Doctor Who: The Best Sonic Screwdriver Designs

The sonic screwdriver remains one of the most iconic pieces of pop culture associated with Doctor Who, especially since the Sonic Screwdriver practically represents the Doctor to some degree alongside the TARDIS. A trinket with many uses, the Sonic Screwdriver can use sound waves to do all sorts of crazy things – from repairing various objects to analyzing components and all sorts of tricks that help the Doctor solve almost any situation. .

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As such, it makes sense that each Doctor has a unique sonic screwdriver design that sometimes has a lot to do with their personality. And with around fourteen Doctors in the entire series, it’s worth checking out which Doctors have the finest and coolest sonic screwdriver designs.


ten The war doctor

It’s the war doctor who makes a surprise appearance in the 50th Anniversary Special when the 10th and 11th Doctor realize he has been fighting the Time War for hundreds of years. And just as John Hurt is the perfect actor for this grizzled war veteran, the Sonic Screwdriver also needs a design to fit the piece.

Characterized by a simple steel cylinder and a diode that emitted red when used, this sonic screwdriver served as the perfect bridge of designs. After all, it connected the simpler designs of its predecessors and the visually more “pumping” designs of its successors. This sonic screwdriver is also incredibly powerful, allowing the Doctor to create force fields, propel Daleks, and even create centuries-old stones.

9 13th doctor

Along with Jodie Whittaker’s historic moment as the first female doctor, it’s also the 13th doctor which has one of the most unique sonic screwdriver designs in the series. Although more simplistic in appearance, this Sonic Screwdriver is one of the few demonstrations of the Doctor’s DIY tendencies since his third incarnation. And the design matches the Sonic Screwdriver’s more multi-purpose, multi-purpose Swiss Army knife nature than just a generic alien scan tool.

Looking more like an alien wand than anything else, the 13th Doctor’s screwdriver is now unique in that its curved handle is the one piece and not just the emitter. The 13th Doctor herself said that this time the sonic screwdriver is also a scanner, can opener, and diagnostic tool. However, it could be overloaded – something that hasn’t happened before.

8 7th doctor

Despite his short tenure, the 7th doctor had one of the sleekest sonic screwdriver designs among its iterations. The 8th Doctor called him the “Mark 5” before losing him, and his time with the 7th Doctor marked the perfect transition between the classic models and the new models before the arrival of the War Doctor.

Characterized by a flat-bottomed handle, silver body, and brass trim ring for its bottom grip, this screwdriver screams decidedly modern. Its top section can now be folded away for easier access – something the 9th and 10th screwdrivers would share. Its transmitter is unique in that it has a silver ring and a red crystal in the center. His abilities remained the same – being able to analyze information and scan various technologies, while opening doors. More bizarrely, the screwdriver could be used in more lethal ways – capable of destroying Daleks.

seven 12th doctor

Compared to the rather simple but elegant designs of previous sonic screwdrivers, the 12th doctor and his are here to make a statement. When combined with his Sonic Sunglasses, the Doctor looks exactly like a flashy guy who would use “Doctor Disco” as a nickname. And even then, this iteration of the Sonic Screwdriver is still quite refreshing to watch. Supplied by the TARDIS itself, its appearance resembles the iconic vehicle, marked with strong blue accents – and even a witty pen on the other end for the Doctor’s lectures.

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This time around, the Sonic Screwdriver becomes more of a scanning tool for closing and opening doors. However, with enough assistance, the Sonic could be reprogrammed to do many other things. These functions include detonating powerful explosions or even creating force fields. The simpler function of this sonic screwdriver with its flashy appearance emphasizes the heavier approach to the plot of Peter Capaldi and his doctor.

6 River Song Screwdriver

While not necessarily a “new” Sonic Screwdriver, fans would immediately realize that the 12th Doctor gave River Song the same design as his tenth incarnation’s Sonic Screwdriver. However, what makes River Song Screwdriver extra special is the sentimental value attached to it. After all, it was the Doctor’s first gift to River, who was technically his wife.

He shares many functions of the original Sonic Screwdriver, but this version can manipulate gravity wells and even affect his expedition suits. More importantly, River’s screwdriver included a neural relay that would prevent his data phantom from being uploaded to the library’s main computer. It’s something the Tenth Doctor would recognize before River finally realizes his role in the Doctor’s adventure in the library. Although he doesn’t appear much in the series, the sonic screwdriver’s prominent role in the plot makes him special.

5 9th and 10th doctor

It’s very rare for a sonic screwdriver to have the honor of being wielded by two time lords, but that’s the distinction this design had with the 9th and 10th doctor. When Doctor Who saw a revival in 2005, Christopher Eccleston brought equal parts joy and punk to his run as the 9th Doctor, and with it comes a sleeker, more futuristic sonic screwdriver. Boasting an elongated glass tube with a blue emitter, this sonic screwdriver looks much cooler than those used by other medics.

Apart from its usual functions, this particular screwdriver has several diagnostic parameters, especially in its ability to not only detect, but also locate and disable various signals. He could also interface with various machines to control them and even control the TARDIS from the outside. Curiously, it is the first sonic screwdriver to be declared ineffective against wood.

4 3rd doctor

Of all the doctors in the series, this is the 3rd doctor who inspired the most action-packed, unhesitating doctor ever – always ready to jump right into the action. And his companion should be prepared for various oddities he encounters along the way, and his sonic screwdriver is precisely designed to do just that. Unlike the 2nd Doctor who had a more “basic” sonic screwdriver, the 3rd Doctor really went wild with his abilities and design.

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Characterized by a yellow and black body, a larger body and unique drop-down activation sequences, this screwdriver is by far the sleekest of the classic era. Not only that, but its features were wild compared to others. Thanks to its interchangeable emitters, the Sonic Screwdriver can not only scan objects, but also emit fire, cut metal and even hypnotize others.

3 11th doctor

With the trend of sonic screwdrivers matching the personalities of their wearers, this might be the one that belongs in the 11th doctor which tops the list. His larger frame, extendable “claws” and green transmitter match the aesthetic of his newly designed TARDIS. Not only that, his aesthetic screamed the sense of style that Matt Smith brings to the table during his tenure as the 11th Doctor.

In terms of functions, it is also perhaps its Sonic Screwdriver that is the most versatile. When in use, this sonic screwdriver appears to be voice-activated and even knows precisely what it’s going to be used for when pointed somewhere. Additionally, this sonic screwdriver can unlock doors, perform medical scans, and other kinds of programmable tasks, as long as it’s not done on wood.

2 4th doctor

While the 2nd and 3rd Doctors would have their own sonic screwdrivers, perhaps this is the 4th doctor that would dictate the look of most other sonic screwdrivers for years to come. Characterized by a steel tube, a circular handle and a black bolt as a transmitter, this “simple with a single point” design would be used by generations of doctors to come.

Feature-wise, this was when the series began experimenting with the Sonic’s abilities. This time around, the 4th Doctor’s screwdriver doesn’t just use sound to manipulate screws. On the contrary, it can also interface with computers and even come in handy for repairing various objects. This Sonic was a great avenue to showcase more bizarre special effects at the height of color TV, and a brilliant way to dictate the conventional design of the Sonic Screwdriver.

1 2nd doctor

Simple and quite literal to a default is the 2nd doctor and his adventures that revealed the Sonic Screwdriver. And it was his travels that made the Sonic Screwdriver the iconic gadget it is today. Appearing thin enough to be mistaken for a monitor with a special tip, this sonic screwdriver literally uses sound waves to screw in as well as open locks, doors, hatches and panels.

Although it doesn’t have many of the neat features of its successors, the 2nd Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver is still a design highlight. The penlight aesthetic and sound wave aesthetic was a big step forward in the creativity of 1968’s sci-fi, and it’s an artistic decision that continues to evolve through iterations of the Doctor.

Doctor Who will air Jodie Whittaker’s final outing as the Thirteenth Doctor with her third 2022 special in October 2022. After that, Russell T. Davies will wield the sonic screwdriver and pilot the TARDIS as the Fourteenth Doctor in the upcoming 14th season.

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