I’m sure you’ll agree that a cordless screwdriver should have a long lasting battery, be durably constructed, and ideally will offer variable speeds.
That was our top criteria for selecting the best cordless screwdriver.
If you want to get right to drilling Hitachi cordless screwdriver as our top pick for it’s variable speed, long lasting battery, and durability.
Cordless Screwdriver Buying Guide
What is a Cordless Screwdriver?
The basic screwdriver has been used for all kinds of household jobs for decades, from assembling shelving units and furniture to tightening door knobs. The invention of cordless screwdrivers took the function of a regular screwdriver and added power to it that did not have to be done manually, forever changing the way people did these household jobs. The energy and time that cordless screwdrivers save has made them one of the most popular tools to have in tool boxes.
The History of the Screwdriver
Screwdrivers have been around for centuries and can be traced all the way back to the late Middle Ages from evidence that has been studied, these popular, useful tools were developed in France or Germany back in the late 1400s. In both France and Germany they had their own name for them; France was the tournevis which means turnscrew, and in Germany it was called the Schraubendreher which means screwturner.
Because of the screws that were used to fasten jousting armor and helmets, the servants would use simply designed screwdrivers to assemble them. These screwdrivers had pear-shaped handles. Their popularity has grown over the years until it has reached the point where almost no home is without one in some form.
Cordless screwdrivers have taken this useful tool and made it even more valuable by eliminating the need for manual turning of the screwdriver. As everyone knows, using manual screwdrivers for a larger style job can be tiring and frustrating. Your wrist cramps, your hand cramps and it can take a LONG time to unassembled something or put it together, especially if there are a lot of screws involved.
There are many benefits to using a cordless screwdriver over a manual one. These different benefits are outlined below. It’s no wonder this tool has become such a sought after addition to any traditional tool box. In addition to being much easier on your hand and wrist, they save a lot of time, which enables the user to take care of planning and assembling rather than taking forever to manually unscrew or screw in the screws.
Portability – Cordless screwdrivers are extremely portable. They are typically compact, lightweight and can go absolutely anywhere you need to take care of a loose screw or put together something. Even if your project is somewhere there is no power, a cordless screwdriver is a way to get your jobs done without having to worry about long cumbersome cords or dealing with any power issues.
Flexibility – The flexibility of cordless screwdrivers is one of the things that make them so popular. You are not bound to a specific outlet, so you can use your cordless screwdriver anywhere you need to even away from all power. Another benefit that cordless screwdrivers offer users is the ability to take care of jobs and projects in extremely tight quarters. This makes using them much more efficient.
Compactness for Easy Transport – There’s nothing better than having a tool be compact enough so that you can toss it into your purse or bag easily and take it anywhere you want to go. You might even want to take care of some things at work with this efficient and easy to use tool.
Safety for Users and Others – Safety is a factor when working with tools regardless of whether they are powered by battery, electricity or manually. One of the benefits to using a cordless screwdriver is that there are no cords to worry about. It’s easy to pull things down onto your head or foot by getting tangled in a cord. Cords lying around can also pose a hazard to other workers or family members if they are moving from one room to the next and accidentally trip over it.
Versatility for Many Different Projects – The variety of jobs that a cordless screwdriver can be used for is vast. Whether it’s putting together an entertainment center or replacing all of the knobs on your cabinets and drawers, they make the job much easier than it was when it had to be done manually. Where a cordless screwdriver will really shine is on the larger projects that would be almost impossible with a manual version such as putting together a tool shed or building a deck. They are also used extensively by professionals including:
- Professional repair people
- Furniture makers
- Computer specialists
Efficiency for Jobs that Need to be Done Fast – One of the biggest pluses we’ve mentioned of a cordless screwdriver is the time it saves. Users who have them don’t have to worry about finding a power source before they can do what they need to do. The main thing that needs to be done is to ensure a full charge. Once that is done, users can take them anywhere and with a good battery, the charge will typically last all day.
How to Chose?
When you start shopping for a cordless screwdriver, there are a few things that you should look at and compare from one tool to another. These factors determine the type of jobs that can be done with each style or type of screwdriver.
Size – There are many different sizes of cordless screwdrivers. Some are tiny and fit right into your pocket. This size is meant for minor tasks such as tightening door knobs. Others are larger and can be used for more complicated tasks that might come up professionally or for household tasks or projects. Some people get a couple of different sizes to have on hand.
Grip – There are all kinds of grip styles available on cordless screwdrivers. You want to look for one that has a good grip on the handle that makes it easy to hold. A comfortable grip will avoid hand fatigue or strain. Grips that are made with a higher quality rubberized material will feel the most comfortable in your hand and they will last longer as well. Even rubberized handles can’t prevent a shock sometimes, so care when using them is always a must.
Voltage – There are different size voltages from one cordless screwdriver to another. What voltage you need depends largely on the types of jobs you want it for. When you’re working with wood, a small motor is preferable, typically about 3.8 volts or so. If you will be working with heavy-duty materials, get a more powerful variety that has at least 12 to 14.4 volts. It may sound like a lot for a screwdriver, but when you’ve got a lot of heavier jobs to take care of you will be glad for that extra voltage. It you will be using your cordless screwdriver daily, get one with at least 18 volts. This is the strongest motor you can get and it will stand up to daily use well.
Batteries – One of the most important things to look at when shopping for your cordless screwdriver is the battery life. Make sure you choose one that will match what you need it to do. If you’re just using the screwdriver randomly, once in awhile then battery life isn’t as crucial, but for daily use, finding a good long lasting battery will save you a lot of frustration and headaches.
Speed – The higher voltage screwdrivers are typically faster than the lower voltage so if you need to work efficiently and quickly, opt for a higher voltage variety. For more control over your screwdriver, you can choose a model that has a lower speed.
The following is a group of features that cordless screwdrivers can offer. Depending on what you want the tool for; you may want to make sure that the one you choose has some of these handy features.
Shape – Cordless screwdrivers come in three basic styles; straight, pistol and or it can be a combination of the two, which is the most useful style. Straight style cordless screwdrivers handle the most basic of jobs. The pistol style is great for awkward angles and hard to reach areas. When you have a screwdriver that works in both of those situations, you will find that it is a lot easier on you.
Variable speed – Just like with power drills, variable speed means that you will have more control over the speed of your screwdriver. You will have a lot of control with this style. Another benefit to this feature is that it helps the cordless screwdriver adapt to all of the different materials and screw types that you may be using.
Torque – The rotating force that a screwdriver has is called torque. It’s a popular term that is used in many different types of tools. Depending on the size of the screw, some will need more force than others to screw in or out and may require higher force. A lower level torque screwdriver will be great for the everyday tasks. When you’re doing assembly work such as putting together different items, you will want to get a higher torque screwdriver to make it much easier on you.
Spindle Lock – You can use the screwdriver in a manual mode when it has what is called a spindle lock. This locks the cordless screwdriver into a manual style straight position.
Reverse action – the ability to have reverse action on your cordless screwdriver is that it enables you to take screws out as simple and efficient as you put them in. It may not seem like a big deal, but screwdrivers that have this reverse action make things a lot easier.
Fast charge battery – If you’re looking for a fast charging, strong, long life battery, you will want to look for those screwdrivers that have lithium-ion batteries. These are durable and last a minimum of 3 times longer. There are some features a screwdriver has that enables it to fast charge in an hour or less. This is called a fast charge battery. If you use your screwdriver a lot you will benefit from that feature.
Integrated light – some models of cordless screwdrivers have lights and others don’t. An LED light helps illuminate the areas. The benefit to this is that the user can see what they doing. Having an LED work light on your camera will really make a difference if you’re working in an area that has less light or that is under a counter for example.
The Importance of Warranties and Guarantees
Whenever a company stands behind their products by offering a warranty and/or a guarantee, it gives the user much more confidence that what they are buying is a good product. It also gives them reassurance that if for some reason they don’t like the cordless screwdriver they have chosen, they can get their money back and try another one. There is a difference between a guarantee and a warranty:
Warranty – A warranty has to do with repairing your tool if it is defective or if it breaks for some reason. Most manufacturers offer warranties for a specified amount of time on their tools. Be sure to read the fine print of the warranty to see exactly what it entails.
Guarantee- A guarantee is purchase insurance basically and states that if you are not happy with the performance or look or anything else for that matter, you can get your purchase price back. Most companies do not pay for shipping so you will need to expect to pay this. Mist guarantees are 30 days but some companies offer 60 and 90 days as well.
Buying and Owning a Drill
- Buy lithium-ion batteries – they are the most expensive, but they are lighter, last longer and are stronger as well.
- Don’t let the charge run completely out – If you want to cause an early death to your lithium batteries, don’t charge them until they are completely dead. Shoot for charging it once it reaches 20% battery life left.
- Change the batteries frequently – this doesn’t hurt anything on the screwdriver and is actually encouraged.
- Charge at the right temperature – although many people don’t know this, there is a right temperature to charge your batteries. That prime temperature is between 40 degrees and 85 degrees. Extreme cold or heat can mess with the chemical makeup of the battery.
- Try to buy a cordless drill with two batteries- this is a good thing to do if you will be using your screwdriver a lot. While one battery is charging the other can be used so there is no delay in your projects or work. If the kit you’re buying doesn’t offer two batteries, strongly consider buying a second one.
The cordless screwdriver is an essential piece of equipment and can make your life a lot easier. Since it offers faster, safer and more accurate insertion of screws, the things you’re putting together are going to be much stronger. It also helps users to conserve their strength while they are working so they don’t become too fatigued. With the benefits of:
You will find that most of your every day jobs involving a screwdriver have just become a lot easier to handle and get done. If you are able to, before you purchase your cordless screwdriver, go to a home improvement store and pick a few up and see how they feel in your hands. Some people prefer the straight design and others prefer the pistol style. Seeing how the cordless screwdrivers feel when you are holding them is a very good idea to give yourself a chance to see which type you prefer.
If you don’t have the opportunity to hold them, watch demo videos and read reviews as much as you can. It won’t give you the hands-on feel that picking a few up will but you can see them in action and see what the reviewer has to say about the types of cordless screwdrivers you are interested in.
Once you have decided on the right cordless screwdriver for your needs, you can rest assured that you have the one that will be the best for the type of jobs that you want to do with it. It’s definitely a tool to make sure you have one or two of in your tool box.