Nomercadies, you want to be careful w/ those screwdriver-type starters. For soft woods like pine they are great, but for really hard woods, they are useless --- you HAVE to have a countersink set to clear out a lot of wood so you don't get splitting when the screw goes in.
+1. Screw starters and gimlets are intended to start a screw, but seating that screw is a whole different story. I prefer to use a combo countersink with a pilot drill. Or, first countersink and then use a pilot drill (as it will center itself at the bottom of the countersink). A pilot drill bit, either as part of a countersinker, or by itself should be sized properly.
The size of the pilot hole should be the diameter of the shank of the screw (not the threads). It is the measurement of the shank across from the base of the gullet on one side to the other side. In drilling for the depth, my suggestion is to keep the pilot hole just short of the length of the screw, so when the screw gets seated the point and a few threads have solid wood to seat in.
Another method for starting screws, and this has a lot to do with the positioning of the screw hole, is just to use a very sharp scratch awl to poke the point to start a screw. I've used Vix bits and spring loaded punches to start/center screw holes, and unless they are perfectly perpendicular to the surface, the punch hole will be slightly off.
So, what does this do? It makes seating screws off center...even slightly, which when seating will not center in the hole, and likely either move the object piece, or cause the head to be skewed. So, for a starting point, I use a scratch awl, because I can see the point and hold the awl straight, and give it a tap. That hole could be a perpendicular strike, but not necessarily. As long as the pilot hole is drilled straight the screw will go in straight.
For procedures like butt hinges, and piano hinges with several screws to be installed that need to be positioned accurately, this method works well. It's a matter of getting a starting point in the center of the hole area. Ultimately, if using a pilot/countersink, using a screw starter would only be of help if driving the screw by hand in hardwood. Ordinarily the countersink guides the screw fairly well.