If there’s one way in which so much of product engineering fails us, it’s in screw placement. We’ve all been in a situation where a screw is too high, too low, too close to something, too far to reach… the list goes on and on. The Flipout is designed to get at those screws without driving you crazy.
The current design, called the Tantrum, is essentially an almost absurdly adjustable electric screwdriver, with 168 different positions. Not only can you rotate the top part of the Flipout, on both the x and y axes, you can also rotate the head that holds the bit. If that weren’t enough, adjusting the torque is fairly simple as well. It’s also got a flat profile that allows you to wedge it in pretty much anywhere, get at that screw, and get on with your life. It even comes with an LED attachment, so you can see what you’re doing.
The designer, Joel Townsan, was inspired by a truly miserable snowy morning spent trying to fix a car stereo speaker, and after looking for an electric screwdriver that wasn’t just an L-shape, spent the next nine years building and refining his design. And, honestly, it looks great:
If there’s a drawback, it’s that it appears that the Tantrum uses a proprietary battery design, although the video doesn’t give you a good look, but that’s a fairly minor complaint considering the same is true about pretty much everybody making an electric screwdriver anyway. Power tool owners know all too well that the words “universal standard” are anathema to manufacturers.
Currently, if you want one, you’ll need to go through Kickstarter to do it: $130 will get you the Tantrum, a carrying case, two batteries, a charging station, the LED light attachment, and some bits if you don’t already have them.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.