Screwdrivers are one of the most handy tools when it comes to working under the hood of your car. From tightening hose clamps to removing trim pieces to prying up the tabs of an ECU housing, there are uses for screwdrivers pretty much everywhere on your car. However, to make things difficult, there are equally as many screw types as there are uses for screwdrivers.
If you are a seasoned mechanic, there is no doubt that you have accumulated all different types of screwdrivers including phillips, flathead, torx, star, and even precision screwdrivers. If you were to buy a set of each type, the overall cost would quickly add up, especially if you are buying high quality tools.
Fortunately there is another option for a budget conscious mechanic. You can gain all the functionality of many different types of screwdrivers by getting a set of screwdriver bits and a nut driver. A nut driver, also called a multibit screwdriver or an all-in-one screwdriver, is simply a screwdriver handle with a magnetic hex socket on the end that lets you swap in different screwdriver tip types by removing and replacing interchangeable screwdriver bits. The bits tend to be pretty inexpensive, and since you only have to buy one handle, this can amount to a substantial cost savings over buying a whole bunch of screwdrivers. We should also note that screwdriver bits can easily be used in lieu of drill bits on an electric power drill so you aren’t limited to tightening by hand when using screwdriver bits.
The Best Screwdriver Bits
When it comes to choosing a set of the best screwdriver bits, our preferred kit is the Dewalt DW2166 45 Piece Screwdriving Set. This set has all of the basics covered. First, you get a nice screwdriver handle included in the kit that you can swap bits into, so you don’t need to buy that part separately! The handle is decently made using a steel construction.
As far as bit selection, it’s pretty extensive. It includes a variety of phillips screwdrivers in various lengths (some pieces come in duplicate). Having multiples of the most common sizes is key, because as with any small loose part, the bigger enemy than tool damage is loss. It’s very easy to lose small tools in an engine bay and they become difficult or sometimes even impossible to find. Having multiple sizes allows you to lose a bit from time to time without having to replace the entire set. In addition to phillips bits, there are also various flathead sizes and lengths. The kit also includes torx bits as well including T15, T20, and T25 which are all common sizes. Some of the bits are single ended and some are double ended, so there is some significant variety. All bits are also made from hardened steel.
The kit comes neatly packaged in a molded hard case with individual slots for each screwdriver bit, which makes keeping inventory of your tools pretty convenient. It has the added benefit of preventing the loose parts from spilling everywhere every time you open the case.
As far as value goes, the Dewalt screwdriver bits are fantastic. The out the door price is in the mid teens, which means you are getting quite a bit (yes, we like our pun too) for your money. When you couple the attractive price with the fact that Dewalt offers a 3 year warranty, it’s pretty hard to argue with the deal.
As far as where to buy, Amazon’s free shipping deal is pretty hard to beat so we recommend starting there. Overall we highly recommend Dewalt’s screwdriver bits. That said, while we think Dewalt makes the best screwdriver bits for the money, we know there are a lot of options out there so feel free to take a look at competitive products by clicking here if you think the Dewalts don’t quite fit the bill for you. Happy wrenching!