Today we have the well awaited Wera Advent 2017 Calendar. The Wera Advent Calendar has become a yearly tradition where they offer a complete tool kit that is provisioned behind the 24 doors within the calendar.
Calendar and Features
First let’s talk about the actual Calendar itself. When you get it, it is shipped in a protective box that replicates the design of the Calendar on the front, and shows the contents of the eventual took kit on the back.
The dimensions of the calendar come in at around 560mm/22” in width, and 450mm / 17.7” in height.
There are two ways to mount the Calendar. One is put two screws on a wall and hang it from the punch out hooks in the back of the unit.
The other is to fold out the built-in stand for use on a table-top. Once that built-in stand is folded-out, it will sit at around a 15 degree angle.
Advent Calendar Doors
The tradition of the advent Calendar is to open one door each day of the Advent season to reveal one or more items.
The first door that you open will contain a soft case that is used to store the remainder of the tools in the set.
After you open the door, you can close that particular day back again to maintain the resemblance of the original illustration.
One thing I do like is how the order of the days is quite random, so it does take you a couple of seconds to hunt out the day that you want to open, which makes it quite fun.
As you remove the items from each day, they can be of course stored in the tool holder opened on day 1. The order that the tools appear in sequence matches pretty closely with a reasonable methodology of populating the tool holder.
I won’t open all the doors here in this review, as some people would like for this to remain a surprise. But I will say that each components of the tool set are secured behind the doors in plastic such that you don’t have to worry about them moving around during transport.
Some days you will get two items while, others just a single component.
I actually think you could reuse this Calendar for other things in the future. It looks like there would be enough room behind each door to put things like candy if you ever want to reuse it for next year.
Tool Set Review
Once all your doors are opened, you will have a fully populated tool set. Now let’s get into the review for that tool set.
Socket Holder Mechanism
First thing I noticed right off the bat is there were some improvements made to the soft case since from previous incarnations. The biggest changed I see is that they changed the socket storage system to use a more mechanical locking system that is definitely an improvement over the old friction fit system.
When I reviewed this original Wera Zyklop set, one of my comments was that I felt like the socket holders would wear out over time because each time you remove the socket you are essentially wearing away the tabs used to hold it. It would get to the point where they wouldn’t stay in place anymore.
So it looks like the Wera engineers came up with a socket holder than requires a very small turn to lock it in in place. I feels like it is only about a 1/16 of a turn.
More Visible 1/4″ Bits
And if you remember, one of my other complaints was the lack of visibility into the bits when they were inserted into this sleeve. So it looks like their solution was to add some markers to the shafts of each of the bits so that you can more easily identify it when it is in the holder.
I really like how they took the time to use different color labels to represent the different bit styles. We’ll have a closer look at those labels in a bit.
Now looking at the sockets, I can see a couple of minor differences from some earlier Wera sockets I own.
The first being the color coding that was added to the ring around the socket. It appears to be paint, but I really can’t be sure of that. It also looks like they have changed their manufacturing process, with the square now broached all the way through. The Wera sockets are all made in Taiwan, so I’m guessing these are subcontracted out and possibly two different manufacturers employed two different method for producing a socket that met Wera’s specifications.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the ¼” bits included with the set.
All of the bits are from Wera’s BiTorsion series that contain two torsion zones that are designed to permit a phased yield when under strain. This is often done on impact bits to increase longevity of the bit; however, I don’t believe these bits are rating for impact tools.
As mentioned before, each of these has a color-coded sleeve that is used to identify the driver tip style. They appear to be heat-shrunk onto the shaft, with it being a hard plastic and not something that would rub off easily.
Going through the bits included with this set, the yellow sleeve indicates a slotted tip style, in which only a single bit was included, a 5.5 x 0.8mm. The blue sleeves are hex bits with the hex-plus profile and includes a 4 and 5mm. The green sleeves are standard Torx bits, with a T10, T15, T20, T25 and T30 included. Pozidrive is identified with a black sleeve, with a #1 and #2 sizes included. The last type is the Philips drive, identified by a red sleeve with a #1 and #2 size included.
The final ¼” drive bit included is the 870/1 adapter that allows ¼” drive sockets to be used.
870/W 1/4″ Adapter
Another tool included with the set is the 870/W L-Shaped ¼” adapter.
This must be a new tool from Wera because I couldn’t find any additional information on it in their catalog. The description on the back of the box lists it as an offset screwdriver. On the short end it contains a ¼” square adapter and on the longer end a ¼” hex.
I’m guessing the ¼” hex is to be inserted into the ¼” bit holder, but it did not have any of the locking notches that you normally would see in a ¼” bit.
Wera Sockets Strange Fit
The Wera sockets do have a strange fit on the ¼” square drives included with this kit. It is almost like the detent for the ball is a little too close to the end of the socket as you can put the square in a bit further before it snaps back to the detent.
I tried a couple of other sockets with the same square drive and didn’t see the same issue. I don’t think it is a really problem functionally, it just feels a bit strange when you have a socket moving around like that, it just doesn’t feel very secure. I did try both the old and new versions of the Wera sockets and saw the same thing. That might be something to investigate in the future.
815R 1/4″ Bit Holder
Moving on to the 815R bit holder, this has the familiar Kraftform handle style along with a positive locking ¼” bit holder. For comparison of this handle size, the handle on top is the regular size Kraftform handle, and the smallest handle on the bottom is from the tool-check plus set. As you can see this handle falls somewhere in the middle. It is just over 100mm from the top of the bit holder to the end of the handle.
This is a positive locking bit holder, meaning action must be taken to release the bit once locked in place. The bit holder can be used in conjunction with the square adapter and sockets to turn it into a nut driver. But the most likely use is with the ¼” drive bits.
822 Kraftform Micro Bit Holder
Now for probably the coolest tool in the kit, is this 822 Kraftform micro bit holder.
This is a magnetic bit holder that is to be used with the Micro Vario bits that are included with the set. This is also a product I haven’t yet seen before. Out of all of the tools in the set, this is the one that I feel like I would get the most use out of.
These small bits use a 4mm hex drive. I know Wiha also has a line of 4mm micro bits, which as far as I know should be compatible with this bit driver.
The bits included are the following:
- A 1.5 and 2.0mm hex drive
- A Torx T5 and T6
- A Philips #0 and #00
- A slotted 1.5 x 0.23mm and 2.5 x 0.4mm
A quick mention on these Philips micro bits. When I first looked at these I thought maybe someone at Wera mis-stamped these because it appears that the #00 is bigger than the #0 drive.
However, it looks the actual tip size on the one labeled #0 is bigger than the #00. The reason it looks strange to me is that the diameter of the bits does not correspond to the size of the tip. I didn’t have any #00 screws handy to try this out, but that might be something to look at in a future video.
Velcro Strip & Wera2Gi Systen
A note on the Velcro strip that was included in the first box along with the case.
This strip is used so you can adhere it to a hard surface and then mount the case on it. The case can also be used with the Wera 2 Go system, which allows the case to attach to some of their larger cases through the same hook and loop system.
Even if you just buy the Calendar just for the tools, it still looks to be a great value if you compare it to the current cost of their normal Kraftform soft case sets. Getting the Calendar would just be a bonus then at that point.
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