The Tech Binding Toolset — Part 1 — Screwdrive’n

Post by blogger | July 10, 2017      

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Stock up for next winter. This isn’t the ultimate toolset (that’s the Barthel machine shop), rather this is generally what the fully equipped do-it-yourselfer should have at hand, to deal competently with most tech bindings. I’ll do this in a series of blog posts. First, your basic “screwdriver” parts and pieces. Your suggestions are very welcome, comments on.

NAPA 36530 1/4 insert bit holder screwdriver is basic, lightweight for the tool belt.

NAPA 36530 is basic, lightweight for the tool belt.

Insert bit screwdriver
Simply a screwdriver that holds 1/4″ insert bits, I prefer NAPA PN 36530 due to its low bulk, reasonably powerful magnet, and simplicity. Fancier versions such as those that ratchet tend to being fiddly. Beware oversized fat handles that can result in easily applying too much torque to sensitive screws. Below is an Amazon option that looks nice.

Felo 0715732348 1/4-Inch x 4-Inch Hex Bit Holder Screwdriver, 538 Series

Cordless drill
Endless debate on this. I began with Makita, in a cabinet shop where I worked, when the first cordless drills came out. I’ve been through a variety of brands since then — and I’m back to wanting the 18v LXT Makita compacts. Beautiful. Expensive. So I’ve standardized on the more budget oriented “blue” Bosch products. More about that in part four of these posts.

I’ve got a background in construction (including 20 year stint as a pro carpenter). When it comes to “making,” one of my pet peeves is efficiency. Thus, life is too short for only one cordless drill. Two are necessary. As necessary as four tires on a car. Or two bindings if you have two skis… the idea being to eliminate bit swapping as well as having a spare if one breaks.

Apologies in advance to all significant others out there who are now informed that your mate needs two cordless drills instead of one. Just tell them you read it on WildSnow dot com and all shall be forgiven.

Insert bit holder for cordless drill

Quarter inch insert bit holders, magnetic at top, collar style below.

Quarter inch insert bit holders, magnetic at top, collar style below I recommend having both in your shop. When purchasing collar style, be sure the collar pulls FORWARD to release.

I prefer two flavors of bit holders. Cheaper and purely magnetic are slimmer, while those with a mechanical retention collar (as well as magnet) tend to be less annoying in that the bits don’t come out unless desired. Get the retention collar type that require sliding the collar _forward_ to remove the bit. I got gypped recently by a bit holder with a collar that slid rearward to remove bit. It released the bit nearly every time the holder rubbed or bumped against something during use. Lame.

Most sets of insert bits come with the magnetic type holder, get a new set now and then at the big box and you’ll end up with numerous holders. Collar type are available at hardware stores etcetera. I tried finding an Amazon link, but the only one that came up appeared to have the collar that slid rearward to release bit. Probably better to shop for this up close and personal.

Torque screwdriver
If you’re experienced with tightening fasteners you can work without a torque limiting screwdriver. But I’ve recently realized this tool can help anyone avoid annoying and sometimes costly mistakes. Problem is, most are pricey. For occasional use I’ve found the FAT wrench to be adequate.

Insert bits, 1/4 hex shank:

Perhaps the most hard-to-find tool on our list is a good insert bit for the rear spring barrel cover slot in most tech bindings (The Dynafit standard). Aside from making my own tool, the best thing I’ve found is the 080-430-430WB Leupold/Buehler Windage Screw Bit. Surprisingly, purchasing a single bit isn’t an option on Amazon. Instead, grab one at Brownells.

Other insert bits, you’ll need more than a few:

Pozidrive #3 is the gold standard of ski bindings. Trend to the ones with longer shaft, around 3 inches (to reach through brakes and such while mounting bindings), but get a few shorties as well and use when possible as they do wear out and the shorties are cheaper. Be sure you’re getting the number 3 size.

Pozi-Drive Quick-Change Bit (Set of 3) 3 x 2-3/4″

Torx (star drive) T10 (small assembly screws, Dynafit & G3) and T20 (Dynafit mounting screws)

Again, you’ll want two flavors. Acquire those with long-narrow shafts for reaching into tight spaces or use in situations where the bulk of an intervening part messes up your driver alignment. Stock several of each in standard short length as well. The longer ones tend to be fragile, so watch your torque while using to mount bindings. (Note that the housing screws on G3 ION and many other tech binding heels use torx 10, while the star drive mounting screws supplied by Dynafit require torx 20, while construction screws such as those used for decking may require T20 or T25.)

Online shopping for longer torx bits isn’t easy. Most have “security” tips with hole in the middle. Avoid those (unless you need to steal public bathroom toilet paper holders), as they’re weak. Set linked below appears to be an example of regular tips in longer version.

8pcs 150mm T8-T40 Long Round Shaft Magnetic Screwdriver Bits Set.

Shopping for shorter torx insert bits is easier. They’re not expensive, pick up at your hardware store, or shop options such as linked below:

DEWALT DW2067 Torx Insert Bit Set, 7-Piece

During shopping, you’ll be tempted by astoundingly large boxes holding a variety of screwdriver insert bits. Most of these assortments will give you 100 bits you never need and be missing at least three essentials — as well as the bits often being of poor quality. Nonetheless having a variety can be useful if you tend to do different mechanical projects, and the case makes a nice holder (toss the useless and replace with what you need). If you succumb to temptation, at the least buy the biggest set you can find. Craftsman linked here has 208 pieces, which seems like a lot until you realize the vast variety these things come in. For example, despite the 2008! bits, the Craftsman lacks extended shaft versions of most.

Non-insert screwdrivers (Meaning those consisting simply of handle and shaft)
G3’s branded pozi-3 is really nice, many options on Amazon.

pozidrive screwdriver 3

Clearly, throwing all this stuff in a drawer is a recipe for steel soup. Instead, figure out various holders that work for you. Me, I like the small plastic bit holders that come with many bit sets, and I installed magnetic tool holders on the wall behind my main bench. I’m not one of these guys who likes to hang every tool I own in plain view on the wall. Too cluttered (and I have too many tools). But I do like my main stuff to be within reach.

Real world shot of my bench with screwdriver and misc tool storage.

Real world shot of my bench with screwdriver and misc tool storage.I use two magnetic strips, one with a plastic holder above it for tools that that magnet doesn’t stick to (aluminum and some stainless steel)

Tool drawer, showing the small plastic insert bit holders I prefer.

Tool drawer, showing the small plastic insert bit holders I prefer.

Suggestions welcome, please do so in the comments.

Part 2
Part 3

(Much of WildSnow is supported by affiliate sales; this post has a number of such affiliate links. If you shop the links, thanks for your support!)


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


21 Responses to “The Tech Binding Toolset — Part 1 — Screwdrive’n”

  1. Andy Carey July 10th, 2017 10:18 am

    The single best tool purchase I’ve made (made it for my BMW motorcycle) that has proved universally useful is my Proxxon Industrial 35 piece socket set with 1/4 inch rachet and screwdriver

    the next is a hex key set with long and shor arms with ball heads on the long arms (bought for bicycle maintenance) but also has proved very handy.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 July 10th, 2017 10:42 am

    Hi Andy, yeah, the ball head hex set, essential for any automotive toolbox! Thanks for the links. Keep ’em coming.

    A lot of guys sport those tool sets that include lots of sockets, etc. Those can be good unless you get really serious, in that case you’ll want a roll-around tool chest for the inevitable accumulation.

    I actually do need to purchase one of those cased tool sets to store in the truck for emergency repairs. Something like the following:

    STANLEY STMT73795 Mixed Tool Set, 210-Piece

    This Craftsman set looks better, but oddly enough no pliers. But then, Vise Grips are essential for the in-vehicle kit and those have to be an add-on anyhow for any of the sets I’ve looked at:

    Craftsman 230-Piece Mechanics Tool Set, 50230

  3. See July 10th, 2017 11:54 am

    I find a scale with at least .1 gram resolution is handy for mixing the very small quantities of epoxy needed for binding mounts.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 July 10th, 2017 12:20 pm

    See, I thought 2-part was done by volume not weight? Or are both roughly equivalent? You ending up with one empty and one 1/2 full container (smile)?

  5. Rick Martin July 10th, 2017 1:37 pm

    A T10 torx L-key is real Handy for tightening the G3 Ion heel turret screws that were part of the recall. With a short arm L- key the tightening can be done without removing the heel turret from the spindle. The L- key can be ordered from McMaster-Carr part number 6959A18 for $1.63. Rick

  6. Lou Dawson 2 July 10th, 2017 1:43 pm

    Thanks Rick! I’ll add that to the post, perfect. Lou

  7. See July 10th, 2017 3:31 pm

    Yeah Lou, it occurred to me as I was in the car after I left that comment that I should have elaborated a bit. I use mostly marine epoxy that takes a 4 to 1 resin to hardener ratio, and it’s pretty tough to eyeball the mix in the tiny quantities required for binding mounts. It’s true that most epoxies give the ratio by volume, and that it is usually different from the ratio by weight. If I’m working on something critical, I’ll usually measure by volume or go to the trouble of figuring out the correct ratio for measuring by weight. For binding screws, I haven’t had a problem using the same ratio for both volume and weight. They’re usually pretty close.

    I also use West System G flex epoxy sometimes, and it seems pretty good. It’s more elastic than regular epoxy, and I think it might be better for bindings, given ski flex, shock and such.

  8. See July 10th, 2017 4:23 pm

    Ok, you got me thinking so I did some quick research on the internet. My statement above that resin/hardener mix ratios by weight and by volume are “usually pretty close” (while not exactly ludicrous) is not entirely accurate. The stuff I use mostly can be mixed either way, but some epoxies aren’t so forgiving.

  9. JohnJ July 10th, 2017 4:26 pm

    Actually, Lou, since you asked… The proportions for mixing epoxy are based on the epoxide equivalent weight, which is derived from the number of bonding sites (on average) in a quantity of resin, and a similar analysis for the chosen hardener. These calculations are done by weight.

    For consumer epoxy sold as two-part systems, I am pretty sure that the ratio is almost always 1:1 and given by volume because that is what most people can easily deal with.

    For more info than you probably want, here is a web page I found:

  10. See July 11th, 2017 1:47 pm

    I find it slightly tricky to get Ions mounted tight against the ski with no gap underneath. I usually have to position the binding with the screws screwed in a couple of turns, clamp the binding loosely in place, and then loosen the screws one at a time and tighten the clamps until the binding is tight against the ski before fully tightening the screws. So: clamps and a countersink to eliminate “volcanoes” around the holes.

    Also a center punch. Getting the holes in exactly the right place greatly reduces the amount of torquing around to get the boot heel to line up with the binding heel.

  11. Thom Mackris July 12th, 2017 12:15 am

    “Also a center punch. Getting the holes in exactly the right place greatly reduces the amount of torquing around to get the boot heel to line up with the binding heel.”

    Perhaps the most significant contributor to my locating the holes precisely is to first put holes in the paper template with a push pin (I may have read it here). I do it in good lighting – at my desk, and double-check with a magnifying glass (old eyes :-)). Slight errors will always creep in, so being extra-precise at this step keeps the errors from cascading.

    Then, when the template is on the ski, it’s easy to precisely locate the centerpunch on the crosshairs.

    I use a separate template for each ski, since the act of centerpunching widens the hole on the template.


  12. Jim Pace July 12th, 2017 9:20 am

    RE epoxy. On my Haute Route trip this spring, my ski edge pulled out about a foot or two. At the Dix hut, a great guy from New Hampshire (name forgotten) had an excellent industrial quality, flexible epoxy that came in a package that looked like a mustard or catsup package at McDonalds. Epoxy and hardener, each in it’s own side of the package. One tear across the top, squeeze both sides onto a piece of paper and the user has the proper mix, stirred and applied to ski via a plastic knife from the hut kitchen. It held together for the rest of the trip. Anyone know where to get more of those 1 or 2 oz packages?

  13. Armie July 12th, 2017 10:25 am

    Hi Jim
    I carry a couple of epoxy sachets. I got mine from ebay ..they’re marketed for attaching golf club grips, come in quick set and “normal”. I think the brand was “double bubble”

  14. XXX_er July 12th, 2017 1:46 pm

    I think you wana google Hardman Double Bubble epoxy

  15. See July 12th, 2017 7:28 pm

    It’s probably worth mentioning that cure rate varies with temperature, and epoxy may not harden at all when the temps approach freezing (or so says the internet). In a camping repair situation, you might want to sleep with your ski. But I haven’t tried any ski repairs using epoxy “in the field.” I have, however, had cure issues with temps in the low 50’s.

  16. See July 12th, 2017 7:37 pm

    Warning: sleeping with fresh epoxy repairs may be hazardous to you health. But even in a hut situation, if you can keep the repair warm (but not too hot) it will probably increase the likelihood of a strong repair you can ski on in the morning.

  17. zack July 13th, 2017 2:38 am

    what only 2 drills!

    I like to have a soldering iron to melt epoxy when i pull old bindings off, I found if it was just put in with “ski glue” maybe not necessary, and some epoxy doesn’t take too much heat, but i mounted a set with jb weld (not the quick) omg those screws where hard to get out when i went to install quiver killers

    also i use a 1/4 in drive ratchet with an adapter for screwdriver bits and its great, but you have to know how to not strip things lol

  18. atfred June 20th, 2018 4:52 pm

    Granted a bit unorthodox, but I’ve found a pair of “channel lock” pliers applied at right angle to a screw driver, to work really well for applying the necessary torque needed to loosen too tight screws. Just need to make sure the screwdriver bit fits the screw well, and strong force is applied vertically downward on the screwdriver, while turning the pliers horizontally (doable with two hands, easier with three ).

    Has worked for me when all other methods have failed.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 June 21st, 2018 4:50 am

    Zack, yeah, I use JB occasionally and wow when it cures correctly the screws are impossible to remove without heating them fairly hot, I try to avoid JB and use regular heat sensitive hardware store epoxy, or white glue for semi-temporary mounts for example on our WildSnow test skis. Lou

  20. XXX_er June 21st, 2018 8:18 am

    I rubbed a little ski wax on the screw threads last time & the epoxy didn’t stick

  21. Mark W June 26th, 2018 8:37 am

    Glad to know scales exist with capability of measuring such small weights as necessary in epoxy for binding mounts. I hate how much waste occurs when “eyeballing.” Great tool list, by the way.

Anti-Spam Quiz:

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version