Ideal 21-in-1 Twist-a-Nut Screwdriver

A smooth ratcheting mechanism, 225 in-lbs of torque, wire looper, wire nut wrench, and a pile of driver bits - you won't get more versatility than this in a screwdriver


Ideal 21-in-1 Twist-a-Nut Screwdriver

This new 21-in-1 Twist-a-Nut Screwdriver (35-688) from Ideal Industries is almost identical to the 9-in-1 Ratch-a-Nut (35-988) screwdriver that we reviewed a few months ago. As with the 35-988, this screwdriver will be of particular interest to tradespeople.
Exclusive of the bit the 35-688 is 8 5/8" long and has a 5" handle, made of a two-part thermoplastic elastomer material called Santoprene®, resistant to water, perspiration, oil and chemicals. The handle is very comfortable, and the tool is nicely balanced. The removable and reversible shank is made from chrome vanadium tool steel. One end of the shank serves as a 1/4" nut driver, and the other end a 5/16" driver. If you remove the shank from the screwdriver body, the shank holder serves as a 7/16" nut driver. The reversible shank holds a double-ended bit in either end, for a total of 14 different bit sizes at your fingertips. The larger bit is stored right in the shank while the other bits are stored in a twist on/off bit holder in the handle. If you change bits frequently, removing the bit holder can be a tad irritating - you'll end up twisting it on and off (three turns each time) each time you need to access a bit. Not the end of the world, I know, but still...

Reversible shank (L) and double-ended bit 
Three-way geared ratcheting mechanism ring
The shank does holds the bits firmly in place, but unfortunately, you can't use standard replacement screwdriver bits; you're limited to using Ideal bits (which makes it a good idea to purchase the optional bits at the same time you buy the screwdriver). 

Multiple bit storage unit
5/16" and 7/16" Nut Drivers
The three-way geared ratcheting mechanism (forward, lock, and reverse) operates very smoothly, without any slack, enabling you to apply up to 225 pounds of torque (if you're able). The ratcheting selector is located at the front of the handle, which means you can turn the selector one-handed, using your thumb and forefinger, though not if you have gloves on, as the ridges on the selector aren't very pronounced.

Wire-Nut wrench
Accu-Loop wire looping system
As with the 9-in-1 Ratch-a-Nut there is a ratcheting, universal wire nut wrench in the base of the handle. I just love this feature. It handles B-Cap, Wing-Nut, Wire-Nut and Twister connectors. Plus there is the Accu-Loop wire looping system built into the handle, which enables you to loop #12 AWG or smaller wires at the drop of a dime.
The 36-688 is a nicely made tool that will give years of reliable service.


  • 8-5/8" overall length, 5" handle
  • Chrome vanadium tool steel
  • Textured Santoprene™ grip
  • 28 tooth double action, twin tooth, geared ratcheting mechanism
  • Accu-Loop™ wire looping system
  • Wire-Nut® wrench
  • Multiple bit storage unit
  • 225 lbs of torque
  • Includes: 1/4", 3/16", 5/16" slotted; #1, #2, #3 Phillips; #1, #2 Square; #15, #20, #25, #30 Star; 3/32", 1/8", 3/16", 5/32" Hex; 1/4", 5/16", 7/16" Nut Driver

Manufacturer:Ideal Industries
Retail Price:$33.00
Model #:35-688
Made In:USA
Carl Duguay, September 2010
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