The Best Hand Screwdriver Set – Turning the Screw Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Choosing the best screwdriver set can present some challenges. What’s ideal for one user could be overkill for another.

But, somewhere, there’s the perfect set for you. Whether you’re planning on doing some serious DIY (do-it-yourself) projects or just want to be able to fix that loose door handle—there’s a driver set to fulfill your needs.

This article includes the best screwdriver sets for every requirement—from the DIY-centric Wiha 20-Piece Pro through to the occasional use Craftsman 8-Piece. Plus, there are many more in between.

There’s also a useful buying guide to assist you in choosing the correct screwdriver set. Let me take you through them now.

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Best for the Serious DIYer

Wiha 20-Piece Pro Tool Set

Wiha Pro Tool Set
137 Reviews
Wiha Pro Tool Set
Quality ergonomic soft grip
Precision machined and hardened
6, 8, 10, 12 or 20 piece sets

Best Value

Craftsman 17-Piece Slotted Phillips Screwdriver Set

Craftsman 17 Piece Slotted and Phillips
715 Reviews
Craftsman 17 Piece Slotted and Phillips
Craftsman quality
9 Slotted blades
7 Phillips
Plus handy 4 in 1 pocket key chain

Best for Pro Use

GearWrench 20-Piece Master Dual Material Screwdriver Set

Gearwrench 20 Piece Dual Material Set
257 Reviews
Gearwrench 20 Piece Dual Material Set
Includes Phillips, Slotted and Torx heads
Alloy steel shaft with polished chrome finish
Solvent and rust resistant
Laser etched for rapid identification

Best for the Car or Trailer

Williams Premium Mixed Screwdriver Set

Williams 19 Piece Premium Set
248 Reviews
Williams 19 Piece Premium Set
  • Set contains a comprehensive assortment of screwdrivers to get the job done
  • Williams comfort grip handle with thumb stop allows for added turning power without discomfort of slippage

Best for Occasional Use

Craftsman 8-Piece Phillips and Slotted Set

Craftsman 8 Piece Phillips and Slotted Set
363 Reviews
Craftsman 8 Piece Phillips and Slotted Set
4 Slotted
4 Phillips
Easy grip handle
Lifetime guarantee!

The Best Screwdriver Set With Reviews

Below are what we consider the best screwdriver sets available—whether for heavy-duty or light use.

1. Wiha 30299 20-Piece Pro Tool Set

Wiha 30299 Pro Tool Set with SoftFinish Grip, 20 Piece
  • Manufactured from CRM 72 hardened steel.
  • 20 screwdrivers included.
  • Includes Phillips, flat head (slotted), Torx, Pozidriv and square tips.
  • Soft-grip handles.

 

What Makes It so Good?

Numerous sizes of screwdriver including five different tip types. Forty percent more power generated than other screwdrivers with cushioned ergonomic handles; made from CRM 72 steel; respected manufacturer. Ideal for the serious DIY enthusiast who demands durability and versatility.

What Makes It Not so Good?

Doesn’t include a carrying case. No “squat” screwdrivers in the set for use in tight locations.

Overview

This set is perfect for the home DIYer who needs the largest array of screwdrivers for the toughest of jobs.

They are manufactured by Germany-based Wiha Corporation, renowned for its 70 years’ experience in tool manufacturing. These drivers are designed to last and will stand up to the heaviest of use.

The shafts/blades are made from tough, industrial-grade CRM 72 steel—extending through virtually the full length of the handle. This ensures that, even during demanding screwing, the handle will not loosen nor will the blade become detached.

In addition, the tips have been hardened with a proprietary “ChromTop” finish. This reduces the chance of damage, even on the most stubborn and aged screws. It also creates a protective layer to eliminate corrosion issues.

Slotted, Phillips, Torx, Pozidriv and square heads are included in the set. This makes it ideal for the user who will be utilizing the screwdrivers for a multitude of uses and applications.

The screwdriver handles are designed to fit perfectly into the palm of the hand. They are cushioned to prevent hand fatigue, making them a good choice for the DIYer who will be using them for extended periods.

Furthermore, they have been developed with Wiha’s bespoke torque feature—which aims to deliver up to 40 percent more power than a standard screwdriver.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        0.125 inch – 0.157 inch – 0.217 inch – 0.25 inch – 0.315 inch

Square                       #1 – #2 – #3

PoziDriv                     #1 – #2

Phillips                       #0 – #1 – #2

Torx                            T6 – T8 – T10 – T15 – T20 – T25 – T30

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2. Craftsman 9-31794 17 Piece Slotted Phillips Screwdriver Set

Craftsman 9-31794 Slotted Phillips Screwdriver Set, 17 Piece
  • 17-piece screwdriver set.
  • Color coded.
  • Includes Phillips and slotted head drivers.
  • Multi-length screwdrivers including squat.

What Makes It so Good?

A good price for a comprehensive set. Includes numerous blade sizes, slotted heads on keychain, color-coded drivers, hardened steel blades.

What Makes It Not so Good?

Lacks Pozidriv and Torx drivers. Shafts can become loose with frequent use.

Overview

An ideal set for home use, where good quality needs to be met with a budget price. These drivers have been both manufactured and designed in the USA. Making them a good option for people who are concerned about provenance.

Comprised of both slotted and Phillips head drivers, this product will meet the demands for the majority of screwing requirements around the home.

A particularly nice feature is the number of different-sized blades combined with the same size tip. This would prove useful for jobs where space is limited—yet you still require a larger tip size.

These range from a lengthy, 9-inch driver, down to a compact, “squat” 1.5-inch tool.

Each individual blade/shaft has been heat-treated to ensure strength. While these blades do stretch into the handle for support, some users have found they can work loose.

The handles are made from butyrate, which is hardwearing and won’t perish, even if left in wet conditions. Perfect balancing between handle and blade means they are simple to maneuver and unlikely to be dropped.

While these handles are grooved to improve grip, constant use could cause hand fatigue.

There is an added bonus with the inclusion of a keychain— with four different sized slotted heads. This makes it a compact tool to carry around in your pocket and also provides the ability to screw in the tightest of spaces.

One final feature that makes these drivers stand out is the color coding. The Phillips screwdriver handles are translucent, whereas the slotted are finished with red trim. Hence, even in poorly-lit conditions, it’s easy to see which tool you have in your hands.

This could be an appealing feature for those who have problems with their eyesight. That is, those who would find it difficult to identify the smaller-headed drivers.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        1 x 0.093 inch – 2 x 0.125 inch – 4 x 0.1875 inch – 2 x 0.25 inch

Phillips                       2 x #0 – 2 x #1 – 3 x #2

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3. GearWrench 80066 20 Piece Master Dual Material Screwdriver Set

GEARWRENCH 20 Pc. Phillips/Slotted/Torx Dual Material Screwdriver Set - 80066
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • 20 different screwdrivers.
  • Phillips, slotted and Torx drivers included.
  • Professional grade.

What Makes It so Good?

Tough and durable, ideal for professional use. Oxide tipped to prevent slippage and accidents; protective molded tray. “Speed zone” for rapid screwing; lifetime warranty; optimal balance.

What Makes It Not so Good?

Could be improved with the inclusion of at least one square-head driver.

Overview

For the professional user, this is probably the most useful and hardwearing set available. It’s a premium price, but for both quality and components, it still equates to excellent value.

All the 20 drivers included are practically presented in a molded tray. I’m sure you agree, there’s little point purchasing high-end screwdrivers just to throw them into the bottom of a toolbox.

It’s been designed to ensure that the tip sizes etched onto the blades can easily be seen when stored. Thus allowing for easy access and selecting the correct driver each time.

Furthermore, this tray provides protection against damage from rubbing or chipping of the tip-ends.

If you have ever worked on a car engine, you know the pain that comes with slippage. If the tip loses grip with the screw-head, it can lead to scraped and bruised knuckles.

However, these tips have been coated in black oxide to improve adhesion to the screw, leading to fewer accidents.

The wide variety of slotted, Phillips and Torx tips means that you will always have the correct tool for the current project.

These screwdrivers have two-material molded handles, which fit securely in the hand. Their tapered construction ensures that maximum use can be achieved at all times and reduce hand tiredness.

A novel feature on these drivers is the “speed zone”. This is a ribbed area at the base of the handle, allowing you to “twirl” the driver between your fingertips. This is excellent for rapid screwing or unscrewing where little pressure is required.

This professional-grade set comes complete with a lifetime warranty. Giving you the peace of mind that this is a product built to last, whatever tough work you may throw at it.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        0.059 inch – 0.079 inch – 0.098 inch – 0.1875 inch – 3 x 0.25 inch –

                                    0.3125 inch – 0.375 inch

Phillips                       1 x #00 – 2 x #0 – 2 x #1 – 3 x #2 – 1 x #4

Torx                            T15 – T20

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4. Williams 100P-19MD Premium Mixed Screwdriver Set

Williams 100P-19MD Premium Mixed Screwdriver Set, 19-Piece
  • 19 screwdrivers in the set.
  • Comprises slotted, Phillips, cabinet and electrician tips.
  • Includes two squat (stubby) drivers.
  • Made in the USA.

What Makes It so Good?

Ideal for the automobile or camper trailer. Flexible soft pouch unusually includes both cabinet and electrician tips; drivers have thumb guards.

What Makes It Not so Good?

There is no Torx head, which would have made this the ultimate car set.

Overview

These screwdrivers would make the perfect set for the car or camper trailer. There can nothing worse than being away from home and needing to do some essential maintenance—only to find you don’t have the correct tools.

Hence, keeping a set especially for when you’re out on the road is a good idea. There are a couple of reasons why this product is ideal.

Firstly, the case. These screwdrivers come in a handy soft pouch—enabling the drivers to be almost “rolled” up. This means that they don’t take up much space, allowing them to be hidden in trailer storage boxes or a car glove box.

Furthermore, this pouch has metal-reinforced holes. This enables it to be suspended or attached to the vehicle with a bungee or rope.

Additionally, the screwdriver tips are ideal for car use. It includes the standard slotted and Phillips heads for general mechanical applications. But, in addition, it also includes both cabinet and electrician tips.

This makes this set great for tinkering with the car or camper’s electric circuitry—should the need arise. Hence, whatever the issue with your vehicle, if you need a screwdriver, you have one for the job.

The handles are cushioned for comfortable use, with an included “thumb-stop”. Thus if you’re working in oily conditions, there’s little chance of the hand slipping from the driver and causing injury.

The set also includes both slotted and Phillips squat screwdrivers (3.5-inch total length). Again, very useful for working on engines and mechanical components where space is often limited.

These screwdrivers are made in the USA, although the carry pouch is made in China.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        0.1875 inch – 2 x 0.25 inch – 0.3125 – 2 x 0.375,

Cabinet tip                 2 x 0.125 inch – 0.15625 inch

Electrician’s tip         2 x 0.1875 inch

Phillips                       1 x #0 – 2 x #1 – 3 x #2 – 1 x #3 – 1 x #4

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5. Craftsman 8 Piece Phillips and
Slotted Set 9-47136

Craftsman 8 Piece Phillips and Slotted Set, 9-47136
  • Screwdriver set includes eight drivers.
  • Contains the most common sizes of slotted and Phillips heads.
  • Perfect for occasional use.
  • Lifetime Craftsman warranty.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        2 x 0.125 inch – 0.1875 inch – 0.25 inch

Phillips                       1 x #0 – 1 x #1 – 2 x #2

What Makes It so Good?

Probably the best screwdriver set for occasional jobs around the home or office. Color-coded, durable handles; resealable blister pack; hardened steel blades.

What Makes It Not so Good?

Handles are uncomfortable. Lacks a small enough head for basic electrical work, such as face-plates.

Overview

You don’t have to be interested in DIY or car maintenance to need a screwdriver. Ordinary life means that from time to time you just need a driver at hand to solve those niggly issues. This could be the ideal set for those occasions.

For changing a fuse, tightening handles on saucepans, or hanging a picture on the wall—you’re going to need a screwdriver at some point. This set includes the most common sizes for these needs, without any extraneous tools.

This makes it an extremely cost-effective way of purchasing screwdrivers. The set includes both slotted and Phillips head drivers, all of which are color-coded. Hence, if they’re stored in a dark closet or beneath the stairs, finding the right tool for the job is simple.

Although the handles are basic, they are still durable. The ridged design would make extended use painful on the hands, though. However, as these would mostly be used infrequently, this shouldn’t be an issue.

A nice feature is that they are recessed towards the handle base, allowing a snug fit for the thumb. This also allows you to press harder on stubborn screws.

These drivers come in a blister pack, but not one that requires cutting. Push-out “buttons” enable the packaging to be opened and resealed. Admittedly, this is no substitute for a carry case.

But, if they are to be used infrequently, it will work perfectly fine as storage—keeping them together and protected.

Screwdrivers Included in the Set:

Slotted                        2 x 0.125 inch – 0.1875 inch – 0.25 inch

Phillips                       1 x #0 – 1 x #1 – 2 x #2

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Buying a Screwdriver Set
(and What to Look out For)

Making the correct decision when buying a screwdriver set is essential. The right set will last you for years to come—and ensure that you always have the correct tool available.

Here are some important factors to consider when selecting your set.

Case and Storage

Some screwdriver sets come complete with a carry case or storage rack. This not only provides a tidy solution, but also allows you to easily find the correct type of screwdriver.

If you have ever rummaged through the bottom of your toolbox trying to find a flat-head driver, and all you keep pulling out are Phillips heads, you understand the importance.

Furthermore, a sturdy case can provide protection to prolong the life of a screwdriver. Although most screwdriver shafts are treated to protect against corrosion, elements like oil and water can still damage handles.

Loose drivers rolling around in the bottom of a toolbox can have their tips damaged, making them unusable for removing screws.

Multi-Tip

Some screwdrivers come with interchangeable tips or bits. These are ideal if you’re lacking space and just want an all-round tool to keep in the car or trailer.

Additionally, these bits can often be used with power tools, such as a drill. Allowing you the ability for fast and effortless screwing.

However, as I can bear witness, these bits do go missing. Being less than an inch in size, they can be lost or dropped into engine bays and never seen again. This is less likely with a solid shaft-handle driver.

Handle and Grip

Never think that only the tip and shaft of the screwdriver are of utmost importance. The handle is often forgotten about when selecting the correct driver, but it’s one of the most vital elements.

You have probably spent some time in the past screwing into wood. After a while, the hand becomes uncomfortable, and repeated use can often result in a palm blister.

Look for a handle that fits well into the hand and has a coating to prevent slippage. Additionally, some handles are designed to increase the amount of power generated with each turn. A useful feature if you are challenged in the strength department.

Heads and Tips

At the very least, look for a screwdriver set that has both flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers. The varieties in size of these heads depend upon their use.

For most general household applications (tightening table legs, attaching handles) a 0.12-inch and 0.18-inch head will be adequate. For more detailed work, such as electronic devices, smaller heads are needed. Or, if you are completing any mechanical work, larger heads could be necessary.

Always choose a set of screwdrivers that will have enough sizes for the work you want to complete. Choosing wisely at first will save money later.

Additionally, it’s possible you may need a screwdriver set with something a little more specialized. Some bicycles and automobiles have Torx or hexagonal screws, which cannot be undone with standard heads.

Finally, check the quality of the screwdriver tips. Ideally, they should have been subjected to additional hardening to increase life. Often this can be checked visually, as the tips are a darker color than the rest of the shaft.

But, a word of caution. Some cheap screwdrivers have had their tips painted to create this “hardened” look. Select the best quality screwdrivers you can—the expense will be worth it.

Types of Screwdriver Head—and Their Uses

As mentioned above, always consider what screw heads you will be encountering in your work, and choose a set that matches those needs.

Just a quick word of advice. Always use the correct driver for the screw type. Using the wrong one can damage both the driver and screw.

If you “lose” the screw head, it’s not going anywhere. Meaning it will have to be drilled out. Trust me, I’ve been there.

To give you a helping hand, here are the main types of head, and where you may encounter them.

Flat-head/Slotted

These are the oldest types of screw. So, if you have any vintage items, chances are they will have this format.

That being said, they are still widely used in new quality wood furniture, due to their clean looks and the ability to “disappear” into the design. However, they are rarely used in flat-pack items.

A steady hand is required when driving these screws, as they do not “grip” the driver head as well as other types.

Torx Head

These heads cause more issues for the DIY-enthusiast than any other—simply because screwdriver sets often lack a suitable driver.

There is nothing more annoying than deciding to dismantle your bike, just to discover it has been put together with Torx screws. As hard as you try, a slotted or Phillips screwdriver will not work.

They are identifiable by a six-pointed star shape, leading to them commonly being referred to as “star heads.”

Usually, you will find these heads in bicycles, cars, computer peripherals, laptops, and motorcycles.

Phillips Head

Probably the most common type of modern screw head nowadays, so having a driver with this tip is essential.

Recognizable by its “x-shaped” design, it allows the driver to center itself simply into the screw. The four points of contact allow for easier screwing and unscrewing, with little chance of the driver head slipping from the screw itself.

Despite its popularity today, it wasn’t always that way. The inventor, John P. Thompson, failed to interest any manufacturers with his novel design.

Eventually, he gave up and sold his idea to Henry Phillips in 1935, who patented it and started his own screw company. Hence, sadly for poor Mr. Thompson, the screw does not carry his name.

Pozidriv Head

In 1962, this format developed upon the Phillips head. In addition to the typical Phillips cross, it has a further, less-recessed, diagonal “x.” This allows even more pressure to be applied to the screw head and further reduces the chance of slipping.

While a Phillips screwdriver can be used on Pozidriv screws, be aware that frequent use is likely to damage both the driver and the screw.

Cabinet Tip

Despite its name, this doesn’t refer to wood cabinets. Instead, these screwdrivers were designed for work on electrical cabinets.

Think of power outlets on the wall, where the face-plate screws are recessed into a hole. To unscrew, both the tip and some of the blade have to enter the recess.

To allow simple and tight access and prevent movement and damage to the head, cabinet drivers have the same width blade as the tip. Whereas in standard slotted drivers the blade is usually wider.

Electrician’s Tip

Much like the cabinet tip, the electrician’s screwdriver has a blade the same width as the tip. Where they differ is that they tend to be magnetized and have a longer blade.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Safely Use a Screwdriver?

The key points to remember are:

Do not use a screwdriver as a pry or punch.

Only use a screwdriver for electrical jobs if it’s insulated.

Ensure the tip and handle are kept clean.

Never carry the screwdriver in pockets, behind your ears or in your mouth.

What Is a Robertson Screwdriver?

This is a screwdriver identifiable by its square head. It was patented in 1909 by the Canadian, P. Robertson.

What Is a Tester Screwdriver?

This is a specialized driver which is used to check electric circuits. The tip is placed on the conductor being tested and lights a lamp in the screwdriver body if there is a live current.

What Does It Mean to “Cam out” a Screw?

If the incorrect driver is used, or the screw has perished, sometimes the screwdriver can slip out of the screw head when pressure is applied. This is known as “camming-out”.

Repeated action can damage both the screwdriver and the screw itself.

Conclusion

Purchasing one of the best screwdriver sets available will provide years of use and reward.

Whether you’re looking at completing a massive construction project, or just tightening your closet doors, there’s a set for you.

Remember, the key is to identify how often you’re going to use it, where it will be utilized and the type of screw heads you will be dealing with.

Using that information you can then select the optimum driver set, and pay the right price.

Last update on 2019-11-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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