Every now and then I am asked about which precision screwdrivers I would recommend. It can be hard to offer just one recommendation since there are so many great quality brands and styles out there, so instead I will describe what I like about the various precision screwdrivers I have in my personal toolbox.
This 6pc Kronus screwdriver set cost me less than $10 at Radio Shack. Five years ago, when it was brand new, it was a huge step up from the cheap thin-metal-handled “jewel screwdrivers” I kept breaking.
While these drivers are not terribly ergonomic, they’re not uncomfortable to use. The compact case makes this my on-the-go precision screwdriver set when tool bag space is in short supply.
Radio Shack isn’t selling these anymore, but they’re still available on ebay and through liquidators.
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I have a couple of these General Tools-made Craftsman screwdrivers floating around my toolbox. The two yellow-capped color-coded screwdrivers are tiny ball-head hex drivers that I still use regularly despite having upgraded to Bondhus and Wiha drivers.
These seem to offer the best bang for the buck. Too bad the sets I’ve seen don’t come with handy storage or carry cases.
10pc Set(~$19 via Amazon)
Wiha is the de-facto precision screwdriver brand among technicians, makers, hobbyists, researchers, and industrial users, and for good reason. Basic Wiha precision screwdrivers like this one might not look like much, but they’re comfortable to use. The tips are precision-formed, the handles comfortable to twist, and the end-cap spins freely and easily.
Browse Wiha Precision Screwdrivers(via Amazon)
Wiha makes precision drivers with Phillips, slotted, Torx, and hex bit styles, which sell for about $3-4 each on average. A great place to start is this 8-piece slotted and Phillips set, which is currently discounted to $22 via Amazon.
Wiha also offers a premium soft-touch PicoFinish line of precision screwdrivers, but they’re not nearly as popular as their standard drivers. The rubbery handles really do feel great, but I wouldn’t consider this a must-have feature.
PicoFinish Selection(via Amazon)
Wera Kraftform Micro
Like Wera’s larger Kraftform screwdrivers, many people either love or hate the handles on these Micro drivers. Personally I find these drivers to be a touch better than Wiha’s designs, but the finger grip can be awkward to reach at times.
Wera’s Micro screwdriver size and style selection does not yet compare to Wiha’s, but it looks like the lineup has been expanded recently with nutdrivers, ball hex, and Torx models.
Buy Now(~$23 for 6pc set via Amazon)
I bought this 7pc Witte precision screwdriver set on a whim with a gift card, and while they’re not my favorites, I still reach for them every now and then. They’re not bad, just very pricey – undeservingly so. If I didn’t like them better than the other brands’ precision screwdrivers for higher torque micro-driving tasks I would have given them away a long time ago.
Buy Now(>$40 via Amazon)
PB Swiss makes some of the best screwdrivers I have ever used, and their precision drivers are no different. There are two downsides – they don’t have a wide size and style selection and USA distributors can be hard to find. If you must have a set, expect to pay a lot for it.
Available via ToolLady
Technician and Pocket Screwdrivers
While I would not call these multi-bit drivers precision screwdrivers, they are indispensable for on-the-go miniature fastener-driving needs. If I’m feeling lazy I’ll reach for one of these instead of a “real” precision screwdriver for quick tasks. But usually I do prefer precision drivers for their thinner handles and free-spinning palm-grip cap.
There are many other recommendable precision screwdrivers available, but I wanted to limit this to screwdrivers I have personal experience with. A couple of other brands I would trust are Felo and Moody.