October 21, 2021
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Best Nut Drivers of 2021 | Nut Driver Sets

By on October 4, 2021 0

Staff, courtesy of Hurricane

One of the essentials that you should have in your tool kit is a good nut driver. A nut driver is a hand tool that you use to tighten nuts and bolts. It looks a lot like a screwdriver, but the shank is usually hollow, at least partially, so you can screw a nut onto a bolt. Some dual-purpose tools serve as both a screwdriver and a nut driver, which can be handy and effective.

Don’t be confused by nut driver bits (also sometimes called screwdriver bits or nut drivers or a few other things). While some people use all of these terms interchangeably, technically a nut driver is a hand tool, while nut driver bits are used with a cordless screwdriver or other power tool.

Specifications to consider

Fixed or interchangeable handles

Nut drivers are often supplied in a set that contains nut drivers of various sizes which are all attached to their own handles. But you can also choose an adjustable rod set, which contains a single handle and an assortment of interchangeable rods. Some people prefer full pilots because the shaft is permanently linked to the handle which makes it more stable and also prevents slipping or loosening. But a full set of pilots takes up more space and usually costs more.

Pilot sizes

Like screwdrivers, nut drivers come in a range of sizes to accommodate all of the different nuts and bolts. The sizes you need the most depend on the types of projects you are doing. In my own experience, I have seen the most frequently used 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 and 1/2 inch SAE pilots and 8 and 10 mm metric pilots, but the important thing is is to make sure that the driver you are considering is available in the size (s) you need most often. Note that some sets offer a combination of SAE and metric sizes, while others have only one type.

Shaft length

A longer handle (also known as a shank or blade) provides more leverage, but can be awkward when trying to work in tight spaces. However, these tools are available in a wide range of lengths; again, what works best for you will depend on how and where you typically use it. I’ve seen rod lengths between 5 and 9 inches most often, with compact models that are 4 inches or less. Keep in mind that some manufacturers only list the full length of the pilot without specifically stating the length of the rod.

How we selected

In evaluating a variety of nut drivers to inform these recommendations, I began by considering my own experience with these tools. I am the former owner of a property construction and maintenance company and an avid handyman, so I have considerable experience with hand and power tools including all kinds of screwdrivers and fasteners. I have also researched the reviews of hundreds of Amazon users and consulted with the manufacturer and retailer for product specifications.

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Best all-in-one interchangeable driver

Klein Tools 32500

Klein Tools
amazon.com

$ 14.97

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Interchangeable
  • Shaft length: Unspecified

This 11-in-1 multi-tool offers the ultimate in space-saving versatility. This is a screwdriver and nut driver combo that offers eight popular bit sizes and three nut driver options. Replace interchangeable attachments quickly and easily so you can keep working without delays or interruptions. Plus, you get the quality you expect from Klein Tools.

  • Excellent versatility
  • High quality materials
  • Some Amazon users have noted that the pieces can fall off and are easy to lose

Best metric set

Gear Wrench 82764

GEAR KEY
amazon.com

$ 45.88

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: 3 inch

This set includes seven nut drivers in sizes ranging from 6 to 12 millimeters. Each has an ergonomic, cushioned handle for added comfort and a fully hollow shaft that allows you to screw a nut onto a bolt that is longer than some other conductors. Some Amazon users have noted that the digital markers at the end of the handles are small and a bit difficult to read.

  • Fully hollow shaft
  • Comfortable handle
  • Digital markers can be difficult for some people to read

Most innovative design

Hurricane Folding Nut Driver Set

hurricane
amazon.com

$ 15.97

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: Varied

The cool foldable design of this nut driver set reminds me of a Swiss Army Knife and this handy tool is just as versatile. You can take it anywhere without taking up space, but it can get the job done. The six pilots share a base and size ranging from 3/16 to 7/16 inches.

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Slim, easy-to-grip handle
  • Small length limits torque capacity

Quality you can trust

Klein 631 Tools

Klein Tools
amazon.com

$ 54.97

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: 3 inch

Klein Tools is a brand known for its quality construction and reliable performance you can trust. And based on Amazon reviews, this seven-piece set lives up to that reputation. Pilots have a 3 inch fully hollow shaft and cushion grip, but you will need to provide your own tool case or organizer as none are included.

  • Fully hollow shaft
  • Reliable quality

Best value

Big Neck ND71

big neck
amazon.com

$ 21.64

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: Unspecified

This seven-piece set contains speakers in various metric sizes ranging from 6 to 12 millimeters. Each has a different distinctive color for easy size identification. Plated metal finish helps protect against rust and corrosion. People with bigger hands might want to consider another set; some Amazon users have noted that the handles here seem a bit small.

  • Reasonable price
  • Color coded for quick identification

Durable and damage resistant

Tekton 26984

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: 3 inch

This 14-piece set includes seven SAE pilots and seven metric varieties that are clearly identifiable by markings on the tip and grip. The 1 inch recessed shaft can fit on longer bolts. In addition, the strong and durable materials – the hardened alloy steel rods attached to the polypropylene and TPE handles – can withstand extreme temperatures and exposure to solvents, oils and other chemicals.

  • Three-sided handle provides better leverage and higher torque
  • Resistant to damage from gas, oils and cleaners

Wide variety

8916D Gear Wrench

GEAR KEY
amazon.com

$ 49.63

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Interchangeable
  • Shaft length: Varied

This 16-piece set includes nut drivers in assorted lengths and sizes, including SAE and metric measurements. Color-coded rods make it easy to quickly identify which one you need. The 45 tooth ratchet handle gives you extra leverage and strength for tough jobs. The rods also fit other GearWrench compatible grips to allow you to further customize your set.

  • Wide range of sizes for more flexibility
  • Included holster keeps riders organized and secure

Ideal for tight spaces

Southwire NDS5N1

Southwire
amazon.com

$ 14.48

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: Unspecified

The Chunky 5-in-1 Nut Driver features five screwdrivers in sizes from 3/16 to 1/2 inch that snap into each other in the freestanding unit. It’s convenient and saves space, as you don’t need to carry a bunch of individual pilots. Measuring 3.5 inches throughout, the chunky design is compact enough to fit in tight spots, but may not be comfortable or preferable for everyone.

  • Convenient and compact design
  • Chrome plated to resist corrosion
  • Some Amazon users say it’s not durable enough for the tough jobs

Insulated for ultimate safety

Wiha 32296

Key specs

  • Type of handle: Fixed
  • Shaft length: Unspecified

Manufactured to ISO industry standards, the speakers in this 11-piece set are insulated to a voltage rating of 1000 volts and hardened for durability to ensure long life. They do not have a hollow shaft but have a 1 inch recessed end to accommodate longer bolts. Electricians and DIY enthusiasts who regularly work with circuits won’t be disappointed if you decide to invest.

  • Insulated for extra protection
  • Ergonomic handles

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