The 10 Best Pocket Screwdrivers
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in February of 2019. They're no replacement for a solid set of dedicated drivers or a freshly-charged brushless drill, but pocket screwdrivers still have their place in construction industry, as well as the tool collections of seasoned DIYers and casual homeowners. Our selections vary, in terms of the styles of bits they come with, but they're all multi-driver options of various compact sizes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 25, 2021:
While all of our choices from last update were still available at the time of this writing, and may have been appealing choices to a subset of our users, we did decide to phase out a couple of our lower end picks, wanting to make room for a couple new selections and ultimately believing that these choices just weren’t up to snuff.
The first option we removed was the Megapro Four-in-One Set — a precision multi-driver that might’ve been a useful device for users working on eyeglasses, but seemed like a likely inferior choice to the EtcBuys Pen Multi-Tool and Maxcraft 7-in-1. The second option we removed was the Lead EDC Keychain — which probably earned its spot on the list with its diminutive size, but given that it could only accommodate two types of fasteners and it looked like it would be uncomfortable/difficult to handle, we decided it was time to let it go.
Our first new addition this time around was the Klein Tools 32561 — the company’s 6-in-1 stubby driver, which has always served me well… until I end up losing one of its double-sided bits, again. In my mind, a solid stubby multi-driver should be front in center in a list of pocket screwdrivers, but the closest thing we were offering was the Milwaukee Compact Ratchet. The Compact Ratchet is a nice tool, and it’s ratcheting functionality definitely earns it one up on the 32561, but at 4-1/2 inches long, it’s 50% longer than our new addition from Klein Tools, making it less viable for work in ultra-tight spaces, so the 32561 was a welcome addition to this list.
Our second new inclusion was the MulWark MLK-53759. Admittedly, you could easily argue that, as a pocket ratchet, this tool’s got no business showing its face on a list of screwdrivers. However, given the utility offered by its collection of 19 bits, and the pocket portability offered by its six-inch length, plus the assurance offered by its lifetime warranty, we still thought it was an option that our users would likely be interested in. The only real problem I had with it was that it featured no onboard bit storage, which I was quick to forgive, given the size of its bit collection, but it still means that if you want to use this one as an EDC gadget, you’ll be stuck lugging its bit set around separately. Needless to say, this is less than ideal.
If all the standard-size bits on this list are not what you were looking for, maybe you’ll be more interested in our list of mini screwdriver sets, which includes a better range of precision options.
February 13, 2019:
We looked at models from the most popular tool makers, including Milwaukee, Stanley, and Klein Tools. While all three have excellent pocket models to offer, the Milwaukee Compact Ratchet and the Stanley 4-in-1 perhaps provide better usability than the Klein Tools 10-Fold, simply because the latter isn't as comfortable in the hand. The PB Swiss Insider 1 is also an all-around handy option that can be expected to last for a long time, and it's easy to keep track of the bits that come with it, because they fit into the holder securely. We also added a couple of interesting everyday carry choices, including the HexFlex Adventure Metric. It has an eye-catching snowflake shape and 15 functions, and it would make a fine gift for hobbyists and DIYers.
Gerber Center-Drive The Gerber Center-Drive is available in black or metallic gray, and features a 3.2-inch multi-driver and set of 11 bits designed to provide military personnel with everything they need to service an assault rifle in the field. For a multitool, it's quite functional as a screwdriver, and its main blade can also be easily accessed with one hand. gerbergear.com
Toler Tools The Union This gadget's one of the most advanced multitools on the market, and offers a full-length, foldable multi-driver with onboard bit storage, plus a self-adjusting, ratcheting wrench that's ready to take on 1/4- to 3/4-inch hardware. If you think it's a bit on the bulky side, it comes apart and is equipped with two pocket clips, making it easy to carry both halves separately. tolertools.com
Victorinox SwissTool X Plus Ratchet This impressive device offers the same bit collection and array of implements as company's CS Plus model, except its bit wrench is replaced by an extension bar and ratchet, which might offer you more utility. In all, it offers 38 functions, and it comes in a leather belt pouch, backed by the company's lifetime warranty. victorinox.com