The Best Screwdriver Sets for DIYers and Pros
The more jobs you tackle, the more you’ll need a selection of screwdrivers. Ensure that you’ve got the right tool for every task with our guide to choosing the best screwdriver set for your DIY or pro needs.
One sure sign of a new homeowner and rookie DIYer? Only having one screwdriver in his or her tool kit!
Screwdrivers are simple, slender hand tools that, with a few forceful twists, push screws into surfaces to fasten materials together (and, with the reverse action, remove screws). Basic as they are, screwdrivers are not one size fits all. Nor are they one type fits all. If you’ve only got one or two screwdrivers at your disposal, you may be out of luck if they don’t match the screws that come with your new bookshelf or kids’ playhouse kit.
That’s why screwdriver sets are so handy. A good-quality screwdriver set has all the screw heads you need to complete countless repairs and projects, from tightening up a loose door handle to assembling a piece of flat-pack furniture.
Bottom line: The more jobs you tackle, the more you’ll need a selection of screwdrivers, so get up to speed on the types and benefits, and then read on to learn why these five are considered the best screwdriver set options.
- BEST OVERALL: Gear Wrench Screwdriver Set
- BEST VARIETY: TEKTON 2841 Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver Set
- BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY: Wera Screwdriver Set
Key Shopping Considerations
Types of Screwdriver Heads
Understanding the different screwdriver heads and their respective screws is key to using these tools. Below, the heads you’re apt to encounter, with the first three most common for typical household projects:
- Flat (aka slotted) has a simple, flattened tip that sits in a horizontal line recess on its corresponding screw.
- Phillips has a cross pattern tip to fit a cross-shaped recess on its corresponding screw.
- Robertson has a square tip to fit a square-shaped recess on its corresponding screw.
- Torx has a star or six-pointed tip to fit those shapes on a corresponding screw.
- Hex key has a hexagonal head to fit a hexagon recess on its corresponding screw.
Each type of screwdriver also comes in a variety of sizes to match the different sizes of screws—and, yes, size matters. Resist the temptation to use a larger or smaller tool with any screw you encounter, as mismatched sizes can strip screws, damage screwdrivers, and create slipping hazards that can lead to injury.
One of the most common specialized features you’ll see when shopping for a new screwdriver set is a special coating on the tip. These specialized tips generally help increase the grip of the screwdriver head in the screw and reduce slippage likely to occur during normal use.
- Magnetic tips create a magnetic force that draws the screw to the screwdriver. The increased force keeps more of the screwdriver head’s surface area firmly attached to the screw’s recess. In doing so, the screwdriver can apply more force to the screw, allowing you to drive the screw quicker and more accurately than with a simple steel tip.
- Instead of magnetic force, black oxide-coated tips, black phosphate-coated tips, and diamond-coated tips create increased friction between the screwdriver tip and the screw recess to help drive screws with more force and accuracy. These tips are popular with industry pros for their sturdy resilience against wear over time, and their increased grip strength when driving a screw.
Handle Grip Design
A slight difference in handle shape or size can change a screwdriver from a high-production construction tool to a high-accuracy technical tool. A wide-handle grip design allows you to drive a screw with more force, ideal for driving simple construction screws quickly, while a narrower design forces the user to take more time and care with a precision project.
You’ll also find screwdriver handles with a rubber coating that lets you grip the tool more easily without slipping and provide added comfort for long-time use. Finally, some screwdrivers feature dual-material molded handles made with a combination of hard plastic and rubber. This split design gives the accuracy of a hard-handled screwdriver with the comfort of a rubber handle.
Piece Total and Storage
So how many screwdrivers do you really need? That depends on the variety of projects you’ll be doing. If you’re truly a novice at home repairs and don’t intend to take on many ambitious projects in the future, a general-purpose selection of the most frequently used screwdrivers might do just fine. It wouldn’t make sense to invest in a set with a lot of extra pieces that you’ll never use.
The total number of pieces within a screwdriver set can range widely from five or six screwdrivers to well over one hundred pieces—although that doesn’t mean a hundred screwdrivers. Rather, “piece total” refers to the number of screwdrivers, screwdriver bits (magnetic heads of different types and sizes that fit into an all-purpose screwdriver handle), screwdriver handles, and any other added features that come with the kit. For instance, a 100-piece set may contain four screwdrivers, two all-purpose handles, 84 different bits, one extension bar, one flexible extension bar, and eight specialty heads.
Storage is another consideration, as you’ll want to house your screwdrivers together neatly. Some kits with five or more screwdrivers don’t include a storage container, while others have an enclosed box, a fabric carrier, or a simple plastic stand. Unless you already have a home tool box or kit with dedicated screwdriver storage, get a set with its own storage.
Even simple, straightforward screwdrivers can have some additional features, such as specially insulated versions for use in electrical situations. Other screwdriver kits may include heavy-duty shafts, tips, and handles intended to be used as both chisels and screwdrivers. There are also screwdriver sets designed for those in the electronic repair industry that often contain flexible extension bars and a wide variety of precision tips for use with tiny screws.
Our Top Picks
The following options for the best screwdriver set come out on top in terms of quality, price, versatility, and count.
1. BEST OVERALL: Gear Wrench Screwdriver Set
With the Gear Wrench Screwdriver Set, a dual-material handle grip adds comfort and precision, while the ergonomic handle shape helps increase grip strength and driving force. The tools’ Speed Zone, located on the handle just before the shaft, provides added grip for better control and speed when you need to quickly back off or run down screws. Featuring 20 screwdrivers in the most common sizes and types, with black oxide tips for added recess grip and torque, it’s an excellent set for the most common household projects.
2. BEST VARIETY: TEKTON 2841 Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver Set
Impressively versatile, the Tekton 2841 Everybit™ Ratchet Screwdriver Set boasts 105 different screwdriver bits and 22 precision bits that fit neatly into an organized, labeled storage case. Containing both common and lesser-used sizes and styles, the bits fit neatly into a ratcheting screwdriver that has a forward, fixed, and reverse drive position to prevent you from accidentally backing off a screw that you are driving, or tightening a screw that you’re trying to loosen.
3. BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY: Wera Screwdriver Set
Though technically screwdrivers, the tough tools in the Wera set can be hit with a mallet for use as chisels. Each tool features an impact cap at the end of the handle for protection during chiseling and a dual-material handle for high working speeds and increased torque transfer. The specialized Wera Black Point tip ensures that even after chiseling concrete or driving hundreds of screws, the tools remain in top-notch condition. After use, house the set in the two included storage racks.