Monday, May 13, 2013

IKEA FIXA 17-piece Tool Kit Review

I'm not a super handy guy, but I do use a screwdriver every now and then.

Over the past few years, I've started collecting tools. I now have a portable drill, a hammer, ratcheting mini-screwdriver, ratcheting screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, linesman pliers, a level, and three measuring tapes. Oh, and I have a coax cable cutter, wire stripper, and miter-saw with box -- all of which I haven't used in years.

What am I getting at?

The basic of the basic tools that everyone should have handy, in my mind, are listed above. That is, you should have a hammer, screwdriver and pliers. You can either go to Home Depot and buy these separately, or buy a box of all of them and a wrench at Ikea for $8.99. Just this past week when I decided that I needed some form of wrench, I settled on making a trip to Ikea rather than pay Home Depot (or Amazon, Wal-mart, Crappy-tire, etc.). Why? I don't need high quality tools -- I can't really tell the difference -- and I'm cheap. It'd cost me about the price of the entire box at Ikea to get one of those items. Seriously, I paid $5-$8 for all of those items individually already.

And to be perfectly honest, this is my second set of Ikea tools. The previous set was the family "go-to" toolbox and parts were overshared or misplaced over the years. That old set served us well over the years, especially when it came to assembling Ikea furniture. Since I just got my new box and have only used the screwdriver once, most of my review is focused on the old set. However, it doesn't seem like anything has changed. Everything is still steel with some rubber moulding. The biggest differences I noticed were the lack of lubrication in the tool joints and the rubber on the handle of the wrench in the new set -- the old set had over-greased joints and an all steel wrench.

Ikea FIXA 17-piece Tool Kit
IKEA FIXA 17 piece tool kit - $8.99

It's done. Chill out. Just pop the screw bits into the screw driver.


It's stable...

Expandability / Customizability

You can buy a bigger tool box and put these tools into it. Then you can collect them all and blow hundreds of dollars on more tools. Gotta collect them all, n'est-ce pas?

Everyday Use

Found one that's applicable. These are very basic tools. They are nothing spectacular, but they work and the last set lasted years without anything breaking. Even the screw bits held up well despite our piss poor choices when it came to selecting the right sized Philips bit. The bits did strip, but they always remained useful after extensive abuse from misuse. I don't think you can really screw up a simple hammer and you probably won't know what you're missing if you're not using it daily compared to a $100 one.

Pliers are very grippy and the wrench is adjustable to match the fitting (or whatever you call it) size. And to put some icing on the cake, this new FIXA set comes with a plastic cap to turn the hammer into a "mallet". For $9, you really can't go wrong. Worst case, you have a spare set of tools to hold you over until you can replace your normal tools.

On another note, has anyone noticed the huge expansion in the FIXA product line at Ikea?

They now have a hook and hanger kit, screw kit, nail kit, cable tie kit, drill template, battery-powered drill, a hammer drill, and jigsaw in their catalogue. All are priced very affordably. I have no idea how well they work, but I will have you know that my expectations are rock bottom. If they didn't burn out after one use, I'd be ecstatic However, all of their battery powered products appear to be lithium ion, which usually goes for a very hefty premium, even at the consumer-grade entry level. I could splurge to check them out, except I have nothing I could use them on.