3-Electric-screwdriver
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Whether you’re a handyman, a professional carpenter, you work in construction, or simply like to DIY projects — you know how important having a good screwdriver is. Screwdrivers are one of the basic, essential tools that everyone should have in their home. You have probably figured out that using a manual screwdriver can be difficult and annoying, causing hand cramps and prolonging the amount of time you spend working on projects.

The electric screwdriver is an essential item for anyone that works with their hands often. These inexpensive and functional tools will make your work easy and effortless. They are ideal for any kind of project, both professional and around-the-home work. As a result of the newest technology and modern innovation, screwdrivers are now endowed with new and improved features. Some models can even double as a drill. Below, you’ll find a complete guide to help you choose the best electric screwdrivers on the market.

Key Facts

  • There are two basic ​designs of electric screwdrivers: straight and pistol. Most pistol designs can be transformed into a straight model, but it rarely goes the other way around. Pistol models, or those with moving parts, are much more comfortable and allow you to reach difficult places.
  • Modern electric screwdrivers have a multitude of functions. Most have drilling capabilities. These tools, unlike drills, have no force, so you won’t burn out the engine if you use them to drill.
  • One of the most important ​factor to consider regarding these tools, is engine power. This translates into “tightening torque”. If you’re looking for one of these screwdrivers to carry out professional jobs, you’ll have to look for one with very high torque. If on the other hand, you want one of these tools for DIY projects, a screwdriver with medium torque power will work just fine.

The best electric screwdrivers on the Canadian market

Next, we’ll walk you through the best electric screwdrivers you can find on the market. In this section, you’ll discover exactly which one is the the right model for you. With the information in this guide, you’ll be able to properly choose the type of tip you need and which specific functions to look for at the time of purchase.

WorkPro — 3.6V Lithium-Ion Cordless Screwdriver With Torch

This rechargeable screwdriver by WorkPro is the perfect at home tool. Great for fixing cabinets, hanging light fixtures, pictures and putting together furniture. It contains a lithium-ion battery for more power and longer run time. It’s charging time is approximately 3-5 hours and it includes a built-in LED work light and battery level indicator. The handle can be rotated 90-180 degrees, making it easy to use in tight spaces.

With selected torque gear functions, you can choose different torque forces according to the different screws available. Allowing for more secure fastening and higher accuracy when drilling. With the purchase of the screwdriver, you also receive 20 different 1-inch bits. Included is 4 Phillips heads, 4 slotted heads, and 4 pozi heads. The manufacturer suggests returning the screwdriver to the charger after every use to ensure a constantly, fully-charged tool.

Makita — DF001DW 3.6V Cordless Lithium Ion ¼

The lithium ion cordless screwdriver is the perfect screwdriver to take with you on the go. The built-in battery eliminates the need to constantly store, and carry batteries with you. Instead, it includes an AC charging adapter with a micro-USB connector. The built-in LED light has a manual on/off switch to illuminate your work area, allowing you to work into the night.

Makita goes above and beyond, including 81 different pieces within the screwdrivers accessory kit. The set includes a magnetic bit holder, 6 different sized nut-setters, 6 2-inch driver bits, and over 50 different 1-inch insert bits. The adjustable hinged handle enables an easy straight or pistol styled operation. Makita promises to deliver the power, performance and durability that professional users demand with products that are more compact, have less vibration and feel better.

Black & Decker — 71-792c Alkaline Drill/Drive

This all in one set includes an assortment of drilling and driving accessories: screwdriver, drill bits, and screwdriver Bits. This electric screwdriver from Black & Decker is meant to serve in variety of common household projects. It is an economical and powerful electric screwdriver with a maximum tightening torque of 5.5 N and a rotational speed of 180 rpm. A valid tool for any screwing task. It has a powerful 650V motor and right angle head that will allow you to reach the most difficult places.

It includes an LED light that offers visibility in difficult places and an angular head that allows you to adjust the turning positions. The handle is ergonomic and rubberised, which softens the grip and makes it insulating. This product has a lithium battery that is designed to maintain the charge up to 18 months without use, while also having a quick charge function.

Bosch — PS11-102 12-Volt Lithium-Ion – ⅜ Drill/Driver

This combo drill/driver screwdriver by Bosch has a 12V motor that provides 1,300 RPM as well as 115 in-lbs. max torque. It includes a variable-speed trigger for perfect speed regulation and a motor brake for precise serial screw driving. It weighs only 2.75 pounds and offers a soft grip handle for improved ergonomics and an extra secure grip.

The PS11 12V Max Right Angle Drill/Driver is the only tool in its class to include two LED lights that articulate with the chuck to effectively illuminate dark work spaces. It has a 3/8-inch auto lock chuck with simple bit replacements for a variety of applications, including anything from driving 3 inch screws, drilling a pilot hole, or using a ¾ inch spade bit.

TackLife — Cordless Screwdriver – 3.6v 2000 mAh Max Torque

The Tacklife, cordless screwdriver allows you to work flexibly in the tightest of spaces. It comes with 3 different handle positions and 6 different torque settings. It has an adjustable torque ring from 1 N.m to 4 N.m to prevent overpowering delicate fasteners. The spindle lock allows manual screw-driving, giving greater control when needed. This combo tool comes with 4 LED lights around the head of the screwdriver to help light up whatever it is that you are drilling in front of you.

A flashlight at the base helps to illuminate extra dark corners. It comes with a set of 31 pieces of different driver bits that can be applied to various furniture pieces, window coverings and other household fixtures. It comes with a USB charging cable, an easy to read users manual and a warranty card that is good for a whole 24 months. Tacklife prides themselves on providing the most secure, well-made, portable and exquisite products. This is absolutely an item that offers good value for the money.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about electric screwdrivers

In Canadians hardware stores there is a plethora of electric screwdrivers to choose from, so it’s good to know all their features before simply choosing the first model you see. It is important that you understand and familiarise yourself with each tool before you decide which one to buy. In this section we have answered all the most frequently asked questions by those looking to buy an electric drill. We hope this information will help you make the best possible choice.

interior design and home renovation concept - man in helmet with electric drill making hole in wall

Electric screwdrivers make household chores easier.
(Source: Dolgachov: 21945702/123rf.com)

What is an electric screwdriver?

  • A screwdriver is a tool used to tighten and loosen screws, alongside other removable parts, in a number of household fixtures. This tool is very easy to use, since it requires little gripping force. These screwdrivers are usually small tools and very easy to use.
  • The first screwdrivers appeared in Europe during Medieval Times. The tool’s original names in German and French were Schraubendreher (screwturner) and tournevis (turnscrew), respectively.
  • Electric screwdrivers today are equipped with a motor, usually inside the handle. The screwdriver tip is usually interchangeable. They almost always incorporate other accessories, such as spare batteries, lights, tips for nuts or extenders. These types of screwdrivers are more comfortable and help prevent wrist injuries.

How does an electric screwdriver work?

The motor, which is usually in the handle, rotates the bearings that transfer the force to the tip. Each model has a different “tightening torque”, depending on the engine and its power. The tightening torque is the force exerted onto the screw. Professional electric screwdrivers have very high torque power.

What type of screwdriver bits are there?

There are many types of screws. You’ll need a different tip depending on the type of slot in the screw — the most common tips are flat and star tips. You will always have to change the tip you’re working with depending on the screw. In the list below, we’ll walk through the most common tips available, and those that are often included within accessory kits.

Most common types of tips and screw grooves:

  • Slot
  • Phillips
  • Pozidriv
  • Square
  • Robertson
  • Hex, double hex
  • Hex socket, and security hex socket
  • Bristol
  • Torx and security torx
  • Polydrive
Electric cordless hand drill, isolated on white

Electric screwdrivers have both compact and comfortable designs.
(Source: Samsonov: 69523728/123rf.com)

What is the difference between an electric screwdriver and a drill?

Some models that have batteries and larger motors, are practically the same as drills. With batteries exceeding 18V, they are almost always used as drills as much as they are used as screwdrivers. These electric screwdriver models feature powerful motors and rugged batteries. Although they are called and classed as screwdrivers, they are no different from drills.

Despite having larger motors and batteries, electric screwdrivers are more compact models than drills. Even though they are both shaped like guns and contain moving parts. Screwdrivers are smaller and their batteries don’t last quite as long. Moreover, their motors, on average, have less tightening torque, so not all are always suitable for drilling. Nonetheless, they are more manoeuvrable than drills, as they weigh less and allow you to work in uncomfortable or difficult to reach places.

What safety measures should be followed to avoid an accident when using an electric screwdriver?

Electric screwdrivers are tools that have the potential to cause accidents if not used properly. You must be careful when using them to avoid any negative consequences. It is important to understand that using an electric screwdriver incorrectly can cause injury; after all, the tips are made of steel. In this section, we’ll explain in detail all the safety precautions you must take before using an electric screwdriver.

  • Don’t use the screwdriver as a leverage. This can cause the tip to snap and shoot out at you at high speeds.
  • The tips should always be in good condition. If a tip is damaged, do not use it, buy a replacement and dispose of it.
  • The tip must fit the head of the screw. If it does not fit precisely into the screw slot you can break the screw.
  • Insulation from electric currents. If you are going to work on machinery or in places with currents, it is best if the screwdriver has a rubber handle and is insulating.
  • Protective gear. Whenever you use an electric screwdriver, you should use the usual protective gear, such as safety glasses and protective gloves.
  • Don’t use the screwdriver as hammer. Especially if the tool has cracks in the handle or head, don’t use it.
  • If the screwdriver starts to overheat, sparks appear or smoke comes out, let it rest. If the problem persists, do not continue to use it, as it could cause a fire.

Purchase Criteria

In order to choose the best electric screwdriver, it is important to follow certain criteria that will help you decide the best tool to purchase. In this next section, we’ll walk through all the things you should consider before making a final decision. You can count on this set of criteria to give you an idea of appropriate pricing and quality.

Power

It is important to distinct that screwdrivers aren’t as powerful as drills. Although there are models with 18V motors, a screwdriver is not intended for power drilling. The most common circumstance is to have around 5V of power, which is more than enough power for any screwing task you may face.

The 18V models are ideal if you do decide you want to use them as drills. Choose one with percussion capabilities. With more power, you can screw and drill without ever needing to change tools. These high power tools are ideal for workshops and professional settings. If you’re not looking for extra features, choose a simple electric screwdriver.

Voltage

The voltage is an indicator of the actual power an electric screwdriver has. This value can vary from 9 to 36 volts. The ideal value for a screwdriver of this type is around 13 volts. In the end, everything will depend on your needs and what you plan on using the tool for.

A 9V electric screwdriver for example, doesn’t have low power, but is still a suitable tool to use for small jobs. Among the more professional models, it is usual to find a voltage of 18V. This is necessary for large projects. If you need to do heavy duty work, ideally you should be looking for models of 24V or more.

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Little side-by-side comparison between the new Wiha SpeedE and HYBRO HIT-K01 electric screwdriver. ● First, the price. Wiha SpeedE is $249 on Amazon. HYBRO is $35 on Amazon. I used Amazon for prices because that's where I found both screwdrivers are sold. You might be able to find the Wiha cheaper somewhere else. I paid $180 during a sale. ● Both screwdrivers have a LED light. Wiha has a advantage because the light will stay on for a moment after you release the switch in either direction. HYBRO light shuts off as soon as you release the button. ● Battery. Wiha has removable rechargeable batteries 3.7v 1500mAh. HYBRO uses a internal 3.6v 900mAh battery. So when the battery needs charging you have to set the screwdriver aside and charge it. HYBRO is a 1 hour charge. I've been using the HYBRO for a while now and it's still running off the first charge. So the battery life on the HYBRO is impressive. I can not comment about the Wiha battery life because I just received the tool yesterday. But the more mAh with the Wiha leads me to believe I'll get a lot of use from a battery before I need to swap it out. Wiha batteries charge fast as well. ● Watch the two videos of the two screwdrivers in action. The Wiha is operated by slightly twisting the front red piece. The HYBRO is operated by pressing a button. Personally I'm not a fan of the buttons on the HYBRO. I've accidentally pressed a button when gripping the handle for the final tightening of a screw. And the handle needs to be positioned in a way to see the buttons. With the Wiha you have no buttons in the way and you can grab it in any way without needing to position it to see the buttons. Overall I like the ergonomics of the Wiha handle better than the HYBRO. This is a long enough post. The Wiha SpeedE has way more features that I didn't even mention. As you would expect with the price difference. As someone who will be using the screwdriver day after day it was worth me buying it to see if it could benefit me. For $35 the HYBRO is not bad and I'm not putting it down. I'll take it home and use it around my shop/house. #wihatools #hybro #wiha #electricaltools

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Tightening torque

The tightening torque is a feature that allows you to regulate the power of the screwdriver. A greater or lesser turning power generates a greater or lesser torque. This is expressed in N or Nm. It is important that you take this figure into account when observing the specific characteristics of a screwdriver:

  • The greater the torque capacity, the more power the screwdriver generates when screwing and drilling.
  • The larger the dimensions of the screws you work with, the deeper you will be able to insert them into whatever material you’re.

The tightening torque of each screwdriver consists of different positions or levels which you can adjust to regulate the force of the screw. Depending on the force and power of each screwdriver, a tightening torque with more or less settings is required. Carefully research this feature and choose the model that best suits your needs.

RPM

RPMs are the rotations per minute that a machine has. In general terms, these are called “revolutions”. As the voltage in the motor increases, so do the rotations per minute. For most electric screwdrivers, these rotations start at 600 RPM per minute and end in 2000.

The RPM will always depend on the engine power. Electric screwdrivers often incorporate speed controls so you can adjust the speed in accordance to the material you’re working with. The best quality screwdrivers usually have about 1000 RPM. These are ideal for professionals and tend to be more expensive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebhHPBOjrxU

Speeds

The best do-it-yourself and professional screwdrivers have mechanical speeds or “gears” that control speed and power. For stronger materials or rusty parts, it is best to use the first setting, as it rotates with less speed but delivers more power.

The ability to adapt the speed is another very important feature to look for. We need to know if we can change the speed of the screwdriver according to the strength of the material. It’s crucial to be able to control the rotational speed according to your needs. Three speeds are common, although some models have up to six.

Battery

Electric screwdrivers tend to have a shorter battery life in comparison to other electrical tools. Once they die, you have to stop and replace it with other batteries, or wait until it recharges. Some models comes with an extra battery as an accessory, but this is not common. Some batteries have a quick charge functions, allowing you to fully charge the screwdriver in less than fifteen minutes.

Even though screwdriver batteries have a very low power consumption, you should still be clear about your usage needs. If you’re only going to work on DIY projects, with short lead times, you’ll be fine with almost any model. If you’re thinking of buying an electric screwdriver for professional use, you’ll need bigger batteries. For the latter cases, it is better to choose models with two batteries.

Summary

Buying an electric screwdriver is never a bad choice. With this tool, you can tackle anything form house repair tasks to all DIY projects, in less time and with less effort. In order to choose the most appropriate model, you simply have to take into account your needs, and the materials you’ll be working with.

However, if you intend to buy an electric screwdriver for professional or heavy construction purposes, you must take into account the more specific criteria that was detailed throughout this article. Materials, power, spare parts and safety are key; but so are battery life and finding the best value for your money. We must always take all factors into account before investing in any household devices, especially high-end tools.

If you liked this article, leave a comment with your thoughts or share with your friends and family to help them buy the best electric screwdriver on the market.

(Featured image source: Mironov: 23365637/123rf.com)

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