Crescent APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Crescent APEX u-GUARD

Carpenters, plumbers, auto rebuilders, electricians, and many other trades workaround finished surfaces.  Whether it’s a finished cabinet, plumbing fixture, car detail, or chandelier, that last screw to be driven or nut to be tightened always has the potential of making trouble for us if our driver or tool slips into or rubs against the surface and mars it.  A scratch—or worse—can mean the difference between finishing the job on time and at a profit, and an expensive lesson. That’s where the Crescent APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools can make a difference.

APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools

Why Use Crescent APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools

In the auto industry, as you can imagine, a “whoops” (or possibly some combination of the seven words you used to not be able to say on TV) can mean some very expensive rework on a quarter panel.  Or a very expensive piece of scrap if you’re really unlucky.  That’s why many of the major car manufacturers require surface protecting technology on the tools used there, and APEX Assembly Fabrication Tools is a leader in that market.  The new Crescent APEX® line of u-GUARD driver tools brings that same technology to the construction industries.

APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools

What is Crescent APEX u-GUARD

The Crescent APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools essentially consist of a driver (Phillips®, square, TORX), bit holders, nut setters, and sockets encased in an orange plastic cover, with the tool free-spinning inside the cover.  The driver works as usual, but if the side of it comes in contact with a surface, it’s the plastic cover that makes contact, and that remains stationary.  The result: no scratches, no dings, no damage.  Also, the very end of a u-GUARD nut setter has the plastic cover protruding just a hair beyond the metal socket, such that the socket won’t mar the surface being bolted into.

u-GUARD In Remodeling

I recently spent a few months on a total house remodel.  All the doors got pulled, sanded, primed, and re-painted.  All the door hardware was replaced too, and I drew that job.  The hinges were no problem, but the doorknobs were the usual pain.  I’m not sure why almost every door knob is right in the way of accessing the screws that hold the two halves of the unit together, but they are.  Whatever driver you use has to rub hard against the knob itself, and that knob can be easily scratched.  I would up using a hand driver with a round shaft on most of them to avoid that problem.  With the Phillips® u-GUARD covered driver, I could have used a power tool and saved a lot of time.

30-Piece u-GUARD Screw Driving Set

For general construction uses, the 30-piece u-GUARD screw driving set (SKU number: AUGSET30) is available exclusively at Lowe’s Home Improvement.  In addition to five commonly used u-GUARD bits, this set includes a variety of Crescent APEX Core, black oxide, S2 steel bits.  These bits have optimized tip geometry (Crescent APEX claims a 50% better grip on the Phillips bits) and are made with a proprietary heat treat process that maximizes bit life (Crescent APEX claims 2X more durable).  Included are Philips, slot, TORX, and square bits in various sizes and in both insert and impact configuration.

Crescent APEX Core Black Oxide

I’ve used sub-par bits in the past and they simply don’t last long.  It’s not even the cost of replacing them that’s most aggravating; it’s the hassle of digging out a new bit and replacing it in the middle of a job.  I can vouch for the fact that the Crescent APEX Core black oxide, S2 Phillips #2 bit fits and grabs normal screws tighter than the brand name bit I have been using.

Crescent APEX’s new alphaCASE

Finally, these bit sets come in Crescent APEX’s new alphaCASE™, an extremely tough, approximately 7x4x2.25-inch parts case with an internal modular frame-and-rail system to accommodate the various driver and parts organization.  With a full-length metal hinge, stackable geometry, attachment points, and even lockable capability, this is one tough nut of a case (pun intended).

The Crescent APEX u-GUARD Non-Marring Covered Tools 30-piece kit is going for $34 at Ohio Power Tools  If it prevents even one scrap piece or one call back, it’s a small investment you’ll be glad to have made.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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