Best Electric Screwdriver For 2018: What To Look For & Which To Buy

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Looking around for the best electric screwdriver for your tool chest? Perhaps you want the best cordless screwdriver, or maybe you want something that’s simply got a lot more torque than your arm does. Or maybe you need something that will get into an awkward angle, which your standard non-electric might have problems doing?

No matter why you’re looking, I’m here to help! I’m going to share how to pick the best electric screwdriver for your needs, and then we’ll discuss some of the top brands on the market today. By the end of this piece, you will be able to easily pick out exactly the make and model you want. I’ll even make some recommendations for you!

Multiple-Position: Best Electric Screwdriver: Hitachi DB3DL2 3.6 Volt Cordless Screwdriver Kit
Inline: Best Electric Screwdriver: DEWALT DCF682N1 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver
Gun-Style: Best Electric Screwdriver: Black & Decker BDCS50C 4V Roto-BIT Storage Screwdriver
Corded: Best Electric Screwdriver: Senco DS332-AC 3″ Corded 2500 RPM Auto-feed Screwdriver
Best Cheap Cordless Screwdriver: Tacklife SDP50DC Cordless Rechargeable Screwdriver

Other Good Choices:

Why Do You Need An Electric Screwdriver?

When confronted with a project, the majority of us pull out whatever tools are in our garage. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a mixed lot of hand tools and power tools, and for small tasks that’s just fine.

But what if your project is something big, like building a deck or a storage shed? Perhaps you’re constructing a new DIY greenhouse, and need to screw into something like a hard plastic. Are you really going to want to exert the pressure necessary to screw into harder materials on your own?

Enter the electric screwdriver. Here, we have a simple and logical solution for people who’re likely to do bigger tasks. Sure, it might not be needed to tighten the screw on your doorknob, but once you have one, it makes the process fast. Using one of the best power screwdriver models out there will ensure that everything gets secured tightly in place.

It’s also the best choice for people who may have hand injuries or arm strength issues. An electric screwdriver can turn a fidgety, slow-moving job into just a blip of your time.

People who’re limited on space may find these to be great, too. After all, a standard set of straight screwdrivers can take up quite a bit of space, especially if you’ve got them in a case. One electric screwdriver with its bit set is easy to store and you’ll have everything right at hand as you’re working.

All things considered, an electric screwdriver is a great thing to have in your tool chest, and will make your life easier!

What To Look For In An Electric Screwdriver

Using an electric screwdriver
An electric screwdriver in use. Source: the red rocket

Like any other piece of power equipment, there are different variations of electric screwdrivers. Here’s some information to help you narrow down aspects you may need.

Corded vs. Cordless

While it may seem that corded electric screwdrivers are going the way of the dodo, there are still reasons why they can be useful. Typically, corded models have a heavier motor, which can provide more torque and lasting power. Battery recharging is not a factor in these models, which also can be a plus. However, you’re tethered to an area where you can get a power cord, and that’s a significant problem for many.

By comparison, the far more common cordless electric screwdriver models are lightweight, easy to take into tight spaces, and can handle most jobs. They may have a smidge more difficulty with tougher materials, but if pilot holes are drilled, they’ll even handle those admirably.

Both options have their pros and cons, and it really depends on the area where you’ll be working as to which you choose. However, fewer and fewer corded models are available as battery technology continues to improve.

Positions

If you’ve ever been working in a tight corner and found that you’re having difficulty getting your screwdriver into the right angle for the job, you’re not alone. That’s why so many companies produce multiple-position screwdrivers now. The standard gun-shape or straight screwdrivers may not be as easy to manipulate into tough spots as some of the multiple-position ones are.

Motor & Power

Electric tools are often categorized by the job they can handle, rather than by the strength of their motor and longevity of their power supply. However, a strong motor is required to keep the tool functioning properly and to ensure it won’t overheat during your job.

If you’re purchasing a corded model, be sure it has a strong enough motor to handle your task. Similarly, with a battery-operated model, a higher-voltage model may require more charging time, but will give you a better overall outcome.

Speed & Torque

Torque is a measure of how much force your electric screwdriver exerts as it spins. If you’re trying to drill into reasonably soft wood, a lower torque is going to be alright. But if you’ll be working with any harder materials like aluminum or hard woods, you want a model with reasonable torque. That’ll enable you to get through your job easily.

Speed, in this instance, is literally how fast your screwdriver head spins. Meaured in rotations per minute (RPM), a higher rotation level will enable your screw to bite into heavier materials more readily. While a low RPM is alright for average household jobs, if you plan on doing larger work, consider a higher RPM rating.

Some electric screwdrivers allow you to set your level of torque or adjust your speed. Screwdrivers like these are able to handle a wider array of tasks.

Size & Securing Method of Chuck

Ranging anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4 inches in size depending on model, the chuck is the place where you attach your screwdriver bits. If you buy a kit, it’ll come with the right size bits for your driver, but if you purchase bits anywhere else, you need to know what size your chuck will handle.

In addition, there are both keyless and keyed chucks. Keyed chucks require you to use a key to tighten the chuck around the bit, keyless usually use a different method to secure the bit firmly in place. If you opt for a keyed chuck, be sure that you don’t lose that key, as replacements can sometimes be tricky.

Settings

Does the power driver you’re looking at come with a clutch to change the torque? How about a switch to change the direction of spin so you can remove screws as easily as you can drive them into place? Both of these can be really necessary if you’re going to be doing a large job like building a deck. While most power screwdrivers have a reverse switch at this point, clutches are not always available. Check before you purchase.

Comfort Features

There’s a number of features which can be useful to the operator. Things like LED lights and comfort grips can make a job a bit simpler. You might also be able to find an option for spindle-locking, which enables you to use your electric screwdriver exactly like a manual one.

Features like these are not essential to finish the task, but can be significantly useful. Consider the ease of use of your device before purchasing it!

Price

Of course, price is always a factor. It’s important to determine whether you’re going to get your money’s worth out of your screwdriver. There’s such a wide range of prices out there for these devices that it can be hard to tell whether it’s worth the extra money or not.

Don’t pick the most expensive and assume that it’s the best power screwdriver simply because it cost the most, because that’s not true in all situations. You’ll want to look at all aspects of your planned use first, because you might save a significant amount of money that way! I’ve chosen a selection that are in the low to mid price range which I feel are worth the money spent.

Electric Screwdriver Reviews

Best Electric Screwdriver – Multiple Position

Hitachi DB3DL2 3.6 Volt Lithium Ion Dual-Position Cordless Screwdriver Kit

Hitachi DB3DL2 Power Cordless Screwdriver Kit, 3.6V 1.5Ah Lithium Ion Battery - 2, Dual Position,...
  • Covered by Hitachi's Lifetime Lithium Ion tool warranty &...
  • Powered by a 1.5Ah Lithium Ion battery for fade free power,...
  • Dual position handle converts from straight to pistol grip...
  • Built-in LED light illuminates the work surface
  • 21 clutch settings + 1 drill setting for precision and...

When I first started looking into the electric screwdrivers on the market, this was not my anticipated result. Hitachi is a comparatively old brand in the electronics market, and I was skeptical of how good this kit was.

Quickly, I found that I was mistaken. With a lifetime tool warranty, Hitachi stands out from others. Add in 21 different clutch speeds that can handle everything from fine and delicate electronics to regular construction tasks, and you have the makings of a winner. Finally, the dual-position feature allows you to use it inline or with a pistol-grip, a LED light for dark spaces, and even a drill setting. And it’s priced well!

All in all, I consider this the best electric screwdriver in the multiple-position category, even though it doesn’t have a third position to lock into. It comes with a case, two batteries, and its charger.

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Best Electric Screwdriver – Single Position, Inline

DEWALT DCF682N1 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver

Sale
DEWALT DCF682N1 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver
  • Motion activation which allows for driving or reversing...
  • Motion activated variable speed of 0-430 rpm
  • Lighted illumination in confined areas. Battery State of...
  • 1/4 inches hex allows for quick screwdriver bit change and...
  • 8V MAX battery pack allows for longer run-time and charges...

This model of the DeWalt power screwdrivers line is an interesting one. Press the bit against the screw, and turn your hand slightly to activate its gyroscopic switch – right to screw something in, left to remove it. The further you turn your hand, the more speed it exerts.

While it takes some getting used to, the lack of a switch makes this a surprisingly user-friendly power screwdriver. It comes as no surprise to me that this is the best power screwdriver in the inline category, because it’s intuitive. There are no bells and whistles, but it’s definitely a keeper.

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Best Electric Screwdriver – Single Position, Gun-Style

Black & Decker BDCS50C 4V Roto-BIT Storage Screwdriver

Black & Decker BDCS50C 4V Roto-BIT Storage Screwdriver
  • 4V Lithium power holds a charge up to 18 months
  • Rotating bit cartridge stores bits and provides easy...
  • Includes 8 bits for a wide variety of tasks
  • On-board magnet holds extra screws
  • LED light to illuminate your work surface

Bit storage? Check. Reasonable torque? Check. Comfortable grip? Check. LED light? Check. Direction reversal? Check!

As you can see, this Black and Decker power screwdriver has all the basics. I consider it to be the best screw gun for DIYers. Although you might want to take a step up to a pro-grade model eventually if you’re working with hardwoods and don’t want to pre-drill, its price to value ratio can’t be beat. It’s easy to hold, easy to activate, and does the job.

Sure, this isn’t anything fancy. It could have a better range of clutch settings, or come with quick-change batteries. But most of the time, you won’t need that stuff just to get the job done. So I consider this the best cordless screwdriver in the gun-style range, and definitely think it’s worth the money spent.

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Best Electric Screwdriver – Corded

Senco DS332-AC 3″ Corded 2500 RPM Auto-feed Screwdriver

Senco DS332-AC 3" Corded 2500 RPM Auto-feed Screwdriver
  • 2,500 RPM high-torque motor and patent pending corner-fit...
  • Tool-free screw length adjustment and belt hook-right or...
  • Quick slide button bit change and variable speed trigger...
  • Patented sliding screw guide and precise depth-of-drive...
  • Comes complete with two drive bits, drywall and wood...

First off, in a purely tool-geeky way, I have to say that when fully loaded, this screwdriver looks like a crazy futuristic device, and I like that. I like that a lot.

But looks aren’t everything with the Senco DS332-AC. This high-torque, high-RPM screwdriver is made for professional-grade tasks, and comes with the power to match. It can handle nearly anything you need it to do.

It’s self-loading, which means that you do need to purchase collated screws for this device. Having said that, it saves you the time and trouble of positioning your screw properly. Just make sure the settings are adjusted to the screw size you’re using, put the tip against your intended point, and pull the trigger… it’s that simple.

For anyone doing major work, this is going to be your new best friend.

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Best Cheap Cordless Screwdriver

Tacklife SDP50DC Cordless Rechargeable Screwdriver

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Tacklife SDP50DC Cordless Rechargeable Screwdriver 3.6-Volt 2000mAh Li-ion MAX Torque 4N.m - LED,...
  • 30+1 FANTASTIC SET OF SCREW-BITS - Exclusive Tacklife driver...
  • FUNCTIONAL FEATURES - Rubber cap could be disassembled,...
  • USER-FRIENDLY AND DURABLE - Inline trigger grip provides...
  • COMPACT TO HANDLE - Handy for ideal carry and storage,...
  • PACKAGE CONTENTS - Tacklife SDP50DC Electric Screwdriver; An...

If you want something cheap that will do the job, this is my suggestion. While it is not the cheapest on my list, it comes with a 30-piece bit set, an extension bit holder in case you need to reach somewhere awkward, and its charging cable. Saving money on the bit set alone will make this cheap screw gun worthwhile.

In terms of features, it’s rather bare-bones, and is suited mostly to the DIYer or home use. For larger jobs, you might need a different model, as this charges via USB cable rather than having replaceable batteries. But for most standard home use, it’s pretty much perfect, and the value can’t be beat.

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Other Good Options

BLACK+DECKER LI2000 3.6-Volt 3-Position Rechargeable Screwdriver 

BLACK+DECKER Li2000 3.6-Volt 3 Position Rechargeable Screwdriver
  • Lithium Ion Battery holds a charge for up to 18 months
  • Three-position handle lets you work in tight spaces
  • Spindle lock allows manual screw driving and greater control
  • Forward and reverse switch for easy screw driving and screw...
  • Spindle lock allows manual screwdriving and greater control

For the price, this three-position device is phenomenal. The Black and Decker LI2000 combines those multiple positions with reasonable torque, a spindle-lock so it can be used manually, and forward/reverse directions.

While I wouldn’t necessarily consider this as my first choice for major construction, this is incredibly handy for the home renovator or DIY repairman. It easily can be used in uncomfortable and difficult areas, and works very well for its price point. Anyone who’s looking for a basic, no-frills electric screwdriver will find this one of use.

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DEWALT DW920K-2 1/4-Inch 7.2-Volt Cordless Two-Position Screwdriver Kit

DEWALT DW920K-2 1/4-Inch 7.2-Volt Cordless Two-Position Screwdriver Kit
  • The product is 7.2V CRDLS Screwdriver
  • Easy to use
  • The product is manufactured in China
  • 80 inch-pounds of maximum torque output provides superior...
  • Adjustable two-position handle allows for operation as both...

DeWalt makes extremely good tools overall, and it’s no different with the DeWalt DW920K 2. While slightly more expensive than the Hitachi, it provides extremely good torque capability and good speed. Weightier than its Hitachi competitor at 3.2 pounds, it still rests comfortably in the hand and is easy to work with.

It comes with only the basics – basic screwdriver bit, a pair of batteries and a charger, and its kit box. You’ll need to invest in more bits. However, that’s not necessarily a drawback, as the DeWalt DW920 also can take on slightly harder surfaces than others in this category. Really, it came down in the end to price for value, and the lifetime warranty on the Hitachi stole the top slot from this device. You can’t go wrong with this driver.

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Milwaukee 2401-20 M12 1/4″ Hex Screwdriver

This Milwaukee cordless screwdriver is a solid tool. Manufactured with an eye towards the industry professional, it has great torque and speed, and a good motor. It can be easily clipped on a belt, keeping it close at hand and making it easy to transport.

In fact, where my complaint comes in for this device is that it is cheapest as a bare-bones, no-battery and no-charger tool. The price is pretty high, and while the torque can be worth it for harder jobs, for most tasks it’d be overkill. If you are just doing simple DIY tasks around the house, you don’t need this cordless screw gun. It’s just going to be an added expense.

However, if you’ve got other Milwaukee M12 tools in your garage, and batteries right at hand, you’ll find this to be an excellent addition to your lineup. It’ll last you for years to come.

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DEWALT DW268 6.5 Amp Screwdriver

Sale
DEWALT DW268 6.5 Amp Screwdriver
  • The product is 6.5A HD VSR Screwdriver
  • Easy to use
  • The product is manufactured in China
  • Helical-cut steel, heat-treated steel gears for long life...
  • High power motor for metal fastening applications

I’ll be honest: unless you’re doing steel framing or other heavy-duty work, you really don’t need this DeWalt corded screw gun. But you might want it.

The 6.5 amp motor gives you more than enough power to be overkill for almost every standard home job. For deck construction, replacing flooring, or doing a lot of home construction work, it’s phenomenal. Built to last, it has adjustable torque and speed, and you’ll have an easy time with nearly anything.

But, as with other pro-grade tools, price comes into play. This is not a cheap device. Plus, it’s corded, which means you’ll be tethered to a power supply. And for most purposes, this is just too much tool for the average homeowner.

If you’re looking for a pro-grade tool for pro-grade tasks, I definitely can recommend this one. But if you’re just looking for something to do minor repairs, you don’t need this device, and there’s plenty of other models for you to choose.

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Whether you need a pro-grade tool or just something to fix your hinges, there is something out there for you. I hope you’ve found the perfect model on my list! What do you use a power screwdriver for, and have you ever had one which couldn’t handle what you needed it to? Tell your stories in the comments below.

Last update on 2018-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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2 thoughts on “Best Electric Screwdriver For 2018: What To Look For & Which To Buy

  1. Good review…thanks. I suspected the DW268 might be overkill for general and occasional woodworking and home repairs, but what are some more suitable corded drivers you recommend that aren’t specifically for drywall or decks?

    • Most people opt for corded screwdrivers for projects that require extended running time, like drywall or decks. It spares them from swapping batteries every 45-60 minutes.

      For home repairs or occasional woodworking, I prefer a cordless screwdriver like the Hitachi DB3DL2. But there’s nothing preventing you from picking one of the corded models if you’d prefer! It may be overkill, but you would spare yourself the need to recharge the batteries. And if you ever do build a deck or need to replace drywall, you’d be ready to go.

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