasha32
03-17-2012, 01:40 AM
Interior work as well as hose clamps. Those random hold downs on things come off much faster with a nut driver, and its easier to tighten down delicate things with them as well.

JerseyBoatBuilder
03-17-2012, 02:05 AM
Always wanted an excuse to buy hollow shaft nut drivers but never encountered a situation where I wished I had one or needed one..
Until then I will just keep using a 1/4" hex to 1/4" square adapter with 1/4" sockets on a ratcheting screw driver.

NC-Fordguy
03-17-2012, 04:35 AM
Nut drivers work great for installing the pan to automatic transmissions. Since most auto tranny cases are aluminum, nut drivers keep you from stripping out the threads.

balane
03-17-2012, 04:40 AM
I have mine on the wall and I use them when convenience is important. Like you have one hand holding a part together so you can get the fastener started and it would be more difficult to fiddle with sockets and what not. I use mine frequently.

http://garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=1898&pictureid=17615

jeffmoss26
03-17-2012, 12:58 PM
Very nice Balane!

slob
03-17-2012, 03:45 PM
I asked one of the electricians at my job once why he needed so many nutdrivers and he just laughed at me. It seems a whole lot of time and effort is put into wondering why people buy nutdrivers when they could just use a spinner blah blah blah. I stopped wondering the first time I had to reach blind into a train toilet compartment to apply a hose clamp, lost the socket in a soup of commuter turd, and had to finish the job with an open end wrench and a pair of pliers. I stopped at Sears on the way home that day and bought the right tool for the job. Sometimes you need the socket, shaft, and handle to be one solid unit. It's not all that hard to figure out.

Agent1320
03-17-2012, 03:48 PM
Yarrrrrrr.... because they drive me nuts!