Shown here is a typical Wera Chiseldriver screwdriver, a style of tough-use screwdriver that has been regularly recommended to me over the years.
I’ve been using Wera screwdrivers for a very long time now, and I’m fairly fond of the handle shape, their durability, and how they engage with screws.
No, they’re not my favorite screwdrivers, but I use them often and am glad to do so.
Wera Chiseldrivers kick things up a notch, with an impact end cap (for striking with a hammer), and “pound-thru” blade. In other words, the metal end cap is connected directly to the screwdriver shaft, so that any impact force is directly transmitted to the screw, fastener, or whatever it is you’re pounding the screwdriver into.
Wera Chiseldrivers have hex bolsters, as well as hexagonal-shaped shafts, for use with wrenches if higher torque is needed.
Basically, these screwdrivers are ALL demolition-style overbuilt screwdrivers designed and built for hard use.
I can see why they’re popular and so often recommended to me.
But, while I’m sold on the design, are they right *for me*? I like demo drivers and I like Wera Kraftform screwdrivers, and so I should already own a set of these screwdrivers, right? Well… I’ve been hesitating.
I’m so used to the idea of separate demo drivers that can be abused, and regular screwdrivers that I’m usually easier on. Can a hard-use screwdriver also be used on pristine fasteners? Sure. So why do I hesitate? Is it the price?
I can get a pair of demo-style screwdrivers and a 6pc set of Wera Kraftform screwdrivers for less than the price of a 6pc Chiseldriver set.
I don’t think that’s my main hesitation – I think that I’m really just set in my ways of using separate everyday use and demo screwdrivers. That way I don’t have to worry about my favorite everyday screwdrivers wearing out prematurely, or picking up scars that could impact light duty types of fastening tasks.
Maybe I’ll finally give in and pick up a set of these heavy duty screwdrivers if I come across compelling enough sale pricing during the upcoming winter holiday shopping season. I’ve been surprised by tools I felt reluctant or indifferent towards before, and in this case I’m already familiar with the handle ergonomics.
Wera offers Chiseldrivers individually as well as in several set configurations. The one I’ve had in my wishlist for a long time now is currently out of stock on Amazon, but there are a couple of other options available.
Buy Now via Amazon
Buy Now via KC Tool
Use coupon code TOOLGUYD4LIFE at KC Tool to save 10% (excluding deals of the day and Stabila).
If shopping for these Wera screwdrivers, the yellow-orange color scheme seems to be reserved for full-size Chiseldriver screwdrivers, but a similar color is is used with their ESD (electrostatic discharge-safe) bit holders and precision screwdrivers.
Raise your hand if you’re in the Wera Chiseldriver fan club. Has anyone ever used these screwdrivers and not been a fan?
I have a couple. They came in a big set I bought. I like the feel of the heavier screwdrivers at times. They also seem very well made.
I haven’t used mine for any “demolition” tasks though. Wera screwdrivers seem a little to nice for that. I grab the Irwins if I need something to abuse.
So I suppose that means my rugged screwdrivers won’t see much rugged use – but I do like them.
I’d grab a few, but no robertson drive.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a German made Robertson/Square drive in a “demolition” configuration.
Okay. I’ll bet fred has two sets…
I have a set of the slotted chiseldrivers and like them well enough. I don’t think I’ve ever used them as a screwdriver but only as a chisel or pry bar. If you just want screwdrivers, I think there are better options available like Wera’s lasertip.
Despite what Jim Felt opined about above – I don’t own any Wera chiseldrivers – but do have a set of their lasertips which seem to grip screws pretty well.
I recall seeing a video of someone jamming their phillips laser tip into a screw on the side of their rolling toolbox and then pulling it around by the screwdriver. Yes, they do grip.
I saw this just recently. Very impressed!
I have a set of chiseldrivers, a belt kit with interchangeable screw driving shafts and green Kraftform handle, and a full insulated belt kit with interchangeable shafts.
That video has me also wanting the regular green Kraftforms now lol.
Like most other electricians I know, I carry one decent sized flathead for general purpose abuse. I personally carry a wera demo driver for that. I used it to chisel some stucco today to get a conduit through a hole. I’ve beaten that screwdriver every day for a few years now and it’s been great, it is time for a replacement though.
Got em, like em. They’re better all around than anything else I’ve used, but I’m in mining and I’d advise that I’ve found the tips on the flatheads to be a bit soft under heavy abuse. Touched my main one up with my grinder a time or two, but haven’t snapped any of em in a good few years of beating on them.
I’ve abused these my whole electrical career of 5 years. I still haven’t been able to actually break one and I beat on one of them with a 4 pound hammer once. Just bent the tip enough to annoy me and buy a new set. The larger ones are all black and those are great too, I lost my first and found it right when I got the second one of course. Highly recommend these screwdrivers
Wera definitely tries to cover all the bases. Their Lasertip drivers are very useful if you have hard to remove screws that have been painted over (such as the mounting screws on outlet/switch ears) or when you have some partially stripped and hard to remove and you don’t want to take out a drill and extractor. https://www-de.wera.de/en/great-tools/lasertip/
I own the Philips/slotted set, as well as the Torx in the yellow chisel style. Then I have the 12-piece stainless steel Philips/slotted + T10 w/ laser tips. Love them all.
The chisels take the abuse they need.
I have one of these in a large slotted format – I can’t recall the exact measurement, but it’s too big for the majority of actual screwdriver uses.
Works a treat for prying and precision abuse though.
FYI- Wiha has an excellent heavy duty screwdriver setup – the MicroFinish 5533 and 5534 series. They have the full-tang hammer cap, the hex bolster for use with a wrench, but they add the Wiha micro-finish which is really really grippy.
These are my favorite screwdrivers… Though I finally picked up a set of basic Wera Kraftforms, so I am excited to give them a try.
I can second the recommendation for the MicroFinish. I have a set I bought back in the late ’90s and a second I picked up about 10 years ago. Not a one has failed and I’m just now starting to wear out the tip on the #2ph from 25 years ago. They are easily my favorite, the “micro-finish” is a real problem solver in my opinion. It manages to be durable and yet still provides a fantastic grip in dirty, oily, sweaty, etc, conditions. It’s hard to describe just how grippy the handles are.
What is his favorite?
At the moment? My Dewalt USA Phillips #2, Facom, PB Swiss SwissGrip, and Felo Ergonic are also in the top running. I might be missing one, though.
At the moment, there are several styles at the top of my list. Wera is close, but sometimes very heavy torque application will create a sore spot at the center of my palm.
Does anyone actually use phillips (or anything other than slotted) for demolition purposes? Conversely, does anyone use slotted drives for anything but demolition purposes?
Great point. I really don’t get the chisel driver concept or the hex shaft. I’ve never had to beat a screwdriver into a screw or use a wrench to assist my screwdriver. If I spent $20+ on a screwdriver I certainly wouldn’t be using it for demolition purposes. You would destroy the tip on a Phillips. Who cares about a slotted tip….they’re just collecting dust anyway, so bang away.
I have Felo SoftGrip Pozidrive #2 chisel screwdriver and I beat it into a screw regulary, because I think it designed for that. And the tip is like new
The tips are a lot more durable than one might think, I’ve got more than 20 years of use on my first Wiha driver of this sort and it’s still going. I’d assume these Weras are at the same sort of quality level. You’ll wear them out if you use them as a scraper or pry bar or whatever else but for their intended purpose of driving or removing screws they might as well be indestructible.
I usually use an awl, or anything pointy to scape out the rust in the screw grooves in order to get the driver or bit in there. I have the 2pc Dewalt chisel driver set that I’ve had for years. The Phillips is one of my all time favorites…,but never hammered on it. I’ll give it try next time. After all, they weren’t too expensive.
If like me. you make reproduction furniture – you use nothing but brass, slotted hear wood screws. A Phillips or Robertson screw would look anachronistic on a piece that was simulating one made 200 years before those drive style screws were invented.
Now conversely – the last pieces that I made were with a much more modern white melamine look and take-apart Lamello Clamex connectors. Sort of my version of something you might buy at Ikea – but with custom sizing – and costing much more if you consider the cost of the Zeta P2 machine and its tooling.
Brass Phillips strip quite easily, too. Still I use them more, just easier than slotted I guess. Plus in a pinch, Phillips is more widely available, at least in my area. Another option is brass escutcheon pins, I don’t know how true to period they are, but they certainly make things look “older”. I use them a lot in more ornamental applications.
Koko The Talking Ape
Do those period pieces have many exposed screw heads? I’d have thought they used dowels, mortise and tenon, etc.
I have to say, I hate brass screws. The mar and break like they’re made of cheese. And in hardwood, they require those tapered pilot holes. What about brass-plated steel screws? It looks like a few retailers carry them.
I do very little demolition in the contractor sense, it’s only when I’m doing renovations on my own property. But I use this kind of screwdrivers often for mechanic work. It’s quite common to find screws with stripped-out heads on auto, motorcyle, or heavy equipment. And for many jobs like taking the bowl off a carburetor or case covers on a motorcycle engine I always go and hit every screw with a thru-shaft screwdriver and a hammer. They are just so likely to be stuck that I do that to loosen them every time. I also like the fact that I can flip the driver over and use the steel-capped end of the handle as a quick hammer which is sometimes handy.
I’ve gotten rid of all of my normal screwdrivers or relegated them to prybar/scraper duty. Excluding my gunsmithing tools, micro precision drivers, and one insulated driver, all of my screwdrivers are the thru-handle “demo” type. My personal favorites are the Wiha “microfinish”. What I love about them is the handles are not only resistant to all sorts of chemicals but they also provide a fantastic grip even if your hands are wet or oily.
Funny you should ask, there is a whole article on this subject.
To summarize, people do use them for a variety of tasks and it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I know a lot of people who have never used a PEX expander, it doesn’t mean PEX expanders are useless. They’re actually quite nice.
I love my Chiseldrivers, work great as regular screw drivers, and have used the flats a couple times as chisels to pry things.
I was lucky enough to snag my first 6-piece set for ~$25 from closeout (Newark Electronics), and grabbed a second set as a gift for ~$30 on a Crawford Tools special sale. I doubt I’d pay double, but for those prices they’re worth every penny.
I use a hard plastic red felo (with striking cap) for abuse. cheap and holding up great. Also, looks different from other screwdrivers so easy to grab.
I have a set and like them. Very rugged with strong tips, comfortable handle that lets me apply good torque but not my absolute favorite. The ones I grab if I might wind up hitting it with a hammer.
I think phillips and demolition is a weird combination. If something is that messed up and i can’t get it off i am reaching for my impact screwdriver set.
most of the time impact screwdrivers seem to function as small pry bars
that being said i should mention i have this screwdriver in a #2 and it is excellent
I much prefer the micro finish Wiha versions.