Product Type: Bosch Cordless Screwdriver
Newest Review: ... of use: Small, lightweight and sturdy. It makes light work of just whizzing screws in and out, and you never get the feeling it hasn't got... more
Elbow grease is for the unevolved.
Bosch IXO IV
Member Name: cheffrey
Bosch IXO IV
Advantages: Vastly reduces time spent on basic jobs
Disadvantages: Not suitable for all screws, no feel at all.
If I owned a monkey, I would definitely call it Wrench. I would also make sure that it was a Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus), as they are one of the few creatures on the planet apart from humans and giant pangolins that prefer to walk bipedally, are brilliant at climbing, and possess enormous strength in compariso to their size. Not only is this of zoological interest, but this trait could be put to excellent use in the world of DIY.
I'm not very good at DIY. I empathised with Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf when he confessed that it took him three terms to make a tent peg in woodwork at school. OK, so I'm not that terrible, but I've never really had an affinity for making stuff for the house. It usually goes wrong somewhere along the line, and I end up reducing some nicely cut bits of hardwood to kindling, rather than assembling them into something resembling shelves. I even struggle a bit with self-assembly furniture. Recently, I purchased a very nice queen-sized double bed, handmade from recovered wood. I had to put it together, and it was very hard going. The frame came in four pieces, and when that was assembled (albeit in more of a parallelogram rather than the orthodox rectangular shape), it was time to fix the slats. This proved harder than A-level physics, as the screws simply would NOT go in. I'm not a total weakling, and I gave it a damn good go, but after taking half an hour to get just one slat out of fifteen screwed in, a trip to B&Q was in order.
The Bosch IXO IV was the one that seemed to be the bit of kit for the job. Retailing at just under £40 (B&Q are probably the most expensive here, but I didn't have time to shop around), it had all the requirements. Coming with a removeable head and 10 different bits, this cordless screwdriver is great. It's very small and lightweight, and fits snugly in the hand. It's also very robustly made, coming from a pedigree of excellent German engineering and manufacture.
It comes with its own recharging station, so there's no need to buy batteries for it. It charges fairly quickly (about half an hour or so), but I would be wary of leaving it to charge for longer than required though, as this will shorten the battery life as well as wasting electricity. It all comes packaged in a handy tin, so you can keep it all safely stored out of the way when it's not being used. There is one gripe about the tin though, as it was almost impossible to open. Perhaps it was just the one I bought, but I had to take numerous tools of increasing size, culminating in a crowbar, just to it to get the lid off. It must've been wedged on by some enormous Teutonic mechanic at the Bosch factory.
Anyway, for a tiny little cordless screwdriver this thing packs a surprising amount of power. It is very important to make sure that the correct drill-bit is fitted for the screw, and that it slots in tight before applying any power. If they do not match, or the drillbit is applied at an oblique angle then it can easily strip the grip in head of the screw away, leaving you with an even tougher job of getting it in or out than before. Also, the drill is much, much wider than a normal screwdriver. This means that in particularly tight spots it is impossible to get it to fit the screw properly, and one has to resort to elbow-grease once more.
What then does all this have to do with Wrench the Proboscis Monkey? Well, a creature that could climb into awkward positions armed with a screwdriver would've halved the time it would take to make, well, anything I guess. Had he been on hand to help, he could've scurried under the frame and finished the parts of the job that I couldn't easily reach. B&Q should take note - there's a gap in the market for DIY-savvy primates...
In summary, this is a handy tool, but not one that is going to completely replace a standard set of screwdrivers. It can whizz through a set of screws in no time, if they are easily accessible and have enough space around them to fit the screwdriver. But there is no 'feel' to it, so for delicate jobs this is right out, as you could quite easily overtighten them.
So until an unemployed Proboscis Monkey wanders over from Borneo, I'll make do with this when it's needed, and some old-fashioned effort with some standard screwdrivers.
Summary: Should be in every primate's toolbox.
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