It has been several years since I’ve mentioned Williams’ hard-handle screwdrivers, and about a decade since I purchased a set of them.
These aren’t my favorite screwdrivers, but I do enjoy using them, and they’re quite different from most of the other screwdrivers I typically reach for more frequently.
A 7pc set of Snap-on hard-handle screwdrivers, with Phillips and slotted tips, is currently $200 via their website. That comes out to around $28.57 per screwdriver.
Williams hard-handle screwdrivers are similar in style, which isn’t surprising since Williams is a Snap-on Industrial company, but priced a lot lower. The 5-piece set that’s shown above is currently priced at $42, and you can get an 8pc set for $52.
I have seen a couple of comparisons over the years, and if I recall correctly the consensus was that there are some differences in tolerances or quality, but not enough to make a difference to most people. There’s also the warranty consideration – Snap-on has tool trucks and Williams doesn’t – but the price difference negates that for most people.
Hard handled screwdrivers are usually easy to clean, and can be more durable than soft-handled screwdrivers. That’s a whole big topic on its own, as there’s no “best” handle shape, style, or material, but I mention this as an example of why one might opt for hard handle screwdrivers.
These screwdrivers have slim handles, which might in theory be a cause of concern for higher torque applications, but they’ve handled well in my experiences.
While some comfort grip screwdrivers have thicker handles that aid in higher torque applications – the wider the handle the greater the leverage – I have found that softer handle materials might tug at my hand and lead to fatigue or soreness. That is less likely to happen with these screwdrivers.
And, if you do come across tasks that require greater leverage, they do have hex bolsters for use with a wrench.
If you ask me, the 5pc set is the best starter set for most users, although the 8pc set has a better cost ratio if you think you can use the added screwdriver sizes.
The 5pc set comes with 3 slotted and 2 Phillips screwdrivers. The 8pc set adds in another (smaller size) Phillips driver and 2 cabinet-style “electrician’s screwdrivers.”
You can also get Phillips-only and slotted-only sets. There’s also a 19pc set with a range of sizes and also what look to be Bahco screwdrivers at the “mini driver” scale.
I like these screwdrivers, and I’d buy them again.
As far as I am aware, these screwdrivers are still being made in the USA. They come with a small storage pouch, and according to user reviews the pouch is imported.
If you’re looking for a lighter investment, Tekton recently came out with new inexpensive hard handled USA-made screwdrivers.