Best Multi-Bit Screwdrivers 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Multi-bit screwdrivers can reduce the burden of carrying around a dozen screwdrivers all day and can reduce the weight and size of your toolbox. Unfortunately, shopping online for these tools can be a burden that offsets the gains you get from buying a high-quality multi-bit screwdriver, which makes many people want to skip the process altogether.
We all know that manufacturers aren’t always straightforward when they’re listing their products for sale online. However, we still think that you should be able to find the tools that you need in a quick and easy manner. Our reviews are designed to cut through the advertising and show you the upsides and downsides to each model so that you can find the one that is right for you.
We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, which covers all you need to know about multi-bit screwdrivers in general, so that you can be shopping like a professional would in no time at all, even if you’ve never owned one of these tools before.
Summary of our Favorite Choices
|Best Overall||Megapro 211R1C36RD||
|Klein Tools 32290||
The 5 Best Multi-Bit Screwdrivers
1. Megapro Multi-bit Screwdriver – Best Overall
The Megapro 211R1C36RD Multi-bit All-in-One Screwdriver is the model you want to get if you want the best multi-bit screwdriver on the market today. This model uses a 28-tooth ratcheting mechanism, which means it has the smoothest operation you can get in a ratcheting screwdriver. It also comes with 12 bits, which can be stored in the convenient handle compartment when not in use. The compartment holds the tips in place, and it also retracts into the handle, moving it out of the way while you work. The tip magnetization on this model is excellent and allows you to place screws on the bits before moving into position.
As a bonus, the shaft doubles as a 1/4-inch hex driver when there’s no bit in it. While that may not be something you ever remember to use, it’s nice to have the option. The only real complaint we have with this model is that it’s expensive. You’re getting the best with this model, but you’re also paying a premium for it that exceeds its usefulness over comparable models. However, it’s still the best multi-bit screwdriver on the market and one that’s sure to leave you happy with your purchase.
2. Channellock 3-in-1 Multi-Bit Screwdriver
The Channellock 131CB 13 in 1 Multi Bit Screwdriver is very similar to design to our top model, and since you can get it at a lower price, there are a lot of reasons to strongly consider this model. Like the previous model, this one comes with a 28-tooth ratcheting gear, allowing you to make very fine turns and still get actuation out of the ratchet. It also comes with 12 bits, which will give you the heads you need for just about any screws you come across in most industries. Many users report that they find the grip extremely comfortable on this model, so it’s a good tool to own if you’re going to need to use it all day.
This model also features a long shaft, which is useful in tight spaces. With all this upside, you might be wondering why this model isn’t in the first place. It doesn’t come with a magnetized bit holder, which means you won’t be able to use magnetism to hold screws in place at the end of the bit. Overall, that’s enough to drop this model to second place despite its lower price and comparable features in other areas.
3. InstallMates Multi-Bit 15-Piece Screwdriver – Best Value
The InstallMates Multi-Bit 15-Piece is the model that you should get if you want to carry around sockets in addition to bits. This model comes with eight bits and five sockets, so you’ll be able to do more jobs with this tool than you could with most others. This capacity is one of the best that you’ll find on the market, so if you need a lot of bits and sockets regularly, this could be the tool for you. It also comes with a unique design that holds the bits on the outside of the tool, so that you have easy access to them when you need them and can make very fast bit changes.
Since you can get this model for far less than you’d pay for the top models on our list, it earns the title of best for the money on our list. What keeps this model out of the top two is its handle. Many screwdrivers have an ergonomic or otherwise comfortable handle. Unfortunately, this model falls flat in that area. Still, if you’re looking for a great deal on a multi-bit driver and are willing to forgo some comfort, this model is a great deal.
4. Klein Tools 15-Piece Screwdriver
The Klein Tools 15-Piece 32290 is a decent overall multi-bit screwdriver, but it fails to outcompete other models on the market. This model comes with seven double-sided bits, giving you the equivalent of 14 bits. It also comes with a convenient bit holder that pops out of the handle and is out of the way while you’re using the screwdriver. While it doesn’t come with the most comfortable handle on the market, it’s better than others on our list and earns good marks for it.
Unfortunately, the bits aren’t magnetic. It’s not a requirement on multi-bit screwdrivers, but it is a feature that adds a lot of value without adding a lot of price. Even worse are the flat-head bits. They tend to break, even when used just for screwing, which is a huge problem. This isn’t the most expensive model on the market, but if you’re going to be dealing with broken bits, there’s a good chance you’ll be unhappy with your purchase within a few weeks of purchase. Overall, some good things are happening with this model, but you could spend about the same amount of money and get a model that has better value.
5. Wiha 38006 Multi-Bit Screwdriver
The Wiha 38006 Multi-Bit Screwdriver is one that you’ll want to consider if you need an insulated screwdriver for electrical work. This one is rated up to 1000V, which isn’t top of the line but is useful in many common situations. It also acts a very strong magnetic bit holder. You won’t accidentally drop bits, and you’ll even be able to hold the screw on the end of the bit using just magnetism. Unfortunately, this model only comes with six bits. Compared to the ten or more that come with the other models on our list, that’s not great value for the money.
The cap that needs to be removed to access the bits can be difficult to remove. Some users have reported using putty knives or other flat instruments to pry it open. That’s unnecessarily difficult relative to other models on our list. It also suffers from quality control issues. These range from cosmetic damage, to weak internal parts that threaten to give out at any turn. While insulated and multi-bit tools have their place, this combination of the two doesn’t work well enough to justify its price, and is likely to leave end-users unsatisfied.
Our reviews are designed to show you some of the things that you should be considering before you buy, but there’s no way to cover every useful piece of information in such a short space. Instead, we’ve moved most of the useful general information about these tools to this buyer’s guide, so that the reviews can highlight what makes a model great or lackluster. So, if you’re still not sure which model is right for you, make sure you check out this guide to get a better feel for what these tools can provide. We’ve also included tips on getting great value for your money, so if you’re looking to great a deal, you’ll tell your neighbors about, make sure you check out this guide.
Ease of use
While it may not seem like it at first glance, the most important thing to consider when shopping for a multi-bit screwdriver is the ease of use. If you think about it for a few moments, you’ll probably come to the same realization, too. The entire reason for getting a multi-bit screwdriver is to save you time and make your job, and your life, easier. So, you want to get the model that best accomplishes that goal.
The part of the multi-bit screwdriver that most directly impacts its ease of use is the onboard bit holder. Some models make use of a compartment that slides in and out of the back of the handle. These tend to be found on the highest-quality models, since they have the dual benefits of having a large capacity and keeping the bits safe, secure, and non-obtrusive while you’re working.
Other models store the bits in compartments that leave them partially exposed on the outside. These are slightly faster to access, but the downside is that they’re not nearly as comfortable to hold since they don’t have a plastic or rubber grip that goes all the way around the model.
The worst models make it hard to access this bit, using compartments that are hard to open or too tight. These can leave you frustrated, and cost you time instead of saving it, making for a poor overall deal.
Getting a multi-bit screwdriver that makes use of magnetism to hold the bits in is always a good idea. While poorly-made models that rely on magnetism will have their bits fall out, models that are well-made will not only have enough power to keep their bits in place but also hold a screw on the end of the bit while you get the screwdriver into position.
The only time you wouldn’t want a magnetic screwdriver is when you’re going to be working with electronic equipment. The magnetism can mess with and potentially damage the electronics near the screw, so it’s important to keep magnetized tools away if possible.
Some multi-bit screwdrivers come with sockets, in addition to the included screws. The assortment isn’t always as good as that which you would get from an entry-level socket kit. Furthermore, a screwdriver with a socket head on it isn’t as useful as a ratcheting screwdriver with a socket head on it, or a ratchet. If you have a use for sockets and want to get a ratcheting screwdriver that comes with sockets, the value isn’t bad. However, trying to use socket heads on a model that doesn’t ratchet can be a frustrating experience.
If you want to get the best value for your money, it may be a good idea to invest in a non-ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver that doesn’t come with sockets and get a high-quality socket set, too.
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Which multi-bit screwdriver is right for you?
Everyone has different needs in their home and their workplace. The kinds of tasks that you do are the strongest indication of what kind of multi-bit screwdriver you need. If you focus on getting a model that meets your needs, then you will be in good shape. The kinds of screws that you’ll be working with determines what kinds of bits you’ll need. If you need a special kind of bit, make sure you find a multi-bit screwdriver that comes with it.
It’s also a good idea to focus on comfort and ease of use. While two models may not vary much in price, you get better value if you get a model you like using, and comfort and ease of use weigh heavily on that outcome.
The Megapro 211R1C36RD Multi-bit All-in-One Screwdriver is our favorite multi-bit screwdriver due to its smooth operation, great tip magnetization, and 12-bit capacity. The Channellock 131CB 13 in 1 Multi Bit Screwdriver features smooth operation, a comfortable grip, and a 12-bit capacity, but its poor magnetization drops it to second place. The InstallMates Multi-Bit 15-Piece comes with easy bit access and includes sockets, and since you can get it for far less than you’d pay for our top models, it provides the best value for the money on our list. The Klein Tools 15-Piece 32290 includes 14 bits and a comfortable handle, but it isn’t magnetic and has poor durability, which is enough to sink it to fourth place. In the last place is the Wiha 38006 Multi-Bit Screwdriver which is insulated and magnetic, but its low bit count, poor overall quality, and frustrating cap make it a poor overall buy.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have taught you some things about multi-bit screwdrivers that you didn’t already know. You should now be able to find the model that’s right for you at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Summary of our Favorite Choices
- The 5 Best Multi-Bit Screwdrivers
- Buyer’s Guide