Anyone that does a little bit of house-work knows how frustrating it is to find yourself with only a Philips screwdriver when you need a flathead, and vice versa. If you’re using an electric screwdriver with replaceable bits, you go some, but not all, of the way to solving that problem. However, salvation: the Worx SD Slide-Driver is actually six different screwdrivers inside one.
What Is It?
- Cordless: Yes
- Voltage: 4V
- Reverse: Yes
- Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
- Battery Life (claimed): 12 months (storage)
- Charging: yes (AC power)
The Worx SD Slide-Driver is a multi-bit electric screwdriver, with an internal rechargeable battery that the company says is good for 12 months of maintaining its charge level. That cell is charged from the bundled AC power back, and you also get a little holster with the Worx as well. The little black and orange screwdriver is very sturdy, built out of strong plastic.
More interesting than the design and the holster, though, is the SD Slide-Driver’s two six-shooter multi-bit holders. Made out of translucent orange plastic, each holder has space for six different inch-long driver bits, and Worx includes a total of twelve for the two included holders. Four different Philips, two flatheads, hex bits, a miniscule drillbit — these point to the Multi-Bit’s intended use as a screwdriver for getting at the little bits and pieces around your house or inside your desktop computer case.
What’s It Good At?
Switching between different bits on the Worx SD is super-easy. Pull the slide back on the top of the Slide-Driver — imagine you’re ejecting a shell casing from a semi-automatic pistol — and towards the nose the orange six-shooter-esque revolving multi-bit holder is exposed. Click it to the tool that you need, push the slide back into place and a magnetic bolt pushes the bit out into the ready-to-be-used position. It’s slick, it’s simple, and gives you actually quick access to your most commonly needed tool bits.
Worx bundles 12 different bits with the Slide-Driver, including your usual Philips and flathead and hex bits. There’s a good range without getting too specific, with tools that you’d never use. As it is, it’s easy to load up one of the drums with the six most popular bits and leave the other six for when and if you need them once in a blue moon.
For the basic tasks I used it for, the 4V power of the Multi-Bit was enough. It’s not super-fast or super-torquey, but it’ll screw in a wood screw or undo a stuck bolt-head around the house. Threading something into a pre-drilled or tapped hole is a no-brainer, obviously. The front-mounted LED light isn’t super bright, but it’ll help if you’re in a dim room.
The optional WX255.1 version of the Worx SD Multi-Bit adds a really useful feature — a screw holder that lets you pre-position and securely hold the bolt or screw that you’re about to use, freeing up your other hand to hold a more powerful torch or an extra tool. If you’re working in an especially finicky or tight space, this can be a godsend, and it usefully gives you the ability to drive a screw whenever you’re in an area where you just can’t fit a second hand.
What’s It Not Good At?
The bits hidden away inside the body of the Worx SD Multi-Bit are small. That means that for a lot of tasks, including anything with an especially countersunk or recessed hole, the bits just don’t reach the screw or bolt that you’re trying to thread. And there’s the problem — if you wanted to use a longer bit, you could, but where would you store it? That’s not the problem that the Multi-Bit wants to solve.
It’s that same issue that confounds further when you realise that the SD Multi-Bit has two quick-loading six-shooter drums, but only storage for one at any given time. You’ll have to have the second hidden away in the bundled Slide-Driver holster, which if you’re not wearing it isn’t really a great help. If you ask me, it would have been much more convenient, if a little less streamlined, to have the second drum hidden away in the Multi-Bit’s body.
Battery life is OK, but it’s more the fact that the Slide-Driver doesn’t have a removable battery pack that’s the real annoyance. It means that this becomes a tool for occasional rather than regular use, because you can’t use it while it’s charging off the bundled AC power pack. At least you can rest it on the included cradle.
Should You Buy It?
This is one cool electric screwdriver, if I’m honest. I’ve never thought that general home maintenance was an area that needed some fancying up, but the Slide-Driver is actually really fun to use when you’re switching between bits often, and in theory it’s definitely a useful feature that both makes sense and works slickly. I really wish there was a quick-loader to store that second drum of six bits, though.
The Worx SD Multi-Bit screwdriver is just that — a screwdriver. It’s not going to replace a proper drill, and there are going to be some tasks — like driving a self-tapping wood screw — that you really might be better off using a good ol’ fashioned hand screwdriver for. But for the everyday tasks, like removing a light switch or tightening your bike’s hex bolts or taking all the screws out of your workmate’s desk and chair, it does a pretty good job.
The short bits are probably this tool’s biggest impediment. It’s a little frustrating to get it out and realise you can’t complete the job required of you, after which you have to go back and get a power drill or a Philips or flat-head driver. But if you treat the Worx Slide-Driver as a tool for a particular set of jobs, it handles those jobs with ease.
For most tasks, it has more than enough torque. It’ll be fine with assembling a piece of Ikea furniture, or basic handyman work around the house, but it belongs more in the emergency toolbox of an apartment than a serious workman’s kit. It’s definitely not going to handle any drilling tasks, but it’ll handle most of anything you’d either need a real power drill or a hand-driven screwdriver for. Don’t push it too hard, and it’ll do just fine.