The screwdriver is an integral part of any tool set whether you are a professional tool user or a simple hobbyist. Most people own a Phillips or flat head screwdriver and many of us have an Allen wrench or two laying around. As for me, I have all of them and then some!
There are a ton of screwdrivers and brands of tools out there on the market and honestly a person can get lost trying to find what they should buy. What are some of the things to look for when choosing a tool brand? Take a look here and I’ll try to help you make a good decision.
Where are they made?
There are still a few made here in the US while others are imports. Others are made in different countries and then assembled in the US.
Do they make specialty tools?
Different brands tend to specialize in different applications. Most screwdriver sets come in a few basic types: do it yourself (DIY) and home applications, automotive applications, electronics applications, precision (jeweler’s, miniature) applications, and very specialized applications like the aerospace industry. While most folks are not going to need certain types of specialty driver heads for everyday use they are out there, and I’ve used a number of them from time to time myself.
What is their reputation?
It’s important to think about these things too: what kind of reputation does a brand have with customers? Are their tools known for quality and durability? When buying a tool, you want to know that the manufacturer takes pride in the quality of their product, because otherwise you may end up with tools that chip, break, or just plain aren’t good to use, and you could end up losing money and wasting the time having to purchase another set all over again.
Does it have a lifetime Warranty?
Tools sometimes break of fail – that’s life. You will want to know how easy or hard it is to get a defective tool replaced if something does happen.
The number of brands on the market that make screwdrivers is enormous and that’s kind of outside the scope of what I’m presenting to you here today.
Below is a list of some of the more well know companies and manufacturers that make tools specifically for more common uses.
Tekton is an ancient Greek word for a carpenter or craftsman. Tekton offers high strength drivers with very comfortable and ergonomic handles for the serious mechanic or tradesman. They have magnetic tips as standard and chrome plating to resist corrosion (note: these are great features and I highly recommend them!).
Klein is an American company and makes tools that are popular with electricians and telecommunications technicians and engineers. The company was established in 1857 and its first tool was for telegraph linemen so the company has a long history of creating electrical and communications specific tools.
Stanley is another American company that was founded in 1843 and makes carpentry specific tools for both consumer and industrial uses. Stanley is a well known and well respected brand of tools. I’ve owned several and been happy with them (I currently have a Stanley Phillips head screwdriver I use sometimes, in my toolbox).
Craftsman is the house brand of Sears. It has a consumer line of products as well as lines for the professional and industrial clients.
Craftsman is most well known for its unlimited lifetime warranty especially because a customer can walk into a Sears and get a replacement for a broken tool without a reciept of purchase. How great is that? The brand is one of my favorites and I personally love the clear plastic handles on theirs and the great construction quality.
Matco is an American company that sells tools mostly to auto mechanics. Their tool trucks are an easily recognizable sight. They operate in territories and sell their tools directly to users and offer financing as well.
Similar in operation to Matco tools they sell mostly to automotive mechanics and other professional tool users. Their trucks are well known and they offer financing with their tool sales. They have very high quality tools but they are also very highly priced.
This subsidiary of Black and Decker produces tools for the manufacturing, carpentry and construction industries. Dewalt produces a wide range of over 200 different hand tools, power tools and accessories.
Wiha is a German company founded in 1939 and produces a large range of over 3500 hand tools. It is widely known for its quality and durability.
This is not even a complete list of all of the available manufacturers of hand tools or even specifically screwdrivers. That would make for a very long list and the last thing you need is too many choices!
These companies and manufacturers are some of the more well-known and highly visible makers of quality tools and screwdriver sets on the market. Every name on this list has been around for decades and is widely considered the industry leaders in hand tools for the common man. I think you should pick one from what I’ve listed.
Whether you are a vehicle mechanic, carpenter, do it yourself hobbyist or professional construction worker you will know the names on this list and their reputations for quality and durability. Some of the names on this list are specifically for professionals and their prices and quality speak to that level of care when those tools are made.
Many are made to tight tolerances and have been extensively refined over the years through feedback from customers and clients in the field using their tools. Have a look at some of my other pages in which I give specific reviews and you should find one to fit your needs.
And remember, if you have questions or comments, just let me know!