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Flexible drive / bit holder that lasts?

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  • Flexible drive / bit holder that lasts?

    Got one of these, extremely useful when working on stuff like cars or in my case, the snowblower.



    They have a problem though, they don't last for s**t. This one broke the same day I used it for the first time. I am wondering if there are any brands, or designs that are more durable? I think this design might be weak from the get go, uses a braided steel wire on the inside, it gave up quickly.

  • #2
    Dennis, the company Trend who make woodworking router bits make a Flexi drive for their Snappy tools range. It is proprietary to their range of 1/4" tools however you can use standard 1/4" tools in it they just don't lock. I have had two of them for years and one at least saw heavy professional use in a joinery business. You can pick them up on UK eBay for about £20.
    West Sussex UK

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    • #3
      Are you exceeding the torque that it was designed to handle ?

      -D
      DZER

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      • #4
        The makers of tools like the Dremel often sell flexible shafts. Dremel has or at least had one but there are other brands.

        I have a Unimat one which I only use occasionally. It had a problem once with the crimped end coming off. I just re-crimped it. No problems with the flexible shaft part itself.

        If you are thinking about getting the Unimat one, be aware that it's ends are intended to mount on the Unimat spindle on one end and with a Unimat spindle thread on the other so whatever you mount on it (usually a 1/4" drill chuck) must have that female thread. That really limits it to use with the Unimat itself. And if you are buying one on the used market, be sure you also get the separate, drive piece that mounts on the Unimat spindle thread.

        If I was working on anything with socket wrenches I would use extension shafts and universal couplings. I have at least two of the universals.
        Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 01-11-2021, 06:06 PM.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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        • #5
          The torque rating is
          xi= x1+x2+xn
          xi is wire diameter, x2 is diameter of coil, xn is tensile strength of the material expressed in in/lbs.
          Last edited by Bented; 01-11-2021, 08:02 PM.

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          • #6
            Universal couplings and extensions sure would be a lot more sturdy, but I don't think I could've snaked those through the small crack and several twists like I did with the above tool to open an impossibly located bolt. Tradeoffs I guess...

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            • #7
              I have an older set of Snap-ons. They have held up, but it is tough to build torque as they tend to twist. End up using extensions, flex sockets, and universals for most things

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              • #8
                Yeah ordered a bunch of universal joints. Gonna look into some of those flexible extensions for 1/4 3/8 and 1/2 as well, for lower torque use.

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                • #9
                  I used to have a nice one that was about 10" long 1/4" thick steel braid covered in black rubber. I loaned it out at the racetrack and never got it back. I replaced it with an import piece of junk that is nowhere near as good. I wish I could remember where I got it, or who made it, but it was great. Good ones DO exist out there somewhere.....

                  I get by now with wobble extensions, swivel sockets and u joints. I almost find them a bit easier to snake through places as I can tape a wire to the side spanning the joint and bend it into the position I need to get on the fastener. It will bend with the movement, or fall off when you start turning. Solder works good for that, or tig wire also.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe make one? Bicycle speedometer cable to start. JR

                    What got me thinking about the speedometer cable was this guy.

                    I was rooting around in my metal rack and it sprange out at me trying to flick my eyeball out, gonna tie it now.

                    Whats cool? It has square ends. Its asking to be a tool

                    This is the core of a speedo cable I saved. JR

                    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1921915

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Last edited by JRouche; 01-14-2021, 10:12 PM.
                    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                    • #11
                      Just received the March issue of Wood magazine, on page 74, is a review of Dewalts new FlexTorq drive system, supposedly rated to withstand the torque of an impact driver. You can use the flex shaft without the right angle head. Oh, $40 bucks.

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                      • #12
                        Trust the Chinese to make something that would be a good tool, but then make it ****ty so it will break. I'm not saying all Chinese stuff is crap, though so much of it is- I am saying that if you're looking for a tool to do a certain job, and you find it- it's a shame when it turns out to be garbage. This is often what drives me to make the thing myself.

                        I've gotten lucky a few times (and no, not that way). I found a right angle driver tool that works great, has a very small 'head' on it, and I've never broken it. There have been times I wanted it to be a 45 degree instead of a 90, or even adjustable. I wonder if something like that is made, or if it would even have worked for you.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                        • #13
                          I did buy some more chinese junk while I was at it. I don't have high hopes for it, but plan to keep it for low-torque applications. Like this flexible right angle attachement:


                          And this more heavy duty drill attachment:


                          But I'll also keep my eyes open for 2nd hand quality stuff.

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                          • #14
                            It's not the Chinese who are importing very low quality merchandise for resale...it's your North American companies who are doing that and it's their responsibility to do the quality control on what they sell. The Chinese factories build them to the specs given them.
                            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                              It's not the Chinese who are importing very low quality merchandise for resale...it's your North American companies who are doing that and it's their responsibility to do the quality control on what they sell. The Chinese factories build them to the specs given them.
                              Yep ! You don't think those Chinese put satellites up and build Nuclear armed rockets with the tools the US imports do you ??? :-)
                              ...lew...

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