Those Nasty Hex Driver Sets

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I have been building a number of Clone Trex 450 Helicopters and the most used tool in building them is a 1.5mm Hex driver. The helicopter kit came with 3 tiny and fiddly little Allen Keys. By the time I finished the first heli I had to grind away just about all of those keys to keep a hex shape to tighten bolts. At times just one bolt would simply round off the tip of the key. It was frustrating, time wasting and I ended up with cut knuckles and sore fingers.

I decided to invest in a proper hex driver with a nice long blade and handle. Unfortunately I had to buy a complete set of 4 so that's what I did. If the Allen Keys were bad, these mongrel drivers were a lot worse. Because you could put more torque into each bolt they rounded off even faster. It wasn't because I was heavy handed when tightening the bolts it was the absolute rubbish metal they are made of. Again I used my Dremel to grind down the tip to a hex shape again and within a short time it was rounded off again. Just to finish one heli I had to go back to what was left of the Allen keys again.

My next step was to try to find a decent set. I found another set and even asked the seller if they were any good. "Great" he said, "I've had mine for ages and use them all the time with no problems" I ordered them and was eager to get back to work when they arrived. Big problem, I was certain they were made of a chrome plated piece of spaghetti. They rounded off faster than anything I'd previously used. I was getting rather upset by this stage so I did some searching and found I wasn't alone. Many people complained of similar problems but with one exception. Most of them were blaming the poor quality of the bolts, they said they were to blame. But hang on, if it was the bolts fault it was the bolts which should round off and the driver stay hex shaped. Admittedly a number of the bolts were badly made with the holes at the wrong angles and some of them with hardly a hole, more of a dent where the hole should be but I had a number of spares and replaced them but still the driver lost it's drive.

By this stage and as a last resort ordered an entirely different set which boasted of hardened steel and it came with just one handle but 5 blades. It sounded like what I needed and ordered a set. The parcel arrived and after a few seconds of disbelief I realised the set was identical to the one I just gave up on. I sent off an email to the seller and he informed me that what I had ordered was absolute rubbish so he swapped them for a more superior set. Firstly he had no right to do that but I already knew the set he sent was rubbish too. By this stage I was considering buying a colouring book and crayons and forgetting the helis waiting to be built.

For the next 5 hours I searched everywhere looking for signs of Chrome Vanadium, hardened, high tensile and other terminology relating to TOUGH. I found one in the USA (Miponi). A single driver (I already had 3 sets of the other sizes in as new condition) This one had the lot. No outlandish promises just good old down to earth statements that they had been built to last and used by real technicians. I sent off an email and asked the service department if they were as good as they said they were. The guy I spoke to said he was so certain it was the best he would send one for me to try and if I liked it I could keep it and promise to buy another one for a friend. Wow! an offer I couldn't refuse. So it promptly arrived express mail and I got to work. I breezed through a complete heli and apart from finding 2 bad bolts, this driver looked brand new when I finished. I immediately sent off money for the one I had and another one for my mate who was having similar problems. I received two drivers back with a note thanking me and offering me a discount on any further tool requirements. I'll take them up on it too. I've now built 5 helis and all with the same driver. Another 4 helis should be here this week and it will be a pleasure to build them.

So forget the cheap and nasty "Hobby" hex drivers which are simply hardened. I've since found out that Chinese hardening is heating the blade up and dunking it in water. Save yourself a lot of headaches and buy quality At $14.50 per driver it's a bargain and I now have a spare I don't think I'll ever use. I can't give the name of the driver here but email me via Ebay and I'll give you the name. By the way, you can even buy the same brand imported to Sydney. Happy Driving.... and Flying.

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