Tool Test: Starborn’s Smart-Bit Depth Setter

tooltest_Smart_Bitby Chuck Bender
page 16

Starborn Industries has set the benchmark for driving screws. The Smart-Bit Depth Setter allows you to sink screws to a consistent depth every time.

Although it was first introduced to the deck-building industry, there are a lot of features about this little tool that make it appealing to furniture makers.

It works with any 1″-long bit including both Torx and Phillips. (The company recommends not using it with square-drive screws because they tend to get stuck and pull the bit out of the driver.) I tested the Depth Setter using both slotted- and Phillips-head screws and it worked flawlessly on both.

On the surface, the Depth Setter appears to be like many other bit-tip holders. This tool, however, has a knurled locking ring that threads against a knurled depth ring. The locking ring seats tightly and stays locked.

The depth-setting ring easily adjusts to allow you to set screws to any depth from flush to 1⁄4″ below the surface. After you use the depth-setting capabilities, you’ll realize there is a difference with this bit tip holder.

The Depth Setter actually stops advancing the screw once you’ve reached the desired depth and it does so without stripping the head of the screw, regardless of which driver you use. It essentially acts like a clutch that disengages the bit from the screw at the proper depth.

There’s an O-ring at the tip of the tool that is set into the stop collar. The collar spins freely so you don’t have to worry about marring or burnishing the face of your work.

The Depth Setter drives screws consistently, and the company also manufactures tools that drill pilot holes and countersinks using the same depth-stop technology.

Contact: or 800-596-7747
Street price: from $21
Video: Watch the Smart-Bit Depth Setter in action. (To come.)

From February 2014, issue #209