Every home should have a quality screwdriver set. Even the most basic repairs you need to make around the home (or in the garden or garage) require a selection of screwdrivers. But should you buy a comprehensive set of screwdrivers or a multi-bit screwdriver with a set of interchangeable tips?
Whether you're a DIY expert, or someone who can't tell a Phillips from a flathead, it can be difficult to know which screwdriver set to buy. From precision sets for electronics, to multi-bit screwdrivers with magnetic tips, our buying guide is here to answer all of your questions. Read on to find out which ones made our ranking of the top 10 best screwdriver sets in the Uk on Amazon and eBay!
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All the best screwdriver sets will contain a range of sizes, denoted by the letters PH followed by the numbers 0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. These numbers indicate the size of the tip in ascending order. 'Phillips' or 'cross-headed' types are the most common screws you’ll find around the home, identified by a cross-shaped indentation on the top of the screw. Most furniture and electronic devices will use Phillips-head screws.
Another common screw is the slotted variety, with an indented straight line on the top of the screw head - requiring a 'flathead screwdriver'. These were one of the first types of screw to be invented and can still be found in older buildings and antique furniture.
These screws have been superseded by more modern designs and, as they are not suitable for use with power tools, they aren’t used as much in modern manufacturing. They can still be found around the home and garden though, and so flathead screwdrivers remain a staple part of any set.
Most sets will only contain the most commonly used screwdriver sizes for general household DIY. It is worth knowing that 'precision sets' contain the smallest sizes. They often have a rotating cap at the base of the handle so you can hold an item in one hand, while easily spinning the screwdriver as it rests in the palm of the other, useful for electronics, watch-repair, and smaller assembly projects.
A 'torx screwdriver' is a star-shaped version of an allen Key / hex screwdriver - the extra surface area makes torx screws very unlikely to slip when tightening, so they are often used in electronic equipment.
An advantage of individual screwdrivers is that they often have a longer shaft without any protruding rims, making them far better for those hard-to-reach screws. It’s also much harder to lose a whole screwdriver, than a small bit!
If you have the space available, it's worth investing in a complete set of individual screwdrivers. A collection contained within a hard case is a great starting point when looking to first build a collection of tools. Those who have a dedicated workspace, such as a shed or garage, may even want to look at mounting their collection to a wall or workbench for easy access and effortless swapping between pieces while working.
A multi-bit screwdriver with interchangeable 'bits' (removable tips), often represents the best value for money. They are versatile and extremely portable, allowing you to carry a complete set of bits in a pocket, rather than a bulkier case. These are also perfect if you live in a flat or shared house with limited storage space, or if you are looking for something to keep in a car for emergencies.
Those same bits can also be used in a drill and are easy to replace if lost or worn down. However, it's important to make sure that the handle is comfortable and has a secure way of fastening the bit, as there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work when the tip keeps falling out. That's why we recommend picking a handle with a strong magnet or hexagonal socket.
When looking to do any work around the house involving plug sockets, or screwing into walls which could contain wiring, it is important to use an 'insulated screwdriver'. These are designed to protect the user from any potential electric shocks by being made from, or coated in, a material that doesn’t conduct electricity.
It is important to look for a set that has met the VDE (Verband der Elektrotechnik, or the Association of German Electrical Engineers) standard of testing. This will be indicated by the letters VDE in the description or printed on the screwdrivers themselves.
We have to stress that any work involving open wiring should be carried out by an experienced professional, and if you’re ever unsure of what you’re doing please contact a qualified electrician. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Certain jobs require the speed and torque of an electric drill, but have awkwardly placed screws or are in a confined place where a drill simply won’t fit. Luckily, a 'ratcheted screwdriver' will easily solve this problem, allowing you to keep a comfortable grip without having constantly re-adjust your hand.
The mechanism in a ratcheted screwdriver allows you to turn the screwdriver one way to tighten a screw, but won't loosen it when turning it in the opposite direction, similar to how pedalling backwards on a bicycle allows you to readjust your footing rather than going backwards. This mechanism can be easily reversed for either tightening or loosening screws.
The concept of torque can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it, but in simple terms, it refers to the turning force of a screwdriver. A 'torque screwdriver' allows you to set the amount of force you wish to apply when turning a screw.
These screwdrivers are often used in construction, or manufacturing, as equally pressured screws allow for more stability and structural integrity. This prevents you from potentially causing damage to furniture by over-tightening some joints, while others remain loose. However this is an option more for a craftsman, than for home DIY.
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When determining the best screwdriver set for you, remember that a comfortable handle can prevent wrist issues and blisters, so it is worth spending a little extra for a quality handle that won’t hurt your hands or come loose from the shaft.
Many screwdrivers have magnetised tips to prevent small screws from getting lost, or having to turn something over to shake free a recessed screw. Just be aware that most insulated screwdrivers aren't magnetic due to safety reasons.
For DIY in too-high hard-to-reach areas, you may find our suggested Step Ladders handy.
It's important to always use the correct tool for the job, ensuring that the tip of the screwdriver fits snugly into the head of the screw. Using the wrong screwdriver can strip the screw, damaging it to the point where it becomes impossible to unscrew again.
Unfortunately, there are a few uncommon types of screw that tend to be used in specialist equipment, certain electronics, or maintenance. Luckily, many complete screwdriver sets will include these, alongside a range of options for a variety of screws.
Buying a complete set will guarantee you always have the screwdriver you need. Although this may come at an increased cost, it is well worth investing in a complete set of quality screwdrivers as they’ll last you decades. The cheaper options tend to be something of a false economy, wearing down and breaking easily.
For even more comprehensive sets, here are our full Tool Kit recommendations.
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46 Piece Screwdriver Set｜2607019504
A High-Quality Set of 46 Pieces From a Top Tech Brand
44 Piece Screwdriver / Bit & Key Set｜81294
The Perfect Workshop Set, With a Wall-Mountable Stand Included
60-in-1 Magnetic Screwdriver Set
A Multi-Bit Kit That Makes Precision Work Easy
Expert Engineers Screwdriver Set, 16 Pieces｜43571
Durable Chrome Vanadium Steel Blades Make This Set the Professional Choice
Screwdriver Set - 58 Pieces｜28882
A Complete Set in a Convenient Carry Case
Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit 42 Piece Set｜46479
The Ideal Rachet Set for Smaller, Fiddly Jobs
Kraftform Comfort VDE Screwdriver Set, 7 Pieces｜31575
A Great Value Set of Insulated Screwdrivers
Ergo Plus Interchangeable VDE Torque Screwdriver｜965T/9
Ergonomic, Fully Insulated Torque Screwdrivers
10 Piece Magnetic Screwdriver Set
A Budget-Friendly Set for DIY and Home Repairs
Precision Repair Kit
Precision Screwdrivers for Watches and Electronics
Bosch is one of the most reliable brands in the world, and it really shows with their screwdriver sets. This 46 piece set comes with multiple options, and the iron tips are durable enough to tackle anything you'll likely come across when working around the home, in the garage, or on the road.
The ratcheted handle screwdriver makes even the toughest of screws effortless to replace and remove. The set comes in a neat little hard-case that would be absolutely no trouble to find a home for.
This set from Draperis one of the best for workshops and more intensive home DIY. The screwdrivers themselves are incredible quality for the price, and the set contains a wide variety of tips. It also comes with a wall-mountable stand, which makes it easy to grab whatever you need when working.
The only thing preventing this set from taking the No. 1 spot on our list is the fact that the Allen keys don't match the quality of the screwdrivers. Still, they are useful to have around the house just in case!
This little case has everything you need when working on small items. The rotating base makes precision work a breeze, and the magnetised tips come in handy when working with the tiny screws you'll find in electronics.
What is particularly special about this generous set is the flexible extender, making reaching difficult screws inside larger electronics, like a desktop computer for example, much less of a headache.
You may have noticed that much of our list has been aimed at those looking for a screwdriver set for home repairs, DIY, or tinkering around in the garage. And although this set would serve all those purposes, it is very much aimed at professionals.
The chrome vanadium steel blades are hardened, making them almost impossible to damage or break. This durability comes with a premium price, but if you'll willing to invest a little more, this set will genuinely last you a lifetime!
This a comprehensive set of screwdrivers and interchangeable bits for use around the house, all neatly packaged into a space-efficient, hard-back case. The combination of individual screwdrivers and bits at a such a low price-point means you really can't go wrong with this set.
The carry case design includes holes to keep weight down, but the gaps are actually large enough for kit to fall out if it hasn't been carefully replaced. That said, it's one of the best to go for when looking to pick up a complete set of screwdrivers for home repairs on a smaller budget.
If you're looking for something small to get into those hard to reach screws, this ratcheted set from Draper is great value for money. Its two different sized handles and 42 bits fit neatly into a small carry case, making it ideal if you're after a portable set to compliment any set of tools.
As this is an option for smaller, fiddly jobs, it isn't really suitable for heavy duty use. However, the build quality is very good for its size, so won't let you down if you stick to smaller jobs around the home.
For the price, this small set of insulated screwdrivers provides fantastic quality. The handles are comfortable to hold and the deliberate hexagonal design prevents pieces from rolling off of surfaces.
There's also a tester screwdriver, which lights up when pressed against anything containing an electrical current. This shouldn't be used for serious work, instead, you should look at investing in a volt-meter to avoid accidents. It's worth noting there is no carry case / holder included with this set.
Contained neatly within a portable fabric case, this set is one for the professionals. The ergonomic handle makes long days on the job easier on the hands and the auto-lock connection keeps the bits securely in place.
The torque settings allow for precise accuracy when tightening, meaning that any joints or connections can be set securely and the handle is fully insulated for electrical work. All these great features come at a price, so this recommendation is aimed at professional electricians or serious maintenance workers.
If you're looking for a cheap yet sturdy set for general use around the house or garden, this 10 piece set contains the most common screwdriver sizes and types you'll need. This no-frills option does not include a case or stand, so make sure you have an existing box to keep them in.
While comfortable and durable for occasional use, you may find your hands blistering after using these screwdrivers for extended periods of time. There have also been some reports of heads breaking or losing their magnetism with over-use.
Containing 11 precision screwdrivers, this set is perfect for electronics as it contains the smallest sizes of Phillips and flathead screwdrivers. The comfortable handles and rotating bearing make usually fiddly work easy and effortless.
As one of the more budget options when it comes to precision sets, these are great for beginners and occasional repairs. Unfortunately, the build quality may not be up to heavy or continuous jobs, so aren't suitable for regular workshop use.
No. 1: Bosch｜46 Piece Screwdriver Set｜2607019504
No. 2: Draper｜44 Piece Screwdriver / Bit & Key Set｜81294
No. 3: Oria｜60-in-1 Magnetic Screwdriver Set
No. 4: Draper｜Expert Engineers Screwdriver Set, 16 Pieces｜43571
No. 5: Rolson｜Screwdriver Set - 58 Pieces｜28882
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