Best Screwdriver Set 2018 - Full Buying Guide - Top 5 Sets

Best Screwdriver Sets for 2018

Best Screwdriver Set for the Money

Screwdrivers are used by more than just woodworkers - being realistic, every home or workshop should have a screwdriver set!

Aside from woodworking and general home use, screwdriver sets are used by mechanics, craftsmen, and all sorts of other markers or handymen.

Screwdrivers rank from pretty great to pure awful, as with most tools. This article will help you choose the best screwdriver set for your needs.


Our Top Screwdriver Set Picks


Different types of screwdriver sets

Set of different screwdrivers

When you start looking for a set of screwdrivers you might be overwhelmed with what's available. There's a number of different types of sets, such as, but not all inclusive of:

  • Flat head sets – only flat head drivers are included
  • Phillips head sets - only Phillips head drivers are included
  • Combination flat head and Phillips head sets – includes both flat head and Phillips head drivers
  • Insulated Electrician's Sets – screwdriver blades are insulated to protect the electrician if working on a live circuit
  • Specialized tip sets – such as Japanese Industrial Standard tips, torx tip, clutch tip, security tip, and others
  • Precision sets – small, even micro sets, for clock/watch work, gunsmithing, hobby, craft, glasses, electronics, and more
  • Interchangeable tip sets – multiple style tips which can be swapped in and out of a ratcheting, or non-ratcheting handle/grip
  • Magnetic sets – specialized use in working with steel screws where a second hand cannot hold the bold or screw when guiding into the work piece
  • Non-magnetic sets – for generalized work

See what I mean? There's quite a variety to choose from.

To help make the job easier you need to think about what kind of work you plan to do; woodworking, automotive, DIY, other, or a combination of all or a few.

Sometimes, a good old screwdriver might not be enough and instead you might need a drill. So, make sure you have it settled right at the beginning! 

Also, checkout this awesome video:


What to look for in a screwdriver set

When checking out screwdriver sets there are a number of things to consider, other than price. Here's some key elements to look into.

Quality

This is probably the most important thing to consider. You don't want to spend money on tools, only to have them break the first or second time used, do you?

Nope. I didn't think so. Stay away from dollar store and bargain bin sets. Remember, you're looking for the best screwdriver set for your money.


Warranty

You're probably not going to get a warranty when you buy a substandard screwdriver set.

On the other hand, brand names will come with a warranty. This might come in handy some day and is well worth spending a bit more on a quality set.


Magnetic tip or non-magnetic tip

When you have to get a screw into an area that you can't put an extra finger to hold the screw in place then a magnetized tip is awesome.

It's also worth noting that it's pretty to easy to magnetize any screwdriver yourself, using just a magnet. It's very easy, and the magnetic charge lasts for years - so keep that in mind also.


Handle

Now, this is an important element to consider. I've been in situations where I didn't have access to my tools and had to use a borrowed screwdrivers. There's been a number of incidents where the screwdrivers were of poor quality and had very narrow handles with sharp ends.

Those are NO fun to use.

When looking into screwdrivers look for handles that have bulk to them, with rounded or smoothed ends and edges. Your hands will thank you.

You could always re-handle a screwdriver, if you happen to wear one down to the point of discomfort. It would probably be easier to just buy a new screwdriver - although re-handling one can also be a pretty neat project!


Size and tip style

Unless you work with only one screw size or tip style then a set that contains the most widely used styles in a variety of sizes will be indispensable.

In addition to tip size, various lengths of screwdrivers comes in handy.

As for tip styles, flat and Phillips are the most common, so it will benefit you to at least buy a set that contains both.

If you can find a set with both, plus Torx type screwdrivers, then you have a bonus.

Torx type screws have become common in woodworking, automotive/motorcycle, lawn equipment, appliances, and other areas.


Versatility

A screwdriver set with a wide variety of tip sizes and styles will over more versatility in your day to day DIY projects.

There are other set styles that can offer even more versatility than a set of standard screwdrivers. These are the kits that contain interchangeable tips and a handle. Many times the handle has a ratcheting feature.


Material

Most screwdrivers are made with steel shanks/shafts and tips.

There are applications where these are not the screws to us. Aircraft instrument and other instruments, as well as some electronic components require the use of non-metallic screwdrivers. These kinds of screwdrivers won't be found in your standard sets, and most likely not at your usual stores. You'll have to go to a specialty supplier for these.


Application

Standard screwdrivers will work in your normal day to day DIY applications, but there are some that call for special screwdrivers. Minute projects, such as clockwork, require precision or micro-screw drivers.

When working on Japanese motorcycles, Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) screwdrivers will serve much better than standard screwdrivers.

Why? Japanese industry uses screw heads that are not quite the same as standard screw heads.

Standard Phillips screwdrivers tend to slip out out of JIS screw heads, damaging them in the process.


Different screwdrivers for different purposes

Different types of screwdriver sets

As the name implies, Woodwork Boss' focus is woodworking. Despite that, we're going to talk a bit about screwdrivers for woodworking and other purposes.

You should also learn a bit about how to use a screwdriver correctly - there might be a little more to it than you think!

Woodworking

Woodworking doesn't call for much more than a set of screwdrivers that includes Phillips and flat head tipped drivers. These have been the standard screw head types for years.

Now, introduction of Torx head screws has prompted a drift from the normal path. Torx head drivers are much less prone to slipping out of screw heads than are Phillips and flat head.


Construction

In construction, most assembly is done with power tools, such as pneumatic nail guns, powered screw drivers, etc.

Regular screw drivers really don't come into play until electrical work, appliance installation, fixture installation, and such is done. For these jobs, as set of Phillips and flat head screwdrivers will fill the bill.


Electrical Work

Most of the time, electrical installations and repairs are done with the power shut off.

Unfortunately, there are times when the electrician has to work in circuit boxes where all the circuits are not necessarily shut off. Times like this calls for screwdrivers that are designed to help keep the worker safe.

Electrician's screwdrivers are insulated all the way down the the tip, leaving only the working end exposed.


Automotive/motorcycle service

For years, various forms of transportation have utilized Phillips and flat head screws. This hasn't changed much over the years, with the exception of the introduction of Torx head screws.

A standard set of screwdrivers should serve well in the garage or shop, even more so if it includes Torx type screwdrivers.

Now, here's a “Wrench in the Gears.” Many Japanese produced items, especially motorcycles use fasteners based upon Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS).

In these cases, what appears to be Phillips head screws are not. Using Phillip head screwdrivers in these instances can result in the tip “Camming Out,” slipping out of the screw head damaging it.


Precision applications

Clock and watch smithing, gun smithing, electronics, hobbies, and other precision applications require smaller, more precisely made screwdrivers.

Screwdrivers for these applications are much smaller than those used in construction, automotive, DIY, woodworking, and other ventures.

Now that we've covered a bunch of stuff about screwdrivers and sets, let's take a look at 5 sets.


Our Opinion: Best Screwdriver Sets 2017


Craftsman 9-31798 Phillips Slotted Torx Mixed Screwdriver Set, 41 Piece

This is the most costly set reviewed and it's another Craftsman set.

Why? Well, we've been talking about Torx type screwdrivers and versatility.

This set offers both.

Quality

Craftsman tools have been know for quality for years. Both the metal and plastic parts are made of materials that hold up well over time.

Warranty

As mentioned above, Craftsman offers a life time warranty on all hand tools.

Magnetic vs non-magnetic tip

Non-magnetic tips on this set.

Handles

Craftsman screwdriver handles work very well, even though there's nothing fancy about them.

The handles have enough texture in the flutes (grooves which allow for gripping), have rounded ends which are easy on the hands, and are made of a plastic that is very resistant to impact and chemicals.

Tips/blades

Although the tips on Craftsman tools are not as finely finished as some high quality sets, they are heat treated alloy steel and will do the job very well for the the average woodworker, auto enthusiast, electrician, etc.

Versatility

With 41 pieces and Torx type heads, this set is very versatile.

Included are 13 flat head screwdrivers from 3/32"x1 ½" to 5/16"x8"; 9 Philips screwdrivers from #0 x 1 ½" to #4 x 8"; 6 Torx screwdrivers T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30; 4 in 1 pocket keychain, 1 magnetic screwdriver with 10 piece bit set and 1 offset screwdriver

PROS

CONS

  • Well known brand name
  • Quality materials
  • Color coded handles allows for quick identification between Phillips and flat head tips
  • A really great assortment of styles and sizes, including Torx type tips
  • Non-magnetic (Not really a con, if you're not needing the feature)

Craftsman 9-31794 Slotted Phillips Screwdriver Set, 17 Piece

We're starting off with a set with a brand name that has been known in households for years.

I can't even imagine how many of these sets are in garages, work shops, tool bags, and tool cabinets. Yep, Craftsman.

Quality

Craftsman tools have been know for quality for years. Both the metal and plastic parts are made of materials that hold up well over time.

Warranty

As mentioned above, Craftsman offers a life time warranty on all hand tools.

Magnetic vs non-magnetic tip

Non-magnetic tips on this set. I've never had it be a problem, as I can work around it with bits of tape, or a couple of quick swipes with a magnet. Yep, you can make your own magnetized screwdrivers.

Handles

Craftsman screwdriver handles work very well, even though there's nothing fancy about them.

The handles have enough texture in the flutes (grooves which allow for gripping), have rounded ends which are easy on the hands, and are made of a plastic that is very resistant to impact and chemicals.

Tips/blades

Although the tips on Craftsman tools are not as finely finished as some high quality sets, they are heat treated alloy steel and will do the job very well for the the average woodworker, auto enthusiast, electrician, etc.

Versatility

With 17 pieces, this set is quite versatile, offering 9 flat head drivers, 7 Phillips head drivers, and one key chain pocket screwdriver.

The sizes range from 3/32” x 1 1/2” to 1/4” x 6” flat head screwdrivers and #0 x 1 ½" to #2 x 8" Phillips head screwdrivers.

PROS

CONS

  • Well known brand name
  • Quality materials
  • Color coded handles allows for quick identification between Phillips and flat head tips
  • Great assortment of styles and sizes
  • Non-magnetic (Not really a con, if you're not needing the feature)
  • Does not include Torx head drivers

All in all, this is a great set for woodworking, construction, hobby tasks, automotive/motorcycle work, as well as much more.


Stanley 60-220 Standard Fluted Screwdriver Set, 20 Piece

This second set is also by a well known tool maker. Although not quite as well known as Craftsman, Stanley also supplies quality tools. This set will also serve well for years.

Quality

Stanley tools have also been know for quality for years. Both the metal and plastic parts are made of materials that hold up well over time.

Warranty

Stanley also offers a life time warranty on all hand tools.

Magnetic vs non-magnetic tip

The Stanley set also features non-magnetic tips on this set. Same as the Craftsman set, bits of tape, or a couple of quick swipes with a magnet will hold screws.

Handles

The Stanley screwdriver handles work very well, as they have an ergonomic shape that fits easily in the palm.

The handles have a slip resistant texture and rounded ends which are easy on the hands, and are made of a plastic that is very resistant to impact and chemicals.

Tips/blades

Like the Craftsman set, the tips on Stanley tools are not as finely finished as some high quality sets. They are also heat treated alloy steel and will do the job very well for the the average woodworker, auto enthusiast, electrician, etc.

Versatility

Although the Stanley set has 20 pieces, it actually offers less in the larger sized drivers, with 5 flat head drivers and 7 Phillips head drivers.

This set does offer two offset screwdrivers and a 6-piece micro-screwdriver set. Sizes range from micro to 1/4” flat head and #2 Phillips head.

PROS

CONS

  • Well known brand name
  • Quality materials
  • Color coded handles allows for quick identification between Phillips and flat head tips
  • Great assortment of styles and sizes
  • Non-magnetic (Not really a con, if you're not needing the feature)
  • Does not include Torx head drivers

Again, this is a great set for woodworking, construction, hobby tasks, automotive/motorcycle work, as well as much more.


Channellock SD-7CB Code Blue Screwdrivers 7-Piece Set - S144CB, S146CB, S364CB, S388CB, P104CB, P204CB, P306CB

Channellock is probably most well known for it's adjustable pliers that are known by that name.

Well, Channellock makes more than pliers. They are also known for quality tools.

Quality

Channellock tools have also been know for quality for years.

Both the metal and plastic parts are made of materials that hold up well over time.

Warranty

As per the first two offerings, Channellock also offers a life time warranty on all hand tools.

Magnetic vs non-magnetic tip

Unlike the first two sets, this Channellock set features magnetic tips. Handy for holding metallic screws when the fingers can't do the job.

Handles

The Channellock screwdriver handles also work very well, as they also have an ergonomic shape that fits easily in the palm.

The handles have a slip resistant texture and rounded ends which are easy on the hands, and are made of a plastic that is very resistant to impact and chemicals.

Tips/blades

In keeping with other affordable sets, the tips on Channellock tools are not as finely finished as some high quality sets.

They are heat treated alloy steel and will do the job very well for the the average woodworker, auto enthusiast, electrician, etc.

Versatility

Offering only 7 pieces, this set is not going to provide the versatility of the other two. Channellock provides 4 flat head drivers ranging from 1/4"x4" to 3/8"x8" and Phillips head drivers in sizes from #1x4" to #3x6".

PROS

CONS

  • Well known brand name
  • Quality materials
  • Adequate number of styles and sizes
  • Magnetic
  • Number of pieces is considerably lower than the first two sets, although priced in comparable range
  • Does not include Torx head drivers

Although this is a quality set by a well known manufacturer, the limited number of pieces does not provide the same versatility and bang for the buck as the Craftsman and Stanley sets.


DEWALT DWHT62513 10 Piece Screwdriver Set

DeWalt is well known for power tools, but here they are offering a screwdriver set. They are really spreading out in the tool market.

Quality

DeWalt has been known for years as the brand of quality power tools. Well, now they're known for their hand tools.

Both the metal and plastic parts are made of materials that hold up well over time.

Warranty

Like the earlier manufacturers, DeWalt also offers a life time warranty on all hand tools.

Magnetic vs non-magnetic tip

DeWalt, like Channellock, offers its set with magnetic tips.

Handles

The DeWalt screwdriver handles are also ergonomic in shape, fitting nicely in the palm.

The handles also have a slip resistant texture and rounded ends which are easy on the hands, and are made of a plastic that is very resistant to impact and chemicals. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Tips/blades

Also in keeping with other affordable sets, the tips on DeWalt screwdrivers are not as finely finished as some high quality sets, but are a bit nicer than the other sets.

They are also heat treated alloy steel and will do the job as well as the other sets.

Versatility

At 10 pieces, the DeWalt set offers a bit more than Channellock provides, but not as much as Craftsman and Stanley.

The set includes 5 flat head drivers ranging from 3/32”"x1 1/2" to 3/8"x8" and Phillips head drivers in sizes from #0x1 1/2" to #3x6".

This set also includes stubby versions of the both types of tips.

PROS

CONS

  • Well known brand name
  • Quality materials
  • Magnetic
  • Adequate number of styles and sizes
  • Number of pieces is considerably lower than the first two sets, although priced in comparable range
  • Does not include Torx head drivers

For what you'll pay for the DeWalt set, you can get more with the Stanley set. Good tools, but not the best buy.


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Best Screwdriver Set 2018 - Full Buying Guide - Top 5 Sets
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Best Screwdriver Set 2018 - Full Buying Guide - Top 5 Sets
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All you need to choose the best screwdriver set. Full buying guide and breakdown of important features. Top 5 sets for 2017.
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Woodworkboss.com
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