The EDC Tool Roll: VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.

The VIM Tools HBR5 Bit Ratchet is one of my all time favorite tools and that made the VIM Tools HBR3 just a little too tempting to try. I bought one last month and have been using it since. At first glance, the HBR3 and HBR5 are very similar tools but there are some differences.

The HBR3 is about 3.5″ long which is about 1″ shorter than the HBR5. It is smaller in almost every dimension which makes it considerably more compact and lightweight. The HBR5 features a ratchet at each end (see the HBR5 review for more details) but the HBR3 has a ratchet end and a box end both of which accept standard 1/4″ shank bits. The smaller size and the box end is what really sets the HBR3 apart from the HBR5.

The compact size and excellent quality is what has endeared the HBR5 to me. The HBR3 is even more compact and just as well made.

The HBR3’s box end has proven to be very handy. It is extremely compact, barely adding any length to the bit itself, which allows it to get into very tight spaces – like behind a door knob to tighten the screws holding it to a door. It also allows you to apply a lot of torque without fear of breaking your ratcheting mechanism.

HBR3 (top) with HBR5 (bottom)

The ratcheting end has a quick disk/speed wheel that makes it easy to start fasteners even when they don’t have enough friction to start using the ratcheting mechanism. It is reversible and has a small lever to change directions. VIM Tools claims that their ratcheting heads are the smallest in the industry and I believe it having used several competing tools.

The HBR3 seems to be intended to use as a bit driver predominantly. It does not come with provisions to be used with sockets but the adapters to accomplish this are easy to find. I recommend picking one up as I find it to be very handy. This is a great socket wrench for tight spaces. I also recommend adding a bit extension if you plan on using this in your range bag so that you can access things like AR-15 grip screws.

Where to Buy:

I have never seen VIM Tools anywhere but online. I purchased my HBR3 at Amazon: VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet at Amazon

Alternatives from Previous Reviews:


Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25


VIM Tools HBR5

GearWrench MicroDrive Set

Chapman MFG Midget

See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have bot ratchet that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

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