New Southwire Hand Tools
A Review of Southwire’s New Screwdrivers, Nutdrivers, and Hand Tool Offerings
There’s some NEW Southwire Hand Tools out!
Southwire is one of the largest manufacturers of wire and cable in the world. So who better to make the tools to install all this wire than them??? I was recently offered the opportunity to test out some of the new and feature packed hand tools from Southwire Tools.
New Southwire Hand Tools
This review will take a look at the new screwdrivers, nutdrivers, and other hand tool offerings from Southwire. Specifically, the USA Nutdrivers and Screwdrivers, the 5N1 Stubby Nut Driver, 4-in-1 Magnetic Rotary Driver, Romex Cable Strippers, and also the 5N1 Multi Tool Pliers. The new hand tool offerings from Southwire are capable of finishing multiple tasks with fewer tools. This is something that anyone who works with their hands can appreciate.
The 5-In-1 (5N1) Stubby Nut Driver Model NDS5N1
- 5-IN-1 Multi Driver: 3/16”,1/4”, 5/16”,3/8”, and 1/2” nut drivers
- Cushion grip handle provides extra comfort and maximum torque
- ASME B107.12-2004 color coded ends for quick identification
- Chrome plated finish for corrosion resistance
- Hollow shafts for screw clearance
This little tool is packed with features for the demanding professional user. The compact size makes it ideal for working in areas with tight clearances. A nut driver is not a tool that I am constantly using, but when I need one it is worth it’s weight in gold. Being able to toss a Stubby Nutdriver in my tool bag and not loose a lot of space or give up another dedicated tool makes my life easier. For a dedicated user, such as a mechanical tradesman, the 5N1 Stubby is a great addition to your current tool arsenal or grab and go diagnostic bag.
The feature that stood out the most is the ASME color coded ends for quick identification. These colored rings make the individual drivers easily swapped without searching for lettering. This is a life saver when working in confined spaces or awkward angles.
Southwire built an amazing little tool with the 5N1. One of the greatest features not listed above is the price. The 5N1 Stubby Nut Driver is available now from all Soutwire Tools dealers. Our friends at Acme Tool have it in stock for $13.98. For less than the cost of lunch, you can put the 5N1 Stubby Nut Driver to work for you.
The 4-in-1 (4N1) Magnetic Rotary Driver Model SD4N1C
- Magnetic Bit Holder
- Chrome plated finish for corrosion resistance
- Heavy Duty steel shanks with bolsters for wrench assisted turning
- Comfort grip handle provides extra comfort and maximum torque
A rotary driver reduces the fatigue that comes along with many every day tasks. The 4N1 from Southwire combines comfort and utility to make life easier while driving small screws and hardware. The 1/4″ driver head works well on it’s own, however stored inside of the handles are four bits. #1 and #2 Phillips as well as 3/16″ and 1/4″ slotted. The bits are secured with a tight fitting plastic end cap that keeps them accounted for while keeping dirt and debris out. The large ergonomic handle is perfectly suited for all day use and comfort.
I didn’t quite get it at first. I thought a rotary driver was just like all those useless Yankee Screwdrivers my Grandfather had. But the more I used the 4N1 Magnetic Rotary Driver, the more I saw it’s value. During demolition on a recent project, the 4N1 shown while removing all of the switch plates and other fixtures before tearing out the drywall.
While a subcompact battery powered screwdriver would be even faster and less fatiguing; the 4N1 from Southwire is lighter, smaller, cheaper, and doesn’t need a battery. The 4N1 is available now and pricing is right around $13.48.
The 5-N-1 (5N1) MULTI TOOL PLIERS Model S5N1
- Multi-functional pliers: grips, strips, crimps, reams, and cuts
- Comfortable grips help reduce hand wear and fatigue
- Durable forged construction for lasting performance
- Easily strips 10-14 AWG solid wire
- Crimps common size wire ferrules
- Reams and smoothes thin-wall conduit ends
The 5N1 Multi Tool allows you accomplish more tasks with fewer tools. In all honesty, the less weight we carry around or have hanging off our belts the better. The new 5N1 Multi Tool Pliers are designed with the demanding professional user in mind and therefore are extremely rugged and durable. The ergonomic grips and large cutting jaws made cutting through Romex and other cables effortless. However, they are large and clunky and using them for smaller delicate tasks is difficult.
Southwire’s 5N1 Multi Tool Pliers are well suited for industrial electricians or any other tradesman working with wire on a hard wearing jobsite. They are large and powerful which may be more than the average user needs. If your jobsite demands this level of professional tool, then the 5N1 Multi Tool Pliers are available now for around $33.87.
The 10/2 & 12/2 ROMEX (NM-B) CABLE STRIPPER Model SNM1012
- Specially designed stainless steel cutting blades provide fast and clean wire stripping
- Shears 8-32 and 6-32 screws
- Strips, cuts, and loops 10 and 12 AWG solid wire
- Serrated nose grasps the cable for easy twisting and pulling
Whether you are a full time electrician or a remodeling contractor, chances are pretty high that you have run some Romex before. This is a common material on most construction sites and Southwire’s dedicated 10/2 & 12/2 Romex cable strippers are a tool to make handling it easier. I am a fan of dedicated tools for a specific task. Using these cable strippers, I was able to cut, strip and loop 12 and 10 gauges of wire in an uninterrupted cycle. Where as before I would be reaching for a razor blade and several other sets of pliers or strippers.
The stainless steel cutting jaws held up well during use and showed no signs of edge damage. My favorite feature was the ergonomic handles combined with the spring assisted opening. This made for an easy to use and comfortable tool. I used the Southwire Romex Cable Stripper to relocate and replace several receptacles and junction boxes. This quality built dedicated tool made the prep of the Romex cable almost effortless.
For installing electrical fixtures or just running new cable, the Southwire dedicated Romex Cable Strippers provide comfort and capability. You can get a set now from Acme Tools for $25.39 which is an outstanding value.
The USA Series of Screwdrivers and Nutdrivers
- Proudly made in the USA
- 22% larger cushion grip handle provides ultimate comfort and maximum torque *as compared to previous generation
- Corrosion resistant shank
- Tether hole provided for tether/lanyard attachment
- Available 3″, 4″, and 6″ shanks with slotted, Phillips, square, slotted, and cabinet tips
As a kid I coveted my father and grandfather’s sets of hand tools because they had been built locally in our home state. As I started buying my own tools, I tried to seek out a tools that are Made in USA. After a while that became tough to find. When Southwire first announced that they were offering a new line of USA made screwdriver and nutdrivers I was ecstatic. Now after having used the USA series from Southwire all I can say is well done.
The USA series is designed with superior ergonomics and comfort in mind. This results in less experienced fatigue by the user. The larger cushioned grip is 22% larger than previous generations of Southwire drivers. This ergonomic handle is oversized at the rear to really fill the hand. The rubber overmold is tactile and gives excellent grip. Two raised panels in the rubber actually provide leverage points for the thumb and forefinger to assist with extra torque. They are not reinforced for demolition or hammering applications, but are extremely solid for everyday tasks.
One critique of the drivers is the lack of color coded size identification. The driver sizes are labeled on the rear of the handles, but are not as prominent as I would like to see. A color coded system like the Stubby Nutdriver would be a welcomed feature.
The drivers are not sold in a complete set. Instead, Southwire is offering them individually to best meet your needs. The nutdriver series is available with 3″ shanks in variety of sizes. The screwdriver series is available in 3″,4″or 6″ shanks in a variety of tip configurations. The complete lineup is available for viewing on the Southwire website and Acme Tools is currently stocking most versions. The drivers are priced at around $9-11.00 each. A tremendous value for a high quality USA made tool.
Southwire has produced several new high quality lines of tools. These tool are designed with the professional user in mind with features that reflect that. Many of these offerings accomplish more tasks with fewer tools. Therefore helping to reduce fatigue and increase productivity. More reviews on Southwire products by the Toolbox Buzz Crew can be seen here.
While our focus here at Tool Box Buzz has been cordless innovation lately, good quality hand tools will always be a cornerstone of the trades and construction industry.
Where To Buy:
To purchase any of these tools, check out the link below to our partnered vendor Acme Tools who stocks most of the Southwire lineup.
About the author
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