Best Screwdriver Sets

Last Update: August 13, 2021

Best Screwdriver Sets

Every household has a screwdriver or two on a shelf in the garage or in the back of a kitchen drawer, but how many times have you not had the right size screwdriver to do the job? Owning a good screwdriver set is an inexpensive way to eliminate the frustration of dealing with stubborn screws around the house. It’s also an invaluable addition to any professional’s toolbox.

There are two basic types of screwdrivers: Phillips, which has a sectioned tip shaped something like a cross, and flat or slotted, which has a single, wedge-shaped tip. As a general rule, screws with a Phillips head only tighten to a certain point before the screwdriver “slips,” which prevents over-tightening and stripping of the screw. Flat-head screws withstand much more torque before the screwdriver slips, meaning they can tighten more than a Phillips-head screw.

Every basic toolbox needs both types of screwdrivers in a variety of sizes to match most common sizes of screw. That’s why buying a screwdriver set, rather than a haphazard collection of individual tools, makes sense both convenience-wise and budget-wise.

What is a Screwdriver Set?

A screwdriver set is a collection of screwdrivers. A screwdriver is a tool used for driving screws, it can be manual or powered. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and a shaft that ends in a tip. The shaft is usually made of tough steel that is resistant to bending or twisting. The tip may be hardened to resist wear and the handles are typically made of wood, metal, or plastic and are designed for comfort and grip. Screw drivers are classified by their tip, which is shaped to fit the driving surfaces on the corresponding screw head.

Screwdriver tips are available in a wide variety of types and sizes with the two most common being the ‘blade’-type and Phillips type. Some screwdrivers have changeable tips that fit into a socket on the end of the shaft and are held in mechanically or magnetically.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Screwdriver Set

Don’t just grab the first available screwdriver set. The best screwdrivers for your project need to be the correct type, whether you need Torx screwdrivers, Phillips screwdrivers, Robertson screwdrivers, or the most common type of screwdriver, the slotted screwdriver.

Screwdriver tips matter, too. Some screwdrivers come with a magnetic tip, which helps keep the tool in place on the head of the screw. Others have a coated tip to help improve grip and torque. Read on for details on these factors and more, so you can choose the right screwdriver for the task at hand.

Screwdriver Head Type

Different screwdriver heads correspond to different types of screws. That’s what makes screwdriver sets so handy. You won’t get any unpleasant surprises when you start a project only to realize you don’t have the right type of screwdriver. The following list includes the most common types of screwdriver heads:

  • Flat (aka slotted) has a simple, flattened tip that sits in a straight-line recess on the screw.
  • Phillips has a cross pattern tip to fit into a cross-shaped recess on the screw.
  • Robertson has a square tip to fit into a square-shaped recess.
  • Torx has a star or six-pointed tip for screws with a recess of the same shape.
  • Hex key has a hexagonal head to fit a hexagonal recess on a screw.

Each type of screwdriver comes in a variety of sizes to match the different sizes of screws, which really does matter. Resist the temptation to use a larger or smaller tool with any screw you encounter. Mismatched sizes can strip screws, damage screwdrivers, and create slipping hazards that can lead to injury.

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. This design works well for driving simple construction screws quickly. A narrower design forces the user to take more time and care with a precision project.

Screwdriver handles with a rubber coating allow for an easier, more comfortable grip during a long project. Finally, some screwdrivers feature dual-material molded handles made with a combination of hard plastic and rubber. This split design provides 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 100 pieces—although that doesn’t mean 100 screwdrivers. Rather, “piece total” refers to the number of screwdrivers, bits, 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.

Durability and Quality

From the handle quality to the design of the blade, we pay attention to whether a screwdriver holds up under extended use. We also care a lot about the quality of the tip. We ruled out several blades because they didn’t hold up when the going got tough. Breaking a slotted tip every few weeks shouldn’t be part of your workflow.

We also look at how the driver blade runs through the handle. The best screwdrivers carry the blade very deep into, or even through, the handle. Cheap screwdrivers only extend a couple inches past the base of the handle. As you can imagine, when you apply enough twisting force, the torque can quickly overcome the small amount of handle coverage. We’ve seen plenty of handles break as a result of poor design. Most major manufacturers have figured this out, but many of the knockoff brands take this shortcut—figuring you can’t see through the opaque plastic.

Usability and Features

Particularly when it comes to multi-bit drivers and T-handles, we love features that make sense. A great case in point are multi-bit drivers that make use of handle space so you don’t have to hunt around for bits when you need them. We also want to see replacement bit availability. T-handles should have enough material to deliver the required torque without feeling as though you might twist the steel shaft or break off the handle.

For some drivers, having a couple with a through-shaft and steel backplate makes them handy when you need to bang on something. We all do it—you might as well have a driver or two that can take the abuse! We also like hex points on the shaft to grab with a wrench when you need some extra torque. Some shafts do this by making the entire shaft in a 1/4-inch hex design while others provide a short area near the base of the handle. We prefer the latter but appreciate both designs.

Our Top Picks

This list of top products was chosen based on the screwdriver head type, screwdriver tips, the piece total, and several additional key factors mentioned above to help you find the best screwdriver set for home maintenance, repairs, and construction tasks.

1. Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set

Craftsman 17-Piece Screwdriver Set

With 17 durable screwdrivers in an array of sizes, this Craftsman set has you covered for repairs, installations, and more. It is one of the highest rated screwdriver sets online, with the vast majority of customers awarding it five stars. Tack on a great price and Craftsman was an easy choice for our best overall screwdriver set.

This purchase includes nine slotted screwdrivers, seven Phillips screwdrivers, and a handy 4-in-1 key chain, which gives you four additional slotted heads that can be easily stored in your pocket.

Each screwdriver is designed with butyrate handles and heat-treated blades for top-grade strength. One of the only drawbacks to this set is that it doesn’t come with its own box or carrying case, meaning you’ll have to make some room in your toolbox, but nonetheless the combination of quality and affordability of these screwdrivers is unparalleled.

One important note, however, is that we only considered traditional screwdriver sets for best overall, not bit sets, which use detachable metal bits that are inserted into a separate screwdriver handle.

2. DEWALT DW2166 Screwdriving Set

DEWALT DW2166 Screwdriving Set

The DEWALT DW2166 is one of the best ergonomic screwdriving sets you can have in your home for repairing your electronics and cleaning gadgets. It is a compact, sturdy, and comes with a set of 45-pieces screwdrivers. It comes with a single handle and several interchangeable bits that you can put to different uses. This set also includes Phillips, square, slotted, and double-ended bits for extended life.

This screwdriver set comes with magnetic drivers that are designed to specially unscrew gadgets for cleaning or repairing. For instance, you may want to remove your laptop casing and clean the fan inside, the DEWALT DW2166 would be the perfect choice for you. The magnetic drivers mean that you will not lose any screws. They secure each one of the bits to the screwdriver and prevent wobbling.

The pieces of this screwdriver set are made of hardened steel which makes them tough and durable. This means you can use this screwdriver set for years to come without wearing about too much wear and tear. In addition, the ABS tough case provides protection and convenient storage for your set that comes with 54 total tips.

3. Milwaukee Ratchet Bit Holder Screwdriver Set

Milwaukee Ratchet Bit Holder Screwdriver Set

A bit holder will be the ideal choice if space is at a premium, but their versatility and compact form factor has made them hugely popular and there are countless varieties to choose from.

These Milwaukee bit holding screwdrivers must be some of the most versatile on the market – they have storage space inside the handle for up to six bits, but unlike most other types these are designed for longer 88mm bits, meaning that you can carry one compact tool that will still be able to reach recessed fasteners. That’ s not the only ace up the Milwaukee’s sleeve though – it has a bi-directional ratchet action for rapid, comfortable work, an integrated wire stripper and a wire loop maker.

In addition, the bit holder doubles as a 1/4″ nut driver, and the included screwdriver bits are marine grade, chrome plated accessories which are suitable for use in damp conditions, and can of course be used with power tools like drill drivers and electric screwdrivers too.

4. Stanley 60-220 20-Piece Screwdriver Set

Stanley 60-220 20-Piece Screwdriver Set

Stanley is a well-respected and trusted name in the tool industry and the Stanley 60-220 20-Piece Screwdriver Set is our top pick for the best overall screwdriver set. It’s a comprehensive kit that provides just about everything you need and it’s offered at a decent price point. Each screwdriver in this kit features ergonomically designed handles with textured slip-resistant grips for secure and comfortable handling.

All of the screwdrivers are heat-treated steel, giving the steel tips longevity and durability that will hold up against years of repeated use. Nickel plating adds an extra level of corrosion resistance. This set includes two 3-, 4-, and 6-inch standard screwdrivers, two 1- and 2-point Phillips head screwdrivers, one 2-point stubby screwdriver, two offset screwdrivers, a 6-piece precision screwdriver set and one 1-inch stubby screwdriver. One thing we wish this kit included was a hard case to keep all the items safe and organized when not in use.

5. Xool Professional Screwdriver Set

Xool Professional Screwdriver Set

For something a little easier on the wallet, this Xool Professional Screwdriver Set from XOOL is a great alternative. Not only is it inexpensive, but you also get 42 pieces that can be used for a wide range of appliances, electronics, and virtually anything else that contains a screw. This driver set features five different types of screwdrivers, Phillips, Slot, Torx, Hex, and Pozi, so there’s something for everyone. Everything in this kit is durable and wear-resistant, as each driver is made with high-grade 6150 CRV material. Plus, everything comes in one hardshell case for portability, giving you a practical and convenient option for all types of projects and jobs.

In terms of durability, this set lacks in comparison to offerings of brands such as Craftsman. However, proper care and use will ensure it still lasts a very long time.

Tips

  • Make use of storage solutions. Keeping screwdrivers in the storage solution they came with prevents losing them. If they aren’t stored properly, you’ll likely invest more money in a replacement set.
  • Always select the correct size. Even if a screwdriver will “work” with a particular fastener, that doesn’t mean it is the correct size. Always use a screwdriver that fits snuggly into the fastener to prevent damage.
  • Screwdrivers are not prying tools. It may be tempting to use a screwdriver like a pry bar. However, screwdrivers are not intended for this use, and they will break far more easily than you might expect.

FAQs

Some of the best screwdriver sets available include standard screwdrivers, precision screwdriver tools, and even specialized ratcheting models with magnetic tips. Keep reading for more information on screwdriver sets with these answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best screwdriver set.

Why do I need screwdrivers of different lengths?

In general, the larger the screw, the more torque (turning force) is required to tighten or loosen it. With a longer screwdriver, you generate more torque for the same physical effort. Usually, the longer the screwdriver, the bigger the screw it’s designed to fit. However, sometimes there’s restricted space, which is why some sets often include short, thick screwdrivers as well.

Can’t I just use a small, flat-blade screwdriver on a Phillips-head screw?

You could try it as a last resort, but it definitely isn’t recommended. The flat blade won’t go the full depth of the Phillips slot, so you’re not getting proper leverage. This usually leads to the blade slipping. You’ll not only damage the screwhead (making it almost impossible to remove), you could also end up putting the screwdriver through your finger! Buy a decent screwdriver set and you’ll always use the right tool for the job.

What is the most commonly used screwdriver?

While a Phillips screwdriver or a Torx screwdriver may seem like the most obvious option, the most commonly used screwdriver is actually a slotted or flat-head screwdriver.

What should I look for in a screwdriver set?

Choose a screwdriver set according to its intended use. Consider the screwdriver head types, the tips, the handle grip design, and the number of pieces in the screwdriver set.