Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or you’re tackling your first piece of flatpack furniture, a screwdriver is something every homeowner will need at some point in their lives.
A screwdriver set contains a range of sizes and types of screwdriver, suitable for mechanical, electrical and DIY tasks. It’s essential that you use the correct screwdriver for the screw, so having a variety of screwdrivers will be very useful.
Not sure what to look for when it comes to the best screwdriver sets? Take a look at this buyer’s guide.
Different Types of Screwdrivers
The type of screwdriver you need will depend on the screw head you are working with. There are many different types of screwdrivers, and the best screwdriver set should contain a variety.
Flathead screwdrivers have a flat shape shaft tip with a single slot. These are suitable for slotted screw heads only and can either be manually or power-driven. This is one of the most common types of screwdriver.
Phillips screwdrivers have a tip that looks like a cross. These are either power or manual driven.
Pozidriv screwdrivers look similar to Phillips screwdrivers as they have a cross-shaped tip. They also have an offset cross at a 45-degree angle. These are slightly less likely to slip than Phillip screwdrivers.
Torx screwdrivers have a star-shaped tip. These produce a higher torque with the same amount of force required and there’s less danger of the tool slipping than there is with other screwdrivers.
Hex screwdrivers have 6 straight lobes and are usually used to fasten bolts instead of screws.
Number of Included Pieces
Screwdriver sets can vary hugely in size. The sets I’ve recommended range from 6 individual screwdrivers to over 40 different combinations.
Some screwdriver sets come with one or multiple screwdriver handles, plus a range of heads that can be attached to the handles. Others consist of a number of individual screwdrivers.
You should look at the sizes of screwdriver tips included, as well as the type. Smaller sets may have just one size of each of the most commonly used screwdrivers, while others contain a range of sizes.
Deciding on the best set can be tricky, as you likely won’t know the different jobs you’re going to be tackling. If you’d like to be fairly certain you’ll have a screwdriver for most everyday tasks, look for a set with a few sizes of each type.
On that note, the size of the screwdrivers in your set will also need some consideration.
The tip width and the length of the tool overall are usually measured in millimetres.
The way the sizes are labelled will depend on the type and brand of the screwdriver. Phillips screwdrivers, for instance, are available in 4 standard sizes ranging from #0 to #4.
Torx screwdrivers will be labelled with their Torx size, and you’ll need to select the right size for the screw you are using. The Torx size is listed with the letter T followed by a number, such as T10.
Handle Type and Grip
The handle type is also worth considering. If you’re doing a job that takes a while, you may have trouble turning the screwdriver if the handle isn’t comfortable.
There are 3 main types of handles; composite, rounded and T-handles.
Composite handles are made from plastic or rubber. These are usually comfortable, ergonomic and grippy.
Rounded handles are compact and sit deep in your hand so you can apply a lot of torque. These are a great option if you’re going to be working in tight areas where a standard screwdriver may not fit.
T-handle screwdrivers are great for times when more torque is required. These take up more space in storage but offer the user a very good grip.
A screwdriver set is an investment that you should only have to make once, so it’s important that each piece is built to last.
As a general rule of thumb, more expensive screwdrivers do tend to be better quality. If you’re paying the same amount of money for a set containing 30+ pieces as you would for a set containing just 5 screwdrivers, you’ll want to look at the quality.
The tip of a screwdriver is usually made from S2 steel, tempered steel or CVM steel. Some screwdriver tips are chrome plated for added durability.
Ease of Storage
Screwdriver sets can contain a huge number of pieces, so it’s important your set is easy to store and the pieces are easy to access.
Most larger sets come with a case of some kind, but a few of the sets I’ve recommended do not. While the screwdrivers can be stored in your toolbox, if you’re dealing with multiple handles and bits you’re going to need a case with different compartments to keep them organised.
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