Eli wrote in with a tough question – he’s looking for the perfect pocketable multi-bit screwdriver for everyday use, one that he can use equally well in a crawlspace or at the top of an antenna tower.
He purchased a Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25, and is fond of the design, except for the large handle size and limited bit storage capacity.
In his email, Eli mentioned my affinity for the PB Swiss Insider, which I reviewed many years ago, here.
Here are some of Eli’s preferences for the perfect pocketable screwdriver:
- Locking bit holder, or at least a really strong magnet
- No longer than 6″, under 5″ is ideal
- Built-in storage for at least 3-4 standard-sized screwdriver bits
- Handle 1-1/4″ wide or smaller
- Extending shaft is preferred but not required
I’ve been trying to figure out an answer for Eli, but my thoughts on this one are an absolute mess. If anyone was hoping for a clear answer, I’m sorry to disappoint. But, there are a couple of nearly-perfect pocketable screwdrivers that might fit the bill.
Note: This post was originally republished on 4/8/2018 and updated and republished on 5/4/2020.
I love my PB Swiss Insider screwdriver, but there is one sour point; the bit cartridge end cap can loosen up if you use the screwdriver a certain way. It’s a minor annoyance, and it doesn’t happen every time I use the screwdriver.
I have come to believe that this shouldn’t be a problem for a screwdriver that regularly retails for $40.
I really want to see a slide-out bit holder on the Insider, similar to the Insider Stubby. The Stubby is too small for regular use, or it’d be near perfect.
The PB Swiss Insider 2 is much better than the Insider. It can hold more bits and its bit cartridge is secure when you’re using the tool. The Insider 2 is only available in black, but maybe it will eventually come out in more colors.
The Insider 2 came out on 2010. I finally bought one, in late 2016. Why did I wait so long? It costs too much for what it is, regularly priced at ~$60.
There is also the PB Swiss Insider 3, with ratcheting mechanism, available in short and long shaft versions.
I like the Insider 2 and 3 very much, and they’re on my review queue. But their price points are a bit hard to swallow. The original Insider regularly retails for $40 – a lot for a non-ratcheting screwdriver. But the Insider 2 costs even more – $60. The ratcheting Insider 3 is $90. If you’re not in a rush, it’s best to wait for the big Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that come around every year.
I love the quality of PB Swiss’ 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits, but I do wish these screwdrivers were available with and without them. Being able to buy them without bits would make these screwdrivers quite a bit more affordable.
The Insider 2 and 3 screwdrivers each come with 10 bits, and you can swap them out for others if you so choose.
If you’re looking for the BEST EDC pocketable screwdriver at any cost, these nearly fit the bill.
Personally, I think the pricing is a little high for what you get. But, if it checks all your boxes and is something you would use every day, the over-time cost breakdown can be easier to justify.
I really like my Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25. I don’t often use it at home or in the workshop anymore, but it’s my go-to when on the go. When packing up a tool bag or box for off-site use, I’ll toss in the Wera driver, pouch and all, usually with a bunch of other bits.
It’s a clever and very versatile design, but it does have a chunky handle.
The Kompakt 25 is usually priced at ~$33, but you can occasionally catch it on sale.
Wera makes small (but handy) narrow-handled bit holders, and I like mine a lot. They’re small screwdrivers – really small – and so they’re not going to be up to heavy duty or high-torque tasks. They also don’t have any built-in bit storage.
A couple of other compact multi-bit screwdrivers come to mind.
Read Also: The Best Multi-Bit Screwdriver? Here are 14 Recommendations
The Picquic SixPac is a decent tool. It’s not quite as nice to use as the PB Swiss Insider 2, and it works with long harder-to-find 1/4″ power-style screwdriver bits instead of 1/4″ hex 1″ insert bits.
But it’s far less expensive. You won’t cry if you accidentally drop it down a sewer grate.
There apparently was a stubby Megapro screwdriver (old Amazon listing), but it doesn’t seem to be sold anymore. The handle might have the deal-breaker, but we’ll never know. Megapro screwdriver handles tend to be chunky, but so are the PB Swiss and Wera picks discussed above.
The Picquic SixPac can be found for as little as $12 on Amazon. At the time of this posting, there’s a “clippable” $2 coupon that drops the price further.
PB Swiss Insider 2 vs Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25
In his email, Eli mentioned the Wera Kompakt 25 being too uncomfortable to carry in a pocket, even his cargo pants pocket. Well, it does come with a belt pouch.
The Wera Kompakt 25 checks off a lot of boxes, and is currently $32 on Amazon. That’s a lot for a multi-bit screwdriver, but isn’t too much of a leap upwards given the value of what you get.
I don’t know if I can recommend the PB Swiss Insider  as an alternative. I love how compact it is, and it’s great to use, except the occasional heavier use times when the bit cartridge loosens up and spins around a little.
Is the PB Swiss Insider 2 worth nearly double the price of the Wera? Objectively? No, but the price does get a lot better around Black Friday. If you ordered one around last Black Friday, it would have been around $41 after discount. It holds 4 more bits than the Wera, but it’s also still just a plastic-handled screwdriver.
Kobalt’s compact multi-bit screwdrivers used to be decent. They didn’t have a lot of features, their removable bit cartridges were clunky, the ratcheting mechanisms were not high quality, and you had to be careful to not cross-thread their the end caps. Buy, they were inexpensive and usable.
Please don’t think that I’m trying to say that everyone needs a $30+ EDC screwdriver and that nothing cheaper will do. In his email, Eli specifically asked about the Wera and PB Swiss Insider series. That’s what prompted this post, and why I reference those products and my experiences with them.
I dug out a few of the multi-bit screwdrivers and bit holders that I have within quick reach. There are others, but I don’t want to increase the scope of the comparison by too much.
I suppose you could consider these to be my current favorites.
From left to right:
- Wera mini bit holder
- PB Swiss bit holder screwdriver
- PB Swiss Insider 2
- Wera Kompakt 25 ($32 via Amazon)
- PB Swiss Insider 3 ratcheting screwdriver
- Volcanic Co. screwdriver
I couldn’t locate my PB Swiss Insider. It’s smaller than the Insider 2, and I’d say close to the size of the PB Swiss bit holding screwdriver.
Hmm; So it seems that the PB Swiss Insider 2 and Insider 3 handles are about as large as the widest part of the Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25 handle. I wouldn’t have thought that if I didn’t line them up together, something I don’t remember thinking to do before. I guess the Wera only looks and feels a little larger, possibly due to the geometry of the handle?
I’m starting to wonder if I should pull back on my recommendation for the Insider 2. It’s not any bit more pocketable, and while it can store more bits, it lacks the locking extendable bit holder of the Wera.
If the PB Swiss Stubby Insider were a little longer, it might best all the other options. But as it is, it’s too short for use as a general purpose screwdriver.
The Insider is a great pocketable screwdriver, but I don’t think it’s the best option for everyday field use. The Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25 and PB Swiss Insider 2 are great options, despite being a little chunky.
My go-to used to be a Klein multi-bit driver. Or Kobalt. Or Irwin. It was whatever I had at hand. I bought my PB Swiss Insider in November 2008, for $22, when Amazon was deeply discounting everything from the brand. I also bought a Felo multi-bit driver, but I didn’t like it very much. The Felo is currently in my “spare screwdrivers” box somewhere.
The PB Swiss Insider was my favorite for a long time. But it also wasn’t my daily-use screwdriver. It was my “I need something pocketable, comfortable, and capable” screwdriver. It’s great for impromptu tasks. But annoying for long projects.
It saw a lot of use, but there were times I carried it but didn’t need it.
I bought my Wera in 2011, on sale for $20. It never really took the place of my Insider, even the times when the Insider’s threaded end cap bit cartridge annoyed me most. But it’s seen a lot of use, and a lot of miles.
I should specifically mention that the Insider’s threaded end cap isn’t always an annoyance, and it didn’t always annoy me. In fact, it took me a while to even notice it. But now that I have more options, I have become less blind and forgiving to the Insider’s downsides.
I only bought an Insider 2 at the end of 2016, 8 years after I bought my original Insider, and more than 6 years after it was released.
For me, the Insider was more of a “just in case” type of the tool, and the Wera Kraftform 25 a tool bag companion. The Insider 2 is better, but larger, and pricier.
I didn’t buy it to replace my Insider, but because there were finally enough review requests to convince me to entertain my curiosity.
I use all of these tools regularly, but they’re not quite my go-tos. I more prefer individual screwdrivers, and at times bit holder screwdrivers.
Thinking about what to recommend to Eli has been very difficult for me. What do your recommend to someone looking for a pocketable tool for everyday use in all kinds of situations?
Something pocketable? I don’t know if I can make a confident recommendation here. I would want the best screwdriver available to me, and I don’t think there are any pocketable drivers that I’d reach for first.
The Wera has an extending shaft, but its handle is chunky. And not everyone loves the Kraftform geometry. The original PB Swiss Insider has an imperfect bit cartridge end cap, the Insider 2 is a little large and pricey, the Insider 3 is large, pricier, and heavy. The Picquic SixPac doesn’t have the most comfortable handle, and replacement bits can’t be easily found.
I have found that for pocketable multi-bit screwdrivers, there are many aspects that need to be balanced perfectly. They lump together into 3 main factors:
- Size and bit storage
- Performance, comfort, user-friendliness
No screwdriver I own fulfills all three, at least not perfectly.
The pocketable screwdrivers I mentioned above, as well as others I didn’t, might be a little compromised when it comes to actually using them. They might carry well and offer adequate built-in bit storage, but might not be as comfortable as less pocketable drivers might be.
And if there’s a better screwdriver, it might not be pocketable.
Something like the PB Swiss Insider 2 might be strong in size and performance categories, but it’s a little expensive. I suppose it’s less pocketable too, at least compared to the Insider, but the Insider’s user is less stellar than I once believed.
Less expensive pocketable screwdrivers, like the $7 or so Kobalt that I can’t bring myself to get rid of, aren’t all that great to use once you know how much better more premium tools really are.
I’m sorry Eli, I had been hoping to give you some good advice, but everything I have said comes down to this – the Wera Kraftform Kompakt 25 is likely the best pocketable multi-bit screwdriver that you’re going to find.
The Kompakt 25 offers a strong balance between pocketability and usability. You won’t find a more compact and pocketable tool that delivers the same versatility and performance, or at least I haven’t.
It’s not perfect, but I’m finding it hard to recommend anything over it.
Here are some links:
Buy Now(Wera Kompakt 25 via Amazon)
Buy Now(PB Swiss Pocket Tools via Count On Tools)
Buy Now(Picquic SixPac via Amazon)
Building upon everything I said, I think that my picks would be the Picquic SixPac if on a strict budget, Wera Kompakt 25 on a bigger budget, and PB Swiss Insider (1, 2, or 3) if I liked what they offered and had a higher budget.
Lastly, Picquic also offers a smaller multi-bit driver, the Multique, but it works with 3/16″ hex bits instead of 1/4″ hex. There’s also the Dash 7, which looks to work with standard 2″ bits. I haven’t tried either of these models yet, but the Dash 7 is looking quite appealing.
What would you recommend? Imagine that you’re a tech that works in all kinds of different situations, and you prefer to stash your screwdriver in a pocket. It needs to be compact, reliable, comfortable to use, and with built-in bit storage.
And for those of you that take your tools on the go, what kind of screwdrivers do you use, and would you recommend them to others?
I am a big fan of the the wiha 26-1. Can’t go wrong with it. Most times you can find it discounted (around $19)
It’s heavy and a bit large for pockets but it can’t be competed with on bit storage. https://www.kctoolco.com/wiha-77792-26-in-one-industrial-ultra-driver/
I like them as well. Mine has a locking bit holder instead of just a magnet to hold the bits but it is a bit large for pocketing.
Another +1 for the Wiha. I own the PB Swiss and Wera drivers listed above as well as the Wiha (I was also on a search for my “perfect” driver). At the end of the day for what I personally rely on these types of scewdriver for there is no substitute for bit storage and variety. I’m often carrying a driver like this in places I’m unsure of the fastener type I might encounter.
Same here. A bit big for the pocket, but I keep one in my bag wherever I go. I love it so much it was my go-to gift for people I cared about last year. Just so useful.
For some reason I have three of those Wera Kraftform 25s (two of a special black edition) and two of the Wiha 26-1. Of the two types, the Wiha is the largest by far but holds more bits and the Wera the most comfortable.
There’s a trade off. Smaller handle equals less bit storage and may become more uncomfortable to use for lengthy usage spells.
They make a small PicQuic called the dash 7. Handle is 4.75″ and it uses 2″ long 1/4″bits. It stores six in the handle. You can also use shorter bits with it.
I think I bought mine at Sears?
Its great, I keep it in my backpack as an EDC screwdriver.
I mentioned the Dash 7 at the very end. I don’t think I’d seen it previously, but it’s now on my shopping list.
Sorry, I should have read the whole post before I replied!!
The Dash 7 is a great tool though. I have been really happy with all the PicQuic stuff.
I too mentioned the PicQuic drivers in responding to Eli over on Tool Talk. Their handles have a bit of an old-school feel.
A win for Canada
I have that one as well, however it is the bright orange model marketed by CountyComm. They also make a stubby version and a full size.
All in all, it is the least annoying bit storage screwdriver I have owned and I have no complaints about either of the 3 sizes.
I like the Craftsman Extreme Grip one. It’s usually on sale $15, so a bit pricier than the PicQuic, but very comfortable and the magnetic tip holder is practical. It’s been holding up well since I bought about year ago.
It might be longer than you want, but the good old Klein 6-in-1 is an excellent choice. The 5/16″ and 1/4″ nut drivers are very handy and there are less small parts to drop like the 10- or 11-in-1 versions. You can also stick the ‘blade’ of the screwdriver into a drill chuck if you need a field expedient extra long drill bit or nut setter.
Yep, I tend to agree. Klein 11-1 is my edc. It is a tough build screwdriver that gets just about all my service work done. I used to carry the wera kompackt but it was more James Bond’ish than functional. Half the time the giant chuck on the end obstructed reaching the screw hole.
I agree with the Klein 11 in 1. It’s a real everyday screwdriver/nut driver. A little large for the pocket but worth the extra space if you are really using it and not just wanting to carry something “just in case”.
Another +1 for the klein. If I am gathering tools for a project, its the first one in the bag. If i am reaching for a screwdriver, its the 1st one I reach for.
I suppose it depends on what kinds of bits you need though. If you are looking for something where you can put your own obscure bits into the holder, than it may not be the best choice. But if you are happy with the choices it comes with, its hard to beat.
Klein is my favorite. You don’t have to fiddle with recessed or bits hidden in another compartment, and it’s actually a useful length, unlike most of the examples in the original post.
I know that it’s not pocketable, but the Milwaukee 11-in-1 Multi-Tip Screwdriver is just about my favorite tool these days – I’ve got like 8 of them. A couple in the house, a few around the garage, one in the spare tire well or glovebox of vehicles, etc. They are cheap, relatively comfortable, and have just enough bits and nut driver sizes to handle most “around the house” jobs easily.
I find myself grabbing one even when a nicer screwdriver is sitting right next to it, just because I know that I’ll probably be saved another trip to the tool box. For “homeowner” jobs, like replacing an outlet or a breaker, or other basics, it’s nearly perfect.
I love that thing so much that I’m excited to order and try some of these other more advanced tools just to see if they can replace my Milwaukees!
I’m with you. It’s the most excited I’ve been about a screwdriver probably ever. The design is just that stellar.
I have the 10-in-1 TORX version (similar system to the Picquic SixPack above) if I could find the HEX and Multi Tip versions I would get them.
The Wera looks pretty good as well. Might be a good option to throw in the car toolkit.
can’t say enough good about the kraftform. it has so many nice features and is so well made. too bad as mentioned it really doesn’t fit well in a pocket.
when talking multi bit drivers the old 4 in 1 screwdrivers made in jamestown ny were the standard in the hvac industry for years. red handle, double ended bits and removable shaft. they were cheap, durable and comfortable. i am sure most evey hvac guy has one of them down in the bottom of a box from years ago . evey warehouse had a couple boxes of the on display at the counter.
I think you’ve already pointed out the best options. If Eli or another reader has some specific priorities in mind, that might help narrow down which is the best option.
– If you want the smallest driver that still works like a regular screwdriver, the Dash 7 would be hard to beat. I think some might dismiss it too quickly just because it’s cheap – it’s a great tool!
– if you want something even smaller, maybe the Witte ratchdrive? (Which, in my opinion, would be a better tool if it was designed so you could also use the bit holder in the skinny end too.)
– Could always pocket a Gerber centre drive if you want to maximize utility in less space.
– Ratcheting – perhaps a Rolgear? Not terribly small, but it’s nice and has 15 different tips on hand. Alternately a Channellock 131CB or Megapro – bits are a little pricey though.
– Others mentioned the Wiha ultradriver if you happen to need a huge selection of bits on hand (Wiha also makes a driver that holds 6 bits that could be worth checking out).
Final thought: Makita makes an 18-in-one that’s similar to the Wera Kraftform – but also cheaper and smaller. Well, I’m not sure if the diameter is any smaller, but it is shorter. It’s called the “Makita B-40571-6 18 in 1 Screwdriver”. It also has a removable bit holder and uses 1″ standard bits. Could be worth looking into.
That Makita – seems to be pretty scarce in the US – with better availability in Canada
Good catch – I’m Canadian. That explains why I haven’t seen any reviews for it. I thought about picking one up, but I already own the Wera so I didn’t see much point. It’s less than $15 – so if it’s decent, it would be a great alternative (Wera sells for >$42 in Canada).
They apparently make a ratcheting one as well. Well I never knew…
Hey! I saw that one but didn’t realize it also had a bit holder until I followed your link. From the pictures, it looks like the bit holder is a separate accessory stored in the handle rather than removable from the business end of the screwdriver.
It looks skinnier than the Wera version, albeit longer than the one I was thinking of. It holds 12 bits too. Maybe Eli would like it if it could be found in the US. The price is definitely right. Just not sure if they are any good.
Found it on Amazon, but no specific dimensions listed. Looks like it’s probably a bit wide in the handle for pocket carry, but it definitely checks the rest of the boxes.
I bought the Makita 18 in 1 and hated it, it was heavy and the bit storage was frustrating when changing bits, its poorly made, the bit holder inserts into a plastic hex which seems flimsy and it does not lock it in to the handle so it slips out. The actual bits do lock into the end of the holder but it is not magnetic. The purchase was very disappointing.
in stainless. I like that the bits are double ended so if i need the smaller/bigger size i can just flip the bit around instead of fumbling with twice the amount of smaller bits.
I’m a huge fan of the Wera. While the shape of the handle makes it look bulkier than it is but also makes it more comfortable.
I think one question needs to be “how similar is the feel to a “regular” screwdriver?” Unless it feels normal you will always look at them like a toy screwdriver.
I had virtually every replaceable tip screwdriver out there (Megapro – great quality but what happens when you lose a tip; PB – somehow felt odd etc.) but now have a Wera on every floor of the house – great for those jobs that you’ll put off “until you go get the toolbox” – i.e. never until something actually falls off.
That said, since the Wiha drivers were on sale right before Christmas last year, I bought 20 for presents for friends and family. They’ve gotten rave reviews since then – but I think the same reservation as the Megapro remains – proprietary bits.
With the Wera you can add and replace your most used bits, you can pull out the Wera bits and use them in the “electrical” Fero bit holder or in any other bit holder.
You can buy mega pro bits on amazon. I have spares for the ones I use the most sitting in my workshop.
True, but they are far more expensive than even good quality “standard” bits.
You can buy the megapro automotive edition, it is the same but with standart 1/4 inch bits, in my opinion the best ratcheting bit s
Driver with storage.
Pd: i also have se kompackt 25, it is very good, but the big chuck does get in the way sometimes
I replaced my bits with the new Makita XPS bits. SWEET.
A Leatherman would be my choice; you get a selection of screwdrivers as well as other tools.
I second that. With my Surge and two paddles of bits and the 3″ extension I get 36 bits. Cons…most of them almost work and there is no bit retention…takes a lot of juggling.
My next go to is my Makita TD020D…7.2v impact driver. I dragged that all over Afganistan and Africa fixing and installing VSATs. Great for putting together a 3.4 m dish fast. Pros…tiny size and low weight…will sink a 3″ woodscrew or drill a hole with a 1″ paddle bit. Cons…the charger is HUGE and only 120v. Makita would have a real winner if the charger were smaller.
agreed! Wave with bit kit
Yeah, I carry a Wave and a Surge, and they share a Bit Kit and Bit Extender. In my PERSONAL opinion, asking “What’s the best EDC Screwdriver with Bit Storage?” is like asking “What’s your favourite Natural Disaster?” or “What’s your favourite strain of the Plague?”
I much prefer the Leatherman setup. You can always carry a pouch that has regular hex bits of your favourite type on the usual plastic/rubber holder type thing they come on these days. For most in-the-moment jobs, the Leatherman Bit Kit is quick and easy to use on a Leatherman Tool, or the Extender (which usually holds them MUCH tighter.) for most jobs. When you just can’t get the flattened bits to fit, carrying a small pouch with hex bits of common sizes will work with the Bit Extender for the job.
Frankly… You get more out of a Leatherman setup than you get out of a ratcheting screwdriver. THAT makes them better for EDC by a long shot. Once you’ve got yourself a pouch for the bits and bit extender, and a decent holster for however many Leatherman tools you carry, the thought of a ratcheting screwdriver of any sort becomes an almost nauseating thought. About the only thing lacking for the Leatherman setup is an L-shaped or Flex-Shaft attachment. It’s really the only difference.
I have carried a Wave for 15 years, and a Surge for 5 along with both the old style bit kits and the paddle style w/extender. I still always have one on my person, but based on how much I personally use the screwdriver function (more than anything else), I have found that having a dedicated round handled driver as well suits me much better. I appreciate the versatility of plier based multitools to be sure, but have found that although they are usually good enough to get the job done they are usually less than ideal for anything beyond very breif use.
Again, this is my personal preference and experience, but I have found the quality of Leatherman’s proprietary bits to be severely lacking. That said, they have always been great about standing behind their product (bit kits are not covered by the warranty, and they replaced some for me at no cost), but I have had enough damaged or stripped to be wary of using them at all.
I know the extender will hold standard 1/4″ bits, but the overall goal of my carry is to have the least amount of pieces with the highest amount of utility. Having to worry about an additional separate set of standard bits is as nauseating to me as the thought of a dedicated screwdriver to you.
I understand most of this is simply about personal preference and usage habits. I’m simply trying to find my ideal setup based on how I use my tools.
Leatherman tools aren’t meant to be “Ideal” really. They aren’t there to replace a screwdriver. Their flat bits are good for “Most” applications of those sizes, but if your life is full of unusual uses of screwdriver bits, the flat bits don’t do the job. This is me, a Leatherman devotee, telling you that there’s nothing wrong with what you’re feeling about this issue.
I would, personally, like to see Leatherman do a better job of accessories for the Outside-Open family of tools they make. The Wave, Surge, Charge, Signal, Wingman, Skeletool… The entire family where they have at least one tool that opens while the “Pliers” inside are closed inside the handles. The Surge has that Blade Exchanger, and it uses a standard T-Shank Jigsaw blade template… So where are all the things we could be using the Blade Exchanger for? File/Rasp and Saw? Really? That’s it? So much lost potential there! How about Package Opener/Fish Hook Remover from the Charge family serrated blade? How about some better adapters, maybe a ratcheting hex bit, for folks like you who genuinely need the full Hex Bits? Plus I already mentioned a 90 degree or swivel adapter, and/or flex shaft would be nice there.
I think I should probably have phrased it better. Like… Once you’ve found YOUR Leatherman Setup, with the right combo… you find these ratcheting Screwdrivers to be a nauseating thought, etc.
I’ve had 4 picquics (countycomm version), wera kraftform 25, pbswiss insider 2, wiha 26ultra driver, and even that volcanic tool co. bit holder.
Got rid of the picquics because they just took up too much space and the other drivers could hold more bits, and were easier to pull out from the handle storage as well.
Got rid of the wera because the bits just didn’t feel as nice as the wiha or pb swiss bits. (maybe it was in my mind, idk). Even though it had an extendable shaft, it felt like it would be too big to fit in the deep holes anyway. Plus, it did seem chunkier than the other screwdrivers.
Volcanic tool co’s magnet is way too strong that I basically always need pliers to pull the bits out if theres any hint of grease on the bit or my fingers. But I keep it because I like heavy chunks of metal.
I really like my pb swiss insider 2. Its pretty much perfect. I really want to get the long shaft version, but I cant justify the cost at the moment. It’s a good thing I have the wiha 26 bit ultra driver. It’s basically a cheaper non-ratcheting version that’s just as good… well it might actually be better because it hold so much more bits
It’s a little long, but the Rolgear 15-in-1 is fantastic, not just for the really good ratcheting action, but also the bits, which are made-in-Canada tool steel. (https://www.rolgear.com/product/multibit-ratchet-screwdriver-15-tips-double-ended-bits/)
I use the The Picquic SixPac, I know it’s not the best but for $6 each I always have an extra ready to go.
Charles A Andrews
I like my 30yr old snapon ratcheting screwdriver it’s never let me down and you can get a lot of torque on it.
I have the PB Swiss Insider 3 ( two of them) and the Stubby ratcheting. Those are my EDCs. Pricey but they’re part of my DNA now.
I agree with the Wiha 26-1 comments. Like that I can have one tool that covers all the hex sizes, Phillips, and flat in one tool. Don’t carry in my pocket, but it’s in my EDC backpack that goes with me just about everywhere.
In addition to my Snap On ratcheting screwdrivers, I have several Rolgear quiet ratcheting screwdrivers – Made in Canada.
Leatherman PST. But if I think I will need a “real” screwdriver I shove a Milwaukee 10-in-1 in my pocket. Sturdy built, stores bits in the handle, ratcheting, and has a wire stripper built in. Downside are the proprietary bits, although I haven’t broken one yet, and the force required to pull them out of the handle is substantial. On sale at Grainger for $12.99, BTW.
I also vote for the Milwaukee 10-in-1 – I’ve found that the drivers that use 1 inch bits can’t get into tight places – the Milwaukee with it’s ~4 inch bits solves that problem. I wouldn’t consider any driver using less than 2 inch bits as my work often has to get to tight and recessed screws
Toolguyd is expensive 🙁
Based on the comments here I really like the Picquic and the RolGear. I think they come closest to a regular driver. Beside both of them are compact, reliable and not to mention affordable. In fact I like them so much that I am going to add them to my personal collection…
If I could collect from half of you the minimum wage in your locality for half the time you’ve spent collectively composing, reading, and replying to this post……
How long will these stay-at-home orders last? No, please don’t answer; that’s merely a rhetorical question. Looks like a lot of us have more time on our hands than is beneficial. IMHO, of course.
Blessings, brothers and sisters.
Some of us are old. We need to use our minds and writing skills, or they fade fast. How better to do it, than something that interests you.
An excellent point.
I have collected a number of screwdrivers over the years but lately i have made the Rolgear and the autoload screwdriver from Lee Valley Tools my go to screwdrivers. With the Autoload you can load it up with the bits you regularly use and replace them easily if worn.
Thank you Stuart, and everyone else for your responses!
After initially carrying the Wera Kompakt 25 and finding it a bit too thick in the handle to carry comfortably, I eventually purchased and have been carrying a PB Swiss Insider. I won’t say that the Insider is perfect, but it meets my needs slightly better than the Wera due to the smaller handle diameter.
I have found that my several requirements for this tool are now based on certain criteria being of higher importance than others, listed as follows;
1. Pocket-ability- Small diameter handle. long enough to have a good grip surface, but significantly smaller than a full sized screwdriver. I do a lot of climbing and crawling , and anything remotely close to a regular screwdriver would get caught up continually.
2. Bit Storage- Capacity for MY most commonly used bits. This tends to exclude most drivers that have proprietary bits, as I commonly use a 5/32″ security hex, and a 2.5mm slotted bit.
3. Weight- I already carry a decent amount of gear including;
In holsters on my belt
-Either a Victorinox or Leatherman multitool
-Klein Electricians Scissors
Strategically placed in various pockets
-Small folding knife with clip
-lighter (non-smoker, but I find myself needing fire quite often)
-flashlight (Olight S1R Turbo primarily)
-CountyComm Technicians Pocket Screwdriver (for more delicate work)
-Milwaukee Inkzall, or smaller pen.
Some days more, some days less. I am more about utility than preparedness, so if I don’t use something almost daily I don’t carry it. I need a screwdriver that meets my needs but doesn’t add unnecessary bulk.
4. Build Quality/ease of use- I want a tool that isn’t a pain to use, and that will last me a long time. I have handled off band versions of the Picquic, and the difficulty in swapping out bits was a major turn off. Perhaps the Picquic branded ones are better, but they fall short in too many other categories for my specific use.
5. Price- Price is far less significant a factor. Not because I like spending obscene amounts on tools, but rather that I take great care of what I own. I see a one time investment in something that fits my needs exceptionally well as well worth it.
To those that want to disparage multibit screwdrivers as a poor substitute for a dedicated screwdriver; I agree to an extent. For certain tasks a dedicated tool is the only way to go. Unfortunately I’ve found that tool pouches don’t typically fare well in a crawl space, or climbing a tower. It is much easier to have a tool that is “good enough” held securely in your pocket, than a tool that is perfect laying on the ground 40 feet down.
Another consideration for my specific needs is type of use. I use a variety of bits over the course of a day, but rarely if ever do I use any significant amount of torque. (For any task that would require heavy torque, I would use a dedicated tool, and know this well in advance) This tends to render any of the suggestions for screwdrivers that are of a heavier build as overkill.
At this point I don’t think my “perfect” screwdriver exists, but the PB Swiss Insider is the best fit for me of what is currently available.
Thanks again for the ideas and suggestions.
Any further questions, let me know!
Ratcheting snap on for me. Mine is 30 yrs old and still going strong. Pay once, suffer once.
Yes sir. Tough to beat the Snap-On SSDMR4BO. I have a couple of these and the orange color is great (keeps you from leaving them on a car.) Use them for car work, electrical work, just about anything and there is plenty of room for bits of your choosing. They also make a stubby model that is handy in tight places.
Holy moly. $71 for a screwdriver. I thought the German tools were expensive.
The Megapro isn’t bad, but the only general purpose screw driver I carry is Klein 11 in 1. I’ve played with them all and they are suck as screw drivers. Having every possible bit is great but it just gets in the way of actually doing the job.
For true EDC and with the possibility of going on a plane (either by accident or because you need it on the other end and aren’t checking a bag, then the tool (with a bit inserted) must be less than 7 inches.
I’ve carried a Wera (without the extension) on many flights without issue, but I’ve had a Megapro denied and had to mail it.
I agree that the Wera 25 in 1 is a very good bit holding screwdriver but I can not warm to the anal plug type handle. It is called “Kraftform” suggesting shaped for big power. That is not really true.
You can tansfer much more torque with a Wiha #387 Centrofix bit driving handle. Its mechanical bit holder can also lock onto ALL types of bits and power blades, JIS and DIN types (the Wera can not ).
It has no bit storage but how many type of bits do you need? May be 6 bits. They can be kept in a separate multi piece bit holder
If Wera redesigned their handles they would have the worlds best screw drivers
“If Wera redesigned their handles they would have the worlds best screw drivers”.
Wera do have the best screwdrivers in the world and for the most part it’s because of the handle design. Trust me, the Germans didn’t just slap something together after a long night at some Oktoberfest.
Wera screwdrivers have improved a lot since they came out in the sixties with their thick, heavy hexagonal shanks and uncomfortable Kraftform-handles. They were not popular. We used to lay the handle on an anvil and crush it a sledge hammer. Then we modified the shanks into punches and small chisels.
I’d dearly like to see a test trying to get the highest reading on a torque meter with some different brand of screwdrivers before the hand slips and looses grip. The test shall be performed by turning them with one hand. I doubt that the Wera will come out on top
I use a mashup of the Kobalt QL3 10-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver.
It comes with long hex bits that don’t fit in the handle storage compartment, which is just stupid. However, it has a great ratchet, metal chuck, and torque friendly handle. You could run it over and it will be just fine.
So I instead found a magnetic bit holder that I toss in the handle with a half dozen bits. They stick to the holder so they don’t spill out. And I don’t have a long shank to poke my pocket. I also put an o-ring around the compartment threads to help the cap stay tight.
It doesn’t solve the size issues, it is a large handle like the options above, but it does solve the price. Maybe cost me about $12.
oh, and the bit locks in, which i love too. you can’t pull it out without pulling back the quick release. which is fast and designed well.
Sorry, the correct name of the Wera shall be Kompact 25, not 25 in 1.
Another compact, pocketable bit driver is a Gedore #676 driving handle plus a Gedore #699 bit holder. Together the length is 5 inch. You have to have a separate bitholder but for compactness this combination is hard to beat.
I have the Rolgear ratcheting screwdriver, it hands down has the smoothest and quietest ratcheting mechanism of any screwdriver that I’ve ever used. The teeth of those gears are so close together it feels like only a 64th of a turn or so to get it to catch and turn a screw, it’s great. My favorite driver for sure. My only complaint would be that they could have either made the bits a hair shorter or made the handle where they’re stored a hair longer, I feel the bits on my hand sometimes when I’m using it. Not annoying enough to knock it out of 1st place though, it’s still a great driver. Got my brother one too, he loves it.
The Felo Bit Boy (Bitboy?) has their wonderful Ergonic handle, a pop up bit holder similar to the PB Swiss stubby, and a decent bit selection. If you don’t need a ratchet that’s what I recommend
What about the Milwaukee 48-22-2320. Has 7 bits with magnetic holder and it ratchets. I love it
Reviewed it here: https://toolguyd.com/milwaukee-compact-ratcheting-screwdriver-review/
It’s a good screwdriver, but bit selection is very limited. 1.5″ power bits aren’t exactly commonly available.
Good point about the bit too bad you couldn’t add your own have a good size
For those who prefere USA-made smaller screwdrivers I’d recomend the 4 in 1 mini made by Enderes Tool Company in Albert Lee, Minesota. I bought mine from Bower Tools on E-bay.
To be a 4 in 1 it is of unusual good quality. The bits and shaft fit tightly without any rattling. The total length of this driver is 135mm with the phillips bit fitted . The length of the square handle is 76mm.
Most double ended bits with a locking ball in the middle of 38mm and 50mm length will fit. (Megapro bits will not fit. These bits can be found on Amazon.
Due to the handy size of this driver one can carry two or even three without discomfort, one with slotted phillips the other(s) with robertson, hex, torx or schrader bits as required
I have that same Enderes! $4 impulse buy with the local old timey hardware store name stamped on it. I’ve had it for years and although I have and love my Wera Kompakt 25 among a few others, this cheap little driver is easily my most used. I thought it was a cheap offshore throwaway but the bits have held up extremely well over the years. Two philips, two flat blade covers 99% of the average need. I’d have to admit that behind that, the philips on my old Victorinox Champion sees a lot of activity.
I’ve been using these for years. I cut an old Mag flashlight sheath so I could put it on my belt. Best little screwdriver ever. Use it everyday.
Lots of sympathy with Eli’s question. I don’t get on with drivers that are too fat in the handle so i’ve never seen a bit storage handle that I would buy. This doesn’t change my mind.
I do own and like the two smaller sizes of the wera without storage – good – and the pb swiss is comfortable but would be better with a mechanism like the Wera.
There is no one driver design that is best for all types of work.
For electrical work I find Wiha the best i’ve handled. They have awards for their ergonomics. Festool bit holders are obviously made by / licensed from Wiha.
This has been a fun thread. I’m back because I had another idea: what about the CRKT Get-A-Way Driver?
Per Eli’s criteria:
1. Pocket-ability- it’s skinnier on one side than the other, which makes it sit flatter in the pocket without giving up too much torque. Significantly smaller than a full-sized screwdriver: only 3.75″ tip-to-tail. Drawback might be that won’t be quite as easy to use as a regular round-handled driver.
2. Bit Storage- Yep. Has some. Not sure how many Eli needs to store. looks like the CRKT holds four in the handle and one in bit holder. Bit holder works with any bits, but the bits stored in the handle have detents – so I’m not sure if that’s required for them to stay securely in the handle.
3. Weight- 1.9 oz. That’s not much.
I don’t think it’s perfect either, but it is unique so I thought Eli might want to know about it. As a bonus it has a built-in flashlight, 10 mm wrench and hex bit wrench reliefs and you can remove the bit holder and use it in the hex slot for greater torque.
The Get-A-Way Driver was on my list for the longest time, but I could never bring myself to buy one. Unless I’m mistaken, aren’t the bits a proprietary size?
I don’t own one. Just spotted it on Amazon awhile back and had it pop back into my mind because of this thread.
From reading the product page, I think it uses standard-sized 1″ bits, but that the bits it comes with have detents.
It says “Each of the hex bits has a spring-loaded ball detent to keep it in the holder”. To me, thatsounds like the detent keeps them in the handle, but that the bit holder itself (e.g. the pointy end) also works with regular bits.
I figured it was worth mentioning because most of the recommendations have been for excellent but full-sized multi-bit screwdrivers, whereas the Get-a-Way is on the other side of the spectrum.
I noticed it also comes in a Torx model… which is tempting me.
Great suggestion- I actually carried the Get-A-Way Driver for quite a while. Overall size was excellent for pocket-ability, but perhaps a bit on the small side for regular use. Also, unfortunately Stuart is right; the bits are proprietary making it a non starter for the uncommon bits I use regularly for work.
I think the design is exceptional, and with some improvements it could be the base for the perfect EDC driver.
I replaced a Maglight Solitaire w/ a CRKT Getaway driver a while back — it works fine for what it is.
The bits are standard 1/4″ hex, albeit a bit short, w/ a ball-bearing to keep them in place in the storage areas — if you used say a length of inner tube to wrap up the whole thing you could use any sort of bit you wanted.
Another alternative would be a PB Swiss Bike Tool (more readily available under the Victorinox name) — standard bits, and you could fill it w/ the ones you need.
I just followed that link. That company sells another, similar-looking, screwdriver that looks even better (at least to me): https://bigidesign.com/collections/all-products/products/ti-eds
Good grief that’s a lot of money – but it also looks awesome…
I think that’s a new development since I posted that link two years ago — it does look nice, but no ratcheting.
These days I’m still carrying a CRKT Getaway Driver and have paired it with an EverRatchet — the pair work well together and aren’t _too_ fiddly for something which fits in a pocket.
I have a Wiha driver that has a magnetic hex holder. I carry the bits separately in a rubber bit organiser.
I really wanted to get a Wera, but I didn’t like the handle. I might have been holding it wrong but I just couldn’t get it to feel comfortable.
I haven’t tried a Felo but they look like they might have a good handle design.
You should recommend the Picquic Dash 7, because its much smaller than their regular drivers – uses 2″ driver bits. However to truly be pocketable you have to drop one of the 7 bits – they have 6 storage bays, and one bit has to live in the socket, which will put a hole in your pocket. Comes with very nice bits too.
So a Dash7 with one bit held out is a good affordable EDC multi-bit driver. That said I EDC a the PB Swiss Insider (and yes, your palm can unscrew the storage if you are bearing down on it, but rarely happens.)
I bought one recently, haven’t vetted it yet.
I was in the store today handling a Picquic Multique. For anyone who just needs “normal” bits, I’d have to say that’s the most pocket-able screwdriver I’ve come across. The handle is noticeably skinnier – even compared to the Dash 7. Not expensive either.
I have a couple Picquic screwdrivers – not the multique though- and you can store the extra bit in one of the handle holes so it doesn’t stick out so far. Just push it in as if you’re changing bits and don’t pull out the one from the bottom. It’s not going to fall out on it’s own. I suppose you could do that to all the holes…
Actually, if you look at the picture Stuart posted for the Picquic SixPac above you can see what i’m describing. Just keep pushing in the bit from the top until the bottom one is level with the bit holder – both bits are held pretty snug in this position.
I was looking at Klein screwdrivers today and it made me recall this post. What about the Klein 10-Fold 10-in-1 Screwdriver/Nut Driver?
I don’t own one so I’m not vouching for it. I just thought it might be more pocket-friendly because it’s flat.
It uses special double-sided bits – but Klein sells a selection of hex, torx, phillips, slotted, square and tamper-proof bits… etc. that fit. Plus it looks like you could actually stick a standard 1″ bit in it if need be.
Good idea but the handle is not comfortable when used with the shaft in line with the handle. This is not really an issue if you do the final tightening with the shaft set 90 degree to the shaft, L-handle style.
You can also replace the standard 5/16″ shafts that holds the double ended 1/4″ bits with 5/16″ bits, 70mm long, from a 6 in 1 screwdriver from Craftsman, Vaco, Husky or Eazypower. Sizes 2PH x 1/4″ slotted or any other size as required.
This Klein 10 fold 10 in 1 screwdriver is a very good tool.
Sorry! It shall be…. set 90 degrees to the handle.
I find the small Wera hurts my hand when using it more than a couple of times. The normal Kompakt 25 is perfect. Holds the bits securely and the shaft extends for easy reach. The bits lock easily in the holder. I actually have three of these, one in my workshop, one in my bedroom and one at work.
For reposts, please add an edit note before any content starts. Thank you.
Over the holidays I adopted a WERA and WIHA which both use standard bits.
The verdict remains out which I like better or which will hold up better with long term use. The WERA has the versatility edge by fact it is both stubby and regular shaft with a quick adjustment.
As is the usual practice, I added a note as early in the post as I could.
I’ve been trying to figure out a standardized way to do this at the start of a post, but it’s easier said than done.
These all look great. I wonder how long before they come out with fork, spoon, & knife bits? Just noticed: Packout has new compact coolers. They look just like the compact tool boxes, only with white tops.
Although longer than those you reviewed, I like the Channellock 131CB 13-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver. I bought it on Amazon for about $25.
EDC-ing a screw driver?! Nope can’t do it as a minimalist.
That said these are the two tools that i’ve enjoyed carrying that were multitools that allowed screw driver capability.
I have the Kershaw Select Fire you linked to. I really liked the concept, but when I bought it I was surprised to find I didn’t really like it. Mostly I thought it was too big, had too much play and it just didn’t feel like it had the same quality build as my Leatherman, Gerber or SOG multitools. I also don’t like the clip placement – preferring all my knives to sit lower in my pocket.
There’s a Leatherman knife/screwdriver that’s somewhat similar – called the “Crater” I think. I haven’t seen that in person but I was curious whether I might like it better.
I since bought a Leatherman Skeletool though – and I like it a LOT. I probably should have sprung for the titanium version considering how often I use it but I didn’t realize how much I would like it. I think it bears mentioning in this thread because I find it to be one of my better multitools for use as a screwdriver. I usually just fold it out so the handles are in-line (e.g. instead of side-by-side) that gives me a nice long tool I can turn with both hands for faster screwdriving. Proprietary bits though.
My favorite hands down – Channellock Ratcheting Screwdriver for $27 – $30. My only complaint on this driver is that the bits aren’t standard. They are 2″ bits with a locking dimple. You can find replacement bits on Amazon but not any big box stores. I also have the MegaPro Automotive screwdriver which is nearly identical to the Channellock version, but it uses standard 1/4″ bits. These are the smoothest ratcheting screwdrivers that I own and I like the bit storage.
I’d suggest going over 6” and getting a Vessel Ratcheting screwdriver. I’m in hospital maintenance, so I’m using screwdrivers all the time. I prefer bit holding drivers so I can use the specific ones needed, for ex, I need stainless steel bits for sensitive equipment.
I’ve used the Kompact 25 for years, & it’s good. But the shaft gets wobbly, and the bit storage isn’t heavy duty. I’m afraid it’s not a tool designed for daily use, (same goes for their excellent ratcheting screwdriver; flimsy storage.)
The PB Swiss Insider is too short to be useful for me. I have the 110mm version & it’s excellent, as long as you’re not using your palm for pressure while unscrewing a stuck fastener. That’s when it gets unscrewed. It’s too long for an EDC. Excellent bits, though they are a bit brittle.
The Vessel isn’t perfect. It’s nearly 7” long. The bit storage is secure, but over time could become loose. It comes with 16 bits, but only 1 slotted, and carrying more than 8 isn’t really pocket friendly. They are carried in cartridges not unlike Facom.
The ratchet mechanism is 72 teeth, very positive & smooth. I have Snap-On, Wera, Wiha, & Megapro
ratcheting screwdrivers. The Vessel likely isn’t as strong as the Snap-On, but for smoothness it rivals the best. (I tried a Rolgear- cheap plastic handle, gimmicky ratchet & it rolls right off ladders.)
A pocketable, or holster-able screwdriver is such a useful tool, it’s bizarre that it’s so hard to find a good one.
Is the Vessel Ratchet Screwdriver No.TD-6816MG the one you were referring to?
It certainly looks interesting! Comes with two bit storage holders for different load-outs. Uses standard-sized bits. Just over an inch for handle diameter – probably not too bad in a pocket. Thanks for sharing!
Kinda pricey (at least when I look here in Canada it would be about $55 with tax). Is Vessel quality sufficient to command that kind of premium?
Ouch! It’s $30 in the US. I feel for you guys in Canada; last time I was up visiting family basic Klein Lineman Pliers were 2x what they cost here.
That said, Vessel makes really high quality tools. I think there is a cheaper ratchet screwdriver they import from China, but nearly everything is made in Japan to a really high standard. I believe your countryman AvE is a big fan of their “wood” handled full tang screwdrivers. I’d probably equate the quality to Wiha & Wera. My unit has very little “play” & “rattle,” and some people would complain the bit cartridges fit too tightly.
Before their buyout, Craftsman would import & relabel Vessel ball drivers, and when people discovered their quality, man, those things sold like crazy.
The bits are quite good, maybe not PB Swiss or Zephyr quality, but quite excellent. You’re gonna need to add a Robbie bit tho! (My favorite Robbie bit is from Wera; Slightly concave sides.)
At that price, it’s not an automatic “yes” for me, but if the size is important, then it’s probably your best bet.
FWIW, I have a couple Wera ratcheting screwdrivers at work, and despite how much I love Wera tools, the msrp on those is ridiculous, as the handle and storage don’t inspire confidence.
I have a Snap-On ratcheting screwdriver that was absurdly pricey, and I’ve never regretted it, so when the quality is there I don’t mind paying. The Vessel feels like it could be close to that level.
The only thing that gives me slight pause with the Vessel is that the bit cartridges, while a great convenient design, seem like they could wear out over years of use. The Facom uses a similar design but there’s an actual locking mechanism.
I actually have the same criticism of the PB Swiss Insider 2 & 3, and think the flaws of the original design are outweighed by the long term durability.
To be fair, I’m really picky. I’m using a screwdriver several hours a week & carry it constantly. I don’t know if my slight reservations are valid.
The handle itself is good old cellulose acetate, so it’s way stronger than most ratcheting drivers. The ratchet mechanism is incredibly fine at 72 teeth, and is as good or better than Wera or Snap-On. I have no basis for guessing the Snap-On is stronger, other than the size of the mechanism, (the Vessel is really small, basically like a non-ratcheting driver,) & the fact I’ve torn down the Snap-On a few times.
Since you’re in Canada, you might like to get Picquic or Rolgear. My HVAC Picquic lives in the hospital boiler room , & for the price it’s great. I broke the handle of a Rolgear & don’t like the way the handle can roll, & the mechanism isn’t gonna be as strong as the Vessel or Snap-On. But it’s really not bad for the price.
If you can deal with something longer, I’d check out the fantastic Megapro Automotive, (also Canadian,) the Bahco, and especially the Facom ratcheting screwdrivers.
I wish I could think of another option for less money, but if you’re gonna use it a lot, I doubt you’ll regret it. Of everything I’ve tried, I think the Vessel is the current best bet for a small, ratcheting driver.
Sorry for the long replies; I just remembered another good option, this time a bargain priced one:
The Allway Composite 4-in-1
Made in the US, ultralight, surprisingly tough, and cheap. You can get the Hyper Tough (Wal-Mary,) or Stanley rebadged ones in the US for $5.
I posted a review below. I really love this thing; but i view it as semi-disposable, so the grading curve is a bit easier l!
Koko the Talking Ape
Stanley makes a stubby ratcheting driver with storage for six bits, the Stanley 66-358. Cheap too. It doesn’t feel great, but if you replace the bits with PB Swiss, it’s not half bad. It’s longer than some stubbies, but still pocketable. I keep one in my bike saddlebag. It’s far more usable than a multitool, and cheaper too.
I’d love a PB Swiss Insider 3, but I have a mortgage to pay. :-/
This comparison desperately needs an SSDMR4B; when I have a lot of screws to turn, I won’t use anything less. But my permanent junk-drawer screwdriver? A Wera 27RA. Loses the extendable/retractable/detachable shaft, but keeps the nifty pop-out bit storage and gains a ratcheting mechanism.
Love my Snap-on ratcheting screwdrivers, I have 6. Also love the Canadian-made Rolgear.
Having grown up using piquic screwdrivers as a plumber I have found my raptor 19 in 1 to be amazing. The multi bit plus channel locks, and a spanner I can fix most issues.
Wow, I saw that headline photo and I thought maybe it was finally time for that PB Swiss Insider review you were planning three or four years ago.
Alas, a repost. Well, when there’s only one tool review a month, the queue must be long.
I’ll keep waiting. I will only need this screwdriver after I retire, anyway.
Here’s the one-liner review: buy it, it’s awesome if you’re willing to spend the money.
Is it much better than options that cost a lot less? Yes. Better than mid-priced alternatives? That’s the tough question I still can’t answer.
Lennox has my vote. All the others that carry bits in the base seem to fall out. The Lennox has square, flat and Phillips with 1/4 and 5/16 hex built in. Nothing falls out and they’re cheap.
Just got a Wiha ultra driver, haven’t used it yet, but ergonomics are good. I also like the Lenox 9 in 1. It has S2 bits, which have held up great.
I prefer my Snap-On, or a Megapro screwdriver
The Vessel TD-6800 is a very good ratchet screw driver. The handle diameter is only 29mm and it holds eight bits
I have yet to find a screwdriver of this type handy. So far, the problem has been that the bits are too hard to get to, and once you get to them they are too hard to change. I actually have one that you need a sharp object to pry the bit out of the storage clips. Another has the bits stored inside deep holes with just 1/8″ peeking out and I need a pair of needle-nosed pliers to extricate them. So, I gave up but if I run across one that’s easy to find and change bits, I will be happy to buy it.
Maybe with a separate bit holder it would take two pockets but I really like the Rolgear 4″ ‘ratchet’ bit driver. It seems to ‘slip’ under high torque but that might protect the ‘ratchet’ mechanism which is not really a ratchet. It has flats for a 5/16″ wrench (or pliers), if you need more torque, and can be taken apart to clean and lubricate. I have been using it extensively this past year without issue. The 10 bits that I carry, including a 5/16″ nut driver bit, can be used in a drill or impact driver. The shaft works as a 1/4″ nut driver. The magnet in the shaft holds most screws in place as well as the bits. I have been using 2″ bits but any length will work.
I don’t EDC any screw driver, but I do carry one of these when I travel.
I don’t fly so TSA is not an issue. I keep it in the same small bag as my razor, toothbrush, etc.. It has been great for tightening a loose screw on a hotel door knob, strike plates or other things I don’t want to bother calling the front desk about.
Brian J Collins
Question: does wera make a ratcheting screwdriver with a fixed, non retractable shaft with a magnetic tip that takes 1 inch bits?
I know I did a long post about the Vessel, (and agree with all the Snap-On love, thought it’s hardly compact,) but I forgot about a great cheap option:
The Allway Fiberglass screwdriver.
It only holds 4 bits, it’s not fancy, and sometimes it’s annoying to pull the bits from the holder, (strong magnets & tight tolerance.)
But it’s cheap, made in the US, weighs nothing & is readily available. Stanley repackaged it for years, maybe they still do. Hyper Tough, the Wal-Mart brand sells it for $5.
Since the shaft is FRN, I think Allway claims its UL tested (not listed,) to 2000v. I don’t remember it coming with any certifications though.
I’ve used it switching wall plates, but I’d get a true insulated driver for real work.
The bits are chrome plated S2. So they resist corrosion nicely, & are tough. They’re not great bits, just better than average.
I replaced mine with TiNi coated Felo bits, which make it all the better.
And since the only metal is the bits, & it’s under 7”, I’ve taken it in my carry-on bags thru 4 flights w/o a single question.
Moim ulubionym wkrętakiem na EDC jest PB Swiss Tools (patrz zdjęcie). Lubię też Wera, ale jest już duży. PB ma bardzo silny magnes i super bity, ale ma wadę, że czasami odkręca się magazynek. Bardzo dobrze leży w ręce.
My favorite EDC screwdriver is PB Swiss Tools (see photo). I also like Wera, but it’s already big. The PB has a very strong magnet and super bits, but has the disadvantage that sometimes the magazine comes loose. It fits very well in the hand.
Check out Pb swiss 6464!
Insider 1 with sliding bit storage.