The humble screwdriver is an absolute must-have for any tool-kit: whether you’re a DIY pro tackling a complex job, or just assembling some flat-pack furniture, having a reliable screwdriver is an essential piece of kit if you want to get the job done.
One oft-overlooked member of the screwdriver family is stubby. As its name suggests, the stubby screwdriver is a lot shorter than its traditional counterparts, allowing it to reach screws in small spaces, where a regular screwdriver would simply be too long. Having a stubby screwdriver in your toolkit is a great idea for anyone who might need to tackle screws in tight spaces, such as cupboards and drawers.
We’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the 10 best stubby screwdrivers on the market right now, so you can find one that won’t let you down when you need it. Below, we’ve also answered some common questions that DIY enthusiasts have about this tool and its uses.
The Best Stubby Screwdriver
The first stubby screwdriver to make our list is put together by Klein tools – perhaps one of the best-known manufacturers on the market right now. The compact and sturdy shaft grips four interchangeable universal tips, and converts to two nut driver sizes.
This versatile tool is comfortable to use too, thanks to its unique cushion-grip handle, ergonomically designed to provide better torque while also preventing blisters during long-term use. Klein tools have out their 160 years’ experience in designing the best tools on the market into this high-quality product, which is durable enough to stand up to professional and amateur use alike. Customers report that this durable piece of kit is perfect for working in tight spaces.
- Klein tools offer users 160 years’ tool-making experience
- Made in the USA
- Comes with four universal interchangeable tips
- Suitable for use with two nut driver sizes
- Excellent durability
- Handle offers a comfortable grip and excellent torque
- Brand Klein Tools
- Model 32561
- Weight 2.56 oz
Stanley is another well-established name when it comes to screwdrivers of all varieties – and for good reason. Its cleverly designed magnetic tip can easily grip onto six interchangeable bits, constructed from rust-proof and durable chrome vanadium. The bits can be conveniently stowed away inside the body of the screwdriver itself, ensuring they’re hard to lose and easy to access.
The three position switch installed on this screwdriver enables both clockwise and counter-clockwise ratcheting, but can also be locked for regular use. Each set of bits included with this screwdriver includes a wide variety, including both Philips and Flathead bits. It’s easy to use, too, due to an ergonomically designed handle that allows users to achieve excellent torque.
- Magnetic tip makes bits easy to attach and detach, securely
- Stubby screwdriver set comes with six useful magnetic bits – both flat and Philips
- Bits constructed from hardy chrome vanadium
- Bits can be conveniently stowed away in the body of the screwdriver itself
- Three position switch system allows ratcheting in either direction, as well as a locked position
- Brand Stanley
- Model 66-358
- Weight 5.4 oz
Kutir’s multi-bit screwdriver features an adjustable shaft, making it suitable for a wide variety of jobs. The length of the shaft can stretch from a short and stubby 3.4 inches to a lengthier 5.5 inches. This length is easy to adjust, with a simple sliding collar system. The bits themselves are also noteworthy for their no-slip, hexagonal, chrome vanadium construction.
The tiny but tough handle on this screwdriver is suitable for reaching into very tight spots, too, making the screwdriver perfect for jobs where maneuverability is limited. The tip of each bit is magnetized, making it quick and convenient to change back on forth depending on the job at hand – both Phillips and slotted bits are included with the set. Customers find the adjustable shaft length extremely useful for tacking jobs in an awkwardly sized space, where the alternative would be to use a standard screwdriver held at an uncomfortable angle.
- Multi-bit stubby screwdriver with the adjustable shaft length
- Perfect for reaching screws in otherwise awkward and inaccessible spaces
- Quality chrome vanadium bits included both Phillips and slotted
- Tiny but tough and comfortable to hold plastic handle
- Brand Kutir
- Model KU-ST-01
- Weight 4.8 oz
This 12-in-1 stubby screwdriver set really does cover every base. The kit includes six double-sided bits, meaning 12 tips are provided in total. It also features a three-position switch that allows ratcheting in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, as well as locking for use as a regular screwdriver.
Each tip included with this set is made from heat-treated, sand-blasted steel, and can be stored within the handle itself for improved convenience. The handle is convenient too, grooved to comfortably fit the hand while providing excellent grip to allow for maximum torque. NoCry is so confident you’ll be pleased with their screwdriver that they offer a money back guarantee if you’re not entirely happy with it.
- Versatile stubby screwdriver set comes with six double-ended bits, for a total of 12 tips
- Variety of Phillips and flat bits
- Three-position switch allows ratcheting in both directions as well as a locked position
- Included bits are high quality – heat-treated and sandblasted steel
- Bits can be stored within the handle itself
- Three-position ratcheting switch
- Money back satisfaction guarantee
- Brand NoCry
- Model nocry17
- Weight 5.3 oz
Picquic’s screwdriver provides users with six bits in one handy package. The bits, both slotted and Phillips, are easily stored within the handle, preventing their loss. To switch bits, one must be pushed up through the handle, making it almost impossible for them to go walkabout. Its lightweight design also makes it ideal for use in hard-to-reach spots, while the grooved handle means it is easy to grip and keep hold of during awkward jobs.
Customers love this screwdriver’s compact design, which is easy to slide into any tool bag and incredibly versatile. Picquic offers a lifetime warranty on their product too, proving the faith they have in its lasting quality.
- Stubby screwdriver handle with six interchangeable bits
- Variety of Phillips and slotted bits
- Bits are stored within the hybrid for easy storage
- Grooved handle for easy grip
- Compact, lightweight design
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Brand Picquic
- Model 91100
- Weight 2.4 oz
The first ratchet screwdriver to make our list is another offering from Klein Tools. Its durable ratcheting mechanism allows users to work faster and more efficiently when dealing with screws in tight spaces. Each screwdriver is accompanied by four interchangeable bits – square, slotted, and Phillips – making for a versatile tool that can be used to tackle a wide variety of jobs. Each bit is made from high quality tempered steel, ideal for withstanding the wear and tear of even professional use.
The handle of this screwdriver is easy and comfortable to use, thanks to Klein Tools’ Comfort-Grip handle, which allows you to achieve maximum torque without causing blisters on your hand. Like all Klein Tools, this stubby screwdriver is manufactured in the US, to a high standard of quality that’s designed to last.
- Ratchet screwdriver set with four interchangeable bits
- Selection of square, slotted, and Phillips bits
- Bits constructed from high quality tempered steel
- Features Klein Tools’ unique Comfort-Grip handle, making long-term use easy
- Brand Klein Tools
- Model 32594
- Weight 3.2 oz
Available in packs of one, three, or four, Wiha’s stubby screwdriver bit holder is the perfect option if you already have plenty of interchangeable bits, but need a shorter handle for reaching into tight spaces. When you insert a bit into the handle, it is held securely in place by a powerful magnet
This particular handle measures just 2.5 inches, making it ideal for targeting screws in areas such as drawers, closets, and between kitchen units. Meanwhile, Wiha’s unique Soft Finish coating makes the handle easy to grip, and comfortable to use even for extended periods of time. Customers report that the handle is well-balanced and grippy, despite its small stature.
- Stubby screwdriver bit holder only
- Bits held in place securely by a powerful magnet
- Only 2.5 inches in length, making it small even by stubby standards
- Ideal for use in the tightest of spots
- Unique Soft Finish coating renders the handle easy and comfortable to grip and use
- Brand Wiha
- Model 28103
- Weight 1.6 oz
With 29 pieces in total, Cartman’s stubby screwdriver set is the most extensive on our list thus far. The kit equips DIY enthusiasts with everything they could possibly need for reaching screws in small spaces; a ratchet screwdriver handle, various bits, and a variety of sockets.
The collection is housed in a compact and organized case that’s easy to slide into a tool bag. With a specific place assigned to each piece, it’s also easy to keep things tidy, so you’ll always know where to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Each bit is constructed from durable chrome vanadium steel, durable enough to stand up to any household task you might throw at it. Customers say that the kit is perfect for day-to-day use, and excellent value for money.
- 29 piece stubby screwdriver set, including ratchet handle, interchangeable bits, and nuts
- Bits constructed from durable chrome vanadium steel
- Comfortable enough to use on any household DIY task
- Housed in a compact and carefully organized case
- Brand CARTMAN
- Model CM-B29-17
- Weight 11.4 oz
The second handle-only option on our list is provided by Bahco. The handle’s unique T-shaped design makes ratcheting easy in either direction. You can even change direction without having to reposition your hand at all. The 1.4” magnetic bit holder also allows bits to be gripped simply and effectively.
Meanwhile, the steel alloy shank provides excellent strength and reliability, meaning the screwdriver can stand up to whatever DIY task is thrown at it over a number of years. The high-quality mechanism ensures high torque for usage that’s as efficient as possible. The unusually shaped handle is comfortable to hold, with a high-friction surface for easy and effective gripping.
- Stubby ratchet screwdriver handle only
- Unique T-shaped design for easy grip
- Ratcheting in either direction is easy, and can be changed without adjusting your grip
- Magnetic holder allows bits to be gripped easily and effectively
- The quality mechanism allows high torque
- High friction surface on handle is easy to grip
- Brand Bahco
- Model 808050TS
- Weight 5.9 oz
This mammoth 38 piece screwdriver set offers a bit for virtually every job, along with an ergonomic ratcheting handle. The wide selection of bits includes Phillips, slotted, star, and hex, making the set an ideal option where a wide variety of screws need to be worked with. Each bit is highly durable, plated with chrome vanadium steel. The adapter is treated with the same coating, allowing the set as a whole to resist both abrasion and corrosion.
Meanwhile, the stubby screwdriver handle features an ergonomic design fits the hand comfortably, reducing fatigue while offering an excellent grip. Its ratcheting function makes it efficient to use, too, offering excellent torque compared to normal use. Finally, the fact that the set comes in its own convenient storage box means the bits won’t go walkabout and can be safely kept together.
- 38 piece set includes stubby ratcheting handle and interchangeable bits
- Bits include Phillips, slotted, star, and hex bits – perfect for almost any job
- Bits and adapter treated with durable chrome vanadium steel coating
- Convenient storage box prevents pieces from becoming lost
- Brand Stalwart
- Model 75-HT4038
- Weight 1.25 lbs
That concludes our list of what we believe are the best stubby screwdrivers available to purchase now. With so many options to choose from, however, figuring out exactly what you need can be something of a challenge.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some helpful tips for making up your mind, as well as covering some common questions that DIY enthusiasts tend to have about this handy piece of kit and its usages.
What to Consider When Buying Stubby Screwdrivers
Many types of the stubby screwdriver can be found on the market today, and exactly which one is right for you will depend upon your individual needs. However, there are some common factors to bear in mind, which we outline below:
- Single or Multiple Bits
As with any tool, the first thing to bear in mind when purchasing a stubby screwdriver is exactly what it will be used for, For general DIY applications, we recommend choosing a stubby screwdriver like the ones on our list, which offer users a variety of interchangeable bits. This type of product ensures that whatever the screwhead, you have the right tool for the job at hand. For professional use, though, it is worth considering a stubby screwdriver with a single, fixed blade. This design means that the bit is held more securely in place, and so will likely prove more durable. Equally, in a professional context, you are likely to encounter the same type of screw time and again, rather than as a one-off.
One of the most basic points to bear in mind when choosing any screwdriver is its handle, but this becomes even more important where stubby screwdrivers are involved. When appraising a stubby screwdriver handle, you should consider the following:
- Size – Stubby screwdrivers are designed for working with screws in small places, so smaller handles are generally better, providing your hands are small enough to grip it.
- Shape – Some stubby screwdrivers have T-shaped handles, which can often slide into nooks and crannies more easily than their traditional counterparts.
- Grip – The best screwdriver handles are easy to hold onto, maximizing torque. If your hand slips while using a screwdriver, you run the risk of injury – grip is important for safety too!
- Comfort – For extended use, in particular, comfort is paramount. Look out for an ergonomically designed handle with a soft outer coating for maximum comfort (and minimum blisters).
As with any purchase, the price of each product will affect your decision. Generally speaking, investing a little more money will purchase tools made with superior materials, and manufactured to a higher standard. If you only intend to use your stubby screwdriver occasionally, however, purchasing a more inexpensive option will probably make for the best value for money.
- Ratcheting Ability
A ratchet screwdriver consists of a series of cogs which allow it to apply force when turned in one direction, but move freely in the other. They’re useful for removing and inserting screws more conveniently and comfortably. Many of the options on this list offer ratchet settings, which can be useful for working with particularly long or tight screws.
Advantages of Using a Stubby Screwdriver
As mentioned earlier, stubby screwdrivers are a really handy piece of kit which have a number of advantages over their traditional counterparts. These include:
- They facilitate access to screws that cannot be easily reached with a traditional screwdriver
- Their compact design makes them far easier to store and transport than their larger cousins
- Their small size makes them an ideal emergency tool, which can fit into most bags and glove compartments
- Stubby screwdrivers are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, making them a really diverse tool
- Many automotive workers find stubby screwdrivers to be a great option when working on a car’s dash
- Stubby screwdrivers are really useful to have around when assembling furniture – their compact size allows you to loosen or tighten screws in tight spots such as drawers or small compartments
- Certain users find a stubby screwdriver more comfortable to grip than a regular one
- Stubby ratchet screwdrivers combine the compact size of a stubby with the ease of use of a ratchet to tackle long or stiff screws with ease
Best Stubby Screwdrivers FAQ:
Q: When should I use a stubby screwdriver?
A: Stubby screwdrivers have a huge variety of uses – some of the most common being:
- Constructing or Disassembling Furniture
Stubby screwdrivers are great for putting together and taking apart everything from a chest of drawers to a dining room table. Because they allow you to reach screws in small spaces more easily, one of their most obvious uses is with furniture – whether flat-pack or otherwise.
- Keeping in the Glove Compartment
One useful place to keep a stubby screwdriver is in the glove compartment of your car. Not only is their small size convenient for carrying around in case of emergency, but it also makes them ideal for working on fiddly issues in your car’s interior.
- Around the Kitchen
If there’s one room in your house that’s characterized by a series of tight spaces, it’s the kitchen. Reaching into a unit to tighten a screw, or fixing a dodgy hinge on a cupboard door is far easier when your screwdriver doesn’t impede your access.
- In any complete Toolbox
Because of their versatility, we recommend that no toolbox is complete without a stubby screwdriver. Adding one to your collection won’t take up much room, but will save you a lot of time on tricky jobs for years to come.
Q: Should I choose a ratchet stubby screwdriver?
A: Many of the stubby screwdrivers on this list have ratcheting options, and you may be wondering whether or not this is a feature you need. Below are a few of the main advantages that ratchet screwdrivers offer, so you can make an informed decision about whether you should invest in one:
- With a ratchet screwdriver, unlike their traditional counterparts, you don’t need to constantly stop and adjust your wrist position when driving in or removing a screw
- Using a ratchet screwdriver reduces strain on your wrist
- Using a ratchet screwdriver will drive and remove screws more quickly
You should also consider what this type of screwdriver is most often used for when deciding whether it is the right option for you. They tend to have the following uses:
- Fixing and tightening a lot of screws in electrical systems – electricians commonly resort to ratchet screwdrivers to save their wrists
- Working around a garage – ratchet screwdrivers are often favored by mechanics because of the strain and time they save
- Regularly performing DIY around the house – it’s worth bearing in mind that ratchet screwdrivers are user-friendly enough for almost anyone to use, so they’re very often a sound investment even if you’re only using them around the house
Q: What are the disadvantages of a stubby screwdriver?
A: As we have seen, stubby screwdrivers are great for performing a wide variety of tasks. However, like any tool, they aren’t ideal for everything. Below we take a step back to work through some drawbacks to bear in mind when purchasing a stubby screwdriver:
- Their small size can be a disadvantage
Although in some contexts the stubby screwdriver’s small stature works in its favor, this is not always the case. For certain jobs, you’ll need a screwdriver with a little more reach – stubby screwdrivers are certainly not meant for universal use, despite their versatility.
- You won’t achieve as much Torque
A stubby screwdriver usually needs to be turned with the palm of your hand, so you won’t get quite as much purchase – therefore torque – as with their larger cousins.
- They can be less comfortable to use
Although manufacturers will do everything in their power to make their tools comfortable to use, the task is more challenging when the tool in question is a stubby screwdriver. Especially if you have large hands, finding a comfortable gripping position can be more difficult than with a regular screwdriver.
Overall, the few disadvantages of stubby screwdrivers are nowhere near enough to outweigh how useful they are, though. As always, it’s just a case of selecting the right tool for the right job!
Our Top Pick
With its compact design and convenient array of interchangeable tips, we think that Klein Tools’ offering is the best screwdriver set on the market when it comes to stubby designs. It comes with four universal tips, offering diverse applications, while the unique Cushion-Grip handle offers users excellent torque and comfort.
The high quality that Klein Tools always offer their users has earned them the top spot on our list today. If you need to reach stubborn screws in a tight spot, this is the perfect, versatile solution – and a great addition to any toolbox. At around $10, it’s a small investment in your home that very quickly pays for itself.