What’s the best screwdriver set that you can buy today? We try to figure it out by testing nine different sets from Clarke, Draper, Laser and Sealey.
When modifying – or simply maintaining – your car, you end up collecting a variety of tools. So, most of us have at least one drawer rammed full of old screwdrivers, but is it better to just have one good set? We think so, and have been testing a wide range of them for several months. We’ve found out about magnetic tips, hammer thru’ shafts and the difference between Phillips (PH) and Pozidriv (PZ).
PH Originated in 1934 as an improvement over the slotted flatblade design. It has a crosshead design with four radial slots to achieve a better grip and includes a range of sizes. PZ, meanwhile, first appeared in 1959 as an improvement over the Phillips. It features eight radial slots in the head of a screw instead of four, and a range of sizes.
Anyway, that’s enough with the history lessons. Let’s get into it – here’s the best screwdriver sets that you can buy in 2024.
Best Screwdriver Sets
Clarke 44-piece hammer through screwdriver and bit set
Award: Fast Car Best Buy
A comprehensive set of 17 screwdrivers, 10 hex and Torx bits (with a separate screwdriver) and 16 hex/Allen keys. Some of the tools feel a bit like overkill, especially the hex/Allen keys supplied in metric and imperial sizes.
We like the plastic holder that can stand on a shelf or workbench, or you could even secure it to a wall. The chrome vanadium shafts range in length from 75mm to 150mm (excluding the length of the handle). The magnetic tips cover flatblade/slotted widths from 3mm to 8mm, Phillips from PH0 to PH3, Pozidriv from PZ0 to PZ3 and Torx from T27 to T40. Disappointingly, there are no stubbies. The Torx bits cover from T7 to T20, whilst the hex bits are from 3mm to 6mm.
Each screwdriver handle has a soft-grip feel to it, made from plastic and rubber, with a hammer thru’ end. There are cheaper and similar screwdriver sets from Clarke and other manufacturers. However, check for features such as hammer thru’, Torx screwdrivers and magnetic tips.
Draper nine-piece Cabinet Pattern Screwdriver Set
Award: Best Value
A solid set of screwdrivers that caters for the three popular types of fastening. The wipe-clean PVC-coated handles provide a good level of grip and all have clear labels. Plus, the screwdrivers are color-coded, so you can quickly learn that orange is for flatblade, blue is for Phillips and green is for Pozidriv.
Each group has three screwdrivers, but the flatblades having the longest shaft at 150mm (the rest are 100mm max). Flatblade/slotted widths range from 3.2mm to 8mm, and the PH and PZ sizes are from 0 to 2. The labelling on the smallest screwdrivers is quite small, so reading glasses or a magnifying glass may be required.
We like the tempered chrome vanadium round steel shafts. The four largest screwdrivers have a hexagonal bolster to fit an 8mm-10mm open-ended spanner for extra leverage.
A good range of screwdrivers with quality handles. We also like the carrycase, which has a clear plastic cover and a sliding lock. And the lifetime warranty. A couple of stubbies would have completed the collection.
Sealey 13-piece hammer thru’ screwdriver set
If you need a set of Phillips and flatblade/slotted screwdrivers, then this 13-piece set from Sealey’s Siegen range is definitely worth a look. Note however, there are no Pozidriv (PZ) tips, only PH0 to PH3 and slotted widths from 3mm to 8mm wide, with shaft lengths from 38mm for the stubbies up to 200mm.
Sealey uses chrome vanadium steel (with a satin finish) to make each hammer thru’ shaft, and they all feature shot-blasted and magnetized tips. The color-coded (red for flatblade and blue for PH) soft-grip handles have labels to indicate the length of shaft, as well as the size and type of tip. As such, they’re easy to identify. We did note, however, that the rubberized parts of the handle may need a thorough scrub to remove traces of dirt.
We liked the rounded flat ends (opposite end to the tip) for hitting with a hammer, but the design of these screwdrivers would’ve been even better if they featured a Hexagonal bolster to fit an open-ended spanner. That said, the lifetime guarantee comes as nice reassurance. Overall, should you have a spare drawer ready and waiting to store these 13 screwdrivers (Sealey doesn’t provide a carrycase with these), then they are worth considering.
Draper 16-piece Engineer’s screwdriver set
The best range of flatblade/slotted, Phillips and Pozidriv sizes without having to fill in the gaps with bits. These are more expensive than most of the other sets of screwdrivers, but come with a lifetime warranty and a sturdy feel to each screwdriver.
Typical of most of the sets we’ve tested, this one is biased towards flatblades (7 out of 16 are flatblades). These range in tip width from 3.2mm to 8mm and in shaft length from 75mm to 200mm. The stubbies have a shaft length of 38mm.
The Phillips tips range from PH1 to PH3 and also include a stubby with a PH2. The Pozidrivs are from PZ0 to PZ3 and include a PZ2 stubby.
Whilst the range of screwdrivers is impressive, their performance is also very good. Draper constructs the shafts from SVCM steel with a satin chrome plating, which it then complements nicely with a sand-blasted tip. The larger screwdrivers have a hexagonal bolster to enable you to use an open-ended spanner (8-10mm) for extra leverage.
Heavy-duty polypropylene serves as the basis of the color-coded handles (red for slotted, green for PZ and blue for PH). As a result, they have a soft-grip feel. However, the labelling on each handle for length of shaft and type of tip is white, meaning that you can accidentally smother them in dirt quite easily. On the plus side, you can wipe clean the whole surface of the handle with relative ease.
Clarke 10-piece Pro Screwdriver set
Supplied in an impressive-looking oval-shaped plastic carrycase with a see-through panel so that you know what’s inside. The two plastic clips that lock the carrycase are flimsy and look like they could snap off. Inside, there’s a neat arrangement of slotted (flatblade) and Phillips (PH) screwdrivers, but no Pozidriv screwdrivers. Shaft length is from stubby to 150mm long and covers slotted from 3mm- 8mm wide and PH sizes 0-3. These sizes are clearly displayed on the handle of each screwdriver. Each screwdriver clicks into position inside the plastic case, so they shouldn’t rattle around when being transported.
Apart from the two smallest screwdrivers, all the rest have a hexagon-shaped top, so a 11mm or 13mm spanner or socket can be fitted over it for greater leverage.
Each handle is made from plastic, but includes four lengths of dimpled rubber to help improve grip. The shaft of each screwdriver is made from S2 tempered steel along with the tips.
We like the feel of these screwdrivers, especially with the soft-grip style handles. However, we can see them being difficult to clean if they get covered in oil and dirt.
Not advertised as being a hammer thru’ type, the hexagonal head on eight of them is part of the shaft. So, they could be hit with a hammer, although that could damage it and perhaps invalidate the lifetime warranty.
Sealey 21-piece screwdriver set
PART NUMBER: S0923
This 21-piece screwdriver set includes six colour-coded flatblade/slotted, Phillips and Pozidriv screwdrivers, along with an assortment of bits. There are only a couple of PH, PZ and flatblade screwdrivers (six in total). Those bits are a confusing mixture. For instance, the hex/Allen key bits range from 2mm to 6mm (seven bits in total). However, there are only two flatblades/slotted bits (4mm and 5mm). And only a couple of large PH3 and PZ3 bits, plus three Torx bits from T15 to T25. A token gesture? Perhaps these bits could have been replaced with a couple of stubby screwdrivers.
If you ignore the bits, then the screwdrivers are good with their rounded chrome vanadium shafts and magnetised tips. The soft-grip handles are clearly labelled with size and type of tip and length of the shaft (75mm-150mm). They may take a little scrubbing to remove ingrained dirt and oil, but you can’t have it all. We like the hanging hole near the top of each screwdriver.
Supplied in a plastic carrycase with a clear top that’s locked with two flimsy-looking catches. A good value for money screwdriver set that carries the Siegen quality approval and a lifetime guarantee.
Sealey 33-piece GripMAX screwdriver and bit set
A slightly confusing mixture of screwdrivers that manages to cover all the popular sizes in a roundabout way. There are 11 screwdrivers, which mainly have flatblade/slotted tips (five of them, 3-8mm-wide tips). The Phillips (PH) and Pozidriv (PZ) only cover sizes 1-2, but include a size 2 for a stubby. Those missing PH and PZ sizes are catered for with bits and a couple of screwdriver bit holders. The bits cover PH0 to PH3 and the same for PZ. They also include flatblade/slotted sizes from 3mm to 6mm, five Torx bits from T10 to T30 and three hex bits from 3mm to 6mm. Whilst the larger PH3 and PZ3 sizes have been covered by the range of bits, dedicated screwdrivers would be better. However, we like the screwdrivers’ magnetised shot-blasted tips and round chrome vanadium steel shafts with a satin finish.
Each screwdriver has a polypropylene and TPV rubber soft-grip handle with clear labelling at the end (type and size). The rubbery soft-grip texture of the handle may need to be thoroughly scrubbed should it get really filthy.
A hexagonal bolster for fitting an open-ended spanner would be useful, but we like the hanging holes in the ends of the handles. A good set of screwdrivers with a lifetime guarantee, providing you can manage with bits for PH3 and PZ3.
Draper Expert eight-piece heavy-duty soft-grip screwdriver set
A no-nonsense set of eight screwdrivers that promise better torsional properties than chrome vanadium because they have SVCM+ steel shafts. SVCM+ is a type of shock-resistant steel and the + symbol means it has been tempered.
There’s a bias of flatblade/slotted screwdrivers versus Phillips (called cross slot by Draper) and Pozidriv (PZ). There are four flatblade/slotted screwdrivers ranging in width from 3mm to 8mm (and in shaft length from 75mm-150mm). There are only two cross slot screwdrivers (PH1 and PH2, 75mm and 100mm). And only two Pozidrivs of the same specifications.
We like the quality and feel of the screwdrivers, particularly the soft-grip handles with useful labelling on the ends of each one. The handles promise to be solvent-resistant and they are easy to wipe clean. The black rubberised sections may need more of a scrub, but that’s the price you pay for a better grip. We like the holes at the top of each handle, enabling each screwdriver to be hung on a hook. And we’re pleased to see that these screwdrivers are supplied with a lifetime warranty.
As a replacement for your old screwdrivers, it needs a couple of stubbies and an extra PH or PZ.
Laser six-piece pound thru’ screwdriver set
A promising-looking set of screwdrivers with hammer thru’ for impact use and S2 steel octagonal shafts (75-125mm). Confusingly, there are only two screwdrivers to cater for crosshead fastenings and they are only Pozidriv PZ1 and PZ2. There are no Phillips PH tips. But there are four flatblade/slotted tips, ranging from 3.5mm wide to 6.5mm. Substituting two of the flatblade/slotted screwdrivers for Phillips would have been better.
We like the flat tops of each screwdriver that provide a large area for hitting it with a hammer. We also like the clear labelling on the rubberised handle of each screwdriver, displayed on a wipe-clean plastic surface.
These screwdrivers won’t replace your existing collection, but they are a useful and robust addition.