The Doctor’s sonic screwdrivers ranked

We look back at the six major iterations of the Time Lord's tool from Doctor Who

Sonic Screwdriver, Getty, TG

The sonic screwdriver has become almost as synonymous with Doctor Who as a certain blue phone box or the Time Lord himself. Whether it’s getting the Doctor and his companions out of sticky situations, operating the Tardis from afar or just opening any and every door (unless it’s made of wood, of course), the sonic screwdriver is a brilliant piece of the Doctor Who puzzle that we hope remains in play for years to come.


But like the Doctor himself, it hasn’t always looked or acted exactly the same, and some versions of the tool have appealed to fans more than others. With that in mind we’ve ranked the six main versions of the Doctor’s screwdriver from worst to best, based on a combination of aesthetics and uses.

And so, without further ado, let’s travel back in time to 1968 to the sonic screwdriver’s very first appearance…


6. The Second Doctor’s sonic screwdriver

The Second Doctor’s version of the tool was the very first to be used on screen, but had the drab appearance of a basic penlight and was basically intended as a quick joke. Still, it all started here, folks – and as a funny sci-fi way to actually put screws in…