Why care about the World’s Best Screwdrivers and Screwdriver Sets?
As machinist’s, we use screwdriver sets a lot. Many of us are also major tool junkies. So, when we get tired of the usual Craftsman or SnapOn options, where do we go for a better screwdriver set?
What about just wanting to try the world’s best of some product, and being able to do so for a type of product we use a lot and can afford to buy the world’s best of.
I thought it was worth some research and came up with 8 brands. What makes a better screwdriver set? Lots of things in common including:
- More comfortable ergonomic grip
- Easier to tell at a glance whether you have to right one
- Extra machine work so the tip is optimized for the job it has to do
- Overall quality of construction and materials
- Extra gizmos and gadgets
These are not a budget screwdriver set, some are quite expensive. But their features and quality are unparalleled.
Without further ado, here are some possibilities for you to consider:
Electricians, in particular, seem to swear by Klein Cushion Grip screwdriver sets. But so do a lot of others. Their 8 piece screwdriver set is available on Amazon for $75.29 as I write this:
To my eye, this is one of the tamer grip designs of the bunch, but people do swear by them. One special Klein screwdriver I purchased is this one:
The Rapi-Drive is a speed driver with interchangeable tip that looks like it’d be handy for rapidly installing or removing screws that don’t require a lot of torque–handy in the right situation. Only $15.97 on Amazon. I think the Rapi-Drive would complement any of the other sets if you don’t fancy Klein Tools for the World’s Best Screwdriver Set. It includes both 3/16-Inch (5 mm) slotted and #2 Phillips screwdriver bits.
Bondhus Felo Ergonic Screwdrivers
Now we’re talking about a more ergonomic grip, and they will certainly stand out with their modern design. Like so many of our choices, Bondhus are made in Europe. And a very fine screwdriver set they are:
At $92.50, these lovely German-made screwdrivers are awfully expensive. I have seen listed in the past as cheap as $40, so I think it is a matter of who is supplying them.
PB Swiss Screwdrivers
These screwdriver sets are extremely popular in places like the Garage Journal where tool snobs like to hang out (it’s a great board, BTW, be sure to check it out some time!). And lest you think I’m being harsh, nothing wrong with being a Tool Snob. I know I’m one. It just means folks really care about their tools.
The PB Swiss 6 screwdriver set includes a nice wall rack:
That set is $77, which is about what I normally see them for. Not super cheap, but they are made in Switzerland, have ergonomic grips, and the grips are made of a special material that still gives traction if your hands are oily–that might be pretty handy. Plus, I love the way you can tell at a glance whether you have a Slotted or Phillips head tip by the end cap color. Notice also the tips are machined for better grip.
Wera Kraftform Screwdrivers
Wera are another German brand that gets mentioned in hushed tones by the aficionados. They certainly have a distinctive look to them:
The Wera world’s best screwdriver set goes for $29.13 on a deal currently, regular $43.39. It’s neat that you can tell the type and size of the driver from the notations on the end cap. They also sell a step-up model whose main difference seems to be that it is made of stainless steel. What will the Germans think of next?
Seriously though, I cannot tell a lie, the Wera’s are what I purchased to upgrade my aging Craftsman screwdriver set. They have a lovely feel in the hand and their price is nice when you consider the competition.
As machinists, we know full well that the Japanese make some nice stuff. Check out this premium wood-handled screwdriver set:
They’re absolutely gorgeous, but are priced at $197.50, so I might be afraid to use them very much. Perhaps only when changing the jets on the Weber carburetors of my vintage Ferrari. Um, assuming I had a vintage Ferrari, LOL!
Wiha Screwdriver Sets
Wiha is another great German brand, and I have had some experience with Wiha Torx drivers for changing inserts on my tooling–they’re nicely made. They have several screwdriver sets, but their best is really nice:
They’re not cheap at $89.20, but they’re splendidly well-made, and you have to love the extra features like the wrench flats where the shank goes into the handle.
Facom make great tools. In fact, if you attend any historic races sporting Formula One cars, you’re likely to see a fair number of Facom tools floating around the pits. They seem to have an “in” with that crowd. Their Protwist Screwdriver Sets are certainly lovely:
Normally, it’ll be $71.95 for these lovelies, but they’re currently unavailable from Amazon. These were my #2 choice for my personal World’s Best Screwdriver Set, but they were just a little too pricey when I was buying. If they hadn’t been, I might be sporting Facom in my garage tool cabinets.
Facom Protwist Stubby Screwdriver Set of 5…
When I first wrote this article I talked up the Facom Protwist Stubby Screwdriver Set of 5 too. Back then they were $60.76, but as I write this the set is unavailable on Amazon. Sometimes available there, sometimes not.
Vessel Ball Grip Screwdrivers
These Japanese-made screwdriver sets have the oddest shape yet, but I own some and I really like them:
Vessel Ball grip Screwdrivers
The ends are marked so you can see what type driver you’re getting. I am thinking that for certain situations, a palm-drive would be really nice.
Here’s a nice set at the great price of $37.61. However, I did find this neat little mini-set with interchangeable tips:
You can really see how comfortable the grip looks and how nicely made the tool is. This little Vessel Ball Grip set sells for $13.54, and it seems like an awesome way to try out this style grip (I really like mine!). Also seems like a great gift for the man that has every tool in his tool kit. I bought one, and for certain jobs, that palmy grip is really nice.
Precision Screwdriver Sets
Precision Screwdriver Sets come in handy for assembling and disassembling small screws. For example, when it’s time to open up your laptop computer so you can work on it. They’re so handy to have that I am including a special section that’s just about precision screwdriver sets.
Wiha Precision Screwdriver Set
Wiha makes great screwdrivers and these precision screwdrivers are no exception. This particular set can be had on Amazon for $27.35 as I write this.
Vessel Precision Screwdriver Set
I do love my vessel ball drive screwdrivers, and here is their precision screwdriver set:
These cost about $13.20 on Amazon as I write this. That seemed like such a good price that I went ahead and bought a set for my own toolbox.
Klein Tools Precision Screwdriver Set
This Klein Tools Precision Screwdriver Set looks extremely well made. They cost about $34.95 on Amazon as I write this.
Wiha PicoFinish® Electric Precision Screwdriver Set
Lastly, I present these Wiha Precision Screwdrivers set up with insulated tips for electrician’s to use:
Not cheap! About $123 from Amazon. But they certainly are very cool.
There you have it–8 brands you may not have been aware of that should be considered for the title, “World’s Best Screwdriver and Screwdriver Set” I doubt there is a one-size-fits-all solution here–the choice will be a matter of personal taste and what’s most compatible with your tool kit.
Which of these would you pick, or what brand not mentioned would you recommend for World’s Best Screwdriver?
As I mentioned, I’ve got the Wera’s and the interchangeable tip Vessel Ball Grip. I also have a Klein Rapi-Drive offset screwdriver (I’m such a sucker for a gimmick!).
These screwdriver sets are not the be-all and end-all. They’re composed entirely of slotted screwdriver and Phillips head screwdrivers, for example. As such you’ll need to look for add-ons to pick up Torx screwdriver. Other specialty categories include ratcheting screwdrivers (usually equipped with interchangeable screwdriver bits), precision screwdrivers (the little mini screwdriver ones for working on tiny screws), insulated screwdrivers, nut drivers, hex keys, and more. There’s literally no end to screwdrivers you may find handy at some point or another.
Putting together a complete arsenal screwdriver set means covering all of the screwdriver head types (Torx screwdriver, Phillips Head Screwdrivers, and Slotted Screwdrivers) plus each of the use cases including:
- Hard to reach situations. Stubby screwdrivers and sometimes ball drivers are helpful here. Also helpful are very long reach screwdrivers, though they can be hard to manipulate, particularly slotted screwdrivers which will try to slip off constantly.
- Speed Drivers: A ratcheting screwdriver can be the answer.
- Specialty Drivers such as insulated and magnetic screwdriver set.
For some of these, you can save cost and space by purchasing screwdriver bits rather than individual screwdrivers. Multi Bit Drivers can be great tools that are just about as good as dedicated rivers, but that take far less space.
Put it all together and you’ll be certain of having the right screwdriver no matter what job you’re working on. And, having one of these premium sets at the heart of your tool kit can be a real pleasure. They ensure a great tool whether the job is building flat pack furniture, diy projects of all kinds, automotive repairs, or assembling furniture and woodworking.
Note: Many of the links in this article are affiliate links to Amazon. If you click through on them and subsequently purchase the screwdrivers, CNCCookbook will get a small fee. Hey, we need good screwdrivers here too, and that’s how we’re starting a fund to buy them. But, if you don’t want to contribute, no worries. Just search Amazon using the information provided here and you’ll be able to find the same thing, sans affiliate link, in no time.
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Bob is responsible for the development and implementation of the popular G-Wizard CNC Software. Bob is also the founder of CNCCookbook, the largest CNC-related blog on the Internet.