Of the things I collect, tools are probably the easiest to justify to myself, as they actually serve a purpose, and having a good tool has helped me out tremendously over the years. But, while I do appreciate quality, the usefulness or sturdiness of an object doesn’t always come into play when I find something fascinating. I’ve got several “clever” tool ideas in my collection that were cheaply produced in China and never caught on (perhaps rightfully so). The one I’m looking at this time is a nameless collet-based system for attaching different tools to a single handle.
The case says YPF/Maxus, which is/are an (depending on how you look at it) energy company that put their logo on a cheap Chinese product. The case is a terrible pleather that does such an unconvincing job I just want to call it plastic, with red nylon backing on the inside. Contained behind the flimsy zipper and loose elastic is an assortment of tools: and adjustable wrench, tiny pliers, a small slotted screwdriver, a colleted handle, and 6 attachments for said handle. The dedicated slotted screwdriver is the only thing vaguely usable in the whole package. The wrench is almost laughably weak, with the adjustment knob (worm screw) and jaw rattling even at their tightest. The pliers are cast out of a cheap pot metal that one can easily feel deforming in their hands. And while the slotted screwdriver is obviously cheap, at its size one likely wouldn’t be using it for anything more heavy duty than taking apart electronics or the like.
But the best part is the colleted driver. It uses the same handle material as the smaller driver but has a brass collet and tightening knob affixed to the tip. Its six attachments have “wings” at the base of their shafts that slot into the collet, allowing for more grip when it is tightened down (it’s still loose enough to wiggle at that stage, though). These attachments are: two additional sizes of slotted screwdriver, one Phillips driver, an “awl”, what I can only describe as a “screw awl” or “screw bore”, and most hilariously of all, a claw hammer. So that adds to the uselessness with a few wobbly drivers, a fairly blunt pokey thing, a thing that might be used to start or enlarge screw holes (I really don’t understand it), and a 1oz hammer that, if swung with enough force for it to be useful as a hammer, would quickly lead to something in the little device breaking.
It’s all such a strange and poorly implemented idea. If one uses tools with much frequency, they would know that there are a few standard ways to link various bits together that work just fine, and that integrating a hammer with any other tool isn’t the best idea. But still perhaps a nice little kit like this could be forgiven for having a proprietary system if it was high quality, and as it is I’d barely qualify them as play tools. I got my set essentially for free and basically unused, and it will unfortunately stay that way in my collection, not as a set of tools, but as an oddity.