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Cheesy quality Slot.It tool

1932 Views 22 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Abarth Mike
This is my latest tool: The Slot.It hexagonal screwdriver for M2 grub screws (SIPA22).
I've used it maybe ten times to tighten the small grub screws in gears, wheels and chassis.
Comfortable to use due to the large handle/finger grip - but with a very fragile tip.

The whole insertion point of the tip of the tool tip has become severely twisted and the hex shaped ridges have
been rounded-off to a point where this screwdriver no longer is of any use to tighten up or loosen the grub screws.
The tip just rotates in the hex opening in the grub screw.

It appears that the material used in this tool isn't up to even the lowest standard. One would think the maker would
consider to harden the steel tip in the tool before sending it to the market. This one instead appears to be made of lead.

Is it just me (or my tool), or are there any different experiences of this tool out there?

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I think I managed to use mine three times before the tip broke off!

Perhaps it's made from the same rubish Ninco use on their gear puller

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I have 2 of these and have had them for 2 years with no problems

Just be carefull not to over tighten as that may be the cause
Had exactly the same with mine, now got the NSR tool and had no problems.
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Sorry to say I had the same issues with these (both the fixed and the adjustable one), tried some others until I arrived at Hudy. Those are rather expensive, but they do the trick.
Since I'm happy with my tools I can't comment on the offerings from NSR and NINCO (ProRace), though they seem to be good quality too.
Nowadays I only use Hudy, the 0.9 mm for etcetera, 1,3 mm for NSR and 1,5 mm for 24th and 28th scale.

So: it pays to buy the best quality tools available
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I posted on here about this some time ago and also emailed but I didn't receive the legendary customer care.

I too have two of the ratchet type so no over-tightening going on. Both tools worked at first. The first for a good few months. Then I bought the second and about a week later the first started to play up. About a week later the second one.

I am not convinced it is the tool although the tip corners may well be slightly rounded (great quality!) but think it is the grub screws that use.

The reason is I bought a lot of replacements which cost some stupid figure for what you get and hey presto the tools worked again with a nice click when the correct torque was reached. I was happy again but a good deal poorer.

After a few adjustments, you can probably guess what happened, yep the tool does the screw up loosely and then slips in the grub screw.

This can only point to a quality issue with many grub screws or two tools but do not seem to want to respond
I too purchased an TOOL but didn't have the best of luck at first as the tip was slightly twisted. I thought that this was the way they were made but now suspect I was sold a used / abused one as the tip broke off. It was replaced with a new insert which has now lasted over a year.

The grub screws I try to replace with stainlesss steel ones from Pendles as an when. I still use the ones while I can as I like the ratchet but the combo on new parts and cars still gives up after a couple of adjustments and then the one has to take over.
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Not cheap, but renowned quality hardened steel hex wrenches. As the old saying goes; "you get what you pay for"... and so you should for $31 ($15 + $16 shipping) which is currently about £20.
I've had exactly the same experience. I went through three or four of the Slot.It tools before buying the NSR (after seeing it recommended here on SF). The NSR is more expensive but has lasted much longer than any of the Slot.Its and is still going strong. I've bought loads of Slot.It parts and cars and never had any quality issues with anything else but these tools were disappointing.
Same experience here.

Fixed one failed after using it a couple of times. I thought I had overtightened something so bought the adjustable one - this also failed very rapidly.

They are both useless pieces of junk - and not exactly cheap either.

I do find this somewhat strange from a company with such a good reputation for selling quality products.
I have to say I don't have one I use allen keys.

How much
torque are you guys using? info I found is between 1.65 to 3.3 lbs/ft and that is for 4mm hex head screws.

We are not working on buses here.

Looks like the problem may be the size of the handle not the material used.

Edit for M2.5 7.9 inch-pounds
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When i first started getting into this fine hobby back in 2004, i too bought one of these "tools". With carefull use it lasted me until last year. Then i was quite happy to buy another one. Now i race sometimes (club level) three times a week, so i use it all the time. I find that you have to make sure the hex part is well seated into the grub screw before you even begin to turn. And you only need to use youre fingertips to turn it, not youre hand! Once you hear the "click", its time to stop. Some of the guys i race with have had the "issues" some of you are experiencing. but i really think its got a lot to do with how you use it. Sorry, im not trying to upset anyone, but ive used similar tools in rc racing since 1990,so ive had some experence with them. I also think that some of these "pro tools" have handles that are way too big for the jobs that they do. They look like they should be in a rc toolbox,not a slotcar one
My two pence.
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Chapman, do your hands resemble a Gorilla's?
Can you do press ups on one finger.

Please pop over and open my pickled onions.
So, let me analyze the issue here: we're trying to fix an aluminium hub with a steel (grub)screw to a round hardened polished steel axle and expect it to sit there with no play during racing.
What if we had axles which are flattened where we want the rim to be seated?
We could do with a LOT less torque to have the wheel in place (and stay there).
The thing is we would have to have a newer version of the adjustable tool, with a much lower torque setting.
Yes, I've seen people set the screws so tight they deformed the boss in the rims, and then they complain the wheel is out of round... makes no sense at all in my book

Could we please have these axles AND the proper tool to set the screws to the right torque?
I'd be willing to pay more for them, since the agony of wheels coming undone during a race would be eliminated...

Just my €0,02 though, If it works for pinions in R/C racing (where some motors run at well over 20k rpm with loads of torque) it might as well work for wheels and crowns in slots...
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QUOTE (slotnik @ 11 Feb 2010, 12:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Chapman, do your hands resemble a Gorilla's?
Yes, actually they do.

But they're very weak, an my fingers are even weaker.

I've used hex/allen keys for slot car maintenance since the mid-60s, mainly keys in the classical L-shape.
I've rounded off quite a few during this period, but I've never ever before been able to TWIST the tip of a key.

With a rounded allen key it's also fairly easy to cut and shape the tip proper again with a dremel or hand-file.
An allen key is re-usable, but what to do with a twisted tool?

Also, the re-usable length of the fixed tip on this tool is quite short, and not very maintenance-friendly.

An allen key is quite cheap, only a couple of cents.
Even more annoying is that this rather expensive special tool in the +$10 range then is a lot poorer quality-wise
than a regular allen key, which basically is only a length of wire in hexagonal structure, bent in a simple L-shape.

You'd expect (at least I did) that an expensive special tool like this would be a lot more sturdy and powerful,
and also of quite a bit higher quality than a cheap and simple bent-wire tool.

Slot.It has now proven that not to always be the case with this confidence trick tool.
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I´ve exactly the same bad experience with Slot.It screw, now I use the ALSracing tool and had no problems.

Grip: CNC aluminium Bit : nitrided steel Hardness: 62 HRC

I purchased FACOM driver About 6 years ago if not longer, when slot it was just introduced as a brand??

And guess what..............

Even with my sausage fingers it still works perfectly.

2 observations; you do get what you pay for
Try a little delicacy

at 300lb no one has ever accused me of being delicate!
Fixing an aluminium hub with a steel (grub)screw to a round hardened polished steel axle works great on slot cars if you do it right. (I'm no expert on what works in radio control)
The top guys (and just about everybody else) at world and national slot racing championships have been doing it that way for decades.
Newcomers to club racing usually learn how to do up grub screw correctly in their first week or two, particularly when one of the more experienced guys shows them how to do it

One thing you do need is a hard enough hex key. A good hard hex tip won't twist like the one in Chapman's photo. Hard tips will fracture before they twist like that. Come to think of it I've only seen them fracture when dropped on a hard floor. I'm sure the material in that photo must be way too soft for the purpose.
I never had problems with my tool. I use the torque version and like it a lot.
Hi Guys
There is nothing wrong with using grub screws to fit aluminium wheels to steel axles ,as a bscra racer I,ve been doing it for 40 years ,however the 2 mm ones used by slotit and others are just too small ,you need 6 ba or whatever the american equivalent is . Never had any trouble with them and the loads are much greater with the higher speeds those cars do

Cheers tony
To clarify things a bit further:

It's the plain fixed hex screwdriver tool from Slot.It (SIPA22) I'm referring to in my initial posting in this thread,
NOT the torque version (SIPA23). I think it would have been VERY difficult to twist the tip on the torque tool...

On the other hand, the torque tool is virtually useless when it comes to anything else than adjusting grub screws in
alu wheels and gear hubs. As many of you certainly know (but not ALL of you, apparently...) these small grub screws
today also are used for many tasks other than just in wheels and gears; directly in plastic chassis for adjusting the ride
height of front axles (AvantSlot, PowerSlot, Slot.It, Sloter, Spirit, Scaleauto to name a few), but also in fixations when
assembling the chassis (AvantSlot, MB Slot).

And driving these small grub screws into unthreaded holes in plastic is quite a bit harder and requires quite a bit more force
than into threaded holes in alu wheels and gear hubs. You simply can't use a torque tool for these tasks, as it will only slip as
the grub screw gets stuck in the plastic. You have to use a fixed tool to be able to apply the amount of force that's necessary to
drive the screw all the way into the plastic of the chassis.

And that's when the low quality tools really reveals their true identity and poor (but very expensive) properties...
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