For most automotive work, you can be among the most ham-fisted mechanic and still complete most jobs without too much trouble. The reality is that most automotive parts are large assemblies that require normal sized tools to work on. However, there are some tasks where precision and coordination are absolute musts. Some examples include electronic work such as connecting wires on some stereos or swapping a performance chip into your ECU (unless you have a modern ECU in which case you can get by with a reflash in some cases). Other times might be when removing trim pieces or rebuilding hard to find or obsolete components such as those from your ignition or fuel system. Additionally, with the advent of electric vehicles, there are going to be far more electrical components in cars moving forward (and far more to fix once electric cars start falling out of warranty!). As such, there will be increasing need for precise automotive work moving forward.
For those jobs that require a delicate touch, there are tools that exist to aid you. One of the more common types is the precision screwdriver. Precision screwdrivers are essentially small screwdrivers designed for fine detail work. Also often referred to as jeweler’s screwdrivers, micro screwdrivers or electronics screwdrivers, they can be had in a variety of types including phillips, flathead, torx, star, tamper proof, square, nutdriver, and hex. While there are tons of cheap imported plastic varieties out there, there are also some extremely nice tools that have the utmost attention to detail paid when it comes to construction. Buying a cheap set is risky as you’ll find that they consistently fail and often ruin the heads of the screws you are working on. As such, it pays to get a nice set.
The Absolute Best Precision Screwdrivers
When you want the absolute best precision screwdrivers for your money, there is absolutely no substitute for Wera tools. The Wera Kraftform Micro precision screwdrivers are designed for extreme precision applications. Whether you are working on ECU’s or working on swapping a watch battery, they are going to get the job done.
While Wera makes lots of kits (which you can see by clicking here), the kit we recommend is their 12 piece set which includes a little bit of everything. It has flathead, phillips, and torx drivers. Each screwdriver features an outstanding handle with a rotating top as well as outstanding looks. The ergonomics are great as the handles are relatively large compared to the bodies. This makes tool manipulation easy when compared to some of the competitive products that feature tiny handles that are hard to control.
It’s important to distinguish these tools from the cheap imported stuff you see most everywhere. These are European tools with European quality. They are manufactured in the Czech Republic with outstanding precision and quality control. It should also be noted that the set comes with a nylon carrying case that fastens with hook and loop (aka velcro) and keeps all your screwdrivers in order. Even though these are expensive, these are extremely high value and we highly recommend them as our first choice! We are 100% confident that you will fall in love with them instantly.
The Best Budget Precision Screwdrivers
So if you just took a look at the Wera screwdrivers above and thought, “My, those are nice but perhaps a little rich for my taste,” fear not for there are also other decent precision screwdrivers to be had for a little bit cheaper. Our favorite budget play is the Tekton 2977 Precision Screwdrivers. They come in a 9 piece set and feature phillips, flathead, and star screwdrivers.
The tools themselves are high quality steel finished in chrome. The finish will lengthen the life of these tools as they will not be subject to corrosion as some of the other cheap brands would. The end caps swivel, which is a huge plus and something we typically recommend as it can increase the speed of your work quite significantly if you have a lot of fasteners to install or remove. The tips are also magnetized, which great for working in tight spaces where your fingers are too large to reach in to grab screws to pull them out. The handles are red plastic with some texture on them for grip and they are comfortable to use.
Overall, the quality isn’t the same as the Weras, but the price is significantly more attractive. These are the best precision screwdrivers around when it comes to value as you can get 5 sets for the same cost as the Weras. If you need the best precision screwdrivers money can buy, spring for the Weras. If you are just looking for a tool to get you by, consider the Tektons. You will be happy with either one.
We hope this breakdown has been helpful. While we have suggested our favorites, there are tons of other kits out there with different kinds of bits and sizes. If these don’t quite fit the bill, have a look at a bunch more options by clicking here. Happy wrenching!