I'm used to having magnetic bit holders, which will attract the screw, but sometimes the screw will still slip away sideways while screwing it in.

Today I watched an episode of Adam Savage's One Day Builds on YouTube and noticed a kind of bit holder that I haven't seen before:

enter image description here

You can see it in action around the 12:00 mark.

What is this device called and what other options are there to keep screws from slipping?

2 Answers 2


It's called a Magnetic Drive Guide. At least that's what DeWalt calls it.

enter image description here

  • Do you know if those are patented and/or if there is something similar available in the EU? I've never seen DeWalt sold here and I've never seen this kind of guide. May 9, 2015 at 21:51
  • 1
    kk.org/cooltools/archives/1366 suggests there's cheaper varients. May 9, 2015 at 21:51
  • I have used at least three different bands of these.
    – hildred
    May 9, 2015 at 23:27
  • 1
    Amazon.de: "DeWalt Schrauber Bit Set 45-teilig, DT71572-QZ ". I'm pretty sure that set contains the sleeve thing you are interested in. However, in my opinion, they aren't that useful. I'd focus on having new driver bits (ie, not worn down), and keeping a straight line between the screw and the driver. (Getting off-axis leads to slipping, which leads to wear on the driver bit, which leads to more slipping.) May 11, 2015 at 13:47

As for other options: I really like using square drive bits and fasteners (a.k.a "Robertson"):

Square drive screw

They have several advantages over Philips-style screws:

  • The screw easily attaches to the bit and generally stays put (this is the attribute you seem to be looking for)
  • The square drive bit does not "cam out" if you don't apply enough pressure.
  • The bit and fasteners are much more durable, which means you don't generally need to worry about stripping the screw head or damaging the bit.

Admittedly this isn't a viable solution if you need to work with existing fasteners. Also square drive hardware can be a little harder to find, but in my experience Home Depot et al tend to have common fasteners available with square drive heads, and of course anything is available online.

  • Basicly anything but philips or flat. Philips was designed to slip to prevent overtightening. Posidrive works well, but due to its similar appearance to philips is confusing. good choices include allen (hex), torx (star), and spline (can't remember the name), which has the unique property that the more you abuse it the better it works.
    – hildred
    May 9, 2015 at 23:32
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    The OP is in Germany. These Robertson-head screws may be uncommon in some countries. In much of western Europe, Pozidriv predominates (for the reasons you give) and you may be unlikely to find anything other than slotted, Phillips or Pozidriv in countersunk screws. May 9, 2015 at 23:32
  • @RedGrittyBrick Meanwhile there are plenty of countersunk screws with torx AKA "ISR" AKA "hexalobular internal" available.
    – Ariser
    May 10, 2015 at 11:07
  • @Ariser: I guess availability in Germany differs from UK. Would that be mostly "machine screws" (i.e. small bolts) rather than, say woodscrews? I'll look harder next time I'm in B&Q/Wickes/Homebase etc. CPC seem to only have "pin torx" not plain torx under machine screws, countersunk. Screwfix have only two sizes of countersunk "star drive" (with pin) under security screws. :-( May 10, 2015 at 11:31
  • @RedGrittyBrick: If you're in the UK: I've used this site in the past for fasteners with unusual (or at least, "not flat/Philips") heads.
    – psmears
    May 10, 2015 at 16:40

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