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Originally I bought a Dewalt bit set and they have their own magnetic sleeve that goes over bits to magnetize them. It works well but because it's a sleeve if the bit is in an extension the sleeve cannot be used as there is not enough space to slide down.

Next I bought a makita holder which is like a little extension but claims to magnetize bits.

Finally I bought a new set of bits by Milwaukee on discount which includes a similar little extension that claims to magnetize bits.

Milwaukee extension + Milwaukee bits = pleasure to use works great. Makita extension + Milwaukee or Dewalt bits = does literally NOTHING. Milwaukee extension + Dewalt bits = works ok not great.

So what I don't get is are there different types of magnets and alloys that each company uses?

Is Makita intended to work with Makita bits?

Why does combining Milwaukee/Dewalt produces worse hold.

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  • I would say magnets are magnets some are stronger than others but it may be the profile of the base of the bit. If the bit is in contact with the magnet the strength is much higher and will magnetize the tip to some extent. If the bit doesn’t fit completely in contact with the magnet the magnet force will be less. – Ed Beal Jan 30 at 15:52
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I have bits from Bosch, Makita and DeWalt but also many cheap ones.

They all fit into various holders from the above names as well as some no-name ones.

The magnetic hold is different on all holders - some are strong and will hold suitable screws while others “just” manage to hold the bit.

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  • I think actually this might be it. They might be advertised as magnetic for the bit not for the screw. Makita does hold the bit with very strong magnetic force. Didn't know there was a distinction there. Thank you – Woodworking Devil Jan 30 at 7:41
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Yes all drivers for drills will fit into an extension as long as it is a 1/4 inch drive. Most commonly used drivers are 1/4 inch hex drive made to fit in a similarly sized socket or extension.

The magnet in the extension can have varying magnetic strengths depending on what the manufacturer feels is necessary and financially viable. So while Makita may be using a rare earth magnet that has superior holding power other brands may use one not so magnetically great.

If your bits lack magnetic reliability try chucking it in a drill and place a magnet against it will running the drill for a few seconds. This will result in a driver that can attract/pick up several 1 5/8 inch screws at once.

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