Shopping for screwdrivers is supposed to be easy. These aren’t terribly complex tools, or so we’re led to think. As it turns out, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when shopping for screwdrivers online. It doesn’t help that manufacturers often oversell what their products can do while downplaying any potential problems.
That can make it hard to find the set that is right for you or even one that you’ll end up liking. We want you to be able to buy with confidence, even when shopping online. Our reviews of the best screwdriver sets of 2019 show you the good and the bad about each model so that you can go into your purchase with full knowledge of what you’re getting.
We’ve also included a buyer’s guide that covers all of the modern features you may find in screwdriver sets today and makes it easier to tell which ones are worth the money and which ones are worth skipping.
|GearWrench 80066 20 Piece Master Set|
|Craftsman 9-31794 17 Piece Set|
(Best for the Money)
|Klein Tools 6-Piece Set 85074||2 lbs||4.8/5|
|Stanley 62-511 9-Way Set||1 lb||4.8/5|
|MLTOOLS 8-Piece Magnetic Set VS336||2 lbs||4.0/5|
The GearWrench 80066 20 Pieces Master Set is one of the best screwdriver sets on the market today. It comes with 20 great screwdrivers of varying sizes and heads. This includes a pair of Torx screwdrivers which in combination with a variety of large and small screwdrivers makes this the best screwdriver set for electronics on our list. These screwdrivers come with chrome vanadium steel shafts, which are some of the strongest that you’ll be able to find on the market today. They also feature black oxide on their tips, which greatly reduces their ability to slip.
A nice touch is the fact that each shaft has its size laser etched into it so that you’ll be able to grab the one you need, even if you’re not able to pick it out by sight alone. The only knock against these screwdrivers is that even though that they’re advertised as ergonomic, they’re not the most comfortable tools to hold. If that were to be improved, it would be hard to complain about these screwdrivers in any area. Still, if you need a great set of screwdrivers for computer or other work, then this is the set for you.
The Craftsman 9-31794 17 Piece Set is a set of great screwdrivers from a solid brand that lives up to its name value. The title on this product is misleading, however. One of the pieces counted in this 17-piece set is a keychain screwdriver which comes with four heads. It won’t be the most useful thing you’ve ever owned, but if you think you can find a use for a keychain screwdriver, have at it. The other 16 screwdrivers are very well made, and the nine slotted and 7 Philips screwdrivers will give you plenty of options for your varying projects.
This model also comes with a Craftsman lifetime warranty, so if you do manage to break a screwdriver or wear it out, you’ll be able to replace it at minimal cost. Since the price is as low as it is, this is the best kit for the money on our list. It costs about half what the top model costs but delivers almost as many screwdrivers. If the tip variety were greater, then we’d consider ranking this model first. Still, if you’re looking for a good deal, you’ll be happy with these screwdrivers and their lifetime warranty.
The Klein Tools 6-Piece Set 85074 is a good choice for beginners who need a simple selection of tools to get started on whatever projects they may face. This set comes with three slotted and three Philips screwdrivers of different sizes, allowing you to tackle most simple jobs with this set. The handles are also labeled on the end, so it’s easy to keep track of them even if you can’t identify which size they are by sight alone. They also come with non-slip tips which makes it easier to get them aligned before you start turning.
Unfortunately, this set isn’t magnetized, so you won’t be able to pick up screws with it. That makes it a good choice for use on sensitive electrical equipment, but this isn’t necessarily the set you would get if that was your end goal. It’s also an expensive kit for just six screwdrivers. The quality is good, but it probably doesn’t justify the price for most people. Overall this is a mediocre kit for most people, but if you’re looking to start your tool collection, this one comes with many of the screwdriver sizes you’ll use frequently, and the quality will leave you happy.
The Stanley 62-511 9-Way Set isn’t the most useful set on our list, but the price is low enough to make it a solid budget buy. This set comes with one handle, and nine interchangeable tips that come with screwdriver heads and other parts. Included are three Philips and three slotted screwdrivers, as well as a tack lifter, a brad awl, and a hook driver. Not everyone will be able to make use of those extra pieces, but the good news is that the included screwdriver heads are ones that you’ll get a lot of use out of at home.
However, there are only six screwdrivers in this nine-piece set. This is a kit at war with itself, as it comes with pieces that advanced users would like, but advanced users probably wouldn’t buy a handle with interchangeable heads. While the quality is sufficient, one-piece screwdrivers would probably hold up better in the long run. This set isn’t magnetic, which would improve its usability at home. While this set isn’t a champion, it does have a niche, and if you’re looking for something cheap to have around the house, you could be satisfied with this set.
The MLTOOLS 8-Piece Magnetic Set ultimately doesn’t have the consistent quality that it would need to rise higher on this list, despite the good things it has going for it. It does come with magnetized tips, which is useful when you’re working with small screws or would like to be able to hold a screw on the end of the screwdriver. It also comes with no-slip tips, which aren’t always included but should be given how useful they are.
Where this set begins to fall short is in the slotted screwdrivers. Three of the four included slotted screwdrivers are too thick to use on standard screws, which renders them all but useless. These screwdrivers aren’t always properly magnetized, which is a problem that you could fix at home but is inconvenient and hurts value. Unfortunately, a small number of units seem to suffer from quality control problems and chip or strip within a few uses. If the quality were more consistent, and the included slotted screwdrivers were all very useful, then we’d be happy to rank this model higher on our list. As things stand, however, it can rise no higher than last place.
Our reviews should already have you thinking about the features that you’d like to see in your next screwdriver set. Of course, you may feel like you don’t have great context yet for what makes great screwdrivers great and poor screwdrivers poor. This buyer’s guide is designed to bridge that gap, and help you understand screwdrivers as a professional would. That way, you can find the model that’s right for you. We’ve also included some strategies for getting great value for your money, so if you’re after a good deal, make sure you check out this guide.
If you’ve used screwdrivers in the past, you know how useful a magnetic tip can be. Being able to pick up a tiny screw that fell into a tight space by just tapping your screwdriver against it is a feature that’s often too good to pass over. If there are two sets of similar quality and price, but if one is magnetic and one isn’t, then you should almost always go for the magnetic one.
The only time you shouldn’t is if you’re buying a set to use with computers or other sensitive electronic equipment. These can sometimes be damaged by magnetism, leading to faults or errors, or even the complete shutdown of the system. You also run the risk of magnetizing the screw when using a magnetic screwdriver, so if you’re going to be working with an electronic system, go for a non-magnetic set.
No-slip tips are one of those features that seems like it doesn’t add much value to a screwdriver set. While there are a lot of similar features out there which are without much function, non-slip tips which are well made can make your job easier. Metal tips on metal screws result in low friction between the two surfaces. If you’re working in an area with plenty of space and good angles for turning the screw, this won’t be much of a problem.
Where no-slip tips earn their value is in situations where you don’t have great access to a screw. If you’re working at a funny angle or don’t have great contact with the screw while you work, the no-slip tip can save you a lot of time and effort. Once you get the screwdriver seated in the screw, it’s unlikely to pop loose on accident. It also gives you a slight edge against slightly-stripped screws, as you’ll be able to grip them better.
Not all screwdrivers are made equally well. Some are designed so that they’ll last forever. Others are made in order to maximize profit and won’t last nearly that long. One of the best indicators of a well-made screwdriver is the material from which its shaft is made. Chrome vanadium steel is one of the strongest steels you can find on the market today. There are a few that are stronger, but chrome vanadium steel provides a ton of strength for a price that won’t break a consumer’s bank.
Screwdrivers which are made with shafts made from chrome vanadium steel tend to be more expensive than their peers, though they tend to have better overall value. You should be careful with screwdrivers that don’t explicitly state what their shafts are made from. Both cheap and reasonably-strong models do this, so the best way to determine how strong they are is to look for online reviews and search those for complaints about snapping or chipping screwdrivers. If they have none, they’re probably a good buy.
Of course, everyone is going to want to do different kinds of projects with their screwdrivers. The best way to maximize the value that you get out of your purchase starts with an honest evaluation of what you’re planning to do. If you figure out what kinds of screwdrivers you’ll need to complete your likely projects quickly and easily, then you can figure out which sets have the screwdrivers you need.
Then determine what quality you’ll want to get, and how much you’re willing to pay. Eliminate any sets that come with the screwdrivers you need, but don’t meet your price and quality standards. Then, choose the cheapest remaining set. It has the features it needs to leave you satisfied with your purchase, but also comes at the lowest price, making it the best overall value for your money.
Note: we also have a buyer’s guide for electric screwdrivers found here.
The GearWrench 80066 20 Pieces Master Set is the best overall screwdriver set on our list, coming with non-slip tips, chrome vanadium steel shafts, and laser-etched size info. The Craftsman 9-31794 17 Piece Set is another good option which includes a lifetime warranty on the screwdrivers. Given its low price, it’s the best overall set for the money on our list. The Klein Tools 6-Piece Set 85074 features a good selection of non-slip screwdrivers, but it’s not magnetized and is expensive for how many screwdrivers you get. The Stanley 62-511 9-Way Set is inexpensive and includes some tools other than screwdrivers but isn’t magnetic and doesn’t provide great overall value for most people. The MLTOOLS 8-Piece Magnetic Set is magnetic and features no-slip tips, but its thick flathead screwdrivers, inconsistent magnetism, and quality control issues set it back relative to the other sets on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have made you feel more comfortable with your options in screwdriver sets. You should now be able to find a set that works well for a long time at a great price.
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