Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big bit set test 2022. Here we present all the bit sets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best bit set for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a bit set.




Summary

  • A bit is a replaceable screwdriver blade that can be mounted on almost any cordless drill through a standardised holder. A magnet in the bit holder makes it possible to drill safely.
  • Bits are available in slotted, cross-slotted, hexagonal and Torx form. When buying a set, you should check the dimensions and drive size of the individual bits.
  • Before buying a bit set, you should think about the number, the processing, the material and the type of the individual bits.

The Best Bit-Set: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a bit set

What is a bit anyway?

A bit is a tool. It is a short, interchangeable screwdriver blade without a handle that fits into a specific screw head profile. Most holders are hexagonal in shape. This allows most standardised bit holders to be inserted. Most bits are held in their fixture by a magnet. A bit holder lies between the bit and the drive (cordless screwdriver or screwdriver).

The bit holder can be directly connected to the drive. This is the case with a handle or cordless screwdriver.

Alternatively, an adapter can also be used. This can be connected to a screwdriver handle or an angled handle, a ratchet or a torque spanner, or to a screwdriver with a universal outlet, such as a drill chuck or square drive. This is often the case with cordless screwdrivers, rotary screwdrivers, impulse screwdrivers or ratchet screwdrivers.

Bits in einem Bitset

A bit is a replaceable screwdriver blade for a cordless screwdriver or a screwdriver. (Photo: blickpixel / pixabay.com)

Why not use a screwdriver?

Bits turn out much shorter in contrast to ordinary screwdrivers. Below are some advantages over conventional screwdrivers:
Advantages
  • Smaller price
  • Small storage volume
  • Light weight
  • Free choice of drive tool
  • Easy to replace and exchange
Disadvantages
  • Possibly too large a cross-section for screws countersunk in deep holes
  • Unhandy drive, e.g. when turning very small screws

You should therefore be aware in advance of how large and extensive the work will be. If only one or a few screws need to be screwed in, it may be "enough" to reach for the screwdriver.

What types of bits are there?

Bits come in many different types, shapes, profiles and sizes, such as slotted, Phillips, hexagonal and Torx. The specified dimension indicates the distance between two opposing surfaces of the bit. This distance is also called the width across flats:

The usual measurement for a hexagon is 1⁄4inch (6.35 millimetres). Furthermore, standardised drive sizes are given as 5⁄16 inch (≈ eight millimetres) or 7⁄16inch (≈ eleven millimetres). Otherwise, there are so-called mini bits. These have a size of four millimetres(5⁄32inch).

What does a bit set cost?

Bit sets can be purchased for very little and very much money. Roughly, a realistic range is between six and 100 euros, although the range upwards can actually be titled "open-ended". Refined tips are usually more expensive, of course. If you work with the bits a lot and also with hard screws, this is a good option because otherwise the bits can wear out very quickly.

If you rely on the bits often or even daily, you should look for high quality. For occasional household work, normal bits are sufficient. If they break, they can easily be replaced until the next use.

Decision: What types of bit sets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, a distinction can be made between six types of bit sets:

  • Slotted bits
  • Cross-recess bits
  • Hexagon bits
  • Torx bits
  • Square bits
  • Tri-Wing-Bits

Bit sets can be distinguished in terms of their manufacture. In general, bits can be found in the variants slotted, cross-slotted, hexagonal, Torx, square and tri-wing. We will clearly compare the differences and similarities of the various types

In the following section, we would like to help you decide which type of bit set is best for you. To make this decision easier for you, we will present the six types in more detail and give you an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

What distinguishes a slotted bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A slotted bit is a bit that has only one slot at the tip. This gives a slotted bit the advantage that it can be used universally. Alongside the cross-slot, this form is one of the most widely used profiles.

Advantages
  • Universally applicable
  • Very common
Disadvantages
  • Lack of lateral hold
  • Unsuitable for special applications

The disadvantage of a slotted bit is that it cannot guarantee lateral hold due to its manufacturing form. It is also rather unsuitable for special applications.

What are the characteristics of a cross-slotted bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With a cross-slot profile, the bit can be held centred. This form of production gives the bit a better lateral hold. This variant is also widely used.

Advantages
  • Lateral hold
  • Very common
Disadvantages
  • Contact pressure very high at high speed

The disadvantage here, however, is that the cross recess cannot be used universally and that the contact pressure must be increased at increasing speeds, otherwise the bit could lose its grip.

What distinguishes a hexagon bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The hexagon bit is also very common and therefore often found. It is characterised by its six edges at the tip. A distinction can also be made between the hexagonal outer bit and the hexagonal inner bit. The latter is indispensable if you want to use nuts.

Advantages
  • Essential for working with nuts
Disadvantages
  • Very high notch effect
  • Can deform the screw

One disadvantage of hexagonal bits is that they have a very high notch effect, as this bit has an unfavourable constellation for force transmission. This can ultimately lead to deformation of the screw used.

What characterises a Torx bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Torx bit has a star-shaped shaft profile with six cams that are rounded. This makes it possible for a higher torque to be transmitted without damaging the bit or the screw. Another advantage of the Torx bit is that no CamOut forces act and that no great contact pressure is necessary.

Advantages
  • High torque
  • No high contact pressure necessary
  • No CamOut forces
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for different sizes

A disadvantage of Torx bits is that the different types all require a separate screwdriving tool for proper use. Otherwise, the use leads to faster wear of the screw and the tool.

What characterises a square bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The square-edged bit is a rather rare variant these days and is no longer found very often in Europe. In the USA, however, this bit is still very common. Its areas of application are largely limited to working with classic cars.

Advantages
  • Necessary for classic cars
  • Suitable for electrical switch cabinets
Disadvantages
  • Very rare in Europe
  • CamOut forces

In addition, the square bit is used as an opener for electrical switch cabinets. A disadvantage of square bits, however, is that they have to contend with increased CamOut forces compared to other types of bit.

What distinguishes a Tri-Wing bit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The tri-wing bit has a winged safety profile with three flanks. This rather unusual type of production makes it rather difficult for non-professionals to open screws with this bit. The Tri-Wing bit is therefore increasingly used in household technology and aviation and is therefore considered more of a special tool and is suitable for many technical devices.

Advantages
  • Suitable for technical devices
  • Special tool
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to use for laymen

A disadvantage of Torx bits is that the different types all require a separate screwdriver for proper use. Otherwise, the use leads to faster wear of the screw and the tool.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate bit sets based on these factors

Screws should be selected according to type, head shape and thread type. The length of the screw also plays a role. For example, screws that are too long can drill completely through the substrate, while screws that are too thick could split thin materials such as wood. The bit marking provides information about the accuracy of fit. We explain what else you should pay attention to in the following:

  • How many parts do I need?
  • What other parts are useful?
  • What types of bits do I need?
  • Which drive is useful?
  • What material should the bits be made of?

Number of parts

How much choice you have again depends entirely on the consumer. First of all, the bit size should match that of the available cordless screwdriver or cordless drill. Look at the size of the drill chuck of the screwdriver and compare it with the size of the bits. Once this step is done, you can think about the size and price.

The scope should not be too small if you want to buy general equipment. With between 32 and 64 pieces, you are well equipped for the time being. If you are only looking for special bits, for example for special work, you can confidently go for a small set with a few parts.

bitset-box

Bit sets come in different sizes. A set of 32 to 64 parts promises a good basic equipment. (Photo: blickpixel / pixabay.com)

Scope of delivery

The bit set should be delivered in a suitable case. If you don't have a lot of space or storage space at home, you should also pay attention to the dimensions of the case. They can quickly become bulky.
A bit holder is also often useful. The bit holder is an attachment that holds a bit. It is a standardised connecting part between the bit and the cordless screwdriver or the hand screwdriver.(Bit → Bit holder → Drive)
A ratchet or ratchet is also often helpful. This tool produces a rotating motion within a few seconds. It is used to loosen or tighten screw connections. Depending on the fineness of the teeth inside the ratchet, the tool needs a small or larger angle to tighten. With fine toothing, you can achieve rotation even in very tight conditions.
Bits usually have only a very small shank, which is then difficult to plumb. You can change bits more easily with a quick-release chuck. This is clamped only once. The bits can then be easily inserted and exchanged.

Which type of bit and drive?

Basically, the bit should fit the screw you want to screw in or out. The type of bit is determined by the shape of the head or the type of drive of the screw.

Here is an overview of the most common types:

  • Longitudinal slot
  • Cross recess (Phillips-Recess)
  • Cross recess (Phillips-Pozidriv)
  • Allen key
  • Torx

Material of the bits

When working, the following always applies: The tool must be made of a harder material than the workpiece, in our case - the screws. There are also many differences in bits. Above all, the difference in price and quality between the bits is decisive. Bits are usually made of specially hardened steel or a chrome vanadium steel alloy. The tips of the bits are sometimes refined. This usually involves titanium nitride (TiN bits) or a diamond coating.

Of course, this again plays into the price-performance ratio. With diamond coating, the bit tip is coated with tiny particles of a diamond. The diamond particles prevent damage to the screw head, which can occur, for example, when installing a Phillips or slotted head screw. The particles are pressed into the material by rotary movements of the cordless screwdriver. In this way, they enable a higher torque to be generated.

Facts worth knowing about bit sets

Linguistically, the genus of bit as well as bit is permissible.

Interesting facts about screwing

Before you start screwing, you should always screw the screw in lightly at the desired point. This prevents the screw from wobbling too much or being screwed in crookedly. The tool should fit snugly into the screw. This way it will hardly wear out and can be reused if necessary.

How do I change my bits?

First, open the chuck of your screwdriver. The direction of rotation must be left. This is usually done with the switch under the chuck. The chuck opens by holding it with one hand and unscrewing it with the other. Alternatively, you can also press the start switch.

Then insert the desired bit. The direction of rotation must now be set to the right. Now you can close the drill chuck. Align the bit so that it sits well. Finally, press the start switch again so that the bit is firmly seated. Hold the drill chuck firmly.

The screw

The screw is a kind of pin or bolt. It has a thread on the outside. There are usually two types of screws. One for wood and one that is suitable for metal. The connection that a screw creates is frictional and positive.

Screws are reusable. After screwing them in, you can unscrew them just as easily. The majority of screws are made of metal. Steel is the main material used. But there are also screws made of brass or copper.

Plastic screws are a special type of screw. They are only used for special applications. They are usually made of polyamide or polycarbonate.

The following table shows you which screws you should use for which material:

Material Screw
Wood For screws in wood construction it is particularly important that they are corrosion-resistant. They can be made of brass, stainless steel or steel. They usually have a self-tapping double thread to make the process easier. Classic ones here are Spax.
Sheet metal These are very similar to wood screws and are also tapered, but have a harder thread. Therefore, you do not need to pre-drill when screwing sheet metal.
Aluminium Caution is advised here because chemical reactions can quickly occur on contact, resulting in corrosion. Stainless steel screws are well suited here.
Rigips Traditionally, drywall screws are used with Rigips. These have a self-tapping thread and are phosphated so that it is protected against corrosion.
Concrete Concrete screws are often made of galvanised steel. These have a long shank and a thread at the end. One end is fitted with a hook.

Photo credits: 67303966 - ©fosterss/123RF

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