Why care about the World’s Best Screwdrivers and Screwdriver Sets?
As machinist’s, we use screwdrivers 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? 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? 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
Without further ado, here are some possibilities for you to consider:
Electricians, in particular, seem to swear by Klein Cushion Grip screwdrivers. But so do a lot of others. Their 8 piece set is available on Amazon for $61.27 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 $14.97 on Amazon. I think the Rapi-Drive would complement any of the other sets if you don’t fancy Klein for the World’s Best Screwdriver Set.
Bondhus Felo Ergonic Screwdrivers
Now we’re talking about a more ergonomic grip, and they will certainly stand out with their modern design:
At $37.56, these lovely German-made screwdrivers are cheaper than the $80 or so I have seen them priced in the past.
PB Swiss Screwdrivers
These screwdrivers 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 $91.53, 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 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 $32.23 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 screwdrivers. 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 currently not available on Amazon. The last time they were, it was at $187.50, 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 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 $124.67, 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. Right now they’re on sale for $94, a bit less.
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 Screwdrivers are certainly lovely:
Normally, it’ll be $71.95 for these lovelies. 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 over $100. What are Facom thinking? Speaking of which, Facom come and go on Amazon. Sometimes available there, sometimes not.
Vessel Ball Grip Screwdrivers
These Japanese-made screwdrivers 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 $27.35. 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 $14.30, 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 chest. I bought one, and for certain jobs, that palmy grip is really nice.
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.
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.
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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