In case you aren’t familiar with the company, Wera is a company that has been making tools in Germany since 1936. They are known for their high quality, professional-approved tools, particularly their screwdrivers, torque wrenches, electrical work tools, and tools for working on bicycles.
In this article we’ll look at Wera’s screwdrivers, of which I own many have been a fan of for some time.
Wera is known for, and very much promotes, the distinctive handle on its screwdrivers. This design, which they call “Kraftform” not only is found in the logo of the company, but it appears in most of its products in some fashion. The handles have hard and soft zones for grip as well as wider areas in the middle which are comfortable and ergonomic to hold.
The handle is roughly hexagonal so it doesn’t tend to roll on flat surfaces.
The business end of the screwdriver is another place where Wera sets itself apart from the competition. The two most common upgrade tips you’ll see on a Wera is a laser-tip and a chisel tip. One is for precision and grip while the other is for toughness.
When you are shopping for Wera screwdrivers, you’ll be knocked over by the variety on offer. Ever model will have number of variables:
- drive type
- Blade thickness/width/diameter
- blade length (aka shaft length)
- laser engraved tip or not
- handle type
- handle length
- bit holder type
- product family (like Chiseldrive or Kraftform)
So you might end up looking for something extremely specific and finding it… or finding a lot of options that are very close to what you want but not exactly it.
My Wera Tools
In my Wera tool set I have…
- A few Kraftform screwdrivers: These have a green handle and are good for general use
- One Chiseldrive: Tough screwdrivers for loosening tough screws. Can take a serious beating
- One wooden handled: Philips #2 for general use
- Two bitholders: One Kraftform Kompakt Stubby magazine, which is a short screwdriver with 6 bits in the handle and a Rapidator Quick-Release Chuck holder
- A bunch of Kraftform Stainless: Very good small screwdrivers for precise work
Why such a selection? Well, for all the normal reasons why we have all sorts of tools: some were given to me, some I bought especially because I wished I had them yesterday and some I picked up one sale (or when Amazon’s price algorithm was particularly kind to me).
Wera Screwdriver Review
On the whole I’ve been quite happy with Wera’s screwdrivers.
First of all, they are very comfortable. As someone who has always used those super hard plastic Craftsman and similar budget screwdrivers, having a tool that was in any way premium is something I got a kick out of. These tools look premium and feel nice in your handle. They give extra grip thanks to the textured surface, but it’s the round middle section that really saves your hands.
I really like the integrity of the drive heads on these. Most are cleaned up with a laser for extra texture and grip on the screw head, which means less stripping. On the whole I feel like I strip fewer screws with these than I do my normal set of Husky screwdrivers.
I’ve found the blades of the screwdrivers (basically the shaft) to be strong and sturdy, and I totally trust them. Some of the stainless steel models I have a bit under-built but that’s not true of the Kraftform models.
On the downsides, these screwdrivers are nice and rather expensive, so I tend to be a bit more careful with them. I don’t baby them, but when it comes to hitting a screwdriver with a hammer or torquing the heck out of one with a crescent wrench, I reach for an old screwdrivers much of the time.
Another downside is that many of the screwdriver, particularly the Kraftform ones, are sold with ratchets. This is a useful feature, but it really drives up the price. Some models will be over $40 with the ratchet! The company also has other niches that I’ve gotten when I didn’t mean to, like non-magnetic bit holders, which I’m sure are great for specialized electronics work, but are just annoying for me.
Lastly, I’d say the handles are tough enough, but they do trade off toughness for comfort to some extent. The plastics used in the handles and the grippy sections just aren’t as strong as a super hard plastic from a Husky or Milwaukee. I’ve hit a few with the sander or dropped them from the ladder on to pavement, and they can get dinged up. None have broken yet.
Ultimately, I’ve become a big fan of Wera’s tools and while they are on the expensive side, I find that I prefer their tools and opt for them when buying something that I know I’m going to use a lot of a long period of time. I buy them because they perform better and are more comfortable to use, not necessarily because they will last longer.
Since tools are supposed to last, they should be backed by a good warranty. Wera says: “All Wera professional hand tools are covered by a lifetime warranty against breakage due to defects in materials or workmanship for the normal life of the product.“
Which sounds good to me. I haven’t broken or returned anything yet, but I’m fully expecting to be covered if I do.