DRAPER 10 Piece Pliers and Screwdrivers Set – German Quality

Generally speaking, if you want to find a good quality set of VDE pliers or screwdrivers then a German origin is a good start. I haven’t found many electricians that would disagree with me, even if I sometimes find that the VDE kit in their tool bags is past its sell-by.

Draper Pliers and screwdrivers Packaging

Centre stage in the packaging, so to speak, of the new 10-piece VDE set from Draper, is a pair of pliers with the logo, DRAPER Expert, Made in Germany. If that doesn’t get your attention, then a closer examination will confirm the required quality threshold that any sensible sparks would aim for. Let’s look at the pliers first.

On the first examination, the omens are good. All three tools – pliers, cutters and long-nose pliers – open and close easily, but without any play in the fulcrum joint. The pliers’ noses all meet close together so that gripping fine wire is possible all the way to the nose. The finish is a fashionable dull grey and appears to be more than skin deep. Only a bit of professional use and a spell in a tool bag will prove or disprove that. When it comes to cutting cables and wires, my standard test is cutting a bit of coat hanger wire. This gives me a good measure of how much pressure I have to exert to make a cut, which tells me a lot about the design of handles and cutting edges. The big pliers managed the cut easily, and also made neat and precise cuts in insulated standard three-core cable. Because of their shorter handle length it was harder to cut coat hanger wire with the side cutters, but used for their main purpose, again I got good neat cuts on cable.

I look upon long nose pliers more as a rescue tool than cutters, so I was not surprised that the coat hanger wire test took a bit more effort, but cable cutting was pretty easy.

The VDE style handles are well-designed and comfortable, with protection up to the standard 1000v required by law for certification as VDE tools.

Seven Screwdrivers

Draper pliers and screwdrivers

The seven screwdrivers in the set look and feel the part. There are two Pozidrive, three slotted, and two Phillips screwdrivers included in the set, and they should cover most of the driving needs for the average jobbing electrician.

The handles are well-designed for ergonomic twist and comfort with rubberised sections and grippy hollows. The moulded insulation stretches all the way to within 15mm or so of the driver bit ends so you can use your fingers to support the driver when driving small screws. Easy identification of drivers is a massive time-saver, so it was good to note that the yellow panel at the end of each screwdriver bit identifies each driver in easy to read letters. Greasy or dirty hands may eventually cover these, but that’s up to the user to sort out.

Of course, price is always a major factor when buying tools and a quick surf on the net says a typical price is about £125. Yes, there are cheaper sets available, but I come back to my opening point – if you want quality, German manufacture is most often a good way to go, and quality costs. I have always regretted buying cheap tools- and I leave you with that thought.

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