You may be under the impression that ratcheting screwdrivers are nothing but a novelty item, unable to do anything that a regular screwdriver can’t. However, ratcheting screwdrivers can make a number of jobs faster and easier, and cut the force that’s placed on your wrists as well.
Shopping online is supposed to make the shopping experience easier, too. However, information overload can make it hard to tell if you’re getting a good deal or getting a model that you’ll end up wishing you could return.
We believe that a well-informed consumer can make a great decision. Our reviews of the best ratcheting screwdrivers of 2019 are designed to demystify the shopping process and show you the highlights and lowlights on each model so that you can make an informed purchase. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide which includes a lot of great general information about ratcheting screwdrivers, so you can be looking at them like an expert would in no time flat.
|Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver|
|Milwaukee 48-22-2302P 10-in-1||1 lb||4.5/5|
|Irwin Tools 1948774 8-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver|
(Best for the Money)
|Jakemy Ratchet Screwdriver Set 69-in-1||3 lbs||4.2/5|
|Titan Tools 11014||1 lb||3.9/5|
The Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver is the model you want to get if you’re looking for one of the best ratcheting screwdrivers on the market today at a reasonable price. It comes with a long handle and body, measuring nine inches from tip to tip. That gives you good leverage while you’re trying to drive recalcitrant screws. It also comes with five bits, which further increases the value that you get from this set. And, it has decent ergonomics. While it won’t be the most comfortable tool you ever own, it holds its own.
This model also comes with excellent magnetism. Being able to hold your screw on the end of the bit while you get the rest of the screwdriver into position will save you a lot of time and will give you the ability to fish screws out of those little gaps they always fall into. Our only complaint is that the ratcheting mechanism tends to be on the stiff side, giving you plenty of power to loosen stuck screws, but making it hard to free screws once they’ve sufficiently loosened. Still, if you want the best option on the market, this is the tool for you.
The Milwaukee 48-22-2302P 10-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver set is one of the best deals you’ll be able to find when shopping for a ratcheting screwdriver. This model comes with both a full-size ratcheting screwdriver with onboard storage for up to six bits and a mini screwdriver with onboard capacity for six additional bits. Altogether, the manufacturer gives you 14 bits and assumes that you’ll be using one in the slots of both tools at all time. This model also includes a wire stripper and a wire bender on the main screwdriver, increasing what you can do with this model.
The bits are also chrome-plated, which increases their resistance to corrosion and will help them last a long time in wet or humid conditions. The only possible downside to this model is that the smaller screwdriver isn’t a ratcheting model, so you shouldn’t buy this set thinking that’s what you’re getting. Still, it’s a nice tool to have around when you’re working in tight spaces. Overall, this is a great set from a quality perspective, and it comes at a price that few people will have objections to. If the second screwdriver were a ratcheting model, we’d put this set in first.
The Irwin Tools 1948774 8-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver is a great choice for people who need an excellent ratcheting screwdriver at a fantastic price. Since you can get this model for less than half of what you would have to pay to get our top two models, it provides the best value for the money on our list. It comes with seven bits, which further increases the value. It also comes with onboard bit storage, so you’ll be able to carry them around from place to place without investing in a secondary carrying device.
It also comes with three texture zones on the handle. This will allow you to adjust your grip to change how much force you’re applying and change the torque you’re putting on the screw. That’s not the most useful feature out there, but it shows that the manufacturer is willing to pay attention to the details in this model. Unfortunately, this model lacks a small flathead bit, which is a shame considering that’s one of the most common types of screws you’ll need to work with. Overall, this is a good ratcheting screwdriver available at a very low price, making it the best deal for the money.
The Jakemy Ratchet Screwdriver Set 69-in-1 has more parts than you’re ever likely to use but does come with some of the more esoteric bits on the market, making it a good choice for people who frequently deal with security screws. This set includes 55 bits, including a wide range of Torx bits, u- and y- bits, and more. It also comes with two different ratcheting screwdrivers. The larger one includes a swivel joint which can be used to work on screws which are around tight corners and wouldn’t allow for the use of a standard ratcheting screwdriver. Best of all, this set is not terribly expensive relative to how much stuff is included in it.
Unfortunately, this set as some of the problems that you’d expect when you get a kit that’s full of lots of parts for a very low price. Many of the parts are of questionable quality, and the bits themselves are especially suspect. Some users have noted that metal has started to flake off of them after just a few uses. That’s a bad sign, and when combined with the fact that the fits sit loosely in the screwdriver, makes for a bad deal.
The Titan Tools 11014 might be a model to consider if you’re shopping on a shoestring budget, but it’s not one you’re going to want to keep using. On the good side, this model comes with onboard bit storage. It also includes seven bits which is almost unfathomable given how low this model’s price is. However, the bit holder is where this model starts to go astray. It’s mounted on the outside of this model. That makes it very bulky and can interfere when you’re trying to work this model into tight spaces. And while the body is long, the extension towards the bit isn’t, meaning that you’re going to have even more trouble in tight spaces.
It also feels cheap, which isn’t something you ever want to have to say about a tool. The handle itself is on the uncomfortable side, which is to be expected with a tool this cheap. If you need a ratcheting screwdriver for a simple project where the screws will be exposed and easy to get to, you could make do with this model. However, you couldn’t expect it to last forever, and this tool isn’t of high enough quality to justify any price.
You may already know which model is right for you based on our reviews alone. However, if you want a little more information about ratcheting screwdrivers before you buy, check out this buyer’s guide.
One of the most misleading things about ratcheting screwdrivers is that almost all models come with bits. The truth is that the bits are almost always garbage, even on the more expensive models. In some cases, you’ll get a passable set of bits, but by and large, you’ll be better off buying the bits you need individually in separate sets where you can independently verify the value. However, if you’re not planning to use your set a lot, and just need something cheap to get you through a project or two, the included bits should live up to your expectations.
Something else to keep in mind is that not all ratcheting screwdrivers are made the same. The number of teeth that the ratcheting mechanism uses determines how smoothly it operates and the size of the smallest move you can make that still advances it. The best ratcheting screwdrivers come with 30 teeth, and any model with more than 20 should provide an overall satisfying experience.
The Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver is our favorite model due to its great handle and magnetism, and its inclusion of five bits. In second is the Milwaukee 48-22-2302P 10-in-1, which comes with two screwdrivers and 14 bits, though only one of the two is a ratcheting model. The Irwin Tools 1948774 8-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver features three texture zones, seven bits, and onboard bit storage. You can get it for less than half of what the top two models cost, making this model the best for the money on our list. The Jakemy Ratchet Screwdriver Set 69-in-1 includes two ratcheting screwdrivers and 55 bits, but its poor quality means it can rise no higher than fourth on our list. In last place is the Titan Tools 11014 which comes with seven bits but has a strangely-placed bit storage module and is generally uncomfortable and low-quality.
Hopefully, our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand the ratcheting screwdriver market. You should now be able to find the model which is right for you at a price that can’t be beaten.