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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 947
They say all good things must come to an end. Well, that certainly rings true tonight.

One of the first screwdrivers I hand picked to try out from KC Tool was a Wiha 3K. Black and Blue, this #2 looked like a real #1 in my eyes. Although looks can be deceiving, this driver's aesthetics put it on high regard...it just looked like something I would like. Albeit very early in what has now become a seemingly chronic quest to find the world's best screwdriver, the 3K did not disappoint. In fact, as of last night when I awkwardly filmed the video with a broken right thumb, the aesthetics AND ergonomics are still outstanding. Similarly, although there are countless more expensive options, and even more that boast better materials or tip finish, the 3K has held up performance wise. All-in-all, I still don't have anything negative to say directly about this driver...that is, aside from the fact it has been discontinued.

Several months ago you might recall me eagerly picking up some "clearanced" Anti-Camout drivers in the 3K Line. Little did we know this was a tell-tale sign of what was to come. Not long after, I decided I wanted to add a couple more 3K Drivers to my small 5 piece set. They were gone. "Odd" I thought to myself as I perused KC Tool and Wiha's site. Nonetheless, sets remained and more common sizes were there for purchase. Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall...the Anti-Camout clearance from earlier in the summer coupled with increasing advertisement for the Soft Finish drivers and an ever decreasing populous of 3K Drivers led me to see the change slightly before it happened. I had hoped I was wrong. I thought maybe it was a refresh...perhaps switching color pallets, or something along those lines. Others were becoming suspicious as well. Just like the Channellock Hose Clamp Pliers disappearing, it seemed one fail swoop of time had eroded a staple driver from the market.

After increased speculation, some in the community expressed their sentiments: confusion, shock, disappointment. It seems the 3K line had many fans. Despite being an entry level purchase, the 3K's unique aesthetics, well engineered ergonomics, and general performance over time left fans reeling. Wiha was aware of this, and while not ushering in a build your own 3K design tool or something equally as reactionary, they did, over time...give this beloved driver a proper send off.

Image

Enjoy this look at a blowout, closeout, farewell deal of 3K proportions. When you visit the Wiha Tool Outlet, you can secure "Item No. 45097"for the bargain basement price of $79.99. You can do the math: a stand and 23 drivers....yeah, it is a good deal. In addition to the LSM favorite "tall" screwdriver stand (it can handle 8" or 200mm shafts), your purchase awards you 23 drivers in a mix of traditional 3K and Anti-Camout 3K. (Score Your Set Here, While You Can: https://www.wihatoolsoutlet.com/3k-and-anti-camout-screwdriver-set-in-stand)



Here is a list of what is included:

Slotted 3K Screwdrivers
3.5x100mm
4.5x100mm
6.0x200mm

Phillips 3K
#2x200mm

PoziDriv 3K Screwdrivers
#1X100mm
#2X100mm

Square Drive 3K Screwdrivers
#1
#2
#3

Phillips 3K ACR Screwdrivers *2 of each
#1 X 80MM
#1 X 150MM
#2 X 150MM

Slotted 3K ACR *2 of each
4.5x80MM
6.0X100MM
6.0X150MM
8.0X150MM

Image

While lacking some key contributors, this posse of leftovers still packs a punch. You get some unique sizes and they can incorporate nicely into your current rotation. Similarly, although it is duplicate heavy, you can't underestimate having a backup for a driver that is no longer in production, let alone available for purchase.

And just like that it is gone. The 3K served a decent service life, but has moved on to cleaner workshops. While the void is there, it is hardly noticeable to most. The Soft Finish and Micro Finish drivers can be tricked out in countless configurations that the 3K line never offered. They also aren't prohibitively expensive. Future buyers will pick up said Soft Finish drivers, compare them to Brand-X's competition and make their own call regarding their preferred driver handle. It will be a shame that many hobbyists, craftsmen and craftswomen, and professionals will never know the 3K line of drivers. However, for a select few fortunate enough to have turned the handle, we will always look back fondly on the styling and ergonomics that made this such a memorable driver. And, from time-to-time, one of us will interject the 3K into debate for cool tools of the past, or the driver with the best feel. It is our duty...it is the least we can do. It is up to us to ensure that the 3K, despite being gone, will not be forgotten.

Farewell my friend...

Image
3K Phillips vs 3K ACO Phillips

Image
3K Slotted vs 3K ACO Slotted


Founder, Amarillo Area Mopars
Founder, Lone Star Mopars


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