Makita B-51873 12 in. Flexible Bit HolderMakita Model: mktnb-51873
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Makita B-51873 12 in. Flexible Bit Holder
- 12 in. Flexible Bit Holder - B-51873
1) Once you flex it, it *largely keeps its shape*. This was not something I expected, and is the feature that I am most pleasantly surprised by. With the cheaper bit holders, you have to forcibly flex the holder to the position of the screw, forcing you to actively fight against springing action throughout the entire course of the drilling operation. Since you are drilling INTO something, this spring angle changes as you drive your bit deeper. Unless you go super slow, this leads to constant cam-out and stripping. It is very cumbersome because you have to use one hand to try to align the bit square with the head of a screw (or hole) while the rest of the shaft creates a springing force that varies in strength as you drive deeper and the angle changes.
With this Makita, the holder shapes up to about a 60 degree bend and stays there. It only starts to spring back when you get to the 60-180 degree angle range, and it springs back with far less force than other brands. The result is that you can put one hand on the trigger, the other on the bit end, and in most cases you can focus on keeping the bit square, without having to fight against forces from the holder itself.
2) Durability. The quality difference between this and the neon-green is as vast as the difference between their corresponding power-tools. I have broken 3-4 of the cheaper ones, and this one seems machined to last a long time. If country of origin matters to you, this is Made in Japan as opposed to virtually every other one being Made in China.
3) Locking bit holder. The magnetic holders are fine enough for screwdriving bits, but for something like a spade bit, the length of the bit can caused the bit to fit loosely, or fall out altogether. This Makita has a quick-connect lock very similar to the chuck on an impact driver, and is very sturdy.
4) Length. Most of these I have used are 7" or 11". This is 12", which obviously means you can get into tighter places
5) It's impact ready where most of the cheaper ones are not... this may explain why I've broken so many of them.
If I had to list a con, the contoured grip part of the shaft makes it comfortable and user-friendly 99% of the time... but it has a diameter of approximately 7/8". This means that for getting into super tight places, it adds some bulk from the ~5/8" size of my other ones.
Makita does cost a little more -- but they are able to charge more and still be a very successful company for a reason -- their stuff just works and it lasts forever.