Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders


Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders

What are Apeks?

The term “apex bits” refers to a set of three small magnets that hold your magnetized bit in place. These little guys come in various sizes and shapes. They’re usually made from steel or aluminum alloy with some sort of plastic coating over them to prevent rusting. They’re not strong enough to support much weight, but they do provide a nice grip for your bit. You can get these bits at hardware stores, online, or even from other hobbyists.

Why would I need them?

You might want to use one of these bits if you have a large collection of magnets and don’t mind having to carry around multiple pieces each time you want to change out your magnet sets. If you’re like me, you probably have several different types of magnets lying around that you’d rather not lose. You could also use one of these bits to keep your bit holders organized.

How do I install it?

There’s no special tool required; all you’ll need is a flat head screwdriver (or similar) and a piece of thin metal such as sheet metal or brass. First, unscrew the bottom portion of your bit holder until it comes off. Then insert the magnet bits into the top piece until they fit snugly. You can glue them in place for more security if you wish (don’t apply too much or it will seep out the bottom and make a mess). Now screw the bottom and top pieces together. I typically put a dab of nail polish on the tip of the screw before fully tightening it to prevent it from slipping off.

There you have it! Your very own custom bit holder.

How does it compare to other storage methods?

Magnetized bits are great for storing bits, no doubt about it. You can chuck them all in a toolbox and not have to worry about losing them. If the magnets aren’t strong enough they may slip out of place (I’ve had this problem with some of my drill bits). Some people also don’t like the way that the magnets can transfer heat to other metal bits (e.g. aluminum). Also, there’s nothing preventing you from storing your bits in a bit holder, another advantage is they typically have a handy Quick-release button for the bit.

One solution is to remove the magnets from a bit holder and glue them into the bottom of your favorite bit holder. This will allow you to utilize the quick-release button on the top portion for bits without worrying about the magnets transferring heat. The only downside is you can no longer toss these bits into a toolbox since the magnets are exposed and could attract metal shavings. I personally use a combination of both systems.

I have a few bit holders with magnets glued into the bottom and store them in a plastic case about which I can chuck into my toolbox.

Where can I get them?

Check around with your friends to see if anyone has some. You can find them in most major hardware stores and maybe even supermarket and big-box retailers.

You can also find a nice variety of different sized bit holders at the Lee Valley Tools Website (a great source for many tools)

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be adding more (with pictures) when I get the chance.

-Benjamin

by Volpin (M)

Last updated 6/8/07

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Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders | realmanguide.net

Comments:

by Hutt (M)

Great info! Thanks for writing this up. I just got a set for my birthday, so I’ll be trying this out soon.

by jumptoafew (M)

Good find…I’m considering buying a couple of these when I get paid in a couple weeks.

by Wolf (M)

I have like 4 of them and the magnets are super weak and they don’t fit in bit-holders designed for standard insert bits.

by Hutt (M)

Mine work just fine, and I’ve never heard anyone else having trouble with them. Probably just a quality control thing. I’m sure that if they were defective they’d be replaced by the company though.

by Wolf (M)

Yeah, but it seems like there’s a lot of people having issues. I have at least 4 of them and none of the magnets work, so I don’t think that’s just a quality control issue. I’m gonna try what you did on the 2mm bits and super glue them in.

by Hutt (M)

Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders - realmanguide.net

Well yeah, it is possible for some to be defective, but not all 4. I think you must be doing something wrong.

by Wolf (M)

I’m not doing anything wrong, I even tried e-mailing Irwin about it and they never wrote me back. All I know is that none of the magnets work at all. I don’t get it, but whatever. Thanks for the suggestion though, maybe it’ll work.

by Hutt (M)

Yeah, I have no idea why you would have so much trouble. I have 15 of them and they all work great.

by Wolf (M)

Well I ended up super gluing 4 magnets into the base and that worked, so thanks for the tip.

by rogue (M)

Very interesting…I guess I’m gonna have to try one, now. haha.

Thanks for the write-up.

by Wolf (M)

Did you try them out yet? What do you think of them?

by rogue (M)

I didn’t end up getting any. I know, I know…I just can’t bring myself to pay that much for a drill bit holder.

Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders | realmanguide.net

I ended up just buying a cheaper one on Amazon. I just couldn’t justify spending close to $100 on a drill bit holder.

by Wolf (M)

Ah, I see. Well thanks for writing this up anyway.

If you don’t mind me asking, where did you end up buying yours and how much did they cost?

by rogue (M)

Home depot has one for $20. I think that’s the one I ended up getting. It works so-so for me, but that’s mainly because I think insert bits are a pain to keep from slipping. I’m sure the higher priced ones like this are better, but I can’t bring myself to pay that much.

by Wolf (M)

Thanks, I’ll have to keep my eye out at HD then.

Thanks for the info, I’ll have to look into it in more detail.

by Volpin (M)

Last updated 7/15/07

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Comments:

Wow, I’m a little late to this, but thanks for the info. I’ll have to try one…heck I might get two so I can carry more bits.

by Hutt (M)

Nice, thanks for writting this up. I really want to get one of these.

Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders | realmanguide.net

by Hutt (M)

Last updated 1/25/07

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Comments:

Nice, I’ve been thinking about getting one of these. Sounds like it could be very useful for the yard. Thanks for writting this up.

I see you mentioned that the batteries last about an hour.

Does this mean that it takes 6 hours to recharge them completely?

by eekamouse (M)

Last updated 5/19/07

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Comments:

Nice, I like this thing, but the batteries only last an hour. It takes about 6 hours to recharge them completely.

I’m gonna try charging them for a bit longer to see if they last longer. I’ll let you know how it goes.

by eekamouse (M)

Last updated 6/04/07

Apex Bits: Impact Bits, Nut Driver, and Bit Holders - realmanguide.net

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