Wera Zyklop Ratchet Set - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Designed in Germany and manufactured in the Czech Republic, this premium ratchet kit is well designed and highly functional, provides smooth ratcheting action, and, has excellent fit and finish.

Wera Zyklop Ratchet Set

Wera Zyklop Ratchet Set

The Wera company, based in Germany, is a world leader in screwdriving technology. They manufacture a range of innovative products aimed primarily at the industrial and professional market. The tools are designed in Germany, and made in the Czech Republic. While Wera tools have been on the market for a number of years in North America, largely available, it seems, through specialty channels, they're now carried by a wider range of hand tool and hardware outlets, including Lee Valley, Grainger, Sears, and Fastenal. Which makes getting access to these wonderful tools that much easier.

I reviewed Wera Kompakt Screwdrivers few years back, and was particularly impressed with the Kraftform handles - about as close as you can get to perfection in a tool handle. Fortunately, the new Wera Zyklop  ratcheting driver also features this same handle.


Kraftform handle

There are two unique features of the Kraftform handle. This first is the wave design. Those three undulating curves provide exceptional comfort and control, regardless of how you grasp the handle. Secondly, the handle is comprised of both hard and soft zones. The hard, smooth zones — the black part of the handle — make it easy to reposition your hand when manipulating the driver, while the softer anti-slip zones — the green portions — help your hand apply maximum force throughout the grip. It might seem like a bit of hocus pocus, but it does work.

More importantly, this design makes it easier to transfer energy to the driver head, increasing torque, while at the same time, reducing wrist and hand strain. You really have to try the Kraftform handle to appreciate how effective, and comfortable, it is.


Three sizes of Zyklop: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"

The new Wera Zyklop is a ratcheting screwdriver/socket wrench that comes in three sizes, 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". The drive handles are available separately, and also as sets, consisting of the handle (in one of the three drive sizes), along with an assortment of metric or imperial drive bits and sockets and a storage case. For comparison purposes, the 1/4" driver is about 6" long and the 1/2" driver is just short of 12" long.

I tested the 1/4" metric set (#05051045002), which I think is an ideal size for shop use, or for tradespeople carting to and from a job site. There is also a 1/4" imperial (SAE) set (#05160787001).

And if your wondering, the 'Zyklop' name is likely a play on 'Cyclops', the mythical Greek one-eyed ogre.

A bit awkward on the hip, but easy access to components 
Just as handy attached to a shoulder strap

The 1/4" kit comes in a canvas storage pouch that has a hook & loop closure. There is a belt loop on the back of the case that will accommodate belts up to about 2-1/2" wide. Fully loaded, the pouch weighs 1 pound, 4 ounces. Not overly heavy to carry on your waist, or attached to the shoulder strap of a tool bag. However, the pouch is somewhat on the bulky side, measuring about 6" by 7", and I found it awkward to carry around on my belt. It also restricted access to my pants pocket. Attached to the shoulder strap of my tool bag made for quick, easy access. The elastic bands in the case prevent components from slipping out.


26 components neatly organized

The set consists of 26 pieces, plus the carry case. The driver bits are 2" long. You can purchase a wide range of additional specialty driver bits from Wera, or you can use any standard 1/4 hex shank bits with the Zyklop.

Driver handle (1)5-7/8" long
Extension arm (1)6" long
1/4" hex adapter (1)1-1/2" long
Slot bit (1)5.5mm (7/32")
Phillips bits (3)#3, #2, #1
Pozidriv (2)#2, #1
Hex (4)6mm, 5mm, 4mm, 3mm
Torx (6)T30, T27, T25, T20, T15, T10
Sockets (7)13mm, 12mm, 10mm, 8mm, 7mm, 6mm, 5.5mm
Vinyl Case (1)approximately 1-3/4" x 5" x 6-3/4" folded

Additional driver bit styles available from Wera


Pivoting head with 0°, 15° and 90° offsets

The overall length of the 1/4" model is 6", with the handle accounting for 4". The head, which consists of the ratcheting gear mechanism and control switch, is 2" long. You'll notice right off that the handle fits very snugly in the hand, which I find makes it quite easy to control the driver.

The pivoting head can be oriented inline with the handle (0°), or offset at 15° or 90°. Inline it works much like a conventional ratcheting screwdriver, while in the 90° configuration it functions like a ratchet wrench. Once you install the hex bit adapter and a bit, you'll find that the weight shifts towards the top of the driver, and when using the driver in the inline mode, it's noticeably front-end heavy. However, I found that this really didn't interfere with the functionality of the driver.


Thumb activated head pivoting

To pivot the head you simply press the control button downward with your thumb or thumb and forefinger. The button is prominent enough that you can manipulate it even if you're wearing gloves.


Change rotational direction by turning the 'eyeball'

To change the rotational direction you turn the green serrated knob (the 'eyeball'). With the head in the inline mode (as shown in the photo, above) manipulating the eyeball is a bit awkward, and impossible with gloves on. With the head tilted, rotating the eyeball is much easier.

The Zyklop has a 72-tooth gear mechanism that delivers a fairly narrow 5° swing that makes the ratchet much easier to use in cramped spaces where you don't have a lot of wiggle room. The ratcheting action is very smooth.

Remove the hex adapter by pressing the control button
Or remove the hex adapter by pressing the 'eyeball'

There are two ways to install or remove the hex bit adapter. In the inline mode you push the control button forward. Otherwise, you simply depress the 'eyeball. These is a ball detent on the 1/4" hex shaft of the head that secures the bit adapter.


 Conventionally styled hex bit adapter

The 1-1/2" long Wera hex bit adapter is fairly conventional. It has a spring loaded collar that you have to move forward both to install a bit, and to remove the bit. I prefer an adapter that auto ejects the bit.


Extension arm for nuts and bolts that are hard to reach

The set comes with a 6" long 1/4" hex extension arm. While you can attach a socket directly onto the driver head, you'll generate more torque by using the extension arm. It's also convenient for accessing hard-to-reach nuts and bolts.


Thin walled sockets with recessed corners

The kit comes with 7 metric sockets (5.5mm to 13mm). These thin walled sockets are 7/8" long, and have recessed corners that distribute torque across the flat edges of nuts and bolts, which helps to reduce stripping on sharp corners. The base of the sockets have knurled finger grips, which makes it easy to quickly finger tighten a nut before going at it with the socket wrench.


Plastic sleeve facilitates turning the handle

Just above the handle you'll notice a black plastic sleeve. There is a similar sleeve on the extension bar. I found that these sleeves made it easier to turn the wrench handle, particularly when used in the inline mode.

I believe in purchasing good quality tools, and maintaining them. They last longer (providing a better return on investment), generally outperform tools of lesser quality, and, they're more enjoyable to use. Such is the case with the Wera Kraftform Kompakt Zyklop Metric Ratchet Set.

This is a compact, versatile set that you can use as a conventional ratcheting screwdriver or ratchet wrench. It's well designed and highly functional; provides smooth ratcheting action; and has excellent fit and finish.



  • 26 piece kit
  • Available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" drive formats
  • Chrome-vanadium steel construction
  • Brushed chrome-plated corrosion resistant finish
  • 5° swing with 72-tooth gear mechanism
  • Pivoting head with 15° and 90° offsets
  • Free-spinning handle sleeves
  • Vinyl storage pouch with belt loop
  • 1 lb. 4 ounce weight (kit); 6 ounces (driver handle with adapter and bit installed)
  • Includes: Storage case, 1/4" ratchet handle, 1/4" adapter, 6" extension, 16 drive bits, 7 sockets
  • Limited lifetime warranty

MADE IN:Czech Republic
SOURCE:Locate a Retailer

Carl Duguay
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