I am a connoisseur of bit extenders. I have spent – easily – a couple hundred dollars on a wide variety of them, new and vintage.
Most bit extenders suffer from one of the following maladies:
- They don’t hold the bit and it falls out in use.
- They hold the bit but it wobbles in the extender, making a dog’s dinner of your work.
- The diameter of the extender (or its chuck) is so large that it’s ridiculous and unwieldy.
- They are not straight, and so the whole shebang wobbles like a one-legged pigeon on a bender.
I have not found the Bit Extender of the Gods as of yet. But I have found one that I like. The Bosch Daredevil DSBE1012 suffers from only one of the above defects. And it has a mild case of it.
First the good news. It’s cheap – about $7 – and is available at most good hardware stores and home centers. You won’t struggle to find one or to feed your family post-purchase.
It holds hex-shank tooling like the dickens, thanks to the two set screws in the chuck. The set screws are tightened and loosened with an Allen wrench (included and losable), which I keep rubber-banded to the tool when it’s put away. I have never had a bit fall out of the Bosch extender during the last few years I’ve had it.
The chuck is only .520” in diameter, making it the smallest I have used.
The bad news: The shaft is never straight enough for my taste. To be fair, the tool recommends you not exceed 600 rpm in use. And if you do obey that speed limit, the wobble is minimal. I’d rather use a faster rpm to help keep my holes cleaner, both going in and out. (So many jokes.)
I’d pay $14 (twice the price of the current tool) for a little more straightness, which I know I’ll never get.
It’s a good, simple and cheap tool in a world of garbage. Just don’t expect the world of it, and you’ll be happy.
— Christopher Schwarz