Shown above is a Vessel “Wood-Compo” screwdriver set. I recently purchased a couple of new screwdriver styles to check out, and as I’ve been arranging them into my review/coverage schedule, I found myself asking a difficult question – are these tools too premium-priced?
Felo’s wood-handle screwdriver set is currently (fantastically) priced at $20 via Amazon. That’s a good example of the type of tool that both appeals to my interests and many of yours due to the affordable price point.
Wera’s Kraftform 6pc screwdriver is a solid recommendation, and its ~$30 price point is reasonable. It offers an upgrade over hardware store screwdrivers and has grown in popularity over the years.
But then we come to the Vessel composite-handled screwdrivers. The 6-pc set shown above is priced at $50 on Amazon, and their thru-tang set is priced higher, but that’s also an 8pc set with the addition of two stubby drivers.
I also ordered a set of Vessel Megadora screwdrivers – the 6pc set is $68 on Amazon.
But is this something readers might be interested in buying, or have I ventured into too-premium-priced territory?
I use, test, and explore a broad range of tools, as it’s important for me to understand and experience as much as possible. I also have a particular soft spot for hand tools, as I find the variability to be extraordinarily interesting, but I sometimes wonder if I’m spending too much time and attention at the premium side of the spectrum.
Oh, I know there are even pricier options, but I haven’t even stepped near them yet.
I try not to make pricing a consideration, but that’s a reason I purchased a set of the Vessel Megadora screwdrivers and only singles of the other styles. Part of that is because I don’t need so many different full sets of screwdrivers, and the other part is due to how the price of test samples and brand explorations tend to add up fast. So, I only purchased a set of the more mainstream-style of driver, and singles of the more specialty ones.
As I line up all of the different screwdrivers I am to start testing, I wonder – what kind of price range are you comfortable with?
I think that $20 for a 6-piece set is a popular threshold at home centers and hardware stores, although it looks like brands have pushed this to ~$22.
Klein has a 6pc screwdriver set for $50, and it seems to be quite popular, but that’s still somewhat of a niche set aimed at electricians and other users who want that particular style of screwdriver from Klein Tools.
What’s strange is that I see $30 for a 6-piece set to be a good balance between quality and value, but my comfort level might jump to $8-10 for individual drivers, or sometimes even higher.
I think my perception about screwdriver sets is a little different because I don’t use slotted screwdrivers as often and don’t like idea of paying a premium for them. Hmm, I think I’d spend more for a 6-piece set of hex or Torx screwdrivers than a mixed 6-piece set of Phillips and slotted screwdrivers.
If you needed a new screwdriver set today, what price point would you find appealing? Would you pay more per driver for just a size or two?
How much would you spend on screwdrivers?
I really don’t think I would buy a set. in a 6 piece set you’re going to get 3 slotted, that I just won’t use. Granted, I may pay the same price to get 3 phillips individually that I would to buy them in a set, but at least I won’t have to deal with the slotted drivers cluttering up my tools. That being said, I bought an 11 piece Wera torx set for about $45, and I considered it a steal.
That Torx set is a steal! Andy makes a good point about considering different types.
I spent ~$70 for a six piece Torx set recently too (Canadian though, so that’s like ~$45-50 USD). Then another $8-11 per driver to add some sizes.
I might do something similar for hex in the future – but I just spend about $110 on some metric bit sockets that have me covered (Williams).
Why did you have to go and mention hex? Guess it’s time to go shopping again. I mean, I have some Bondus T handles, but I really could use some traditional handled drivers.
Well let us know when you find another “steal” so I can jump in too. 😛
I am also very intrigued by hand tools. I end up buying versions of things I already own all the time – plus some novel stuff too. I would certainly consider the Vessel screwdrivers – I already have a price watch set. 😁
I have a tough time recommending anything more expensive than Wera and Felo though. Those screwdrivers are great. I have only one Vessel screwdriver and I like it a lot – but its certainly not twice as good like the pricetag might suggest.
I say “please explore some premium tools”, but don’t go so far out – or look into too many at a time – that you lose us common folks. I really do want to hear more about Vessel though…
To answer the actual question, if I were buying a new screwdriver set today, I would probably buy a lot of Felo. Maybe some Vessel JIS screwdrivers (which is what I’ve already done). I really like Wera’s laser tip flat blades so I’d buy a few of those too – probably also Wera for square drive.
I’m also willing to spend a lot more on an insert bit screwdriver. I feel like that tool is always a bargain because, with my bit collection, I’ve suddenly got a huge set of premium screwdrivers – even specialty ones.
P.S. do the Vessel Wood-compo drivers also have jawsfit tips?
The anti-slip ridges on the tip as with the Megadora? No, they do not.
Thanks. I’m looking forward to your review.
Yes that’s what I was referring to. I saw the ridges described as Vessel “Jawsfit” in the product images in an Amazon listing.
Yea i tend to get multiple sets of stuff because I enjoy using them and comparing. I would go pretty pricey as I have a set of PB swiss screwdrivers which as you know are not inexpensive
I spent most of my life thinking that my dad’s craftsman and klien screwdrivers were the pinnacles of technology in screwdrivers. I had a chance to use a Wiha screwdriver at work, and it blew me away. I didn’t realize that screwdrivers could actually fit screws!!!!
Since then, I’ve tried all the brands mentioned.
My biggest disappointment was the Felo wood handle set currently on sale for $20. The steel just isn’t very tough. I twisted a slotted screwdriver tip. Something I haven’t even done on harbor freight sets. The Phillips heads don’t seem to fit most screws nearly as well.
Wiha got me started on premium screw drivers. I have a set of precision bit drivers that work great. If you don’t want to destroy tiny screws, good drivers make a difference.
For daily duty, I’ve switched over to Wera. I like the grip, I like the tips, and I like the price. I’ve purchase 3 sets. 1 for my dad. 1 for my garage. Another insulated set for electrical work. All hold up great. The laser-etched tips bite the screws really well.
I also have a Vessel Impacta #2 Phillips. It fits most Phillips even better than the Weras. I wouldn’t hesitate to give the whole set a try – If I didn’t already have too many screwdrivers.
I also have a set of Doyle demo screwdrivers. They were cheap, strong, and I won’t feel bad about destroying them. Overall, excellent quality for the price.
To answer the question… $30-$40 is my sweet spot for a 5-6 piece set.
I had the same Wiha epiphany that you did. For me it was when a Wiha sales rep dropped by the hardware store I was working in high school. He took a screwdriver out of his bag, went over to a wall and found a random screw there. He put the screwdriver’s tip into the screw and then let go of it. The entire screwdriver’s weight was supported by just the tip of that #2ph sticking out from the wall like it was some giant dart. My jaw nearly hit the floor.
Since then, yes, I have absolutely realized that there is a massive difference in quality between screwdriver brands and I’m happy to pay a premium for a nice set. My favorite standard-use screwdrivers are the Wiha microfinish ones with the black handles (not the 2-part rubberized ones), through-handle shanks, and the hex bolster for turning with a wrench. They are unbelievably well made and the texture on the grip works even if your hands are wet, muddy, or covered in grease/oil/etc. The first set I bought was 25 years ago, I think I paid about $40 for it. I bought another about 5 years ago, I think then it was about $60 or so. In my opinion that’s money very well spent.
Agreed. I was replacing rusted out screws on my vinyl window latches (crappy white-painted flat head sheet metal screws), and some were so soft from corrosion that a diamond-tipped Craftsman Phillips just spun freely, mangling what was left of the recess. Being so close to the glass, it would have been virtually impossible to drill out or remove with an extractor. However, I brought home a Wera screwdriver from work and it backed right out. I have no idea where it found grip, but I immediately ordered a set for home.
And yes, the wood-handled Felo screwdrivers let me down as well. The tips don’t seem any better than the Chinese Craftsman acetate screwdrivers. Cool, yes, but not nearly as functional as a Wera.
When you are working on critical components – and following a set of FOD protocols – you can’t tolerate a screwdriver tip that can flake off or shed bits of debris. An example is a willingness to pay more for stainless steel bits and/or screwdrivers for working on fasteners where leaving behind even the least quantity of rust or debris would be deleterious. Of course in a FOD program – leaving behind a screwdriver or screwdriver bit – would be even worse.
In a production environment screwdrivers and driver bits are considered consumables to be discarded when they show signs of wear. Some debris or a buggered screw on your bedroom door knob might be no big deal – but could be on an aircraft instrument panel.
I suspect that watchmakers, opticians and gunsmiths also are willing to pay for screwdrivers that have superior fit and finish.
It is amazing how many screwdrivers one needs for classic gunsmithing. I am not a professional but I dabble here and there. It is specifically the slotted bits that are the issue. Old guns had handmade screws and the length and width of the screw slots was not standardized. Furthermore the screws are often un-hardened steel which is very easily deformed. So if your screwdriver blade is a little too narrow or a little too thin to fit the slot properly then it ends up damaging the screw heads. I have a “master set” which has something like 48 different shape slotted tips, and another “extra thin” set with 20 more, but I still find myself having to custom-grind tips to fit now and then. I keep a little box with surplus slotted tips scrounged from random sets so if I need a size I don’t have I can take one of those over to the grinder and make it fit.
Charles A Andrews
The vessel screwdrivers are the best I have ever owned. I have the 8 piece megadora and the form works great in the toolbox. I also have a #2 impacta. If you work on Japanese motorcycles these are the only way to go! Wish I had the #2 35 years ago.
Bicycles too, since most (all?) gear adjustment screws are JIS (_not_ Phillips)
I was happy with Hozan JIS screwdrivers for that use – but mine don’t much look like their current offerings:
I’m partial to my clear handle Craftsman USA screwdrivers. I also have a set of the MAC Duratek’s that I seldom use. I’ve really enjoyed the diamond tip screwdrivers that have hit the market in recent years, but I’m worried about using them on painted fasteners as they might damage the finish.
I just received in the mail today a Vessel #2 Phillips ratcheting screwdriver. The ball pops off to make it a ratcheting stubby. It was $15. I really wanted a wood-compo Phillips #2 but didn’t see where it was available by itself. I agree with Andy’s post above….I don’t buy sets anymore because I just don’t use all the sizes. The last set I bought was the wood handled Felo set for about $20. Decent set, especially for the price. I also have a 2pc set of Dewalt striker screw drivers. One slotted, one #2. The set was only around $10 or $12 but they are extremely tough.
I bought them about 10 years ago. I think it was about $100 for a set 6pc set of Macto. There are the ones made buy Witte. My favorite still to this day.
Is $50 too much for more for screwdrivers? Depends on what I get!
I’ve become a bit obsessive in finding the right value in a screwdriver set, and I would certainly pay $50 for the right 6 piece.
My biggest disappointment so far has been Felo. I have the wooden handle set with the hexagonal cross section handles. I love the handle design, the wood material, the full-tang shafts, the hex bolsters, and leather handle butt.
But the steel is too soft! What should be an heirloom screwdriver has soft, easily deformed tips. Additionally, the tips don’t fit as well as some other premium drivers They’re still my go-to for all the reasons above, but I would certainly pay $50 for a set that was all the same but with better steel.
Adam S Cosper
I get so much use out of a screwdriver set that $68 seems entirely reasonable to me even if the curve of diminishing returns is steep. I’ve got a fairly complete set of PB Swiss drivers and they are a joy to use every day. I’ve long since forgotten about paying twice as much upfront.
I think that the Vessel JIS screwdrivers are worth it if you are using them on Vintage Japanese Motorcycles. You have less of a chance of stripping the heads.
I think with the cost of tools, it all depends on how often and how much you use it.
Talking about Wiha screwdrivers, Crawford Tools is having a Wiha clearance sale. I picked up about $50 of Wiha screwdrivers (mostly small, since that’s what I use)
You aren’t kidding. Their clearance sale is kind of amazing.
I would not buy a set of screw drivers this day and age unless it consisted of: a #2 phillips,Robertson, and a t35 –maybe a robertson There is zero reason this day and age to include 2-3 slotted drivers. I have slotted drivers still from sets I bought 20 years ago as a teen on clearance at the parts store that just haven’t found their way into my hand as a chisel in a pinch.
That being said I purchased the Vessel Ratching Ball #2 about 6 months ago and it’s been really good to me at work (mechanic) I ordered another a couple months back for home. Probably my favorite screwdriver! I grab it over my previous favorite Macs! I’d definitely give their other drivers a try.
I use a Wiha 200mm #2 in my daily work as a printer technician. I own a Vessel #2 but the shaft is too thick for a few machines that I repair. My favorite screwdriver is a 400mm long #2 PB and Swiss but again, like the Vessel, the blade is slightly too thick for certain products. I’ve spent a lot of money over the years in screwdrivers. The best bang for my buck is definitely the Wiha, though I like the PB and Swiss better.
Once my current Acetate USA Craftsman screwdrivers are trashed, which may take a while if I don’t get angry and ditch them sooner, I’m likely going with Grace, Felo, or Wera.
I feel the same.
Try a Vessel before you commit! Weras are great but don’t seem to last long. Felo is super hit or miss. I’ve been using Mac’s at work off the tool truck but I think they’ll be replaced by vessels as needed!
Buy the Vessel. I bought the set above. They put my 40 and 50 year old USA Craftsman screwdrivers to shame. Incredibly comfortable handles. The bits fit screws like a glove, especially the Phillips screws. Virtually now twist out no matter how tight the screw is. Wish I had known about and bought Vessel decades ago. I’ve owned many different brands of screwdrivers in my 63 years, the Vessel are easily the very best. Worth every penny.
If all my drivers disappeared, I think I’d try to replace them with Power Bit sets (Phillips, Torx, Pozi, flats, nuts), and a 2-3 handles to go with a couple of impact drivers. I’m more than happy with all the Wiha Power Bits around here, and the only real question would be about the handles.
I’ve got a few Wiha Slim insulated drivers that I really love, and most/all of everything else is Klein. Happily, nothing here causes cringes when reached for.
If the precision sets also needed to be replaced, I think I’d stick with Wiha 4mm bit tools for the bench (if not just get the handled sets), and the Klein multi-bit 4mm for the tool bags.
The best thing is that other than the few-years-ago Pozi driver purchase and the recent Vessel JIS precision set, that’s been it. They’re not used as often as in years past, but even the oldest drivers are still in good shape.
Screwdrivers, like all tools, can and should be acquired based on the expected use. The occasional homeowner, hobbyist, or DIY practitioner does not have the same needs of a professional tradesman who makes a living with tools. While the “buy once, cry once” philosophy can always be applied, it is always nice to find a quality product at a reasonable price. My preference as a licensed electrician is the Wiha Soft Touch red and black handled screwdrivers. They are ergonomic, precise, durable, and reasonably priced. The form factor of the Wiha handles fit in a tool pouch much better than the ubiquitous Klein screwdrivers I grew up with, and are much easier to wipe off. As for buying sets vs. individual drivers, the set is always the better deal. If you end up with unused or extra tools, donate them to a young person starting in a trade or vocational high school shop.
” If you end up with unused or extra tools, donate them to a young person starting in a trade or vocational high school shop. ”
Amen to that! I keep a few spare tools on hand if it’s something that I know I’ll likely need to modify in the future for some special purpose. But I have a policy of donating all my extra tools to local programs, especially ones for youth, like 4H or scouts. They can be useful for schools too. Some schools still have shop class, drama departments need tools for building sets.
For proper screwdrivers? I think you’re in my sweet spot for pricing as well… Which sounds a lot dirtier than it should… Why does the English Language have to spend so much time in the gutter? Moving on…
I am curious… Less about pricing, more about EDC… What is the impact when you look at… if they have them… dedicated sets of 4-6″ long bits intended for power tools? For an EDCer… They could reasonably replace very large sets of screwdrivers, while you kept a ratcheted driver handle or stubby to use with them…
Replacing a single long bit may be easy, in pretty much any shape of end you want… I would be curious to see how expensive that kind of setup may be… If companies like DeWALT, Bosch, and Milwaukee even sell their consumable bits in the long sizes, Impact Ready editions and otherwise… Or perhaps Wiha and Wera do? Power tool editions, I already know they sell full sets of the goes-with-the-ratcheting/rapid swap handle types.
Otherwise… Yeah, actually, a full sized single screwdriver? If it’s one I use, or need? I’d even extend it to $5-$30 right now. Double that for precision 4mm bit sets, considering all the precision-engineered specialty handles you can upgrade to these days. If I need to get more detailed “Sweet Spot” interest sets… I’m going to have to get out, and deconstruct, my Screwdriver Toolbox… Bit of a throwback to a comment I made on another post, but I do have a Cache of screwdrivers to go through as I find uses for specific sizes and shapes. If I find one I can’t live without, I upgrade to a better brand when I break the one I have. (I’m guessing that would be where I discuss Gearwrench with Stuart over Instagram DMs, so I can get my model numbers right with stores up here in the North… Because I do owe Stuart quite a bit for his patience and help over the years… I’m going to choose a brand that sponsors him as a direct form of gratitude. P.S. Stuart, Hug the Family Tight for me, okay? You all rock!)
I find that slotted drivers arent used often enough(as screwdrivers) to wear out and only 2-3 head sizes cover the majority of applications.
Im also a bit annoyed at #1 phillips drivers and Believe they lead to lots of problems, particularly among inexperienced and unknowledgable users.
Blame the Computer Industry for the #1 Phillips. One of the few “I’m an Old Timer” moments I get to go into is that I used to straight up build custom computers 23-ish years ago. Optical drives were mounted specifically with a #1 Phillips. Beyond that, they were pointed enough to fix glasses in a pinch, because so many of us wear glasses, or need them, after working that often on such tiny screws.
There’s also a handful of less-than-right uses for the #1 Phillips. Old terms that are no longer politically correct, or polite, in fact. Older Hard Drives had their control boards attached with the infamous #1… and that was the key to getting the case open, so you could steal the giant rare-earth magnets from inside a dead drive. Those would be perfect for magnetizing screwdrivers, and for mounting things to a wall in a temporary fashion. So it was very common to… Reclaim… a great deal of fasteners and components from dead machines… and the #1 Phillips was a must-have for that.
A lot of that started winding down quite a bit after the 2001-2003 eCommerce Bubble Burst… Those of us working in the industry had lost our jobs, and struggled to get a career back… and woe be you who were self-trained, and who trained others… Because you basically signed your own career’s death warrant. You trained others in all the shortcuts, all the right practices… and they were in school for it, so they fast-tracked through their courses because of you… Now they have degrees, and you’re obsolete with the new tech coming out.
And… You still have at least 3 #1 Phillips around, in several forms, because kits come with it due to the demand being so high… from You… from the Mid-1990’s to 2005 when it was all dead.
It wasn’t just the computer industry, lots of electronics both consumer and professional contained them too. Printers, plotters, stereo gear, radios, tape decks, any sort of video playback equipment (VCRs, Laserdisc players, DVD players, etc.), electric toys, scientific and medical equipment etc. You sometimes found them on cameras as well, though smaller stuff like #0 was more common.
There are a bazillion types of drivers so I just don’t use the dedicated ones often. It’s just too many to keep track of, especially when you consider size and shape. Even if you have the right one, it simply may not get into the tight places. I use hex bits for nearly everything. I keep a flex ratheting driver and bit ratchet in the bag and that covers most eveything. I do have some slotted and phillips drivers that are dedicated, since those cam out easily and are harder to keep engaged. If I was a pro and routinely workef with the same size, I might feel differently.
Average for European screwdrivers used to be $4-8 a pop. Now, for the sake of protecting our oh so precious Klein and Pratt-Read, they’re $8-12 a pop. Thru-tang “demo” drivers, anywhere from $12-25 a pop. Those are the prices I expect to pay. Hazet/Stahlwille/Gedore rebrands are an exception since (for reasons unknown) they’ve traditionally been marked up 300% over the rest of the world here in the States. Vessel screwdrivers are a weird price since most other Japanese hand tools are much lower priced than western made. $30 for a Wera set is hard to pass up.
Today having shopped and used Tekton screw drivers for some jobs. I would say this
1) I now use almost exclusively bit holder handles -mine is a stahlwhile version but it’s similar to a wera device. I have 2, long shaft and stubby
2) out side of that I use a ratcheting device when I need to – again 2 – one is the kobalt dual speed thing yes it’s ungainly for some tasks and the other is a gearless device that I don’t know who made it. I pull out the gear less occasionally.
3) the modern cordless tool with bit holder has replaced most of what I do with screws today.
so if I was to replace the standard screw drivers I own today I would probably start with Tekton comfort grip handled set for the cost. and I would probably only get torx and hex sets. I might – emphasis on might get some slotted ones. But at least 90% of the screw work i do, will pull out either a driver device or a bit holder.
I can replace bits – I can get great fitting bits – for fod issue I can have magnetic tips and SS parts. Every size hex/torx, torx plus, tri wing, security hex, etc etc is covered. There are only a few instances where the bit holder is an issue – and I would need a regular screw driver for.
OH and I forgot for ESD work I have a non conducting bit holder too.
So that’s today and I would consider much more than 60 dollars is probably the top end of what I would consider.
Damn you. That Vessel Wood Compo set looks nice. I used to be happy with my mix and match of two Craftsman clear and one Professional black screwdrivers sets. Over the years different screwdrivers had gone missing but between the three remaining sets I had what I needed. Then for some reason, I decided that I needed a new screwdriver set, most likely due to this site. I haven’t decided if this was a good thing or not. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. After buying several different sets and not really being happy with all of them, I found that I liked hard handled drivers and drivers with chunky handles. I paid about $65 for an SK USA made set of 6 drivers and just under $90 for a Snap On Instinct hard handles from ebay. So for me $65 for a good USA made set to $100 for a premium USA set is the top end that I would pay. That’s on the high end and only because I weirdly really really wanted to them. If I had to do this over I would consider the Tekton red hard handles as the baseline. A set of six for $30 and made in the USA and they tick off 2 of my 3 checkboxes in that that they are hard handles for easy clean up and that they have chunky handles. The third feature I would like is a hex bolster but not entirely a dealbreaker. If Tekton made this same set with a hex bolster I would have no problem paying $40 for a set of six. So compared to Tekton the Vessel Wood Compo for $50 is only $3.50 more per driver over the Tekton and they look really nice so $50 seems ok to me. We can also compare other sets to the Tekton. The Felo wood handled set is only $20 right now, so cheaper than Tekton and they have a hex bolster. The Felo 206 set is only $8 more and have bolsters but includes one less driver. Wilde tools https://www.wildetool.com/product/7-piece-mix-screwdriver-set/ has a 7pc set that looks like a SO Instinct handles but comes in at 3 times the prices of a Tekton but half of SO albeit without bolsters. On the other end, you can get a Husky 10 piece set for about $20 but personally, I wouldn’t buy Husky tools ever again.
Have you seen Williams’ hard-handle screwdrivers with hex bolster? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NH5F30/?tag=toolguyd-20 =)
Hi Stuart, yes I know about them but before I knew it I had bought about 10 sets of screwdrivers and I didn’t need another set. I’m trying to reduce the amount of sets I have so I can make an excuse to buy another. However, I also have my eye on the SO red handles and I was thinking why pay around $50 for the Williams when I can put it towards the SO. I know the Williams is an older SO version so the quality is basically identical, but they don’t come in red. I don’t even need the SO set, but those red handles are just so sexy! I wish Tekton would add bolsters to their drivers since the handles are very similar to the SO. How much complexity can it add?
Why is (per Amazon) the COO China? I thought these might be US Made? The impossible dream or my too optimistic assumption?
I finally did it and bought a Williams set (5 mixed) of screwdrivers and they just arrived. They tick off all my check boxes- hard handle, chunky-ish grip, and hex bolsters. I usually see them for about $46 but Amazon currently has them for $40. I don’t know why it took me so long to get them, they are nice. I would have preferred the red handles of the Snap On version but for a $120 price difference, I’m sure I can deal with it. In response to Jim below. the label on the pouch says Made in USA & China. The pouch is marked Made in China and all the screwdrivers are marked USA. I don’t know why Amazon couldn’t make that clear.
I’ve hesitated to buy PB Swiss due to cost, but for cross point screwdrivers, the Vessel Megadora are awesome, I’ve only bought individual cross point drivers and not any sets. The Vessel cross points work as well as a Phillips driver in a phillips screw, but for some things like a honda and other Japanese items, you can’t beat them, Vessell also makes a decent manual impact driver as well. The Wiha precision screwdrivers are also really good. I don’t know how the wera tips hold up, but I can’t stand the handle shape on them
For those who are interested in PB Swiss, there is a new US retailer that is a bit cheaper than the others. I have not ordered anything from them yet….
to my other comment when I bought screw drivers in the past one of my main requriements was a hex bolster or even a square bolster (I forget who made those)
mostly for the few times a year I had to really torque out a screw whle pressing the driver tip in as hard as I could muster. so slide the ratcheting dogbone wrench size ___ on to philips or other driver size ___ and bear down and twist.
The actual right tool for the job was a speed handle in 3/8th drive with a bit socket and the right bit – which might be trash after the repair. Vs trashing my _____ screwdriver after the repair which also happened. after getting replacement snap ons due to bent tips – I finaly got tired of it and started always carrying the speed handle. which lead to carrying the snap on ratcheting driver kit.
but once strong enough cordless drills were a thing – you saw this less and less. today I hardly reach for anything but the bit holder as I mentioned above. for fine adjustments (like derailuress on a bike, or headlight adjustments ) i use a bit holder most often with some times reaching for my regular screw drivers.
JIS screwdrivers are awesome. I’ve got a couple of the Vessels in the impacta line and they’re amazing. The impact feature is great and doesn’t sacrifice size to get out stubborn screws. I also have some Hozan JIS screwdrivers and use them pretty much daily. Very affordable too.
Based on your recent mention of the Vessel set I couldn’t resist going down the rabbit hole. I bought the Megadora 8 piece set with 3 Impacta, 1 full tang slotted, and the rest teal handles. I don’t have any other sets and have made due for the last 15 yrs with cheap “gifts” that work like curses and 1 fantastic Mega Pro Automotive 8 in 1. More than once I’ve needed a sturdy slotted driver or a PH2 that won’t cam out. Every time I’ve wondered why I do this to myself.
Several years ago I decided to shop the sales and Toolguyd has helped me slowly build a collection respectable for a homeowner. I look to buy the upper mid tier of tools because I believe those are the right price for quality. I expect my Vessel set to last decades, even the rest of my life. But they also won’t delay retirement if stolen or they eventually wear down.
I love to admire the expensive stuff, I love when you find inexpensive tools that punch above their class, but my main interest is in the upper mid tier and think you do a great job covering the range of offerings.
I needed a t5 recently and didn’t want to buy a single driver. Ended up finding a Channellock set t5 – t9 for $9.95 on amazon vs a single Wera driver for around $6. I like trying different screwdrivers to find something I might like better even if I don’t need them. Wera, Gedore, and harbor freight Icon are currently my favorite screwdrivers.
Whoever is doing holiday promotions for the Craftsman brand started something I picked up on a couple years ago. Maybe it’s old but it was new to me. They split their Philips and flathead screwdrivers into two sets. 6 Philips in one set and 6 flat in a separate set. Each $15. And it seems you can buy them pretty much anywhere I shop during the holiday season.
I’ve replaced all my Philips screwdrivers with JIS.
$20, on a good multibit screwdriver, preferably a ratcheting one. After about, say, ten years in construction one realizes that all he (or she, if you’re “woke”) should spend on a screwdriver is the exact amount spent on the previous one! Another piece of wisdom is that #2 Phillips is used most of the time, the other is regular flat, all others can be purchased/used in a form of attachment bits in your garden variety ryobi, Milwaukee dewalt or other sets, which will cost you about the same as the screwdriver ($20)and will last a lifetime.
I’d rather invest into better cordless tools, boots/outerwear and gloves. No more flashy hand tool brands for me, mainstream, cheap and even super cheap ones do the job just as well!