Wera Tools, German based and founded in 1936, are known primarily for their world-class tools and memorable slogan; Be A Tool Rebel. Rather than being a jack of all trades and hitting the market with a Wera branded version of every tool and product imaginable, Wera is a specialist type of company that focuses on doing a few things, extremely well. Their products get by far the best reviews and without fail, everything; the screwdrivers, the wrenches and the ratchets are the best in class!
It’s hard to tell someone who builds the occasional Ikea shelf or desk why they would need a set of screwdrivers or hex keys like these. You could get a set from B&Q for a fraction of the price and most people would be perfectly satisfied with them. But if you are a ‘DIY guy’, mechanic, or anyone who might need to reach for a screwdriver on a daily basis, then you may need something that’s more versatile and saves you time. In comes Wera and they mean serious business.
I could spend a long time explaining why each part of their tool line up is great, but for the sake of this post I am going to focus on one tool in particular that represents Wera and what they are all about particularly well; The Kraftform Screwdriver.
Over the years screwdriver handles have existed in nearly every conceivable shape and size. Round, square, triangular, hexagonal, and just about everything in-between. There is really no industry standard design. Some designs lean more toward comfort, while others lean more towards turning power. Then someone comes along and tries to produce a design that excels at both. Wera is that somebody.
Developed in 1968 through a collaborative effort with the Fraunhofer Institute (a renowned German research organization), the Kraftform screwdriver is very unique and instantly recognisable. Wera designed the Kraftform to contour to the human hand. If you take a roll of clay and squeeze it in your hand, it comes out looking remarkably like the Kraftform handle.
As you might expect, the Kraftform does fit really nicely in your hand. While it’s clear the handle was intended to be held with a full grip, it remains remarkably comfortable to hold in virtually any position. I couldn’t find a position in which it felt awkward or uncomfortable. The Kraftform incorporates both hard and soft panels. Wera claims these soft panels are designed to coincide with the muscles in the hand thereby increasing comfort and turning power. I like that the handles feature markings at 12 and 6 making it easy to calculate full and half turn for screw adjustments. Detailed sizes are also printed on both the side and top of the handles making them easily identifiable in a drawer or on a belt pouch.
While the handles are certainly the star of the show, the innovation doesn’t stop there. The Series 300 screwdrivers also feature Wera’s ‘Lasertip’ technology. What is ‘Lasertip’ technology? Well it’s a pattern of lines laser etched into the tip of the screwdriver for the purpose of gripping the screw to reduce rounding out the head and help hold the screw on the tip. Finally the tips are also magnetised to further help keep that screw in place.
Finally, all Wera products are backed by a ‘no-questions-asked’ lifetime guarantee.
To summarise, I really admire the amount of innovation that Wera put into what would normally be considered a fairly well developed product. It’s a great example that if enough thought and good design is applied, then any product can be made better.