Last year, taking advantage of a holiday discount, I purchased two USA-made Dewalt screwdrivers from Acme Tools. One had a vinyl grip-wrapped handle, the other had a bi-material handle hard and soft plastic handle as shown here.
I bought both drivers in Phillips #2 sizing, and have been using the bi-material-handled screwdriver quite a bit.
I must have shared a photo on social media at one time, but I’ve been putting off posting about it. Why? Because these screwdrivers are pricey. Not “they cost HOW MUCH?” pricey, but they’re priced above what one would expect for Dewalt-branded screwdrivers. The Phillips #2 driver is regularly priced at $12. Yes, that’s $12 for one screwdriver.
You save a little by going with a set. This 6pc combination slotted and Phillips set is $50 at Acme tools.
This 8pc Torx set is $80 at Acme Tools, and a little more at Tool Nut.
If I had to guess, it would be that these Dewalt screwdrivers are made at the same facility that manufacturers Proto Duratek screwdrivers, and similar Mac Tools Mac-Grip screwdrivers.
The single screwdriver of this style that I tried so far has been working out quite well. It feels great in-hand, and the tip is proving to be strong and durable. The hanging hole is a bit large, which makes me wonder if it’s meant to be used with other screwdrivers for added leverage.
My driver does have a hex bolster, because it was the same price as the smooth-shafted version.
So, I’ve been wanting to talk about these screwdrivers for a while. But, in addition to concerns about how readers would respond to the high pricing, another question came to mind. Who should buy them?
I have a sample set of USA-made Mac screwdrivers, and they’re great. I am still in the midst of clearing out older samples and organizing and culling my personal tools. Once the smoke clears from all those efforts, I am highly likely to buy a set of Proto Duratek screwdrivers the next time Zoro has a good promo (25% off or similar).
I like to buy USA-made when possible, and with the Proto, Mac, and Dewalt screwdrivers that I’m pretty sure all come out of the same factory, you get top industrial-grade screwdrivers. The Proto and these Dewalt as well are more affordable than “tool truck” prices, for those of us who don’t need at-your-workplace tool truck sales and service.
For personal use? These might be hard to justify, since there are very many other recommendable screwdrivers that cost less. For professional use? Even then, there are other recommendable brands that cost less or around the same. Some are made in the USA, such as Klein, and others European-made, such as Wera and Felo. There are some good screwdrivers made in Taiwan and China as well.
While not apples to apples, you can get a Klein 6pc screwdriver set for $45 at Amazon.
So who should buy these? I think they’re aimed at and best suited for commercial, MRO, or industrial users. While Wera, Felo, and PB Swiss, among other brands, are good European-made options, there aren’t very many USA-made screwdriver options at a similar pro-grade tool level.
To be perfectly honest, I prefer Proto screwdrivers over the Dewalt, although I don’t have a rational explanation as for why. However, Dewalt’s are less expensive. A 6pc Proto set is $84, or $63 on sale. When I was shopping for a nut driver set a few years ago, I really wanted to go with Proto, but I couldn’t justify the premium over a Wera set.
I suppose that’s where these Dewalt screwdrivers come in. As far as I can tell, the quality is at least close to that of Proto (also a Stanley Black & Decker brand, by the way), but with lower pricing. It sounds odd to say “lower pricing” when these screwdrivers are premium-priced. The lower pricing isn’t universal, though. A Proto 9pc Torx set is $84, or $63 if you can find it at a discount, while the Dewalt 8pc set is $80 (before any promo or coupon) at Acme.
Can you see why I put off posting about these screwdrivers for so long? They’re darned good, as least the Phillips #2 that I bought and have been using. But they seem too pricey for average users, and I don’t have much to say about them objectively, as most of my fondness for them is subjective and even emotionally connected to their being manufactured in the USA.
So how about I say this – these are darned good screwdrivers, and you should keep them in mind if you’re looking for new pro-grade USA-made screwdrivers, especially if you can get them on sale, or a business (your own or an employer) is paying the bill.
Maybe I should have taken some more time to collect my thoughts? Well, it’s been a year, and I still don’t know how to convey “these are a little pricey, but *thumbs up*.”
Acme Tools has more individual size selection, Tool Nut has more set options.
P.S. Here’s the social media post from when I first received my new screwdrivers. Note the “USA” on the packaging card.