What is a JIS Screwdriver?

You may have noticed that your screwdriver does not work well on Japanese products. This is a common problem. When the driver tip doesn't fit, you damage your screw and create a new problem.

The reason for this may surprise you, but it is a simple one. The truth is, although that may look like a standard Phillips screw, it's not. Japanese products use screws with a slightly different shape than standard Phillips screws, called Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) screws. If you apply torque to a JIS screw with a Phillips head screwdriver, you risk damaging it.

JIS screwdrivers work on both Phillips and JIS screws without damaging their heads, whereas Phillips screwdrivers are specifically designed for Phillips screws. Because we work with both often, a set of Japanese screwdrivers is a must-have for any craftsman or hobbyist.

You are wondering where to buy JIS screwdrivers. So check out these five best Japanese screwdriver brands. Soon you'll be easily driving, securing, and removing any screw.

Vessel

Vessel is the oldest producer of screwdrivers in Japan. They are synonymous with quality and prestige. They have been producing screwdrivers since 1916, and their experience is evident when you pick up their tools.

Daitool sells a 10pc combination slotted and JIS screwdriver set from Vessel. These drivers have wooden handles which ensure good grip under any conditions. Promising full torque whether your hands are dry or covered in oil. Which makes them a favorite of mechanics and motorcycle riders across Japan. Many popular motorcycle brands come from Japan. So Vessel JIS screwdrivers have become a vital motorcycle tool for riders worldwide.

Vessel JIS Screwdrivers

Pro-Act/Lifelex

Pro-Act and Lifelex are two Japanese tool brands original to Kohnan Home Center. Kohnan is a hardware store for specialist craftsmen and the public alike, so they created a brand to serve each purpose.

Pro-Act tools are more durable, suit specific needs, and focus less on aesthetics. While Lifelex tools are for the home and marketed toward DIY hobbyists. They trade off a little of the durability to make Lifelex more affordable for the average Joe.

Both Pro-Act and Lifelex produce a wide variety of screwdrivers for many purposes. They carry standard drivers, precision screwdrivers, and eyeglass repair screwdrivers.

A Japanese interchangable screwdriver

Engineer

Engineer has been making high-quality tools in Osaka, Japan, since 1948. They pride themselves on making “tools with spirit” and do not discern between professional and hobbyist use. They make tools that please even professional craftsmen, but anybody can use them.

Engineer makes many screwdrivers, but they specialize in electrician tools. Their circuit-testing electrician screwdriver is fully insulated. So it allows the user to have complete peace of mind while testing mains power and live wires.

Many Japanese know Engineer for their Neji Saurus range of screw-removal pliers. If you’ve been using Phillips head screwdrivers on JIS screws, you may have some damaged screws that are difficult to remove. Why not pick up an Engineer Screw Removal Tool Kit, which includes a pair of Neji Saurus pliers, while you are here?

Electrician Screwdriver

Kyoto Tool

Kyoto Tool was founded in 1950 and has been specializing in making hand tools ever since. They produce tools as you'd expect – hardened steel and black rubber handles. Tools that get the job done. But they've begun to produce tools influenced by Kyoto's traditional craftsmanship. These visually-pleasing tools have been a hit with customers abroad.

They have a set of lacquered ratchets inspired by the traditional art of Kyoto. And some beautiful wooden-handled screwdrivers, too. This sets them apart from most Japanese toolmakers, who focus on function and durability over aesthetics.

Japanese hand tool design

Anex

Anex began as a screwdriver producer but diversified into making a full variety of hand tools. Although they’ve made significant efforts to shift toward specializing in power-tool attachments, such as drill bits and screwdriver bits, their manual screwdrivers are still best-sellers.

Their magnetic screwdriver handles are one of their most popular and versatile products. You only need a single handle rather than a complete set of screwdrivers. You insert the screwdriver bits from your power drill into the handle and have a screwdriver in any size.

Japanese Industrial Standard screwdriver