For several years, I have been using the Weaver Multi-Bit Tool Kit, Product number 849718 (shown below) for my general needs when working on firearms. This tool kit has served me well, if the hardware that I am working with is SAE and not metric. For metric hardware, I must rely on another bit kit, which I will touch on later.
Recently, I decided to upgrade and ordered the Wheeler 89 Piece Deluxe Screwdriver Set (Product #562194) shown below. While metric bits are not included, a wide variety of specialty bits are, and I will touch on those shortly. For metric hardware, I must rely on another bit kit, which I will touch on later.
I am not a gunsmith, nor do I pretend to be one, but I do work on my own firearms when the need arises, and the task is not beyond my capabilities.
In the Wheeler 89 Piece Deluxe Screwdriver Set (Product #562194), are; (54) hollow-ground flat bits, (15) specialty bits, (8) Allen bits, (4) Phillips bits, (3) Torx bits, (1) 2 ¼ shaft extension and (1) hex-to-square drive adapter. Hollow-ground bits have a concave shape that allows for insertion all the way into the screw slot for maximum contact.
The set includes 2 non-slip, over-molded plastic handles and all is packed in a convenient hinged storage case. An Instruction for Use sheet is included, as is a Screwdriver Bit Location Guide on an adhesive-backed sheet that can be attached to the inside cover.
I have read complaints about the bits breaking. I have broken one myself. However, the flat-tip bitts are designed to break under stress. If a screw is overly tight or bound due to rust or debris, the bit may break while attempting to remove the screw. This will prevent the screw from being damaged and is not a defect in the tool bit. Penetrating oil, heat, or other methods should be used to help loosen the screw before re-trying to remove the screw. Replacement tools bits are available from Wheeler. Simply locate the part number for the damaged bit and order from the Wheeler on-line site.
“Wheeler’s Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set is the kit that belongs on every gunsmithing bench. The well thought-out bit selection will put an end to burred, buggered and busted up screw slots on any gun that comes your way. The bits make up the heart of any screwdriver set and Wheeler’s are the finest available. They’re made from S2 tool steel and hardened to 56-58 Rockwell “C.” Unlike other screwdriver suppliers, Wheeler’s engineers measured the screws on over one hundred modern and antique firearms to make sure that we offered bits for every situation. Whether you’re working on a Browning Superposed, a Remington 700, a Smith & Wesson revolver, or a Colt Single Action, you’ll find that there’s a bit to fit every screw on your gun.” – Source: Wheeler Engineering.
Fifteen specialty bits are included in the kit. These bits are specific to certain firearms that you may or may not own. I find the Ruger/Colt SA base Pin Latch Nut Bit and the 1911 Grip Screw Bushing Driver handy at times.
You will notice that there are several pin punches (.062-inch, .093-inch, and a .118-inch) and also a Glock Replacement Front Sight Screw Bit.
Of course, properly sizing the bit to the hardware is part of the formula of success when removing and installing hardware. Wheeler anticipates some breakage, especially in the smallest, thinnest bits. And because of this, you will find two bits for the #1 and #2 Flat bits.
The two adapter handles (shown below); one short at 6.5-inches and one long at 8-inches, allows you to use multiple bits, when needed, for removing or installing hardware, such as in the case of the Ruger/Colt SA base Pin Latch Nut Bit (shown in the previous image).
There is also a magnetic Bit Extension, a Square Drive Adapter, and a 2-inch long #2 Phillips bit that can come in handy at times.
While I use the Wheeler 89 Piece Deluxe Screwdriver Set (Product #562194) for general work, mounting a scope takes me to a couple of different tools; the Wheeler Engineering Professional Reticle Leveling System with Heavy-Duty Construction Universal Design and Storage Case for Gunsmithing and Maintenance , the Wheeler 710909 Digital Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench, and the Wheeler 55 Piece SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Screwdriver Set for Pistol Rifle Handgun Gunsmithing Rebuild and Maintenance.
Last, but not least, I need to address the warranty offered by Wheeler, and I’ll do this by parroting the warranty information from Wheeler:
“Wheeler products are guaranteed against defects in workmanship and materials for one year from the original purchase date, and to the original purchaser. This guarantee is voided by misuse, abuse, improper maintenance or alterations of the product, and does not cover any normal wear and tear that might occur as determined by Wheeler Company. Examples of items not covered by warranty:
- Rusted/spotted/stained blade
- Broken/bent handle
- Broken knife tip
- Dull/chipped blade
- Scratched blade coating
In the unlikely event that the knife blade breaks, we will do a hardness test to determine if it is eligible for replacement. We only warranty knives that are purchased from our authorized Wheeler dealers (in store or online) or our website (www.wheeler.com). Web-only resale businesses (example: Amazon, eBay, or other similar websites) are NOT authorized dealers. If you feel that there is a product defect, please notify us immediately using the link below and return the knife to us with the original packaging and your purchase receipt within 30 days. Once we receive the knife our warranty department will examine it to determine if it is defective and eligible for a replacement. YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR ORIGINAL ORDER NUMBER (PROOF OF PURCHASE) WITH THE WARRANTY CLAIM.
To initiate a warranty claim, please use our Contact Form.”
So far, I have been well-pleased with Wheeler tools. My only complaint is that a separate tool kit is required if you need metric bits. It would be worth it to me, and I am sure others, to have a “master” tool kit that has all bits (SAE and Metric) in one location.
Wheeler Tools: https://www.wheelertools.com/