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Today I am reviewing the bit driver set TD-6130HX, which is a Japanese made product by Vessel. It's available on eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA, and is an extremely similar set to the TD-6310TX (eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA, Amazon and Rakuten) - just that the TX has a different set of bits with it (more torx-oriented), so other than the bit selection the below comments on the handle are applicable to both sets.
A closeup of the packaging:
You can see the ten bits that come with it in a "Bits Belt" - cross-head #1, #2 and #3, flat head #4 and #6 and hex bits in 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm. It's a pretty decent spread. If you're after a more Torx-oriented selection the TD-6310TX set comes instead with a flat-head #5, cross-head #2 and Torx T8H, T10H, T20H, T25H, T27H, T30H and T40H. The HX set is definitely more useful from a general-use perspective, though both sets use standard sized bits so you can always add in your own to suit your needs.
Down the bottom we have the country of origin:
The back of the packaging:
Of note is that the provided bits are fully hardened industrial alloy steel, and that standard quarter-inch (6.35mm) bits can be used. The "Bits Belt" is available separately - empty - as part number BB-10 (eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA, Amazon). Out of the box:
It's 235mm long and 28.5mm in diameter. The shank is made from Chrome Vanadium steel. The business end:
The crystalline handle is actually much nicer than I was expecting - there are some aesthetically pleasing facets around the base. Note that this variant is not tang-through and should not be struck with a hammer or similar.
The handle material is made from cellulose acetate resin - an ecologically friendly plant-based polyester resin. It's supposedly resistant to oil, shock and chemicals and is basically made from wood pulp and cotton. The brand name is cast into the handle on the other side:
The shape of the handle is such that it also ought to prevent the driver from rolling away. The TD-6310HX has more than just a magnet to keep the bits in place (thought it does have a magnet):
You push the black collar towards the end...
Insert the bit and then release the collar. The bit now stays in place VERY firmly and will not fall out.
This feature is one of the main reasons I was drawn to the TD-6310HX. There is another Vessel driver with the same feature in the aforementioned TD-6310TX (eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA, Amazon and Rakuten), and another with a very similar retaining mechanism in the TX-10 (eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA, Amazon and Rakuten), though the TD-6310HX is said to have a more secure locking mechanism. I have a TX-10 on the way and will be able to do a comparison once it arrives.
In use the bits have zero wiggle in the retaining mechanism and appear to stand up to repeated use well. The handle is better than I had expected - plain acetate handled screwdrivers are pretty standard as entry-level sets around here but this one feels fairly nice in the hand, though it does lack any kind of soft grip. I have yet to use this one when working on a motor but I will be intereted to find out whether it gets slippery when used with oily hands - if/when I have a go at that I will update the review as I think that's pertinent if you were intending on using it in that sort of environment.
I am now keeping one of these on-hand as part of the inside-the-house toolkit to save me walking out to the workshop to grab a driver every time I need one (most frequently of late to loosen or tighten the 3D printer's socket cap bolts). It's not as compact as one of the all-in-one solutions such as the PB Swiss Insider (Amazon, eBay US, eBay AU, eBay CA) but it is cheaper than that particular product, and not everybody needs the tool and bits setup to be ultra compact. It does mean that the bits could be more easily lost, though, especially if you are forgetful regarding where you put them down! I would prefer if the bits were marked with Vessel or some other identifying feature beyond the size - over the years I have accumulated scores of generic bits from other sets that are of lower quality and it'd be more convenient if the better ones were marked with the manufacturer's mark. That may or may not be a problem unique to me, however...
Overall I would recommend this Vessel bit holder to anyone wanting a quality bit driver with a very secure retaining mechanism - it really feels like the bit on the end is an extension of the shaft, it's so well held in place. Definitely a huge cut above the other cheap bit drivers in my kit.
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