Tool Review: SP Air Low Profile Hex Bit Driver

Dec. 10, 2019
With its low-profile head and quiet operation, the reviewer says this tool is a winner.

The SP Air Low Profile Hex Bit Driver, No. SP-7250H, features a sealed flat head with low profile for use in tight areas. The driver can be used with any 1/4” drive bit and has an easy-to-use thumb lever for forward and reverse, allowing for one-handed operation. It also features a patented 360-degree rotating rear air exhaust deflector and 360-degree swivel air inlet. The hex bit driver has an overall length of 8" and weighs 1.5 lbs. It uses 2.5 cfm, and has a free speed of 290 rpm and a maximum of 25 ft-lbs of torque.

The Review:

Being able to fit an air ratchet into tight spaces where one would normally have to use a hand ratchet is a huge time saver says tool reviewer Phil Fournier, owner of Phil’s Auto Clinic in Hemet, California. Fournier tested out the SP Air Low Profile Hex Bit Driver, No. SP-7250H, and said that with the head of the ratchet being so flat, “You can’t beat the fact that it will fit in spots no other [air] ratchet fits.”  

In addition to the low-profile head, Fournier also liked the tool’s speed adjustment mechanism, reverse lever, and quiet noise level, especially for being an air tool.

“I have never seen a speed adjustment that works as well as this one does,” Fournier says. “It is way better than trying to use the trigger as a throttle. You can dial it down to a very slow speed, which is really useful when driving screws.”

The position of the reverse lever is often a compromise between ease of use and the tendency to accidentally change the direction while trying to get into a tight place -- a situation that is highly frustrating, Fournier notes.

“The design of this ratchet is a good compromise," he says. "It is easy to actuate, but [the lever is] placed well enough that accidental reversal is fairly unlikely.”

As for noise, Fournier found the SP-7250H to be “extremely quiet.”. The California-based shop owner adds he has reviewed other ratchets, including SP Air ratchets, and places this one “at the complete other end of the spectrum for noise.” Fournier mentions that while he was expecting the tool to have an ear-splitting noise that is common of air tools, the Low Profile Hex Bit Driver was actually “a world apart, almost equaling the noise level of a battery powered unit.”

At Phil’s Auto Clinic, Fournier and his team of technicians work a lot on hybrid vehicles. One case where the SP-7250H Low Profile Hex Bit Driver came in handy was during the service of a third generation Toyota Prius. The vehicle had failed head gaskets at unprecedented levels. Instead of having to pull the engine out to get to the head gasket, this tool allowed the team to keep the engine in place and still access what they needed.

Fournier notes the “skinny head” of the tool really helps when working in tight spaces, such as in the case above where they would have otherwise had to have taken the engine out, saving technicians time.  

The tool comes with a small manual with simple instructions, though Fournier notes that it is very easy to use and has self-explanatory controls.

He also added the price of the tool is in the ballpark of pricing for other air ratchets; plus, it has a high-quality external appearance and good life expectancy, making it an excellent deal.

Fournier enjoyed the SP Air Low Profile Hex Bit Driver, especially its small profile. “This tool is just about perfect as is,” he says. “I can’t think of a single thing that I would change.”

About the Author

Kayla Nadler | Associate Editor | Vehicle Repair Group

Kayla (Oschmann) Nadler is an associate editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

With an education in journalism and public relations, Nadler contributes to Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com.

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