Many times, we have to insert or remove screws from devices and things, especially if you like to build or repair things by you. This insertion and removal are not easy given that screws may be tight and some of them could have even rusted over time. Instead of putting a ton of effort with your bare hands, you can make use of devices like the electric screwdrivers to get this job done for you.
Electric screwdrivers are power tools that make it easy to insert and remove screws of any size from virtually anywhere. Many of them come with a rechargeable battery too, so there is no need to use messy cables as you take them around anywhere you want. This feature gives a lot of flexibility for use and you can use it even at the hard-to-reach places.
Most screwdrivers come with the following:
- A rechargeable battery
- Electric cables for plugging in when needed
- An electric motor
- USB cables for charging
- A switch
- A chuck to hold the screwdriver
- An on-board storage for holding the bits
Now that we have a fair understanding of what electric screwdrivers are and what it expect from the package, let’s take a brief look at some of the features you should consider while buying. This is important given the many makes and models available in the market today and in fact, may help you to navigate through this crowded and make an informed decision that would best match your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Choose an Electric Screwdriver
- 2 Top 10 Best Electric Screwdriver 2020
- 2.1 1. WORX WX255L – Semi-automatic screwdriver
- 2.2 2. DEWALT DCF682N1 MAX Cordless Screwdriver
- 2.3 3. Milwaukee 2401-20 M12 ¼ Inch Hex Driver
- 2.4 4. Black and Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill
- 2.5 5. SKIL SD561204 4V Rechargeable Cordless Screwdriver
- 2.6 6. Dremel GO: 01 4V Max Cordless Screwdriver
- 2.7 7. Metabo HPT DB3DL2
- 2.8 8. Bosch GO: 3.6V Smart Cordless Screwdriver Set
- 2.9 9. TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver
- 2.10 10. WORKPRO 20V Brushless Cordless Screwdriver
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 FAQS
- 4.1 Do you need a clutch in an electric screwdriver
- 4.2 Should you look at the ergonomic features while buying an electric screwdriver
- 4.3 Do I have to consider warranty and customer support
- 4.4 Is it safe to use an electric screwdriver
- 4.5 What kind of battery should I choose
- 4.6 Do you need a corded or cordless electric screwdriver
How to Choose an Electric Screwdriver
Let’s take a look at some of the aspects that go into choosing an electric screwdriver.
Frequency of Use
There are many types of electric screwdrivers and the best way to decide one over the other is the frequency of your use. If you think you’ll use it occasionally, say a couple of times a year, an entry-level electric screwdriver should do the job for you. You’ll have to pick one that is compact and easy to use and is fairly basic, given your minimal use.
On the other hand, if you use it regularly, say at least once a week to fix something or to work on your favorite woodworking project, opt for a well-known brand that comes with high voltage and good Ah ratings. Ideally, go for an electric screwdriver that has a tightening torque of roughly around 5Nm and an Ah value 0f 1.5.
Type of bit
There are many kinds of bits used by an electric screwdriver and some of the popular ones include Torx, plat ou fendu, cruciform, pozhidriv, and more. As you may have guessed, each bit is used for a different screw and a different purpose.
Make a list of the tasks you’re likely to use your electric screwdriver for and determine the type of bits that are required for each. Accordingly, decide the bits you want and the electric screwdriver that comes with it. Sometimes, you may have to buy specific bits if you want it for exclusive jobs.
Quality of bit
More than the type, the quality of the bit has a bugger bearing on your decision. Generally speaking, the quality depends on the material used to make it. For example, bits made of chromium are moderate in quality and are also reasonably priced. But bits made of titanium and diamond are steeped in both quality and price and can give you the perfect results you want. For example, diamond bits have the best grip, so if that’s important, go for diamond bits.
Here too, it makes sense to list down the common and frequent things you plan to use your electric screwdriver for, so you can decide the quality of the bit that you should buy.
Moving on to a technical consideration, torque is the tightening force and in general, electric screwdrivers with higher torques have a higher tightening force. It is often expressed in a value called Newton meters, or Nm for short, and most electric screwdrivers have a torque of 3 to 5Nm.
But if you’re looking for higher torque values, some models give you even about 20Nm. The advantage with higher torque is that it requires lesser effort from your end to screw or unscrew even into the hardest of surfaces. Many times, you should be able to adjust the torque between a certain range to suit the material you’re working on. You can adjust the torque within its range.
While cost is not the deciding factor, it is something that should be a part of your buying decision, given that electric screwdrivers range from $10 to $100 or more. While basing your decision on cost, check if the product you have selected is a good value for its price rather than simply looking at the cost alone. This will give you a better perspective.
Some electric screwdrivers come with extra features and if one or more of these matter to you, opt for those models that offer them. The possible additional features are:
- LED lights come in handy, especially if you think you’ll be using your electric screwdrivers in dark places.
- A head that works well on tight screws
- Storage bag to hold your electric screwdriver and its many accessories
- A belt clip for holding it while you’re not using it.
Thus, these are some of the aspects you must keep in mind before buying an electric screwdriver. Next, we’ll see some of the popular models available in the market today, so you can pick the one that best fits your needs.
Top 10 Best Electric Screwdriver 2020
Here are the top 10 best electric screwdrivers that can give the performance you want.
This semi-automatic electric screwdriver is handy and is most ideal if you want to use it in small and hard-to-reach places as its overall size is small and compact enough to fit in anywhere. The other advantage with this tool is that it allows you to work with just one hand, so you can reach farther ahead if you have to with the other. An impressive screw holder is another salient aspect of this tool.
Overall, this is a nifty device that can help when you want to get some quick work done in remote areas and comes with a convenient re-loadable cartridge and screw holder. But it may not be ideal for all situations.
- Fits well even in tight spaces
- Holds the screws in place
- It gives the flexibility to use just a single hand for operating it.
- The bit cartridge is re-loadable
- Has only a single speed and hence, may not be convenient for all jobs
- Not ideal for all situations
DEWALT is a brand that we have come to associate with good quality and this electric screwdriver is no different. This is a lightweight device that can be carried around easily and is ideal for different types of work. It also comes with a LED to light up the dark places. The added advantage is that it comes with a status bar to monitor the status of your lithium-ion battery while the flashlight is used to light up the dark places.
Overall, this is an electric screwdriver that is handy and comes with many advanced features, though it is not the most ideal choice for all situations.
- Charges within just one hour
- Comes with LED light
- Has a battery display status to track the lithium-ion battery status
- A lot less versatile as it works as a single line screwdriver.
Milwaukee is another name well-known for its top screwdrivers and this is no different either. It is highly compact and durable, and these make it super easy to hold.
The advantage with this electric screwdriver is that it comes with two belt positions that make it easy to carry when you’re not working with it, thereby making it a great choice for a professional plumber or electrician. It is also well-known for the speed that can reach up to 500RPM, thereby making it one of the best choices for those who want speed.
Overall, this is a compact electric screwdriver from a durable brand and one of the best in terms of speed.
- High speed
- Comes with two belt clips
- Highly compact and durable
- Not ideal for heavy jobs
This electric screwdriver from Black and Decker is a heavy-duty one both in terms of its speed and weight. Though it is mostly used for small jobs because of its size, it can still scale up well for tougher jobs thanks to its speed and an 11-position clutch that gives you a ton of versatility. It also works great on many types of materials.
Overall, this is a highly versatile tool as it can work on many materials and its 11-point clutch is an added advantage.
- It can reach speeds of 650RPM
- Has an 11-position clutch
- Long battery life
- Works well on many types of materials
- Not the best choice for tougher tasks, though it can handle some of them.
This model is slightly different from the ones we saw before as it is heavier and bigger than the average electric screwdriver available in the market today. The other advantage is that it comes a complete set with a 45-piece collection of screw bits and this gives a ton of versatility and flexibility to the user. Lastly, it comes with a top-notch charger that connects well to a USB device and this also explains its excellent battery life.
In all, this device is big and offers a lot of flexibility to users, but it doesn’t have the same speed as some of the other smaller models.
- USB charging
- 45-piece kit
- LED lights
- Good battery life
- Speed is slow
This is a somewhat different model from Dremel and is designed specifically to fit into places that are hard to reach and this explains why this is the best model for driving in screws in small and compact items. Further, it is one of the smallest screwdrivers available today and this also adds to its uniqueness. But let the size not fool you as this screwdriver is as good as any of its bigger counterparts. It even comes with some advanced features such as a status bar that indicates the level of charge and a USB charging cable.
In all, this electric screwdriver is the best choice for home use as it is handy and convenient but won’t give you the flexibility for a tradesman.
- Small size
- USB charger
- The status bar that shows charge level
- Comes with 7 common bits
- Good only for home use
- Lacks flexibility and versatility
This electric screwdriver is the same as Hitachi DB3DL2, except that it is no longer Hitachi but Metabo as the company has changed its name. But there isn’t much change in the tool’s functionality or build and this is what makes it such a popular one even today.
It’s compact and lightweight design makes it ideal for cramped spaces and at the same time, it has the power and speed to handle all kinds of jobs. It also comes with 21 clutch settings for added versatility.
Overall, this is a compact and lightweight made of highly durable materials, so it is ideal for working in tight spaces. At the same time, it comes with 21 clutches to give you a good measure of flexibility.
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with 21 clutch settings
- Led light
- Highly durable
- Has only two speeds
- Not the best choice for big jobs
This electric screwdriver is well-known for its top quality and durability. It comes with 33 bits and this makes it ideal for both home users and professionals. A unique aspect is that it comes with an “Intelligent E-clutch” to prevent over-torqueing and it immediately stops when you release the trigger. It comes with a USB charger, but that’s the only way to power this tool, and this can be a bit of a hassle to find a USB device.
Overall, this is a convenient model that is sure to last for a long time. But the lack of charging options and additional features like LED lights that have come to be taken for granted make this model less desirable when compared too many others in the market today.
- Automatic E-clutch
- Comes with 33 bits
- Ideal for home and professional use
- Only USB charger
- No additional features like LED lights
This is a lightweight screwdriver that is easy to hold and makes it perfect for light jobs that you can do around your home. It comes with additional features such as LED lights, adjustable gear range, USB charging, and gearbox. It comes with a USB 2.0 charging cable which means it can be charged with a computer as well.
In all, this is durable and easy to use an electric screwdriver that comes with a host of convenient features like a gearbox design and LED light, but it may not be the best choice for heavy-duty work as it comes with no variable speed settings and the battery life is relatively short.
- Ideal for light to medium work
- USB charging
- Has an efficient gearbox design
- Comes with a LED light
- Battery life is short
- No variable speed settings
This WORKPRO electric screwdriver comes with an auto loading mechanism that’s ideal for jobs around your home. It comes with a spindle lock for manual use as well and two changeable cartridges that can take up six bits. But the speed is fairly the same with no variations.
This is another good choice for basic household work like assembling and installation. But it is not a great choice for heavy-duty jobs.
- Ideal for light use
- Comes with a forward/reverse switch
- It has two changeable cartridges that can take six bits.
- Short battery life
- No variability in speed.
To conclude, an electric screwdriver can make it easy for doing a variety of jobs and these tools come in handy for all kinds of works that deal with screws. While some tools are heavy-duty and ideal for professionals, many others are ideal for home use and light to medium work. Based on your nature and frequency of use, you can choose a screwdriver that best fits your needs.
Ideally, make a list of all the activities that you plan to do with it and find a screwdriver that works well for most, if not all of the work. The above choices address the different needs of people, so you can decide the ones that best suit your needs.
Do you need a clutch in an electric screwdriver
A clutch is something that gives you better control over the amount of torque used for the job. There are a few cordless screwdrivers that support up to 21 clutches to give you the highest versatility and some have an auto-stop feature where the power tool is shut down if the clutch is disengaged. This is often seen as a security feature that minimizes incidents.
That said, there are electric screwdrivers that don’t come with a clutch and it is still fine. The clutch just gives you more control and can come in handy for complicated jobs.
Should you look at the ergonomic features while buying an electric screwdriver
The ergonomic features are a bunch of nice-to-have features that can ease your work and reduce strain to your wrists and hands. These include LED lights for visibility in poorly lit areas and possibly even the clutch. On-board storage where the bits can be stored is also a convenient feature while clips that make it easy to attach the screwdriver to your belt free your hands to do other jobs.
Again, if you think you’ll be using this screwdriver extensively or if you’re a professional for whom a screwdriver is an essential part of everyday work, ergonomic features are something you should look at to take some pressure off your body. For all others, it is optional.
Do I have to consider warranty and customer support
Absolutely! Most manufacturers offer a 1-2 year warranty, so check this before buying. Also, when you choose from reputed manufacturers, you’re sure to get good customer support as well.
Is it safe to use an electric screwdriver
Yes, it is safe to use provided you follow certain basic precautions. Some of the important ones are:
- The screwdriver should firmly sit on the screw head before you start turning it.
- Press the rigger gently and smoothly
- Unplug screwdrivers from the power outlet while inserting or removing bits
- Opt for the highest torque setting while unscrewing.
What kind of battery should I choose
Broadly speaking, electric screwdrivers can have three types of batteries and they are:
- Nickel-cadmium batteries: These are the most durable batteries and work well when you want to use your screwdriver for heavy-duty tasks
- Lithium-ion batteries: These batteries are lightweight and charge quickly. Maintenance is easy as well, though it can be a little on the expensive side.
- Nickle-metal Hydride batteries: These are also lightweight batteries, but they are not always the best choice for electric screwdrivers as they can’t handle temperature fluctuations well, so, these batteries work only for light and occasional work.
In all, pick an electric screwdriver that comes with the appropriate batteries best suited for your work.
Do you need a corded or cordless electric screwdriver
Cordless screwdrivers are more preferred today because of their lightweight and portability. Advancements in the area of batteries have increased the usage time of cordless screwdrivers, thereby adding to their versatility. Though, corded screwdrivers are a tad cheaper than cordless ones, still the flexibility and mobility more than make up for the difference.