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- A good set of screwdrivers is essential for any household,
- A screwdriver is handy for tightening the occasional loose screw or bigger DIY projects, like furniture assembly.
- The Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set is our top pick because it includes a wide variety of both tool length and tip size.
Screws are an essential part of everything that’s made. They’re used to hold together everything from smartphones to dining room tables to the buildings we live in.
Because of this, screwdrivers (or simply “drivers”) are some of the most useful tools you can have on hand, allowing you to adjust, add, or remove screws if needed. And, since there are so many sizes and types of screws out there, you really need a well-rounded set of screwdrivers if you want to be prepared.
If you’re still skeptical about how useful a screwdriver set can really be, consider these common tasks:
- Tightening wobbly cabinet hinges, doorknobs or strike plates
- Installing small hardware like dresser knobs, drawer pulls or outlet covers
- Assembling pre-fabricated furniture, and toys
- Maintaining power tools and appliances, like lawnmowers and washing machines
- Performing basic automotive maintenance
I know it can tempting to rely on just one or two drivers for all your screw-related tasks, but all you’re doing is setting yourself up for disaster. Even if it “kind of” fits most screw heads, using the wrong-sized screwdriver will only result in stripped fasteners and damaged drivers.
A well-rounded set will ensure that you’re always using the right-sized driver for the right screw. This allows you to work faster, with less effort, and increase the lifespan of your tools and screws.
Insider Reviews contributor Alex Rennie has been a commercial and residential carpenter for years, with experience working on both large construction jobs, and in-home custom furniture projects. During this time, he has used practically every screwdriver you can think of, from basic models to obscure specialized tools. He even had to acquire a set of antique German drivers, each about 3-feet long, to disassemble a gigantic pre-war sewing machine. (He wouldn’t recommend those beasts, but there are some great sets out there to choose from.)
Based on his experience and testing — and taking into consideration price, size, and functionality — these are the best screwdriver sets you can buy.
So, whether you’re developing a woodworking hobby, taking an interest in automotive repair, or if you just need to tighten the occasional cabinet hinge, one of our selections is sure to help you get the job done
Here are our top picks for the best screwdriver sets:
- Best screwdriver overall: Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set
- Best ratcheting screwdriver: Channellock 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratcheting Driver
- Best low-cost screwdriver: Klein Tools Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool
- Best electric screwdriver: DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver
- Best professional-grade set: Wiha Extra Heavy Duty
Updated on 3/26/2020 by Alex Rennie: This guide has been updated to reflect additional expert info and testing. We replaced our professional-grade recommendation with the Wiha Extra Heavy Duty. This guide was originally written by Steven John.
The best screwdrivers overall
The Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set will have you prepared for nearly all your basic tasks, thanks to its impressive range of tool sizes and lengths.
If you need more variety than the Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set provides, you’re probably a professional craftsman or builder, and already have all the screwdrivers you need. For most of us, this comprehensive set has plenty of variety and all the durability needed for those common screw-related jobs.
The Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set contains nine flathead screwdrivers (also known as slotted drivers) that range in tip width from 3/32 inch and all the way to 1/4 inch. The seven Phillips screwdrivers have tips rated at #0 through #2. And, Craftsman rounds it out with a little four-sided flathead keychain. In short, you can use these tools to service everything from a pair of eyeglasses to a large piece of furniture or a household appliance.
Even more useful than the range of tip sizes, is the Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set’s variety of blade lengths. It includes longer drivers that can reach the back of cluttered electrical cabinets, and stubby ones for maneuvering behind washing machines or water heaters that are set close to the wall.
The handles of the Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set are fabricated from a tough butyrate plastic that resists cracking, and the heat-treated steel blades hold their shape better than most. They don’t have the durability for rigorous, every day use, but for the casual user, they’re totally acceptable.
Another great thing about the Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set is that it uses different colored handles — either red-striped or transparent — to differentiate between the Philips and slotted drivers. Little design characteristics like this are always a nice perk and definitely save time when searching through a toolbox or drawer.
In terms of price, this set is a great deal. If you count the four-in-one miniature flathead keychain, it works out to a little over two bucks per tool, which is hard to beat. Whether you’re starting a tool collection, or a professional that just wants to be sure they don’t have any holes in their arsenal, this is a great set.
Pros: Great variety of sizes, affordable price point, comfortable grip design
Cons: Non-magnetized tips, lacks a variety of head types
The best ratcheting screwdriver
The smooth ratcheting action of the Channellock 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratcheting Driver helps you sink screws quickly and efficiently, while minimizing wrist fatigue.
If you think a ratcheting screwdriver is a luxury you can do without, crank in a few dozen screws and let us know how your wrist is feeling. The 28-tooth ratchet of the Channellock 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratcheting Driver creates up to 225-inch pounds of torque (which is substantial) yet smoothly rotates back to let you wind up another twist.
A ratchet-handle screwdriver allows you to do more than merely deliver concentrated force, it also allows for better precision. Because you won’t have to change your grip on the handle each time you need to complete a new rotation, you can keep the tool properly positioned and securely fitted into the screw. This makes it easier to work in confined spaces or at awkward angles, and also reduces the likelihood of stripping a screw head.
The bit selection of the Channellock 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratcheting Driver is nice and varied, ensuring that you’re prepared for the majority of tasks. In addition to a half-dozen Phillips and flathead bits, it also includes two square-drive (or “Robertson”) options and four torx-style bits. When no bits are inserted, the empty shaft can also function as a 1/4-inch hex driver.
These bits are all double-sided — minimizing the number of pieces to keep track of — and conveniently stored in the handle of the tool itself. But instead of just rattling around loose like other models, the Channellock 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratcheting Driver handle contains a storage carousel to keep them all organized. Each of the six bits snaps into a separate holder, making it easy to spin around and find the one you want.
Pros: Smooth ratcheting system, convenient bit storage, good price for good quality
Cons: bits are not magnetized, somewhat expensive
The best low-cost screwdriver
The budget-friendly Klein Tools Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool provides an impressive selection of both screw and nut driver options.
The Klein Tools Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool might be affordable, but there’s nothing cheap about how it’s made. Klein has been making high-quality screwdrivers for over a hundred years, and this multi-bit version is a perfect example of that dedication.
The Klein Tools Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool comes with several different Phillips and flathead bits that will work for most common screws. It also has square and torx bits, and three nut driver sizes. Swapping the different bits in and out of the shaft is quick and easy, so if the project at-hand features lots of different pieces of hardware, this screwdriver will help you to keep working at a fast pace.
The bits are all nice and short, which makes for a secure fit and minimizes any movement inside the holder. They also use a spring-loaded ball-bearing to lock themselves in place, a design that is more effective than any other.
Klein handles always allow for a good firm grip, minimizing hand fatigue even when you’re really cranking away at a screw.
The Klein Tools Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi Tool is great for stashing in your tool belt as a backup to your other screwdrivers, or if space is limited, is a perfectly fine primary screwdriver around the house. If you don’t have the room or need for an entire set of individual drivers, this is a great alternative.
In our experience, this screwdriver has been handy when working in cramped or inconvenient situations, like in a crawlspace or on top of a ladder. Being able to quickly switch out bits without fishing around for other screwdrivers, or climbing back down a ladder, can save a lot of time and frustration.
Pros: Great low price, comes with multiple bits, comfortable grip design
Cons: Shaft too thick for use in some applications, lacks length variety
The best electric screwdriver
The compact but powerful DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver can sink screws at up to 430 RPM, saving you time and elbow grease.
First, let’s be clear here: This is not a drill. What you probably think of when you picture a drill is indeed a power drill/driver, used for sinking screws into tough material. The DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver isn’t as powerful as those power tools, making it best suited for driving screws into pre-drilled holes. Technically it could sink screws straight into bare wood if you really need it to, but the battery will drain pretty quickly.
This unique electric screwdriver is compact enough for one handed operation, even in confined spaces. It is operated not by flipping a switch or pulling a trigger, but by twisting the unit as you naturally would if you were using a manual driver.
Our favorite thing about the DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver is that it also allows you to adjust the amount of torque it produces. A slight twist will give a nice slow operation, and the speed will increase as you continue twisting. This intuitive throttle-style operation can take a minute to get used to, but once you get a feel for it you won’t want to put it down.
The minimal effort required to operate the DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver makes it a great option for light-duty assembly projects, like putting together Ikea furniture. Instead of using a drill that can damage fiberboard, or spending hours using a manual screwdriver, the DeWalt 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver is gentle enough to get the job done quickly and safely.
We also recommend buying this 45-piece kit to go along with the driver, which will make the tool even more useful.
Although, with only a small difference in price, we would highly recommend getting the full package. It is a great price for a ton of high-quality bits and a powerful electric screwdriver.
Pros: Fast and powerful with minimal effort, lights up work area, intuitive operation
Cons: Rather expensive tool, relies on battery to function
The best professional grade screwdriver set
The Wiha Extra Heavy Duty Set may be expensive, but it’s also probably the last screwdriver set you will ever need to buy.
Wiha screwdrivers are one of the most-respected brands on the market, and a popular choice among tradespeople who value high-quality tools. Their precision German engineering makes them ideal for automotive mechanics, professional electricians, and heavy machinery technicians, but they also make a great choice for casual hobbyists who want the best. Yes, this set costs more than most, but you’ll never need to replace it, so you’ll actually save money in the long run.
This dedication to craftsmanship can be seen in nearly every aspect of the Wiha Extra Heavy Duty Set. The steel blade of each screwdriver extends through the length of the handle, ending in a large striking cap — allowing you to confidently hammer away at jammed fasteners. This full-tang design creates an extra-sturdy tool, and ensures that no energy or effort is wasted when hammered.
For even more function, the Wiha Extra Heavy Duty Set also feature a “hex bolster,” where the shaft meets the handle. If you’re struggling with a fastener that won’t budge, this hexagonal collar allows you to use a wrench to generate additional torque. I have found hex bolsters to be surprisingly useful perks, and a great option to have at your disposal when working on intensive jobs.
Not only will these tools stand up to pretty much whatever you throw at them, they’re also designed to be incredibly comfortable. Their SoftFinish handles provide a cushioned grip and overall have a balanced, solid feel in your hand.
The precision machine-etched tips of the Wiha Extra Heavy Duty Set are some of the best you’ll find anywhere, and fit seamlessly into whatever fastener you’re working on. Their Chrome-Vanadium-Molybdenum tool steel is super-hardened and then finished of with a hard chrome finish, making these tips incredibly durable.
These drivers might be a bit overkill for the casual user, but they’ll last for decades.
Pros: Built to last for years, minimize screw stripping, minimal hand fatigue
Cons: Quite expensive, does not include any stubby drivers
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