My screwdrivers were so old and worn out from use that I finally bought a complete new set, and I chose Wera over all of the others because I thought they offered the best performance for the price. Keep reading to see why I got these particular ones and why I think this Wera screwdriver set is a great value.
Some of my old screwdrivers are heading to the trash now
My first complete screwdriver set was from Craftsman that my dad gave me as a gift right about 35 years ago. It was a great set for many years and I've bought a few other screwdrivers over the years to add to it, but those Craftsmans were my main set and they were awesome for many, many years.
The working surface on the tips of screwdrivers are a wear item, and just like any hand tool that gets used a lot, they will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.
I worked on vehicles a lot when I was younger and this Craftsman set saw most of their use doing that in addition to miscellaneous household duty once in a while.
The additional ones I bought beyond that first set were mostly used when I was installing and servicing security systems and then when I became a PC technician and was working on that type of equipment, and a specialized set that I'll write more about at the and of this article.
Now I don't work on vehicles much at all, so besides some minor use around the house this new set will primarily see duty around here installing security cameras along with more common household projects.
Why I didn't choose Craftsman again
As I said before, my first Craftsman set served me very well. I even used their lifetime warranty and exchanged a couple of them over the years when the tip got damaged. At some point Sears started making them in China instead of the USA and the metal quality didn't seem to be quite as good anymore. Even the last few that I got that said USA on them didn't seem as good as my original ones.
Another big reason I didn't get these again is because of the material that the handles are made from, which I believe is cellulose acetate butyrate. I don't if newer product still use this formulation, and it's not just a problem with Craftsman handles because other quality brands had this problem too, and I will be trying to avoid anything like this in the future.
As the handles age they develop a cloudy or white film on them and really start to stink like puke. It's just what happens with that product, and you can spend a lot of time scrubbing it off but it will eventually come back again. They still stink even when you get them clean looking. Nothing like smelling puke every time you open a tool drawer full of Craftsman screwdrivers, and then your hands stink after using them too. Enough of that, they are now out of here!
Choosing new screwdrivers
There are a lot of quality screwdrivers out there to choose from. Everyone seems to have their favorite based on what they use them for and their experience with different brands. Some of the top brands you see mentioned are Wiha, Wera, PB Swiss, Klein, and the list goes on and on.
Start considering price and some of those brands quickly got dropped from consideration. I'm just not really willing to spend over $100 for a set of 5 or 6 screwdrivers when I can get a set with great quality for around 1/3 of that price.
Wera Kraftform Plus 334/6 Screwdriver Set
Finally, this is the new screwdriver set that I decided to get! It's a set of 6 screwdrivers including 4 flat blades and 2 Phillips. All of them except the smallest flat blade have the Wera Lasertip feature on the tip to help keep them from slipping or camming out, and it really does work.
Here are the included screwdrivers:
- PH 1 x 80mm
- PH 2 x 100mm
- 0.5 x 3.0 x 80mm
- 0.8 x 4.0 x 100mm
- 1.0 x 5.5 x 125mm
- 1.2 x 6.5 x 150mm
A nice plastic rack is also included if you want to use something like that at your workbench. I haven't decided if I will use that someday or just keep my screwdrivers in a drawer in my standing toolbox like I have in the past.
These are very unique looking screwdrivers due to the shape and color of the Kraftform handle. The handle is hard plastic for working quickly, but also has softer green plastic zones that allow you to get a tight grip when more torque is needed.
I wasn't too sure about the shape of the handles when I ordered them, but they fit well in my hands and are comfortable and easy to use. I've read about someone saying that they are slick when your hands are oily, but I've found that it's tough to get a good grip on any screwdriver when your hands are slippery, so I'm not too worried about that.
The tips of all but the smallest screwdriver in the set are partially covered by laser-etched hardened grooves that keep the screwdriver tips from camming and slipping on screw heads.
These micro grooves bite into the screw head so you might not want to use them on painted or other decorative screws, but for most uses that shouldn't be an issue. You can see people doing all sorts of tricks online to prove that the tips really do work so I had to try it myself. Here's the #2 Phillips that came with the set holding itself horizontally just with the friction of the Lasertip in the screw head.
And if that wasn't enough
I also bought a PH 2 x 200mm screwdriver by itself in addition to the set because I sometimes need a Phillips with a longer blade than a normal screwdriver. Here's this big screwdriver that's exactly 1 foot long overall holding itself out horizontally with just the tiny Lasertip in the screw head.
Wera products have a great reputation and get great reviews. Out of all of the screwdriver sets that I looked at, this is the only one that had what I needed, was in the top tier of quality manufacturers, yet still managed to be in the lower range of prices. The decision to get these was pretty obvious to me at that point. I've already used them a few times and they are a big improvement over the old Craftsmans and everything else I've used in the past too.
Another new screwdriver showed up today as I was finishing up writing about the Wera set, and this is the brand to get if you are working with JIS screws as well as the common Phillips ones. Many people are not even aware that Japanese screws like this are different than Phillips, and here is a good article from Vessel that explains more about JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) screws and screwdrivers. There is a reason that Vessel has a good article on JIS, they are the Japanese toolmaker that made my new JIS screwdriver!
Vessel 900 Megadora +2x150 JIS Screwdriver
I didn't feel this was worthy of writing a completely new article for one screwdriver, but Vessel screwdrivers are the best ones to get if you need a JIS screwdrivers.
These Vessel screwdrivers have their own special tip design to help keep the tip from slipping and camming out, so I had to try the horizontal screw test and this thing holds itself pretty much as well as the Wera Lasertip does!
This Vessel screwdriver is made to work on both JIS and regular Phillips screws, and it will be dedicated to my electronics repair bench along side of my complete Hozan JIS screwdriver set.