Benefits of getting a cordless screwdriver
- They are lightweight and compact in size for easy transportation and maneuvering, and to fit in small spaces.
- With the best lithium-ion cordless screwdrivers which can operate for several hours, you do not have to keep tugging at a power cable or be limited to working in only places where you can plug the tool to a power outlet. Most models come with at least two batteries for continuous operation.
- They are inexpensive yet powerful enough to drill and drive bits through plastic, wood, and medium-gauge metal.
- Models such as the DEWALT DCF680N2 have the gyroscopic capability that allows you to use the screwdriver in the traditional position or switch to a pistol grip in awkward places. They also feature built-in illuminating lights.
Features to consider when choosing a cordless screwdriver
Whether you are looking for the SKIL SD561201 which is one of the best cordless screwdrivers for electricians for professional jobs, or the most portable and lightweight model, such as the Pink Power PP182 for women for light-duty home maintenance tasks, the following features will help you to choose the right model that will best serve your needs.
Before you choose the best cordless power screwdriver, you need to establish the voltage, the rate of rotations per minute (RPM), and the amount of torque generated by the motor. All these factors will influence the level of power so you can be sure that the tool is equipped for your intended tasks. Heavy-duty work such as aluminum and other metal may require high voltage motor, lower speed and more force to drill or drive screws into the material whereas delicate wood will need less force to avoid damaging the workpiece.
The Bosch PS21-2A which has low and high speed of 350 RPM and 1,300 RPM would suit a wide variety of maintenance jobs whereas the Makita XSF03Z with 4,000 RPM rating is ideal for more complex projects such as fixing decks, subfloors, backer boards, sheetrock, and metal frames. High speed of at least 2,000 RPM would also ensure faster completion of the tasks.
Knowing the size of the chuck where you attach the bits, which could either be ¼ or 3/8 inches, will help you to choose the right drill bits that are compatible with your screwdriver. For instance, the Bosch PS21-2A has a ¼-inch chuck, which is only compatible with hex-head bits. You will need an adapter to use standard drill bits with this model.
On the other hand, the BLACK+DECKER LD120VA and the Pink Power PP182, which both feature 3/8-inch chucks make the best cordless screwdrivers for the money because they are more versatile and compatible with a wider range of screws, drivers and drill bits. The latter’s chuck is also keyless and easier to switch bits.
For the best cordless screwdriver drills, consider a model with multiple clutch settings that allow you to change the amount of torque to regulate screw depth and avoid over-stripping heads, and a switch to change the direction of the spin to forward or reverse position to screw or unscrew bits fast. These settings will also offer you more control and precision to avoid fatigue and damage.
Models with several clutch settings include the BLACK+DECKER LD120VA with 24 clutch positions and the Bosch PS21-2A pocket driver, which has 20 clutch settings, including drill mode.
Charge time and runtime
Since cordless screwdriver drills are powered by batteries, knowing the time it takes to fully charge the battery and the runtime you can expect on a single charge will help you to identify the right model that can operate for a substantial duration to complete the task.
Charge time typically varies from 30 minutes to one hour although USB charging may take a bit longer.
The runtime will depend on the type, number, and voltage of the batteries and the torque and speed in use. The best lithium-ion cordless screwdriver models such as the Makita XSF03Z that is powered by 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries can operate for several hours. You can also extend runtime by investing in a power tool like the Bosch PS21-2A which comes with two 12V Max Lithium-ion batteries that you can swap to continue operation and a rapid AC charger that fully powers the battery in 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can opt for Makita XSF03Z’s brushless motor that automatically adjusts the speed and torque to the task to save energy, avoid overheating and increase runtime by up to 50%.
Weight is a key feature to keep in mind when shopping for the best cheap cordless screwdriver, especially if you will be performing various maintenance tasks frequently. Wielding a heavy tool for several hours where you may have to work on overhead fixtures and confined spaces will quickly tire you out. A heavy screwdriver would also be awkward to maneuver and may reduce accuracy and cause wrist strains or damage to the material.
Fortunately, all the products we have recommended as the best small cordless screwdrivers are light in weight, compact in size, and easy to control. The BLACK+DECKER LD120VA is the heaviest on our list at only four pounds while the lightest is DEWALT DCF680N2 at a negligible 1.1 pound.
The majority of cordless screwdrivers come with a minimum warranty of one year, as is the case with the Pink Power PP182 and the Bosch PS21-2A, although the latter also offers two years of free battery replacement, a year of free tool replacement and free repairs for the second and third year.
The Makita XSF03Z and the DEWALT DCF680N2 come with a three-year limited warranty while the SKIL SD561201 boasts of the longest warranty in our list – five years.
Accessories: Although the BLACK+DECKER LD120VA is one of the best cheap cordless screwdrivers, it is packaged with more than 30 accessories that include one BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt max Lithium-ion battery, one LCS20 charger, six brad point drill bits, ten 1-inch bits, nine 2-inch bits, four nut drivers, and one magnetic bit tip holder.
Batteries: Confirm whether the charger and batteries are included with the screwdriver since you may have to buy them separately. You will also need to check whether the battery is removable or integrated like in the SKIL SD561201. Lithium-ion batteries are preferable because they charge fast and last long.
Chargers included: As mentioned above, it is important to check if the charger is included so you can acquire it separately, if need be.
Carrying case: The Bosch PS21-2A, the Pink Power PP182, and the DEWALT DCF680N2 are among the best cordless screwdrivers for electricians because they come with a storage case for convenient transport and storage of the power tool and the bits.
Design: Since your may have to work in awkward positions, features such as spindle locks and adjustable handles that can provide a traditional and pistol grip, an easy trigger switch to alternate between forward and reverse directions, controls that are easy to access, and a compact design that fits in small spaces will make the drilling and driving process more convenient and effortless.
Grip: The best cordless screwdriver drills such as the Pink Power PP182 and the BLACK+DECKER LD120VA feature soft-grip handles that are comfortable and easier to maneuver the power tool. This prevents blisters, wrist strain, and fatigue.
Light: All the models we have recommended come with built-in LED lights at the front that illuminate the working area for clear visibility. This is particularly handy when you have to switch off power to fix electrical fixtures.