Around this time, the temptation of flash sales and discounts lead even the thriftiest of people to open their wallets, myself included. If anything, I’ve often deprived myself of something hoping to find a better deal in the future when the purchase becomes almost absolutely necessary.
The story of the Xiaomi Wiha screwdriver set started when I was on holidays last year. Visiting the Xiaomi Home in Hong Kong, I saw on their website that they were selling this tool set for HK$129 (or about AU$23 and I really wanted one. It looked sleek, offered a good selection of bits for taking apart electronic devices and sported a collaborative branding of Wiha, a respected German tool brand. If anything, you could hardly ever go wrong buying Xiaomi – they’ve always been offering good value for money products. But to my dismay, there was never any stock – apparently they were very popular …
It took until the Black Friday sales this year that I finally saw a deal on the screwdrivers that was cheap enough for me to spring into action – AU$25.90 delivered and insured, I felt that I really deserved a treat this holiday season.
The unit I received was wrapped in shrink wrap, with an inventory label (from the supplier) on the bottom.
Removing the shrink wrap reveals the standard design box for many of Xiaomi’s more recent products – mostly white, with grey text and a colour image of the product. The front of the box advertises that this product was a Red Dot Award winner for 2017, with the rear listing the included bits which are PH000, PH00, PH0, PH1, PH2, SL1.5, SL2.0, SL3.0, SL4.0, P2, P5, T2, T3, T4, TR5, TR6, TR8, TR10, TR15, H1.5, H2.0, U2.6, Y1 and ∆2.3. The model number of the kit is JXLSD01XH, with this unit made for the Chinese market in September 2018.
The side features the logos of Xiaomi Home and Wiha.
The box opens at the end, with the kit contained inside a cardboard sleeve for protection and easier unboxing.
Before you get to opening up the kit, there is a sash with some usage advice – push to release the tray, remove power before use, keep out of reach of children and a maximum torque rating of 2Nm. Then, a rather curious statement of “Enjoy work!” Maybe I’ll try?
There is a warranty card, not that there’s much that can go wrong with a screwdriver set, nor are there many prospects of making a claim when purchased this way.
The unit vaguely looks like a Xiaomi power bank from the outside, sporting a curved aluminium outer shell with logos on the front and some warning text on the rear. It’s a bit bigger than most power banks, however.
From the edge, we see plastic ends, similar to how power banks are constructed.
Despite the reasonable price, the kit is rather weighty and feels premium, tipping the scales at 248g.
I don’t really have a way of testing screwdrivers aside from actually using them – but from what I can tell, I’ve had no issues with this set whatsoever. The bits slide into the driver well and are held in by the magnet. The bits are well labelled as to their sizes and even the Wiha brand is etched into them so you don’t get them mixed up. The bits are sharp and hard enough with none of the bits suffering any damage even disassembling a few hard drives. They haven’t stripped any heads either – they seem to be of the right profile to engage the screws as expected. Even the finer T2 bit did a good job with some very small screws.
I’d have to say it was a pleasure to use – the smooth metal barrel actually feels good in the hand especially as it’s weighty and gives a premium feel. There are no burrs unlike some cheaper sets which can dig into your skin. Despite being smooth, it isn’t a big problem to maintain grip on it either, with the spinning end cap being smooth through the range of rotation. The finish is delicate, but the body of the driver is a one-piece design (excluding the end cap), making it sturdy compared to multi-part sets.
The magnetic bit storage is also very well designed, keeping the bits in their place during transportation and marked clearly as to the type for easy identification. This is unlike some other sets which use “loose” bit trays which can get lost and don’t inspire you to return the bits to their place after use. Each bit is marked with its designation and Wiha brand, so you don’t get them mixed up.
The one difference seems to be in the driver storage compartment, which uses clips to hold the driver. This can get a little tricky to remove, but was probably necessary as the driver seems to be made of aluminium which is non-magnetic.
The tray is retained inside the casing with an internal plastic latch, similar to that you would find on older entertainment cabinets to hold the doors shut. This provides enough force to retain the tray in transit, ensuring your kit doesn’t spill out in your bag.
In all, a great design for the price and it definitely looks the part – looking more like a power bank rather than a low-cost screwdriver kit.
When it comes to the Xiaomi Wiha screwdriver set, I’d have to commend it on a sturdy, stylish and functional case which looks just like a power-bank, a slide-out tray with magnetic storage, a good range of durable bits and a metal shaft driver which looks great, feels sturdy and does the job well. While the plastic tray is a little less premium than the remainder of the set, it makes sense from a functional stand-point.
While I have no means to objectively evaluate the screwdrivers’ performance – it definitely did the job when I needed to take something apart.
When the price is considered, Xiaomi have provided a premium quality tool for an affordable price. Being a “collaboration” with Wiha, an esteemed German tool manufacturer, is in itself impressive and the quality of the set lives up to the expectation. The slogan of “enjoy work” may sound funny, but the experience of using this set is indeed more pleasurable and once you experience it, you may find it somewhat fitting especially if you’re used to loose, weak bits that strip heads, miss-out delicate smaller sizes and come with plastic moulded handled drivers with burrs.
If you ever find yourself taking things apart – it’s definitely good value to have one of these around. Maybe even two …