Compact, Light duty, comfortable, 36 tooth 1/4 drive with recessed bit driver. Made in Taiwan.
The key features to look for in any device like this are: Ratchet or non-ratchet selection, number of teeth in ratchet, Force required to operate ratchet, Diameter of finger driver, Overall Length, contour of finger wheel, texture of finger wheel, pliability of finger wheel, whether a dual driver is needed, quick release function, and resistance to automotive contaminants. The weight to be applied to these factors depends on the individual and the use intended.
For this device the major factors are: light duty use, 36 tooth (10-degree increments), three position ratchet (Right/Off/Left), red anodized aluminum finger wheel with 6 finger indentations, dual driver (1/4 square (M) and 1/4 Hex (F)) so no bit adapter is needed. The Finger Ratchet Max diameter is 1.375 inches. The Finger Ratchet minimum diameter is 1.25 in the finger grooves. The Finger Ratchet overall length is 1.188 inches. The fit of the ratchet parts is similar to the Wilmar finger ratchets (slightly loose). The finger wheel is 0.553-inches thick at the base. This is a very compact dual drive Finger Ratchet. There is no quick release mechanism for the socket.
The Santech MT 1545 is compact for a dual drive device and great for light duty general household use, electronics, hobbies and fine repair.
The hex bit portion is recessed in the body of the palm driver, and accepts 1/4 screwdriver bits and retains the bit through the use of a retaining magnet. The depth of the socket is 0.55 inches and is a little deeper than the norm. Therefore the screwdriver bits will sit a little lower than Normal.
The 1/4-inch square drive portion has the typical ratchet drive spring loaded ball to retain the socket used. The force needed to install and remove a socket is typical for a device without a quick release feature.
A three position plastic ring with raised ridges at the base of the 1/4 inch hex drive controls the direction of ratchet action by rotation. The center position is ratchet off.
I recommend that you do not apply greater than 20 inch pounds of torque to the device (especially in the off position). Note that 20 inch pounds of torque sufficient for most screwdriver applications, which are typically less than 10 inch-pounds.
Purchase of the Santech MT 1545 assumes that you already own or have access to sockets, adapters, extensions, screwdriver bits and “spinners”.
The ratchet mechanism is a standard for smooth operation and is smoother than the AmPro, Titan or Wilmar products.
Use the Finger Ratchet as a bit driver with ratchet off when the resistance of the work is less than the amount needed to activate the ratchet.
You will need an adaptor (such as the Cal-Van Master finger driver set Part number 100 and a Napa 7755957 3/8 square drive (M) to 5/16 screwdriver bit holder (F)) to use 5/16 screwdriver bits with the Santech MT 1545.
With my right hand and with some discomfort I can apply 15 inch-pounds of force with this device using a KD tools 2955 torque wrench with a ¼ inch drive as a measuring tool. Again, this Finger Ratchet is meant to be used at much lower torques (10 inch-pounds).
If your application requires pushing on the Santech MT 1545 such as installing wood screws, use the 1/4 inch square drive with a bit adaptor and push on the hex drive area since it protrudes very little from the Finger Ratchet body.
I cannot comment on the ability of the plastic parts on this device to withstand oil, grease, gasoline, brake fluid etc. If you have a hostile environment you may want to consider an all metal construction such as the SK 49270 which does not have a bit driver. It is unlikely that this device was meant for automotive use.
The Iron Bridge 908 207 is of the same design ratchet as this device, differing basically in the style of the finger wheel and being made in China rather than Taiwan. The ratchet operation is not as smooth.
The OEM FR1414 is similar but has a larger finger wheel and is bigger overall.
Similar products without the ratchet center off feature and recessed hex driver are: Garret Wade, Finger Ratchet, Cal-Van, and OEM Tools.
For automotive use I would consider the Wilmar W1716 whose drivers have a bigger cushioned grip area and are heavier duty. Or consider the SK tools devices if you are working in oil, grease, gasoline, or brake fluid.
I suggest that you combine this device with the Cal-Van Master finger driver set Part number 100 for maximum versatility.
Pros: Compact, Comfortable, Smooth ratchet Operation, Dual drive.
Cons: Light Duty Only