As an RC Car Action reader, you probably upgraded from kit-supplied “L” wrenches to high-quality hex drivers years ago. But if you’re looking for a backup set, or a tool kit to keep on the go, Traxxas’ new #3415 tool set is well worth a look. For the $30 asking price, you get every hex and nut-driver size bit you’re ever likely to need for 1/16 – 1/8 scale models, plus Phillips and bladed sizes that may come in handy. But heads up, Tamiya builders: there’s no no. 2 Phillips in the mix.
The bits slide into the handle and are locked into place by a spring-loaded collar, so putting pressure on the tool tip won’t collapse the bit into the handle. The ratcheting mechanism is silent and detent-less, and operates with very little resistance. If there’s any tension at all on the fastener in question, the ratchet will operate properly. Selecting the middle position of the ratchet-collar will lock the bit and hold it without play.
After a few weeks of use, the coated bits are holding up well and the ratchet mechanism is proving durable. The handle is a comfortable shape, and the weight feels right. The only downside is the hard-to-read labeling of the bit sizes. The nut drivers get high-contrast white-on-black labels, but the hex and screwdriver bits are labeled with tiny embossed characters on the shank. I colored over the labels with a Sharpie and then wiped off the excess ink with rubbing alcohol, which left black ink in the letters and made them easier to read.
In all, this is a nice tool kit. The $30 price tag makes it easy for new RCers to upgrade to hex drivers, and if you’ve already got a nice set of drivers, the Traxxas set is a very convenient travel setup. And the ratchet handle can really speed up a bench session, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for it even if you’ve got a set of pro-grade tools on our bench.
Nut Drivers – 4mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 7mm, 8mm
Hex Drivers – 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm
Phillips Drivers – 00, 0, 1
Flat-head Drivers – 2, 3, 4mm
Open-ended wrench – 4 & 8mm
+ Inexpensive way to build a well-stocked RC tool set
+ Quality bits fit well
+ Convenient ratchet handle with telescoping feature
– Tiny labels on hex and screwdriver bits are hard to read
– No #2 Phillips bit