Tech Must-haves: Xiaomi Wiha Screwdriver Kit
The story of the Xiaomi Wiha screwdriver kit started when I set out to upgrade the Hard Drive on a Mac Mini to an SSD. Having done that a few times prior, I knew there would be a few challenges. However, this was a newer model and I was not aware that Apple, in an attempt to further discourage DIY types from tinkering with the Mini, had introduced a new set of security screws in the production of their newer model. Specifically, I was looking at a set of ‘Tamper Resistant TR6 (T6) Torx Security Screws’ holding shut the Mac Mini’s case lid. A regular T6 Torx bit/screwdriver (which I had plenty of) did not work because it needed a hole in the middle.
Time for research…
After doing some research online, I had my options narrowed down to two. I could simply order a compatible TR6 Screwdriver on Amazon with decent reviews for about $8. Or, I could get a set of micro-bits that contained the compatible bit for not too much more. And upon further research, I discovered that Xiaomi, one of my favorite companies, actually makes one!
It looked sleek in all the product pictures, offered a great selection of bits for taking apart electronic devices including the one I needed, and it was developed in collaboration with Wiha, a respected German tool brand. And if that wasn’t enough, it was on sale for only $19.95 on Banggood.com.
The Xiaomi Wiha screwdriver kit arrived in about 8 days. Removing the packaging reveals the standard design box for many of Xiaomi’s more recent products – plain design, mostly white, with grey text and a colour image of the product. The front of the box shows that this product was a Red Dot Award winner for 2017, with the rear listing the included bits which are PH000, PH00, PH0, PH1, PH2, SL1.5, SL2.0, SL3.0, SL4.0, P2, P5, T2, T3, T4, TR5, TR6, TR8, TR10, TR15, H1.5, H2.0, U2.6, Y1 and ∆2.3.
The unit sports a curved aluminium outer shell with logos on the front and some warning text on the rear. Despite the price, the screwdriver kit feels well crafted and premium, weighing in at 250g.
The warranty card
Along with the kit, Xiaomi includes a warranty information card written in Chinese which I could not make out so I decided to do some research. It turns out that Wiha, the company that actually manufactures the bits, offers a lifetime warranty on their tools and free replacement. Simply find a distributor in your country on their web site, mail your broken bits to them, and they will in turn send you replacements. Pretty nifty…
All of the bits are magnetic, clearly labelled with their respective sizes, precision-machined, and made of hardened steel. They haven’t stripped any heads either – they seem to be of the right profile to engage the screws as expected. Even the finer P2 bit did a good job with some very small screws.
The smooth metal barrel of the bit driver feels great in the hand. It has just the right amount of weight and smooth rounded edges giving it a premium feel. The spinning end cap has a tight feel through the range of rotation. The body of the driver is a one-piece design making it sturdy compared to cheaper kits.
The magnetic bit storage is also very well designed, keeping the bits in their place during transportation and marked clearly for quick and easy identification.
The tray is retained inside the casing with an internal plastic latch providing enough retention force to ensure your kit doesn’t spill out in your tool bag. Overall, it’s a great design, much better than what is to be expected for the price.
The Xiaomi Wiha 24-in-1 Screwdriver Kit has a lot going for itself. Sturdy construction, stylish and functional design with a slide-out tray and magnetic storage, a great variety of highly durable bits, and a premium bit driver that feels just right.
And when the price is considered, Xiaomi has not only managed to provide a premium quality tool at an affordable price, but also set a new bar that will be difficult for competitors to measure up to.
In all, the kit inspires confidence whenever I find myself taking things apart and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys tinkering with computers and small electronics.
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