Magnetic screwdrivers create a connection between the tip of the screwdriver and the screw. This magnetic pull settles the tip into the slot of the screw, holding the fastener in place securely until it can be driven into or out of the desired surface. Not only does this eliminate the need to hold the screw with one hand and screwdriver with the other, but it also pretty much solves the pesky problem of dropping fasteners—and then having to stop and search for them.
Most of the best magnetic screwdrivers come as sets with multiple magnetic screw tips (also called bits), with some containing tip storage compartments built into the handle for convenience. Read on to gain a sense of what to look for in these handy, time-saving tools and understand why the products below are considered among the best magnetic screwdrivers for your tool box.
- BEST OVERALL: CREMAX Magnetic Screwdriver Set 57 PCS
- RUNNER-UP: CRAFTSMAN Ratcheting Screwdriver Set, 26-Piece
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: OP 12 PCS Magnetic Screwdriver Sets
- UPGRADE PICK: TACKLIFE Magnetic Screwdriver Set, 26PCS Professional
- BEST RATCHETING: DOUBLEDRIVE Ratcheting Screwdriver Set – 2X Faster
- BEST PRECISION SET: EFFICERE Best Choice 9-Piece Precision Set
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Magnetic Screwdriver
When choosing the best magnetic screwdriver, keep the following important factors and features in mind.
The shaft of a screwdriver refers to the part of the tool that extends into the handle at one end and down to a bit socket or screwdriver tip at the other end. This piece of metal comes in a range of lengths to suit particular jobs. A screwdriver with a very short shaft can fit into tight spaces where a standard screwdriver couldn’t. Magnetic screwdrivers with long shafts can reach fasteners nestled in hard-to-reach locations, like a car engine or behind a flat-screen television. It’s a good idea to invest in a range of screwdriver lengths, with at least one very short magnetic screwdriver and one very long screwdriver to handle the less-common jobs.
A wide-handle grip allows screws to be driven with more force, making it ideal for driving simple construction screws quickly. A narrower handle is best suited for precision projects requiring more time and care. Some magnetic screwdriver handles also have control ends that spin freely from the rest of the handle, allowing one hand to turn the screwdriver while the other controls the force and direction of the tool.
A rubber coating on the handle makes it easier to hold a magnetic screwdriver for longer periods without experiencing hand fatigue. This feature also acts as an anti-slip surface, preventing the tool from slipping during use. If the magnetic screwdriver has interchangeable bits, look for a handle with a built-in storage compartment to hold bits that aren’t being used.
Traditional screwdrivers turn clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to loosen. When a screwdriver has a ratcheting mechanism in its handle, the direction of the turning force (torque) can be in either direction. So, rather than having to release pressure on the screw or remove the screwdriver’s head from the slot, you simply turn your wrist in the opposite direction, right to left, until the screw is driven or loosened. Ratchet control can reduce the strain on your hand and wrist, proving especially helpful when your task requires driving a lot of screws.
Magnetic screwdrivers can come as a solid tool with a single tip or with a series of screwdriver bits that fit into a socket at the end of the shaft. These bits are typically the magnetized part of the screwdriver, and once placed into the socket they connect to the surrounding steel with a strong magnetic force.
Four types of bits can typically be included with a magnetic screwdriver:
- Flat or slotted bits have a straight, flattened tip to fit into a horizontal line recess on a screw.
- Phillips bits have a cross pattern to fit the corresponding cross-shaped screw recess.
- Robertson bits have a square tip that comes in a range of sizes to fit into their intended screws.
- Torx bits have a star or six-pointed tip to fit a corresponding star-shaped Torx screw and are less commonly used.
Weight and Balance
Magnetic screwdrivers typically weigh between 1 ounce for a small precision model and 8 ounces for a large industrial tool. To minimize fatigue while working, choose a screwdriver that’s just heavy enough for the task.
The weight of the screwdriver should feel balanced between the length of the handle, down the shaft, and right to the tip with some weight focused around the bolster (the point between the shaft and the handle).
Heavier magnetic screwdrivers typically have a larger, thick shaft that can withstand a significant amount of force, adding to the tool’s durability. Lightweight screwdrivers are better for very precise work on computers, cellphones, and other electronics because they are easier to grip and control.
Our Top Picks
Read on for details about some of the best magnetic screwdrivers available, including full screwdriver sets, precision screwdriver tools, and even specialized ratcheting models with magnetic tips. Keep in mind the important shopping considerations explained above while comparing products to find the right magnetic screwdriver to take on a range of projects.
Let the force be with you—or not. The CREMAX Magnetic Screwdriver Set lets the user choose between a standard screwdriver tip and one with a strong magnetic force without switching tools. By using the handy magnetizer/demagnetizer box, you can easily remove or renew magnetic force, giving you full control over how you want to work.
The set comes with 16 standard magnetic screwdrivers, 1 multibit screwdriver, and 40 interchangeable bits that include flat, Phillips, Pozi, Hex, Torx, and Robertson, all neatly organized in a solid plastic carrying case. The shaft of the screwdrivers is made of alloy steel, with black oxidized tips for lasting durability and corrosion resistance.
Repetitive motion is a prime cause of muscle fatigue and strain—and this CRAFTSMAN set can reduce the risk of these issues via its ratcheting feature. The ratchet engages the bit to apply force in one direction, then disengages to allow the handle to turn back without removing the bit from the screw. Plus, there’s a telescoping magnetic pick-up tool to help stave off backache and frustration, enabling the user to easily regain dropped fasteners without bending.
The 26-piece set also comes with 24 interchangeable bits, including Robertson, Hex, Torx, Phillips, and flat bits to take on a variety of projects. The chrome-plated screwdriver shaft resists rusting and corrosion, while the comfortable padded handle provides three designated grip zones, including a speed-zone for quick rotation, a torque-zone for high-torque applications, and a precision tactile zone for better control.
Picking up a new set of magnetic screwdrivers needn’t break the bank. The price is low and the value is high with this affordable set of magnetic screwdrivers, making them a good option for DIY newbies just learning how to work with tools. Each screwdriver features a chrome vanadium shaft and a black oxidized tip for durability and resistance to corrosion and rust.
These magnetic screwdrivers also have a soft, comfortable grip made of thermoplastic rubber and polypropylene to help relieve hand fatigue and improve user control. The set has five flathead screwdrivers, five Phillips, and two Torx along with a lightweight pouch for simple organization and storage. If magnetic force wanes, renew it with the included 2-in-1 magnetizer and demagnetizer.
Those whose tasks run the gamut from delicate electronics to husky vehicles could do well with the variety of magnetic screwdrivers offered in this 26-piece set. There are 14 standard screwdrivers with six Phillips, six flat, and two Torx as well as 12 precision screwdrivers further broken down to include two Phillips, four flat, and six Torx. The precision screwdrivers are equipped with a swivel cap to make it easier to maintain pressure and control when fastening or unfastening a screw.
The screwdrivers boast a vanadium steel shaft with chrome coating to protect against corrosion and magnetized tips that have been heat-treated to increase their durability and rust resistance. The ergonomic handle grips are made with polypropylene and thermoplastic rubber for improved control and reduced hand fatigue. The well-designed storage case has designated slots to keep screwdrivers neatly organized.
A ratcheting screwdriver increases efficiency and defers fatigue; instead of having to readjust the grip and reposition the hand to twist again, the user simply reverses the twist for the next turn of the screw. This DOUBLEDRIVE ratcheting magnetic screwdriver beats the competition, thanks to a quick-change switch that lets the user easily and efficiently change the active bit.
The set also comes with a wide assortment of interchangeable bits—36 in total—arranged in five-bit cartridges. There are five flat, five Phillips, five Pozi, five Torx, five Hex, five Robertson, and six common bits, which fit inside the handle storage for easy access. Folks who drive a lot of screws and do a variety of different projects should be well served with this set.
Precision screwdrivers enable repairs on electronic devices, ranging from appliances to computers and tablets. This set of EFFICERE precision screwdrivers comes with three Phillips screwdrivers (#0, #00, #000), three flat screwdrivers (1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm), and three Torx screwdrivers (T-5, T-6, T-7). The screwdriver shaft is made of durable chrome vanadium steel that is resistant to corrosion and rust.
This nine-piece set helps to control and keep track of tiny screws that may otherwise slip into the device or fall to the floor. Each screwdriver has a swivel end cap that allows the user to apply constant finger pressure while driving the screws as well as a rubber handle for better control.
The Advantages of Owning a Magnetic Screwdriver
Magnetic screwdrivers have a range of benefits over nonmagnetic screwdrivers. A magnetic tip (bit) ensures that the screwdriver can sit tightly against the screw’s recess, giving better control over the fastener and allowing the user to put additional force into driving a screw.
Magnetic force also prevents screws from slipping or sliding off the tip while being aligned, meaning fewer dropped fasteners that can be difficult to find. Plus, these screwdrivers typically come as sets with interchangeable bits to make switching between different types of fasteners more efficient.
- A magnetic screwdriver gives the tool increased control over the screws it is driving.
- Magnetic force helps prevent fasteners from falling during a task.
- Magnetic screwdrivers with multiple screwdriver tips can be used on a wide variety of repairs and projects.
FAQs About Magnetic Screwdrivers
If you still have questions about purchasing and using magnetic screwdrivers, check out these answers to common questions so you can get the best version of these tools for your needs.
Q. How many magnetic screwdrivers do I need?
The number of magnetic screwdrivers needed depends on the range of projects, fasteners, and the scope of the work. For simple projects like assembling furniture and mounting a television, a single magnetic screwdriver will suffice, while projects such as automotive repairs and computer maintenance may require a range of screwdriver types and tips.
Q. How should I store my screwdriver?
Many screwdrivers come as sets in a well-designed case for organized storage. If not,
store magnetic screwdrivers in a tool box, a screwdriver rack, or a tool bag.
Q. Can bits from other manufacturers work on a different brand of screwdrivers?
Screwdriver bits have an end called a hex shank that is used to fasten the bit into the screwdriver or drill. Typically, this is a 0.25-inch shank regardless of the manufacturer, allowing the bits to be used in other brands of screwdrivers.
Q. How long will a screwdriver stay magnetized?
This depends on the strength of the magnet used to magnetize the screwdriver and how the screwdriver is treated. Dropping the screwdriver will weaken the magnetic force sooner, but if it loses its magnetic force you can magnetize the screwdriver again.