10 Best Ratchet Screwdrivers of 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
The screwdriver is one of the critical tools in every handyman’s tool kit. It’s been indispensable since its invention and has remained more or less the same the entire time. However, there have been recent improvements in this otherwise basic tool: ratcheting capability.
While simple tools are often the best. However, adding a ratcheting mechanism to a screwdriver increases driving speed because you don’t have to relocate the driver on each turn. The decrease in excess movement makes for much faster installation and removal of screws.
The best ratcheting screwdrivers are agile, comfortable, with solid torque and a robust ratcheting mechanism. Here are 10 of our favorites.
A Quick Glance at our Favorite Picks in 2021
|Best Overall||CRAFTSMAN CMHT68001 Ratcheting Screwdriver||
|Best Value||Stanley 66-358 Stanley Stubby Ratcheting Screwdriver||
|Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver||
|Klein Tools 32558 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver||
|IRWIN Tools 1948774 Ratcheting Screwdriver||
The 10 Best Ratcheting Screwdrivers
1. CRAFTSMAN Ratcheting Screwdriver – Best Overall
Craftsman has a long history of producing quality tools. This screwdriver is no exception. Its 3-setting ratchet adjustment makes tightening or loosening a breeze. It also sports three different grip zones specialized for speed, maximum torque, and delicate operations.
The telescoping bit extension is also extremely useful. It allows you to increase control by shortening the extension or get into tight spaces with a longer bar. The bar, by the way, is chrome-plated to prevent rust.
This driver will serve you well in most instances. It comes with 24 different bits, which gives it a wide range of applications. Just in case you lose a bit somewhere tight, there’s even a telescoping magnet to help retrieve it.
This fairly straightforward tool comes with relatively few downsides. The first is that it doesn’t come with nut driving or hex bits, which means there are certain fasteners you won’t be able to tighten right out of the box. The second is that the bit extension doesn’t come out of the screwdriver. This means that the driver won’t fit in the carry case once the bit extension is installed.
2. Stanley Stanley Stubby Ratcheting Screwdriver – Best Value
Stanley makes one of the best ratcheting screwdrivers for the money. This is it: quality and value. It’s an effective driver for basic applications.
It comes with 6 bits, split between Phillips and flathead. This makes it useful for the vast majority of applications. There are some screws for which you’ll have to purchase bits to add to the collection.
The ratchet has three settings, activated by a ring on the handle. It can ratchet both clockwise and counterclockwise and operate as a fixed screwdriver.
While this driver is a great go-to for basic jobs, it has some down sides that mean you might want to look elsewhere. The biggest one is that it’s very short. This results in two problems. The first is that the short bar results in decreased torque, so it’s not the ideal tool for heavy duty jobs. The second is that it’s not long enough to reach into tight spaces. You’ll essentially need to have room for your entire hand whenever you’re making use of this driver.
3. Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver
This 9-inch screwdriver offers a simple, adaptable tool for multiple types of jobs. It comes with 5 bits, with additional bits available for purchase. The length of the bar means it can get into some hard-to-reach spaces. The magnetic tip decreases the likelihood of losing bits.
However, the bits store in the handle of the screwdriver, which means more than just rattling while you work. In this case, the cap has a habit of popping off, which is inconvenient, especially if the loose bits fall out.
4. Klein Tools Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver
Klein has made an excellent heavy-duty ratcheting screwdriver here. Both the ratcheting mechanism and the anchor in the handle are designed to prevent slippage and offer maximum torque. Overall, this would be a solid addition to anyone’s tool kit.
The kit comes with 10 bits. This isn’t the maximum number any kit comes with, but it does cover one of the wider ranges of common bit types on this list. The initial kit comes with three nut drivers and one hex bit, unlike others which come with none in these varieties.
The tool itself is built for heavy duty use. It has a high-torque ratcheting mechanism and what the manufacturer calls a “torque-proof anchor.” All this means that it’s a suitable tool for tough jobs.
Like other models, the Klein tool comes equipped with a 3-setting ratchet mechanism. So, it can be used clockwise, counterclockwise, or fixed like a regular screwdriver.
In terms of drawbacks, the bits are custom for the tool, so you won’t be able to use your old bits in the new driver. The extension is also not magnetized.
5. IRWIN Tools 1948774 Ratcheting Screwdriver
Irwin’s 8-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver has a lot to offer. The eight bits it includes don’t compare to larger sets, but they cover many of the most important bases, with Phillips, slotted, hex, square, torx, and nut drivers. It also sports a comfort grip handle with in-handle storage for the bits. The handle also has three different grip zones so you can apply varying degrees of pressure to the tool. Additionally, it’s compatible with standard double-sided bits, which means you don’t have to buy their product to upgrade or replace.
There are some flaws with this tool, however. The bit anchor is shallow and non-magnetic, so you’ll find yourself losing bits under pressure. It also doesn’t include a smaller slotted bit for more delicate jobs.
6. Jakemy Home Rotatable Ratchet Screwdriver
Jakemy makes one of the more extensive ratcheting screwdriver sets out there. It includes two bar lengths and 68 bits, so you should be covered in most applications. It also comes with two sizes of handle and a carrying case.
Altogether, it would be an exemplary set if there weren’t so many drawbacks. The first one is a big one: the bits are extremely soft, so they strip very easily when in use. In addition, the ratchet mechanism itself doesn’t offer as much durability as could be desired. Finally, the carrying case closes with such force that it can easily break itself. The result is a set that looks extremely useful, but in practice shouldn’t be used for anything heavy duty as most of the elements are very fragile.
7. WORKPRO 12-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver
This driver comes with a number of highlights. It has a total of 12 bits in double-ended format. It sports in-handle storage. Additionally, it has a quick-lock mechanism for holding bits in place that will work with most ¼-inch bits, which is great if you have a collection of bits that aren’t included in the set.
Unfortunately, some of the advantages are also disadvantages. First of all, it’s difficult to get the bits out of the handle to use them. It’s frequently necessary to use another bit to pry out the next one. The bits are also very soft, which makes them easy to strip under heavy use. Finally, there’s no bit extension, so if you’re trying to get into a tight space, the screwdriver isn’t especially useful.
8. Megapro Marketing Ratcheting Screwdriver
Another 12-in-1 model comes from Megapro. One of the more interesting features of this driver is the pull-out storage in the handle. Rather than dropping the bits into the handle, the handle pulls out, and allows you to snap the bits into their storage compartments. This defeats some of the downfalls of other models.
Unfortunately, that’s the most remarkable thing about this driver. While the company claims 225 pounds of torque, the ratcheting mechanism seemed pretty weak to us. Additionally, as we’ve seen with a few other models, the bits are soft, which makes them easy to strip. Finally, it’s not magnetic, so bits have a habit of popping out of the extension.
9. SATA 19-in-1 Multipurpose Ratcheting Screwdriver
SATA’s ratcheting screwdriver set doesn’t make the top of our list. It comes with 16 bits that store in the handle. It also has a 3-setting ratchet, so it can ratchet clockwise or counterclockwise or remain fixed for use as a regular screwdriver.
There are a number of drawbacks, however. The first is that it’s very small. Not only does this make it difficult to get into tight spaces, it also makes it hard to turn the handle. This makes it more suitable for occasional hobby jobs than any heavier duty application. The ratchet adjustment knob is also very sensitive, which means you can accidentally switch settings while you’re turning the handle. Finally, it’s not magnetic, so it won’t work with all your ¼-inch bits.
10. Titan 11014 High Torque Ratcheting Screwdriver
The Titan screwdriver is perhaps the most basic among this selection. It comes with seven bits. It also has a 3-way ratchet setting.
The drawbacks outweight the functionality of the screwdriver. First of all, the extra bits store on the outside of the shaft. This not only gets in the way when you’re working, but makes it easy to knock them off when the driver is in use. It’s also smaller than expected. This is particularly disappointing in the case of the bit extension. It’s very short, which means it’s useless in tight spaces where reach is required. It also decreases the power of the driver.
The overall size is a consideration for both comfort and the ability to exert force. Smaller handles are more difficult to put a lot of power on, while larger handles may not fit where you need them to. Ideally, you’d have the use of both a standard and a precision handle, one for each use.
The quality of the grip influences both durability and comfort during use. A good driver will have a sturdy handle that can take a beating. It should also have a rubberized grip to prevent discomfort while using the screwdriver.
Not all brands list the maximum torque of the ratcheting mechanism. However, this is a good guide to the level of punishment the mechanism will take. While you don’t necessarily need an especially durable one for every application, particularly delicate ones, a powerful driver will give you more versatility when it comes to heavier duty projects.
Bit storage is a continual problem for any handy person. A fistful of loose bits gets lost easily. So, the best screwdrivers will come equipped with an easy way to store the bits. This could be a separate case or in-handle storage. Regardless of the form, an easy-to-use method for bit storage is essential.
Number and Type of Bits Included
In order to be as versatile as possible, a screwdriver should come with as many different varieties of bits as possible. If a given driver doesn’t come with a lot of bits, special attention should be paid to the types of bits available. The need to purchase new bits for a new driver because it doesn’t come with the right ones can be frustrating.
We hope these reviews have been helpful as you look for the perfect ratcheting screwdriver. Our top pick is the Craftsman CMHT68001 Ratcheting Screwdriver. With its wide selection of bits and telescoping bit extension, it’s an extremely versatile powerful tool. If you’re working on a budget, the best value is the Stanley 66-358 Stubby Ratcheting Screwdriver. It comes with all the critical bits you need and a powerful ratcheting mechanism, making it a good selection for many applications.
- A Quick Glance at our Favorite Picks in 2021
- The 10 Best Ratcheting Screwdrivers
- 1. CRAFTSMAN Ratcheting Screwdriver – Best Overall
- 2. Stanley Stanley Stubby Ratcheting Screwdriver – Best Value
- 3. Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 4. Klein Tools Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 5. IRWIN Tools 1948774 Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 6. Jakemy Home Rotatable Ratchet Screwdriver
- 7. WORKPRO 12-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 8. Megapro Marketing Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 9. SATA 19-in-1 Multipurpose Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 10. Titan 11014 High Torque Ratcheting Screwdriver
- Buyer’s Guide