Best Ratcheting Screwdrivers

Best Ratcheting Screwdriver Featured Image

A high-quality ratcheting screwdriver is worth its weight in gold and should be on the shortlist of tools to buy for every homeowner. Ratcheting screwdrivers can drive screws faster than a standard fixed screwdriver, plus you’ll get a versatile all-in-one solution that can do the job of several other tools. Our best ratcheting screwdriver buying guide can help you find the right screwdriver for your needs. Plus, we include below essential buying tips so you can buy the right ratcheting screwdriver the first time.

Ratcheting Screwdriver In House Testing
Testing the ratcheting screwdriver picks in-house. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Best ratcheting screwdrivers

Top overall
Wera Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA2
Pros:
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Onboard bit storage
  • Great ergonomics
  • Satisfying ratchet
Cons:
  • Somewhat pricey
  • Some ratcheting screwdrivers include more bits
Check Price
FeatureSpec
# of Bits6
Bit TypesPhillips, slotted, square
Bit StorageOnboard in barrel

The Wera Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA is an easy pick for the best ratchet screwdriver. If you know the Wera Kraftform lineage, this shouldn’t be a surprise since the company makes some of the best screwdrivers.

The Wera Kraftofrm Kompakt 27RA has some of the best functionality, build quality and ergonomics of the tested models.

The bits storage and ratcheting mechanism show the build quality. First, the six included bits hide in the barrel, which is excellent for the overall design. We were impressed when lightly pressing a button on the butt of the screwdriver, and a hidden bit storage compartment satisfyingly springs open to reveal the six bits.

The ratcheting mechanism is the smoothest of the models we tested. Switching between the three modes is easy by turning the metal set ring surrounding the ratchet. There is little resistance when ratcheting the screwdriver. Each ratchet step is slightly bigger and more tactile than other picks on this list, so the teeth will be durable.

The ergonomics are also superb, with the curvatures of the grip allowing for comfortable gripping power in many orientations and hand sizes. The green ovals in the recesses include a soft, rubberized material for added grip.

Of course, this isn’t the cheapest ratcheting screwdriver. But that’s to be expected for the thoughtful design and performance you get with Wera’s Kraftform lineup. Also, there are all-in-ones with more bits, which some people may prefer.

Alternate top pick
Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver
Pros:
  • Onboard bit storage
  • Shaft holds bits tightly
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • Setting the ratchet isn’t as good as some models
Check Price
FeatureSpec
# of Bits12
Bit TypesPhillips, slotted, square, torx
Bit StorageOnboard in barrel

Consider buying the Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver if you want more bits than the Wera model above offers. The Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver includes six bits with a tip on both ends for a total of 12 options, including Philips, slotted, square, and torx heads. The onboard bit storage is also great. Pull the end cap to extend the revolver-like bit storage.

You won’t get the best-in-class build quality and ergonomics Wera offers. But you still get a ratcheting screwdriver that is highly durable and well-built. The main sacrifices you’ll feel are in the plastic grip and ratchet. Again, the build quality and design are great overall, just not on par with our Wera pick, which costs more.

Beyond the price, we also found that the Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver holds bits tightly in the shaft. We didn’t experience any instances when the bit gets stuck in a screw head and needs to be placed back into the shaft when driving bits.

There aren’t many downsides we encountered. But if we’re being picky, the ring mechanism to set the ratchet has too little travel distance between the three settings. This design sometimes left us wondering if the ratchet was correctly set, though it was in every situation. It’s not a reason to pass up this ratcheting screwdriver, though.

Budget pick
WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver
Pros:
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Onboard bit storage
  • Satisfying ratchet
  • Shaft locks bits in place
Cons:
  • Small teeth on ratchet may wear over time
  • Ergonomics aren’t much to write home about
Check Price
FeatureSpec
# of Bits12
Bit TypesPhillips, slotted, square, torx
Bit StorageOnboard in barrel

The WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver feels and performs like a tool that should cost nearly twice as much.

First, the ratcheting mechanism was among the most satisfying of the models we tested. The steps are noticeably smaller and less tactile than other models. The feel is excellent, though we wonder if long-term durability may suffer with the smaller teeth wearing down. We haven’t had the tool long enough to know if this is a genuine concern.

The set ring surrounding the ratchet has no durability concerns and is metal with knurling that helps easily twist the ring. The set ring also has a mechanism that locks bits into the shaft versus the approach other models use, with magnets holding the bit in place.

We appreciate how the six dual-sided bits slide into the storage slots. Some similar models hold the bits too tightly, making it hard to slide bits out. But the WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver’s storage slots are sized well, and swapping bits on the fly is easy

One area for improvement is the handle’s ergonomics. The handle is grippy with slots to press your fingers into for added torque. But the barrel doesn’t have curvatures that form to your hand, and the edges of the bit storage slots can rub your fingertips when driving screws.

Ratcheting and precision screwdriver pick
Tekton Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set
Pros:
  • Includes lots of bits
  • Comes with a quality carrying case
  • Can be used compact or with shaft extended
  • Includes a precision screwdriver with bits and prybar
Cons:
  • OK build quality, good for the price
  • Bits store loosely in the end cap
Check Price
FeatureSpec
# of Bits128
Bit TypesPhillips, slotted, square, star, pozidriv, hex, clutch, precison, other
Bit StorageCarrying case and onboard loose in barrel

If you want the kitchen sink of ratcheting screwdriver sets, consider buying the Tekton Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set. It has a whopping total of 135 pieces. You’ll undoubtedly have a bit for every task, big or small. That’s because this set also includes a mini precision screwdriver with 22 bits, great for fixing small electronics or for glass and jewelry repairs.

The ratcheting screwdriver itself offers a good combination of versatility and convenience. The shaft is comparatively short, making it good for tight spaces. But you also get an extension shaft in the box to extend the length to a more familiar size.

The approach to bit storage is both convenient and a potential downside. The bits can be stored loosely when untwisting the end cap or placed in the carrying case in dedicated slots. These storage options add convenience since you can carry the tool as an all-in-one with the bits stored onboard, and there’s a reduced risk of losing the bits.

But storing the bits loosely in the cap lets them jostle around, and it’s not always easy to find the exact one you want after pouring them out when swapping. But overall, we appreciate that there is onboard bit storage and a well-organized carrying case is included.

Best set
Makita 47-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set
Pros:
  • Includes lots of bits
  • Comes with a quality carrying case
  • Can be used compact or with shaft extended
  • Good gripping power
Cons:
  • No onboard bit storage
Check Price
FeatureSpec
# of Bits45
Bit TypesPhillips, slotted, square, torx, hex
Bit StorageCarrying case

The Makita 47-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set is a solid pick if you want a ratcheting screwdriver set and don’t need all the bells and whistles our Tekton pick offers. Notably, the Makita 47-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set is more portable with a more compact see-through carrying case.

This ratcheting screwdriver has good ergonomics and includes a wide array of bits. The almost egg-like grip fits well in your hand, and there are rubberized knobs for greater torque and gripping power. We also appreciate that it includes a few useful bits beyond the standard Philips and slotted heads. You’ll get seven nut driver bits ranging in size from 3/16” to 7/16”.

Our biggest grip with the Makita 47-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver is that there’s no onboard bit storage. This may not be a downside for everyone, but we prefer storing bits onboard for convenience, even if a separate carrying case is included.

Test results

You can find below a deeper comparison of each of our picks across several key areas.

Bits included

Model# of BitsTypes of Bits
Wera Kraftform 27 RA6Philips (2), slotted (2), Square (2)
Megapro12Philips (4), slotted (2), square (2), torx (4)
Workpro 12-In-112Philips (2), slotted (2), square (4), torx (4)
Tekton Set128Philips (10), slotted (10), square (4), star (16), pozidriv (5), hex (22), clutch (5), precision (22), other (34)
Makita 47-Pc.45Philips (11), slotted (4), square (12), torx (8). hex (3), nut driver (7)

All our picks of the best ratcheting screwdriver include a variety of bits, some more than others, but all include at least Philips, slotted, and square bits.

The Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver and the WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver have the best bits for an all-in-one. In addition to the standard Philips, slotted, and square bits, you’ll get four torx bits with each screwdriver.

Workpro and Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver
The Megapro and Workpro models pack in a bunch of bits for an all-in-one. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Tekton Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set is your go-to pick if you want every bit type possible, including 22 precision bits. We appreciate that this set includes several less common bits, including Pozidriv, hex, clutch, and other bit types.

Tekton Ratcheting Screwdriver Set All Pieces
The Tekton model has every bit possible, plus a precision screwdriver set. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The Makita 47-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set is the only pick on our list that includes nut driver bits.

Design and ergonomics

ModelOnboard Bit StorageErgonomics
Wera Kraftform 27 RAYes, hidden in barrelBest
MegaproYes, hidden in barrelGood
Workpro 12-In-1Yes, slotted in barrelRoom for improvement
Tekton SetYes, loose in barrelRoom for improvement
Makita 47-Pc.NoGood

The Wera Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA has best-in-class ergonomics with its curvy grip and strategically-placed rubberized material for excellent gripping power for all hand sizes.

Wera Ratcheting Screwdriver Handle Ergonomics
The Wera’s handle ergonomics are easily best-in-class. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

We appreciate that the Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver’s handle is plastic and rubberized. Still, it doesn’t have many curvatures on the grip to form into your hand.

The WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver and the Tekton Everybit Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set have room for improvement. The WorkPro model has some edges that can rub your fingers too sharply when using the tool for a long time. The Tekton model has few curves on the handle, just a straight and extended barrel. Neither is terrible, particularly when compared to other competing budget ratcheting screwdrivers. The ergonomics just aren’t anything to write home about.

Workpro and Tekton Ratcheting Screwdriver Grips
The Workpro and Tekton models have room for improvement with their handles. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Ratchet mechanism

ModelRatchet RingRatchet Feel
Wera Kraftform 27 RAMetalBest
MegaproPlasticGood
Workpro 12-In-1Metal w/ knurlingBest
Tekton SetPlasticGood
Makita 47-Pc.PlasticGood

The Wera Kraftform Kompakt 27 RA and the WorkPro 12-In-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver have the best-feeling ratcheting mechanisms, but for opposite reasons. The Wera model has chunky, tactile steps that are easily set with the metal ring. No doubt the teeth will be durable over the long haul.

Workpro and Wera Ratchets
The Wera and Workpro models have highly-satisfying ratchets. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

The WorkPro model satisfyingly ratchets through each small-toothed step. The ratchet ring is also the best of the pack with metal knurling. But the small teeth may be more prone to wear over time, rendering the ratchet useless. This isn’t a concern for the average DIYer or homeowner who won’t test any tool’s extremes.

Otherwise, all of our other picks had good-feeling ratcheting mechanisms, and there were no durability concerns. No pick had a ratcheting mechanism that we felt performed poorly and had room for improvement.

How to pick the correct ratcheting screwdriver

It’s important to narrow down the essential features when buying the best ratchet screwdriver for your needs. Below, we include an overview of several features that may be important for buying the right type of screwdriver.

Bits

Most ratcheting screwdrivers come with swappable bits in common head types, including Philips, slotted, square, and torx. It’s best to have as many bits as possible so you have the right tool for the job and avoid stripping screw heads.

Bit storage

Ratcheting Screwdriving Onboard Bit Storage Options
The Wera, Megapro, and Workpro models all have convenient onboard bit storage. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

Bit storage is a nice feature that improves convenience and portability while reducing the risk of losing bits.

There are several types of bit storage for ratcheting screwdrivers. Many models store the bits onboard, either hidden in the handle or slots, which is great for tightly securing each bit. But you are limited to adding more bits if there aren’t available slots, and the proprietary slots may not fit perfectly with aftermarket bits.

Some ratcheting screwdrivers store bits loosely in the handle by twisting off an end cap. This design approach is good for portability, but it can be annoying with the bits shaking around. Plus, when swapping bits, you need to pour out all the bits onto your work surface, which isn’t ideal.

Lastly, most ratcheting screwdriver kits have a carrying case with bits stored in dedicated slots. This is great for keeping your bits organized, but it isn’t a one-tool solution as you get with onboard bit storage.

Set vs. all-in-one

All In One vs. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set
An all-in-one like the Megapro model is convenient but you don’t get as many bit options as you do with a set, like the Tekton model. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

You can buy an all-in-one ratcheting screwdriver or a set with various bits and shafts and a screwdriver. The latter will typically include a carrying case with dedicated slots for each add-on.

But sets aren’t as portable and typically require some tool set up before use since the screwdriver typically can’t be stored in the case with a bit inserted.

All-in-ones keep it simple, doing the job of many tools without clutter, and are always ready to use.

Ergonomics

Ratcheting screwdrivers have different handle curvatures and materials on the grip, making some models grippier and easier to apply more torque.

Budget models will typically forego premium materials for plastic and straighter grips. More premium models can have better ergonomics with grippier materials and finishes and more thoughtfully-designed curvatures to hold the ratcheting screwdriver confidently with more torque.

Shaft and grip types

There are specialty ratcheting screwdrivers that come with different shaft or grip types. The swappable shafts may be different lengths or flexible, which is great for driving screws in tight spaces.

Non-standard grip types, such as knubby short grips and T-handles, are suitable for some uses but not all. Most people are best to buy a single ratcheting screwdriver with a standard barrel-grip design.

Honorable mentions

The Gearwrench 40-pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver Set is a great choice if you prefer more shaft and handle options than bits. This model includes several swappable shaft lengths, flexible shafts, a t-handle, and a shorty-style handle.

The Bahco 808050L has an onboard LED light that can be useful, but it’s not worth the lofty price tag.

The Dewalt MaxFit Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver is good enough. We just wish it had onboard bit storage. Our budget picks also have better build quality, although the Dewalt model feels good enough.

The Craftsman 15-Pc. Ratcheting Screwdriver is a popular model, and it’s hard to go wrong at the price point. But we prefer models that don’t store bits loosely in the handle, like this Craftsman ratcheting screwdriver.

The Willaims WRST8 T-Handle Ratcheting Screwdriver is a fantastic specialty tool with an excellent T-Handle grip for added torque. But our focus for picks on this list is more standard, barrel-style ratcheting screwdrivers.

FAQ

  • What are ratcheting screwdrivers used for?

    Ratcheting screwdrivers can be used for any task a typical screwdriver would be used for. But ratcheting screwdrivers are more versatile and convenient. The best ratcheting screwdrivers include several bits that can be swapped out on the fly, reducing the number of tools you need to carry. Some models even include hex bits, nut driver bits, and more common Philips, slotted, square, and torx bits.

  • Are ratcheting screwdrivers worth it?

    Yes, a good ratcheting screwdriver is one of the first tools DIYers should buy. You can get many tools in one, saving money. Ratcheting and electric screwdrivers can also be easier and faster than a standard fixed screwdriver.

  • Who makes the best ratcheting screwdriver?

    Wera and Megapro are the brands that take our podium spot for the best ratcheting screwdriver. Both brands offer a good balance of build quality and performance for the price.

Methodology

We reviewed the online ratings, specs, and pricing for 17 ratcheting screwdrivers. Once compiling this information, we narrowed the list to picks we tested in-house. In-house testing mainly involved driving screws into several materials with different densities, including wood, plywood, and drywall. These tests gave us a feel for how efficient and convenient it was to use each model. The ratcheting mechanisms were tested for feel, and the tools were assessed for build quality, ergonomics, and portability.

Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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