EDC Screwdrivers

Updated: Dec 13, 2019


Today I want to look at dedicated screwdrivers for your EDC. There are many reasons to carry some sort of screwdriver tool with your EDC. It may not always be used but it is far more effective to turn a screw using something that is designed to do the task rather than the blade of a knife. Like all things in the EDC community, there is a multitude of options for carrying a screwdriver in a discreet and comfortable manner. I want to look at some of those options, and just like my compilation of utility blades, I will be adding to this list as I gain new items. The first section will include portable EDC friendly screwdrivers. After I have covered those, I will also include a few honorable mentions, these will be other options for carrying a screwdriver in other fashions.


First I'm going to go over the different areas that I will be looking at for each tool.

Grip: How comfortable the tool is to hold in your hand while using it.

Carrying ability: How well does the tool carry on your person, does it blend in or stand out.

Effectiveness: How well can the tool thread a screw into a pre-drilled hole.

Affordability: Primarily how budget friendly is the tool and secondly is it worth the price.

Overall: The average ranking for the tool.




Current Items:

Kobalt 10-N-1 Bit Driver

Grip: 3.5/5

The design of the 10-N-1 is not the most comfortable thing to hold. The texturing on the body does help to give you some grip stability, but the large block shape of the body means that it does not fit into your hand naturally. During use, your hand does not feel like it is going to rip apart, but it could definitely be better.


Carrying ability: 3.5/5

This driver features a clip which helps to give you easy access to its components. If it was slightly less bulky and lighter then it would probably be rated significantly higher, but the size and weight of the 10-N-1 Bit Driver makes it less comfortable to EDC. One thing that this tool does have going for it is that the variety of bits that are offered are all stored inside the body.


Effectiveness: 4.5/5

I have taken to using this tool many times around the house in addition to my testing and it has proven to be very effective at threading screws. Of course, if I was wanting to do a larger job I would prefer a more traditional screwdriver or drill.


Affordability: 5/5

Listed online at less than $10 this is already a really good price, but when you look in stores you can typically find it for a few bucks which makes it really tempting to grab a few for different kits.


Highlights:

The biggest highlight of this driver is that it utilizes a range of removable bits that are kept in place by a magnetic backing. In addition the movable arm that I mentioned above is a really advantages design. This design is also very similar to the Bit Bar from Big Idea Design as it is a licensed product.


Overall: 4.2/5

https://low.es/2p5hqhE




Stanley Pocket Screwdriver

Grip: 3.5/5

This tool feels the most natural at its job as it is shaped pretty identical to a traditional screwdriver. However, it is a bit thin and flimsy so I struggled to get a really solid grip during usage.


Carrying ability: 5/5

This tool is the size of a pen so it is incredibly easy to just slip it in a pocket or pouch and keep it handy for when you need it. Because of the construction this design is also very lightweight.


Effectiveness: 3.5/5

The biggest problem that stands in the way of this style of screwdriver is that the grip just does not give you very solid security.


Affordability: 3.5/5

This specific model is marked rather high currently on Amazon, however you can find almost identical models from other locations like automotive stores.


Highlights:

The removable caps help to make sure that the bits do not catch on anything like your pockets.


Overall: 3.7/5

https://amzn.to/2QtssK5




Kobalt Ratchet Off Screwdriver

Grip: 4.5/5

The placement of the bit combined with the length of the handle gives you a good grip. The only problem is that the handle is a bit small, but it is no to small to be used.


Carrying ability: 3/5

While this is a very small and lightweight ratchet, you are forced to carry the bits in a small container like a tiny bag for it to be useful. This is just another item for you to keep track of. In addition I wish that this tool had some sort of pocket clip as it is very light and you would not notice it but this would make it far more accessible.


Effectiveness: 4.5/5

The ratcheting ability makes this tool rather effective.


Affordability: 4.5/5

At just under $10 this is a very portable and effective tool for those who frequently need a small driver but don't want to carry a full-sized tool.


Highlights:

The tool feels very solid and it is able to give you a useful tool to EDC.


Overall: 4.1/5

https://low.es/2Rwh9Rg




MulWark Ratchet

Grip: 4/5

The long handle allows for a good ratcheting action. The only problem is that occasionally my thumb would hit the directional switch.


Carrying ability: 3/5

This ratchet suffers from the same problems as the one above due to the separate bits that you have to carry and the fact that their is no pocket clip.


Effectiveness: 4.5/5

The ratcheting ability makes this tool rather effective.


Affordability: 4.75/5

Once again the Mulwark has a very similar outcome as the Kobalt above. However, due to the fact that this driver can accept other bits I slightly increased the rating.


Highlights:

Just like the above, this tool is a good solid choice. In addition it does give you a variety of bit options that are all stored in a rack.


Overall: 4.1/5

https://amzn.to/2D8xcT1




Keychain Screwdrivers

Grip: 2/5

You absolutely have to grip these tools by the flat end if you want to have any chance to turn it. This is complicated by the presence of a key ring and the other driver which can be removed but that defeats the advantage of carrying them.


Carrying ability: 5/5

These little tools are designed to perfectly carry on a key-chain or similar set up making them one of the most convenient items on this list to carry.


Effectiveness: 2.5/5

Because it is so hard to properly grip and turn them this tool has trouble turning a screw.


Affordability: 2.5/5

While these are by no means expensive the reason I gave a rating of 2.5 is two-fold. First, these tools definitely feel like the cheapest quality among the list. Second, for ~$8 you get the least amount of tools, for just a couple dollars more you could get one of the ratchets with a multitude of bit options instead of just the standard Philips and Flat-head.


Highlights:

There are no real highlights for this design.


Overall: 3/5

https://amzn.to/2NeCVuM




Screwdriver Rings

Grip: 2/5

The design should give you descent leverage, but all of the bits sticking out make it difficult to hold.


Carrying ability: 5/5

You can easily slip this onto a key-chain.


Effectiveness: 2.5/5

This tool really struggles to turn a screw using either the integrated bits or the separate driver slot.


Affordability: 4/5

These tools were pretty cheap but they definitely show it.


Highlights:

The integrated hex slot is to small for a normal bit even after significant filing. I do want to point out that there are other options for this design that might work significantly better.


Overall: 3.4/5

https://amzn.to/2ChTGgD




GearInfusion EverRatchet

Grip: 3/5

Even though the EverRatchet is shorter than some of the other ratcheting options it still gives you a good enough grip to get the job done.


Carrying ability: 5/5

I have taken to carrying the EverRatchet in my fifth pocket but you could carry it on something like a key-ring or carabiner. In addition, the fact that you are able to store a bit inside the too is very useful as it makes it compact and ready to go.


Effectiveness: 4/5

The EverRatchet gets the job done but does struggle a little bit because of how compact the body is. Once you get used to the shape and size it becomes much easier to tackle whatever task is in front of you.


Affordability: 4/5

This is actually a rather expensive driver compared to the rest of this list, however with the driver you get a variety of other tools in a very portable and EDC friendly package.


Highlights:

The EverRatchet gives you a lot of other features just like most single piece multi-tools, but the biggest highlight is the creativity of the design.


Overall: 4/5

http://bit.ly/2Qsll7B




Savior Key-ring

Grip: 3.5/5

You definitely have to be careful not to put pressure on the bottle opener or it will be uncomfortable. The key-ring does give a little bit of leverage that is desperately needed.


Carrying ability: 5/5

This tool is designed to hang on a key-ring which makes it extremely convenient and available.


Effectiveness: 4/5

The Savior seemed to struggle to get screws started, but after it was it picked up better.


Affordability: 3.5/5

I am giving this tool a 3.5 due to the fact that you do not get a lot of utility out of it and the fact that it is only available through their multiple Kickstarter campaigns.


Highlights:

This is the only EDC screwdriver I have that is titanium and it does include an integrated bottle opener.


Overall: 4/5

https://kck.st/2SKdsYP




Kershaw TX-Tool

Grip: 3/5

It is a bit difficult to get a good grip on the TX-Tool as the texture does not provide much traction and the pocket clip can dig into your palm during use. It is also a shame that the tail cap does not rotate because that would have made it much easier to operate the driver.


Carrying ability: 4/5

The presence of a pocket clip makes the TX-Tool much easier to carry as an EDC item if you are in need of a bit driver. Unfortunately, if you do carry this tool you will notice that the five bits rattle quite a bit on the inside of the body. I wanted to give this area a five but that rattling is very annoying.


Effectiveness: 3/5

Due to the lack of a rotating base, it is less than a smooth motion to turn the bit. They also only provided five bits even though there could have been more. Lastly, these bits definitely feel on the soft side. Overall, it is not terrible but it could have been a much better design.


Affordability: 5/5

Because the TX-Tool is only $7 it is a really affordable tool. I suppose that at that price point you really cannot complain all that much but it still feels like you could have gotten a better product for a few dollars more.


Highlights:

Sturdy pocket clip. Bit storage with a magnetic holder.


Overall: 3.75/5

https://amzn.to/2WmKWhs




Bitky

Grip: 3/5

Unfortunately, the body of the bitky is mostly smooth which means that it easily slides in your grip when you use it in the vertical orientation. TI overcome this one option is to use the key-ring as a leverage point to secure the body. Additionally, you can rotate the body and use the hex slot in the side as a way to give you a better grip with more leverage.


Carrying ability: 5/5

There are two main ways to carry a bitky. First and most straight forward, you can hook it to a key-ring very similar to some of the other designs above. The more interesting way is to actually stack several of the bodies and add a clip making it far closer to a pen shaped design. While I went with the single, key-ring option, I think that the ability to expand is a great feature.


Effectiveness: 4.5/5

I think that the bitky has two advantages when it comes to driving screws. First, you have flexibility when it comes to changing out bits. The second comes from your ability to alter the configuration of several bitkys in order to give yourself a better tool.


Affordability: 4/5

At around $10 for a single piece, the bitky is pretty affordable. My only problem is that the only way to get this tool as far as I have found is through its Kickstarter which is obviously over. I will also point out that it took several months to get my bitky after it was shipped from Slovenia.


Highlights:

Interchangeable bits is always a plus, as is the unique design that allows you to stack multiple bitkys for bit storage and additional configurations.


Overall: 4.12/5

http://bit.ly/2YWjJng




Gil-Tek Bit Bead

Grip: 2/5

The main draw-back for the Bit Bead is the sheer minimal design of it. You are going to struggle to get any real grip on it as it quite literally is the size of a bead. If you do want to use this as a stand-alone screwdriver you are going to have a hard time getting comfortable.


Carrying ability: 5/5

In such a small form factor the bit bead is going to almost disappear in your pocket. In my experience, it is best to use the included cordage to attach it to another tool where it can be most useful. I tried regular 550 paracord but it was a little bit too bulky and did not complete the look I wanted.


Effectiveness: 3/5

You can use one end of the bead as a hex driver, however, this is a very small package and you will struggle to get good leverage. Your best bet is to just use this as a storage device and actually do any driving with another tool. Luckily if you pair it with one something like the RUK V2, also from Gil-Tek you can easily keep a small toolset in your pocket.


Affordability: 3.5/5

The Bit Beads are either $20 or $30 depending on the configuration that you get. This might be a bit steep especially for something that just carries a couple of extra bits. However, if you are a person that constantly has a need for bits this could be a great asset.


Highlights:

Gil-Tek offers the bit bead in both a double and triple configuration in both aluminum and brass. The prices definitely vary but this is a nice option for those who want to carry a bit more or class up your gear. While the Bit Bead does have the ability to be used independently, it is truly designed to be used in conjunction with other gear, just giving you convenient storage.


Overall: 3.375/5

http://bit.ly/2Oek826




Big Idea Design Ti EDS

Grip: 5/5

The Ti EDS is a really solid screwdriver. It provides you with a good amount of material to grip onto the body without being very large and awkward to hold. The size fits very nicely in your palm and you have great control over the rotating arm of the Ti EDS. I like to choke up just a tad bit so that my index finger is just at the base of the arm which gives me really good dexterity.


Carrying ability: 4.5/5

The pocket clip is a great addition and makes carrying the Ti EDS very convenient. The clip is also very wide and has the flexibility needed to easily slip onto the edge of your pocket. I will say that my only issue is that the back of the body sticks out a good half an inch out of my pocket and is kind of in the way. I know wanting a deep carry pocket clip on everything is not always reasonable but it would be an incredible upgrade here. It is very compact which means that it does not take up very much room in your pocket. The only dimension that is problematic is the thickness as it does press out my pocket a little bit more than I would have liked but not significantly and there is still plenty of room for other gear.


Effectiveness: 5/5

This is honestly one of the best pocket screwdrivers I have tried so far. I think most of that has to do with the size and compact design. Because you can get a really solid grip you find it far easier to rotate the driver. The extension arm means that the Ti EDS feels a lot more like a normal screwdriver than most of its competitors. That arm also means that you do not have to have your fingers right at the bit where they tend to be in the way, and you don't have to hold the bit in place with your thumb like most hex drivers on single-piece multi-tools. Lastly, it was a smart move to go with standard hex bits and not try and sneak in some proprietary bits that make use that much more inconvenient. This way you can choose three bits that you commonly use and always have them ready.


Affordability: 0/5

Well, as expected the largest issue most people are going to have is with the price. It seems very hard to justify spending over a hundred dollars on a pocket screwdriver and if I had not been able to pick it up much cheaper during the Kickstarter I probably never would have bought one. To be clear I don't think that unfairly priced, you are paying for high-quality materials along with very good construction and quality control. You are getting a well designed and constructed tool. However, if you don't find yourself needing a screwdriver regularly then this tool is just going to collect dust which will seem like a waste. Even though I can justify the cost, I just don't see it being a good purchase for a majority of people.


Highlights:

The rotating extension arm is hands down the best part. It really makes the Ti EDS a very user-friendly tool and is such a simple addition that you kind of wonder why it isn't more common (the Kobalt Bit Driver designed in conjunction with Big Idea Design has a similar feature). The Pocket clip is also a great choice and makes this a very pocketable tool. Lastly, the bit storage is just enough to keep you prepared without becoming over-complicated.


Overall: 3.625/5

http://bit.ly/2RKcMoZ




The following are representatives of multi-tool variations that offer some form of a screwdriver, but that is not their main function.


Single Piece Multitools

Gerber Shard

Grip: 2.5/5

The sharp ends make it difficult to comfortably use the Shard.


Carrying ability: 5/5

The Shard fits great into any EDC, you can easily clip it onto something like a key-ring or keep it in a small pocket for easy access.


Effectiveness: 4/5

Even though the Shard is hard to hold it definitely does its job pretty effectively.


Affordability: 5/5

The Shard tends to cost around $7 but you can definitely find it cheaper. For that price, you not only get the ability to carry a small screwdriver but also the other tools that it offers.


Highlights:

Because this is a single piece multi-tool you do get several other functions.


Overall: 4.1/5

https://amzn.to/2CXOsKn




Griffin Pocket Tool

Grip: 2/5

Because the 1/4" hex bit doubles as the bottle opener there is a large open side which I have found bites my fingers a little bit. This combined with the fact that the bit is placed on the edge of the tool means that it can be difficult to get a solid grip.


Carrying ability: 5/5

Similar to the Gerber Shard the Griffin Pocket Tool can find its way into many different carrying setups so that it is always available.


Effectiveness: 2/5

The Griffin struggled to turn screws because of the difficulty I had in gripping it properly. To be fair this is definitely not the main design or purpose, I just wanted to try.


Affordability: 3.5/5

The Griffin Pocket Tool is slightly less affordable than some similar designs. However, It is still a fantastic tool that gives you many options.


Highlights:

Just like the Shard above you get several different features that can compensate for its sub-par performance on this very specific task.


Overall: 3.1/5

http://bit.ly/2R9xj6e




Wallet Tool

Pocket Monkey

Grip: 2/5

The Pocket Monkey is very uncomfortable to hold while trying to use its screwdriver.


Carrying ability: 5/5

The Pocket Monkey is designed to carry inside your wallet as most people always have their wallet on the. I will be honest that I tend to not use wallet tools very often, but they are a nice item to occasionally have in a pinch.


Effectiveness: 3.5/5

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Pocket Monkey performed. The biggest problem I had was the grip.


Affordability: 4/5

The Pocket Monkey finds itself towards the middle of the pack when it comes to wallet tools. Just like these other multi-tool variations you are paying for a multitude of tools not just a screwdriver.


Highlights:

The biggest highlight of something like this is that it is made to carry in your wallet, which most people have on them at all times.


Overall: 3.6/5

https://amzn.to/2QwB2I0




Traditional Multi-tool

Gerber Suspension NXT

Grip: 4.5/5

It felt really comfortable to use the screwdriver tool on the Suspension NXT, which somewhat surprised me due to the hard edges that it contains. I really want to try one of Gerber's Center-Drive.


Carrying ability: 4/5

This multi-tool comes with a pocket clip, which is the main reason I purchased it. I will be honest, it is a bit bulky, but many multi-tools are.


Effectiveness: 4.5/5

The Suspension NXT did a really solid job of turning screws. The large handle actually gave me something to pivot around the screw head.


Affordability: 4.5/5

This is naturally the most expensive item on the list but it is still affordable, especially as Gerber keeps dropping the price. I will also note that this is possibly due to some of the quality issues a lot of people have noted, but these issues are not affecting the ability to function as a screwdriver.


Highlights:

This is a full-sized multi-tool so you definitely get a lot of features to utilize.


Overall: 4.4/5

https://amzn.to/2S8Bsot




Coming Soon:


Bit Bar

http://bit.ly/2HlSMoO


*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon*

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