Introduction: Work Bag Bit Keeper

Picture of Work Bag Bit Keeper

Have you ever had a cluttered work bag. Finding driver bits scattered about or lost. For a mobile work bag it's very difficult to keep track of all the pieces if they keep falling out. Here is a simple project to keep all your Drill bits together. My solution Will only cost you about $2.50.

Step 1: Commercial Product

Picture of Commercial Product

I found this product at my local hardware store, however it cost five dollars each. With the amount of stuff I keep in my work bag that would break the bank. So I came up with my own way to keep my driver bits together.

Step 2: Traditional Bit Keepers

Picture of Traditional Bit Keepers

These traditional keepers usually come with tools when purchased. They usually work great for a while until the bits start falling out. Usually winding up with a messy bag and driver bits everywhere, sometimes even lost.

Step 3: Carry Case

Picture of Carry Case

The carry case bit holders are great however they do not fit in work bags. There is no point to having a mobile work bag if you have to just carry an extra case.

Step 4: Items You Will Need

Picture of Items You Will Need

1. Tennis balls
2. Utility knife
3. Marker

Step 5: Cut the Tennis Balls

Picture of Cut the Tennis Balls

Cut the tennis balls approximately 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches as shown.

Step 6: Label Your Tennis Balls.

Picture of Label Your Tennis Balls.

Using a marker label your tennis balls. You can use a symbol to represent Phillips, Flathead, or hex bit drivers or you can simply just label.

Step 7: Organize

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Place the corresponding bits in each ball.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Clutter Free Work Bag.

Picture of Enjoy Your Clutter Free Work Bag.

Place The tennis balls back in the clear tube. Now your Bits will fit in your bag and make room for other items.

Since posting I have received great support. There has been great ideas for color coding and labeling, I have to thank everyone coming up with ideas in the comments forum.


vincent7520 (author)2014-05-08

This should be reward by a DIYer Noble Prize : reading in a row 3 clever, mind blowing Insts' for their simplicity leads me to this conclusion. There should be a Nobel Prize for DIYers and you would be the 1st winner !…

M3G (author)2014-04-18


fkeppler (author)2014-03-30

I guess it is possible to find many more uses

inkragetattoo (author)2014-03-11

Brilliant! Im a service tech constantly on the road-this is simplisticly perfect!!

rfhewitt (author)2014-03-09


mickryobe (author)2014-02-27

Thank you for an excellent idea.

However, you are missing the best by far bit/screwdriver ever invented.

The Robertson or square head.

Put any of the bits you have on the driver and point it to the floor. It will fall off.

Try it with a Robertson. Wave it all around. It will stick like glue. Need to put a screw in a tight spot where you can't hold it with your free hand? The Robertson will hold it for you.

The square hole in the screw head will always hold its shape.

The screw driver or bit will last forever. Mine are almost 50 years old.

amclaussen (author)mickryobe2014-03-01

Isn't it a real shame that Robertson (square head) screw heads are not the De-Facto ones?... Flat bladed screwdrivers never hold any screw. Philips just add a tiny bit of screw holding, even Hexagonal ones don't surpass the Robertson. And the Robertson han proven to me to be the strongest, most precisely made design.

But as Hystory will tell time and time again, fir whatever reasons, it didn't succeed and now it is not only not the most sold, and is even very scarce where I live! Amclaussen.

mickryobe (author)amclaussen2014-03-03


You really should move close to a store that sells genuine Robertson products.

You are seriously deprived.


amclaussen (author)mickryobe2014-03-04


Deprived... good description, since Ilive in Mexico, we don't have access to many nice little goodies, but we have some advantages from time to time. Last time I was very surprised to find lower car replacement parts here in Mexico than in the USA, and much lower than in Canada. I did a great trip to Canada with my wife several years ago, but as the Canadian currency was above the US Dollar, everything was about 27-30% more expensive than in USA, so I abstained from buying a lot of thingsthat I was desiring to get there. But one thing is for shure: the few Robertson screws that I´ve used were (at least for me) the ABSOLUTELY BEST of all!!! (that's how good they are). Cheers!

mickryobe (author)amclaussen2014-03-04


I have been to Mexico twice. It is a lovely place. I even experienced my first and only earthquake there.

The Mexicans seemed to ignore it but the tourists were "moved". It seemed to activate Montezuma's revenge in some of us.

Our currency is now below the US dollar. About 63¢. So come on back.

I'll be your tour guide if you come to Toronto.

Perhaps you should wait till it gets a little warmer.

Last night was minus17℃.


amclaussen (author)mickryobe2014-03-04

How nice from you... You know what?: I have met a few Canadians. Among them there were quite above average in respect to hospitality, friendiness and education, outstanding persons,no doubt. In our trip we visited Montreal, then Ottawa, then Quebec, then Niagara, a single day at Buffalo NY and then to Toronto, returning to Mexico City from there. As I'm in love with aviation history, I visited several museums and became friend with nice people dedicating their evenings to restore WW-II planes like a Lancaster. I was able to take many 35mm photographs with my old Canon A1 and fixed lenses, still working beautifully. We went many nights in the cities streets to take the photos at night, but as the Digital cameras were at that moment overpriced, I kept using film and still keep my old cameras working.

In 1998 I went to Calgary and received the most warm, friendly, dedicated and caring reception, I was treated like if I were another son of one extremely nice Canadian family. The best experience of that type in my whole life! Both trips were in August-September, so the weather and climate were excellent. Thanks a lot for your comment. Let´s see if we have the possibility of visiting Canada again some time in the future. Best Regards from Mexico. Amclaussen.

rfoster4 (author)amclaussen2014-03-01

Robertson screws were invented in Canada. That is all you can find here. I agree they are the best, BUUUUT.....I was recently pointed towards this link. I hate to hijack the comments but you have got to see this. A new kind of screw head. It is called the outlaw. There is a kickstarter. It is awesome.

mickryobe (author)rfoster42014-03-03

Great if you are building a deck.

What if your project is a trifle smaller. I am not thinking watchmakers but say some fine furniture?

How small a screw can work with the Outlaw?

As for the bit holding horizontally to a screw in an upright.....Note that he screwed the screw and the bit into the post.

He is funny though. Sort of.


Michael C (author)rfoster42014-03-02

That was awesome and hilarious .

Michael C (author)mickryobe2014-02-27

I agree, in my bag, I have two tubes and I carry the Robertson (square head), but for the sake of photography, I only placed one tube in the bag.

shootermatic (author)2014-03-04

If you empty the tennis ball of its contents presumably you have to feed the bits back in, could be fiddly. Why not add a funnel to the carry tube making it easy to pack away the loose bits the neck of a soda bottle should do it.

mickryobe (author)2014-03-02


Here is the article.


mickryobe (author)2014-03-02

Being Canadian and living only 1/2 hour drive (car) from Milton which is the HQ for Robertson I must boost my neighbour's product.

You might find this brief but informative article interesting.
You will also find a timely caution about counterfeits.


zappenfusen (author)2014-02-28

Great idea but I settled years ago on standard Drill bit sizes, insert sizes and types, and use super (neodymium) magnets attached to my tool belt to secure various items for easy retrieval. My trade is dominated by 1/4-20, 6-32, 8-32, etc. screws and anchors making for a relatively small amount of various sizes needed. Mounting 300 lbs. chandeliers requires use of a repurposed drill case containing a variety of heavy duty anchors as I was taught early to never hang a law suit. I also have repurposed a Dewalt case as my cutting holes in walls tool container (sheet-rock saw, Roto-Zip with extensive bit asst., sawz-m-all blades and various mounting methods for old work electrical boxes and including wall patching compounds for the inevitable plaster disasters prevalent in my 300 year old home town) so I essentially have 3 specialized work boxes labeled so any apprentice who is literate has no problems fetching required items for job at hand. I grew tired of plastic condiment jars full of various screws, anchors, inserts, etc. having to be dumped on the ground to sort out what I needed. Get case #3 from truck greatly simplifies things for everyone's nightmare of the apprentice who just has no interest in learning part and tool names, much less the trade he has fallen into usually through "connections" just so the kid is classified as "Gainfully employed". Through contacts with I.T. depts. at several customers I've developed a stream of dead Hard Drives and the amazingly handy magnets with-in. I've come up with a multitude of uses for easing access and storage for tools and materials utilizing the Neodymium magnets and Goop adhesive. They're indispensable finding studs in metal stud walls as opposed to the electronic incarnation costing $20.00 and up. The Tennis balls are a great idea though if a wide variety of sizes are required to accomplish your appointed tasks. I'm thinking of various screw sizes separated and avoiding the usual cross threaded screw tops of the original containers. Any time you can Idiot Proof something will always pay back in numerous and unrealized ways. Neat idea.

mickryobe (author)zappenfusen2014-03-02

You are brilliant.

I wish you would organize my office.


scottjl (author)2014-03-02

neat idea, until you drop the ball and it rolls away with your bits.. or worse yet, the dog gets it!

kwhitacre (author)2014-03-01

A great idea! I'll get some tennis balls today. I've cut myself more than once feeling around in the bag for I'm also making a ball for my utility knives' extra blades. The handle holds some, but I have some for various jobs and this solution would mean it would be easy to change out the blade rather than having multiple knives or risk not having spare blades of the right format. THANK YOU. Clever thinking. Well executed. Well illustrated. Reminds me of my dad's coin carrier.

dlindstrom (author)2014-02-28

Exactly what instructables is all about, simple, useful, easy to do and understand, plus if you drop one in the back of the truck, you can always get your dog to go get it for you :)

kwhitacre (author)dlindstrom2014-03-01


cepterbi (author)2014-03-01

This is a superb idea :D. Great and simple description. Tnx for the idea :D

stephenf (author)2014-03-01

Nice, very nice.

My local pet supply store carries tennis balls for about $0.50 each and in a variety of colors (red, green, yellow, blue, ...) - inexpensive & color coded.

Thank you for the idea.

hansdohm (author)2014-02-28

Try it with Racquet balls, they are smaller and no fuzz, so they stay clean

eftaolw (author)hansdohm2014-03-01

Clown noses would also work well, and they come already pre-cut.

Sabata (author)2014-02-28

This is such a stupidly simple yet brilliant idea. Tennis balls just added to the shopping list for my next trip to Wally World.

BTW, I agree that Robertson bits/screws rock the house.

JKLauderdale (author)2014-02-28

Sweet idea w/ the tennis balls, I use prescription bottles for my bits. The taller ones work nicely for the drill bits in my C3 kit. That being said, they've been known to crack (but not shatter) after a fall from the ladder.

juanant74 (author)2014-02-28

Very usefull and cheeeeep... :)


blizatrex (author)2014-02-28

This is excellent.

Star Rider (author)2014-02-28

Good instructable. I don't use the tube, but I did mark the type of bit for each several places around the equator of each ball so I don't have to pick through to see type mark. Just look in bag for needed bit and grab. Thought about a different color set for #1 size than for #2 size. or just mark 1s around the other equator on #1 size set, and 2s on #2 size set.

tvignos (author)2014-02-28

What a novel approach.

britewood (author)2014-02-28

AMAZING!!! Doing this this weekend... I have so many cups full of driver bits/tips its terrifying...

Helps that I buy Tennis balls by the Bag for the dogs... just need to keep them from playing with these... LOL

f5mando (author)2014-02-28

Pure genius, Michael! Thanks so much for this.

"Genius is common sense in its work clothes". - Albert Einstein

chata (author)2014-02-28

Very simple and very good well thought .

rbormann (author)2014-02-28

One word. Genius

Replicator (author)2014-02-28

BRILLIANT IDEA! have you considered colour coding the balls for even easier identification? they would definately end up loose in my tool bag :)

ramsesvp (author)2014-02-27

Sorry, can't post a response. I am off to the stores buying tennisballs. Great idea!

sarawelder (author)2014-02-27

this is brilliant!!!

foglemam (author)2014-02-27


Great idea!

jonkun227 (author)2014-02-27

This is a GREAT idea! However, I feel the need to point out that these are called driver bits or insert bits. Drill bits are used to make small holes. :)

Michael C (author)jonkun2272014-02-27

Noted and Corrected. Thanks.

oilitright (author)2014-02-27

OH yeah I'm liking this just fine. I've used a powerful magnet to keep mine in one place but this is an improvement as occasionally one will fall off the magnet and goes straight into that area where the dryer send the socks.

YoHurricane (author)2014-02-27

This is totally going in my toolbag tonight.

Spokehedz (author)2014-02-27

If you go to tennis clubs, you can get dozens and dozens of old balls and tubes for basically nothing... If you can walk onto the courts, that is. Just look in the trash cans.

S_Alex77 (author)2014-02-25

My son uses tennis balls cut like this to put small items in (not tool parts). I just found one with a little Star Wars toy in it :-) Your use for them is excellent. Great Job!

Michael C (author)S_Alex772014-02-26


spilcher (author)2014-02-26


About This Instructable




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