Flat-head or Phillips: Best screwdriver sets for motorcycle maintenance

Best screwdrivers
Best screwdrivers

In building a toolkit to use at home to look after your motorcycle, once you have sourced a socket set and spanners, then a screwdriver set is probably the next most essential component that you will need.

There are, of course, lots of different types of screws, from flat-heads to those with star-shaped Torx fittings and lots in between. However, a starter set should include the basics and get you going, whether you are looking to change a lightbulb or rebuild a set of carburettors.

In addition to the different types of fittings that will be accessible from various screwdrivers, there are also several types of screwdrivers themselves, from precision items to pound-through that can be used to deliver impact to stubborn fixings.

You may also find that an electric screwdriver is a useful addition to your toolbox as well; you may not need the turning force but it will certainly make removing multiple screws just that little bit easier on the wrist.

Related: Best rust-prevention products for your motorcycle

A quick note on cross-head screwdrivers. There are two types; Phillips head and Pozidriv. They look the same at first glance but aren’t. A Phillips head is a straightforward four-point drive though it is designed so that the screwdriver or drive bit will come out of the screw before the screw itself fails.

A Pozidriv, on the other hand, is designed not to come out and deliver as much torque as possible. A Phillips head looks like a four-point drive but a Pozidriv has a slimmer drive edge between the four main points.

A Phillips driver will work in a Pozidriv screw but not correctly the other way round. So ideally, you should choose a set of screwdrivers or bits that include both kinds of drive bits but if not, then go for Phillips as they will work across more fasteners.

Top screwdriver sets

Rrp: £14.50

Price: £6.98

Containing the basics to get you going, this nine-piece set from Rolson comprises five flat-head screwdrivers and four Phillips cross-heads, with a stubby version in each as well as three sizes of longer-shaft items. There is also a hefty flat-head driver and all but the stubby and narrowest shaft versions have a hex-drive formed into the shaft so extra torque can be applied with a spanner.

Best value for money
Price: £24.00

This 34-piece set of Stanley screwdrivers is Amazon's Choice and for good reason; Stanley is a well-respected brand in the tool world and this set, housed in a handy plastic case, includes three flat-blade drivers, three Phillips and two Torx drivers, as well as five precision drivers and 20 bits with a drive handle. All handles are formed in double material for strength, grip and comfort.

Price: £7.82

If you've lost the toolkit that came with your bike and you're looking for something useful to keep under your seat just in case, then this handy little screwdriver from Stanley could fit the bill. It uses a triangular handle for grip and comfort and comes with a double-ended Phillips drive and flat-head drive, as well as 6mm and 8mm hexagonal drive for bits. It also has a bolster to allow a spanner to provide additional torque.

Price: £21.37

If you need a bit more force with your screwdrivers, then this go-through kit from Neilsen can help. The handle is formed around the outside of a single shaft so that if you need to, you can hit the end with a hammer to transfer impact force to the fitting or use a spanner or socket on the end of the shaft for additional torque. The kit contains six of each flat-head and Pozidriv, including stubby and thin-shaft and are colour-coded, blue for flat-head and red for Pozidriv.

Rrp: £13.98

Price: £13.59

In most kits of screwdrivers, you usually get a stubby screwdriver; one with a short handle and shaft that allows you in where there is restricted access. However, sometimes, you can't get close to the screw itself and need an extra-long shaft to get to it, such as when doing up carburettor rubber mounting-ring clamps. In that case, you need a long-reach screwdriver and this pair from Rothenburger comes with a flat-head and a Pozidriv cross-head with 300mm long shafts for access to all sorts of screws.

Rrp: £3.15

Price: £2.95

You might only ever need these offset screwdrivers once or twice but when you do need them, they will prove invaluable, I know this from experience. For screws in very restricted locations, where even a stubby screwdriver won't get, then these can often help. While you may not be able to produce huge amounts of torque, depending on that access, they will allow you to get a tricky screw moving. You get two different-sized drivers, each with a flat-head and a Pozidriv end.

Price: £13.99

A set of drive bits and a single handle is a really useful addition to any toolbox and this 73-piece set from the Amazon Basics line is a great example. It comes with a ratchet handle that can be locked for a direct drive and a selection of bits, including flat-head and Posidriv, Phillips head, hexagonal head, Torx drives and more. The handle is magnetic so metal screws can be held on the end of the drive bit for easy starting or to prevent them falling away when released.

Price: £21.09

If you have lots of screws to fit or undo or just need a little more grunt to get stubborn screws started, then an electric screwdriver will do the work for you. This one from Hychika gets great reviews and offers a handy 6Nm of torque and a 2000mAh battery for long life. It comes with a selection of drive bits for a wide variety of fixings and the screwdriver body can rotate to be used inline like a normal screwdriver or like a pistol-grip electric screwdriver. The chuck is magnetic to hold the drive bits in place and this will also help keep fixings in the end of the drive bit as well.

Best spanner sets for top notch motorcycle maintenance

Best socket sets for your workshop

Best motorcycle tools

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.