Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 20, 2021
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A cordless screwdriver is a portable and convenient tool that is so handy to have in your gearbox. In this article, we’ve selected those that come with varied torque settings for greater control and decent speed that ensures you complete the task on time.
To help you identify the best cordless screwdriver for your needs, we researched several products and narrowed down to six of the top-rated models that provide great value for money. We labeled the Bosch PS21-2A as our Editor’s Choice because it boasts of more than 20 clutch settings, a 30-minute charger and a speed of 350 RPM and 1,300 RPM on low and high settings respectively, making it the best cordless screwdriver with impressive power, portable size, and competitive price tag. We considered several key features in coming up with our recommendations.
First, we reviewed the power of the tool based on battery life, and adjustable speed and torque to suit a variety of tasks. Secondly, we assessed the chuck size, which could either be a ¼-inch, ¾ inches, or the more convenient keyless version. We also evaluated the number of clutch settings that allow you to choose your preferred torque. Our review consists of a comparison table with ranking and nominations of our recommended models, in-depth reviews of each product, and a comprehensive buying guide with the most important features to consider before choosing the best cordless screwdriver. It also includes an FAQ section and an overview of our top three picks.
Bosch is a reputable German engineering company that has been in existence for more than a decade, making household appliances and technological products for the computer and building industries.
The company has incorporated the same advanced technology in the Bosch PS21 2A 12V pocket driver which features one of the shortest head lengths of 5.6 inches to offer more control and balance as well as to fit in small and confined spaces. It also has an integrated LED light and an impressive power-to-size ratio with weight of 1.8 pounds, maximum torque output of 265-inch pound, and 350 to 1,300 RPM on low and high speed settings respectively, providing one of the best cordless power screwdrivers for heavy-duty work such as drilling through 22-gauge metal. Twenty clutch settings, including drill mode, and a trigger to adjust the speed to either of the two settings allow you to regulate the amount of torque and the level of speed to your preference while a trigger switch makes it easier to move the screwdriver forwards or in reverse to change screws.
The cordless screwdriver drill comes in a package that includes two 12V Max lithium-ion batteries, a rapid AC charger that powers the battery fully in half an hour, and a storage case for convenient portability.
The icing on the cake for owners of this Lithium-ion cordless screwdriver is the two years of free battery replacement, a year of free tool replacement, and free repairs for the second and third year.
You have to buy an adapter for standard drill bits since this model is only compatible with hex-head bits.
Our Upgrade Pick is the priciest on our list, but also the most powerful cordless screwdriver for electricians and professional tradesmen who regularly perform drywall and framing tasks. The Makita XSF03Z features a motor that runs at a speed of up to 4,000 RPM. Since the electronically-controlled motor is brushless, it automatically adjusts the speed and torque to match the task at hand. This makes it energy-efficient and capable of extending the runtime by up to 50% on a single charge. It also prevents the motor from heating up, which can cause deterioration and reduced lifespan.
Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) makes this model resistant to water and dust since it is designed to fix decks, subfloors, backer boards, sheetrock, and metal frames where rusting is rampant.
Other features that appeal to buyers include push drive technology that allows you to pause when working by activating lock-on mode, and resume operation by engaging the fastener, the built-in LED light, and the 3-gauge battery level indicator. Owners also like the adjustable nose piece that allows them to regulate how deep they sink the screws.
The Makita XSF03Z is powered by 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries. The cordless power screwdriver is available with two insert bits and a 3-inch magnetic holder for the bits. Unfortunately, you have to buy the batteries and charger separately.
The Pink Power PP182 is the best 18V cordless power screwdriver designed to make home improvements and DIY projects more convenient for women, with a cute pink and black design to match. The tool kit includes a battery charger, two NiCad 18V batteries, and a tool case to store and carry the compact power drill driver.
With a weight of only 3.5 pounds and a comfortable soft-grip handle, you can drill for hours without straining your wrist or experiencing fatigue.
The cordless screwdriver also features built-in LED light that is activated once you trigger the tool, a bubble level that enhances precision and a magnetic base where you can store drill bits and screws as you work.
The keyless chuck size of 3/8 inches accommodates a wide variety of bits that are easy to switch. For greater accuracy and customization of torque to your specific task, you can adjust the clutch to 16 different positions.
This model is among the best cordless screwdrivers you can get for the money, boasting of two speed settings and a powerful motor with up to 550 RPM. Unfortunately, although the two NiCad batteries with 18V provide sufficient power for most normal tasks, they run out of power faster than Lithium-ion batteries, so you may find yourself needing to recharge regularly on long projects.
The DEWALT DCF680N2 Gyroscopic Screwdriver is rated as one of the best small cordless screwdrivers for light and medium work such as fastening into plastic, wood, and thin metal. Buyers are impressed by its compact design, light weight of 1.1 pounds, varied clutch settings, and the adjustable handle with straight in-line position for extended grip and a second position for pistol-grip configuration.
This model uses motion activation to control speed and direction. The motor will turn in the direction you twist your wrist and increase the speed depending on amount of twisting. Twisting your wrist to the left or right will move the tool forward or in reverse while twisting further will increase the speed to up to 430 RPM.
The screwdriver comes with two 8V batteries that extend the runtime, a one-hour charger, a battery indicator, and a kit bag. It also features a 15-position clutch with a ¼-inch hex that is compatible with 1-inch drill bit tips, speed switch control, and two LED headlights that form a bright light ring for illumination.
The gyroscopic feature is complicated to use in tight spaces, and the low torque makes this model unsuitable for heavy-duty work.
The SKIL SD561201is equipped with patented circuit sensor technology that checks for live current in power cords and fixtures and electrical outlets and switches that are within a distance of one inch. When you hold this screwdriver in close proximity to an outlet or cable with live current, it will flash on a red light and trigger a sound alert.
The cordless model weighs only 7.8 ounces, and is powered by a built-in 4V Lithium-ion battery that is charged with the included micro USB charging cable, making it the best portable and inexpensive cordless screwdriver for electricians.
You can set the tool to turn forwards or in reverse direction by twisting the collar, and switch to manual use with the automatic spindle lock at the center. This is a convenient feature which allows you to use this model as a traditional screwdriver in case the battery dies halfway through the drilling. The dual LED lights will illuminate your working area for easy visibility in confined spaces and dim environments.
The built-in battery may be inconvenient for some owners who prefer removable batteries that they can swap without taking a break from the project. It also has low speed of 230 RPM and only left and right control positions.
When you buy BLACK+DECKER LD120VA, you will also receive one Black and Decker 20-Volt max Lithium-ion battery that holds charge for up to 18 months, one LCS20 charger, and 30 accessories comprising of six brad point drill bits, ten 1-inch screw-driving bits, nine 2-inch screw-driving bits, four nut drivers, and one magnetic bit tip holder, making this model the best cheap cordless screwdriver with speed of 750 RPM for regular home projects.
The tool comes in a vibrant orange color, a 3/8-inch chuck that allows you to quickly change a broad range of screws and drivers, and 24 clutch settings that allow you to adjust the amount of power according to the task to avoid overdriving or stripping screws.
The compact size fits in tight spaces and reduces fatigue along with the soft-grip handle.
Although the battery holds charge for what seems like eternity, with some buyers reportedly drilling approximately 500 crews on half charge, the absence of an additional battery means you have to recharge the battery once it is depleted to continue operation.
Owners who purchased this cordless model as a starter kit like the assortment of accessories and the overall performance during DIY projects.
One disadvantage of this screwdriver is that the drill gets hot but also cools down quickly.
What do we love it for?
24 clutch settings
Variable speed of up to 750 RPM
Long battery life
Soft grip handle
What were we disappointed with?
Only one battery
Drill gets hot
Things to Consider
The best cordless drill and screwdrivers are versatile tools that can handle various home improvements and DIY projects involving wood, plastic, metal, and electrical components. In this buying guide, we will look at the benefits of owning these tools and the most important features to consider for the most value out of your purchase.
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.
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.
The time it takes to charge a screwdriver battery will vary from one model to another depending on the voltage, with the majority of the products taking 30 minutes as is the case for the Bosch PS21-2A to one hour for the DEWALT DCF680N2 Gyroscopic Screwdriver. The SKIL SD561201 which is charged with a micro USB cable might take longer to fully charge the battery.
Wood requires lower torque and speed to avoid over-drilling and damaging the material or the screw head. An RPM of 500 would be suitable for most types of woodwork. The Pink Power PP182, which has 550 RPM would be the best cordless drill and screwdriver for women who want to fix furniture and other wooden fixtures.
All the models we have featured in our list of the best small cordless screwdrivers can be used for both driving and drilling. They also come with multiple drill bits to get you started right away.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Bosch PS21-2A, which is a lightweight but powerful tool with a maximum torque output of 265 inch pound which can be adjusted to 20 different settings, including drill mode, making the best cordless power screwdriver heavy-duty work.
Our Upgrade Pick is the Makita XSF03Z, which provides the best cordless screwdriver for electricians and large-scale projects that require a high speed of up to 4,000 RPM for fast completion. It is also resistant to water and dust and therefore convenient for outdoor work.
Our third pick is the Pink Power PP182 which is designed to make the menial home maintenance tasks more convenient and effortless for women. It is cute, lightweight. The magnetic base and storage case provide convenient storage for the broad range of drill bits and screws that are accommodated by the versatile 3/8-inch chuck.