A cordless screwdriver is something no household should be without. They are versatile, inexpensive and easy to use, and you never know when you might find yourself in a situation that demands a screwdriver.
While any old electric screwdriver will get the job done in a pinch, that doesn’t mean you should just buy any old screwdriver. Obviously, not everyone needs to get the same mileage out of their screwdriver, and professionals will demand more from their tools than a housewife. But if your screwdriver isn’t very powerful, it may not be able to help you out when you need it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great models to choose from. We’ll take a look at some of the best cordless screwdrivers on the market, and consider how to separate the winners from the losers.
What You Should Know about Cordless Screwdrivers
Buying an electric screwdriver isn’t terribly complicated, but for someone who isn’t knowledgeable about power tools, it can be a daunting task nevertheless. But with a little research and a few helpful tips, you’ll be buying like a pro in no time.
1. Look for Name Brands
A name brand isn’t always a surefire sign you’ll get a great screwdriver. Even major companies sell mediocre products from time to time. However, looking for name brands is still a good place to start, especially if you’re inexperienced. Dewalt, Black+Decker and Makita are three of the biggest and best brands. If all else fails, try to choose from one of these.
2. Check the Voltage
Voltage is power, and you can never have too much of it. The higher the voltage, the easier and faster the screwdriver will work. High voltage can also help the screwdriver to pull screws that are tightly found. Most cordless screwdrivers worth their salt will have at least 3.5V. Don’t bother buying anything with less than that.
3. Battery Life
If you only ever use a screwdriver at home, battery life is largely inconsequential. Worst case scenario, you might have the inconvenience of charging your screwdriver more often than you’d like. But if you’re building a one-land bridge 40 miles from town, you’re going to want a screwdriver that can actually last a while.
If possible, always try to buy an extra battery with your screwdriver. This allows you to keep working while the other battery pack recharges.
4. Basic Design
Cordless electric screwdrivers come in two basic sizes: in-line and pistol grip. Of these two, pistol grip screwdrivers are by far the more common choice. However, their size and shape sometimes makes it difficult or impossible to reach certain angles. That said, if you’re just looking for a casual screwdriver for home use, pistol-grip is probably your best bet.
Why You Need a Cordless Screwdriver
I don’t want to belabor the point too much, so I’ll just say it: even if you don’t think you need a cordless screwdriver, you do. You simply never know when you might need to use one, and if you don’t have one on hand, then you’ll be out of luck.
You can get around this to some degree by simply having a standard screwdriver, but these don’t always get the job you need done. Having said that, a cordless screwdriver is not a substitution for owning a standard or Philips screwdriver, either. Some tasks are simply too delicate for power tools.
The following is a quick reference that helps you compare at a glance all of the screwdrivers on this list.
The Best Cordless Screwdrivers
While there are no shortage of excellent cordless screwdrivers to choose from, we believe the Hitachi DB3DL2 Power Cordless Screwdriver Kit is a little bit better than the rest. Its small and lightweight, making it easier to use for long periods of time, and it comes with a number of great features.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $25
BLACK+DECKER 4V MAX Cordless Screwdriver (BDCS20C)
The Pistol grip is by far the most common option when buying an electric screwdriver. Almost all budget models come in this style, and the Black+Decker BDCS20C Rechargeable Screwdriver is no exception. It doesn’t have a ton of power, so it’s not the best choice for professional use. But if you just need a reliable screwdriver around the house, this is one of the most affordable options around.
The BDCS20C is a simple 4-volt screwdriver. It runs at up to 180 RPM and provides 35 inch-pounds of torque. This is a pretty good screwdriver for taking care of things around the house, such as installing a curtain rod for your windows or removing a door to move furniture around. The screwdriver comes with a charger and two different bits.
There are some notable flaws, however. The most obvious is the lack of a charging light. Quite simply, you won’t know when the battery has gone out in your screwdriver until it stutters out on you. A charging light can’t cost much, so it’s a pity one was not included. All things considered, this is still a pretty good compact cordless screwdriver, ideal for household tasks, and its small size makes it easier to get a hard-to-reach screw.
Pink Power 3.6 Volt Cordless Electric Screwdriver
Pink Power prides themselves on making tools that help women feel empowered. True to their name, the tools are always pink and specially designed to accommodate the women who use them. Women tend to be smaller than men; this is true not only of their frames, but also their hands as well.
The Pink Power 3.6 Volt Electric Screwdriver Set is smaller than the average cordless screwdriver, making it perfectly suited for handy women performing tasks around the home.
Like the Black+Decker BDCS20C, this drill isn’t particularly powerful, making it better suited to household tasks rather than professional use. However, it does have a lot of handy features that make it quite versatile. The screwdriver comes with six different heads of varying sizes, featuring two each of standard, Phillips and hex bits. The screwdriver has a 3.6V battery with speeds up to 200 RPM.
Some of the other features of this screwdriver including a handle that can rotate 180 degrees, an LED light to help you see what you’re doing in dark spaces and a handy batter gauge so you can keep track of your battery charge at a glance. Pink Power backs the screwdriver with a one-year warranty. This screwdriver isn’t powerful enough for a professional worksite, but it’s more than enough for daily tasks.
VonHaus Cordless Electric Screwdriver 4.0V
If you’re looking for a complete electric screwdriver set, the VonHaus is one of the best choices available, especially for at this price. The VanHaus 3.6V Cordless Electric Screwdriver set includes 50 driver bits of all sizes and styles, and also includes a handy storage case to keep your screwdriver and bits secure when not in use.
One of the more impressive aspects of this screwdriver is its adjustable handle. The screwdriver can be set in three different positions, making it easier for you to use the driver even at awkward angles. It has a no-load speed of 210 RPM, 15+1 torque settings up to 44 inch-pounds, and a 1300mAh battery that charges in about three hours.
It also includes a large LED light that comes in handy when you’re working in the basement or some other dark area.
As you might expect from a screwdriver with limited speed and power, the VonHaus is designed with the homeowner in mind, and not the professional. Although it isn’t the most powerful screwdriver available, the flexibility of the handle and the large selection of bits make this an excellent choice for any homeowner who likes to do things themselves.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $30
Genesis GLSD72A 7.2V Lithium-Ion 2-Speed Screwdriver
Genesis isn’t one of the bigger names in power tools, and there are better products on the market than the Genesis GLSD72A. That said, this screwdriver offers substantially more power than other comparably-priced cordless screwdrivers. If you’re looking for power on a budget, Genesis is the way to go.
The GLSD72A is versatile, with enough power to function as either a drill or a screwdriver. It comes with four screwdriver bits (two Phillips, two standard) and four drill bits of various sizes. It can run at a speed or either 200 or 400 RPM, and offers 46 inch-pounds of torque.
In addition, the screwdriver has a long battery life, running for as much as five hours on a single charge. The screwdriver is backed by a two-year warranty, and is fairly durable, so it’s not going to break easily if you happen to drop it.
While this screwdriver is more capable than some other inexpensive models, it doesn’t really have enough torque for heavy-duty uses. That said, this is a good choice for DIYers looking to fix up their home. It packs a lot of punch for the price, and is probably the best option for a household looking for the best product on a budget.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $40
URCERI SND133 Electric Screwdriver
One of the first things I discovered when I started remodeling my home was that my cordless screwdriver didn’t come with nearly enough bits. It only had a standard and a Phillips head, and my bedroom door used Torx screws.
What makes the Urceri SND133 Electric Screwdriver such a great deal is that it includes a 30-piece set of driver bits. While you may need to buy more eventually, this gives you many of the most common bits you need and saves you frustrating trips to the hardware store to find the right size bit you need.
Compact and lightweight, the Urceri SND133 lacks the power of more expensive models, but is easier to use in confined spaces. It offers 6+1 torque gears, up to 53 inch-pounds of torque at the highest setting, and has adjustable RPM settings up to 200 RPM.
The screwdriver is fairly powerful, but its low RPM means its not particularly fast. And with a 3.6V battery, it only holds charge for about an hour. That means you’re likely going to want to have several of these on hand for any lengthy project. It uses a USB charger, allowing you to plug it in to any USB-powered charging station.
Ultimately, however, the low battery life of this screwdriver makes it undesirable for any kind of large-scale, lengthy project.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $50
Black+Decker LDX120C 20V MAX Lithium Ion Drill/Driver
The Black+Decker LDX120C is halfway in-between a household tool and a professional piece of equipment. It is considerably faster and more powerful than previously reviewed models, and features an 11-position clutch for a wide degree of control over the torque.
With 650 RPM and a maximum torque rating of 115 inch-pounds, the LDX120C is quite capable of handling anything you can throw at it at home.
Whether you need a screwdriver capable of removing fiercely embedded screws or a drill that can punch through wood and metal, the LDX120C will get you where you need to go. Variable speeds lets you work at the right pace without damaging the materials you’re working with.
The real question is whether this drill is suitable for professional use. This depends on a large degree on just how much torque you need from a drill. While it is quite capable of performing at a professional level, it is probably too weak for most professionals to use. Considering its price, however, the Black+Decker is an exceptional value.
Milwaukee 12 Volt Pistol Grip Cordless Screwdriver
While an electric screwdriver is always going to be larger than a manual screwdriver, there are some exceptionally compact cordless screwdrivers on the market. The Milwaukee 12V Pistol Grip Cordless Screwdriver may be small, but it is also surprisingly powerful. With 500 RPM and 150 inch-pounds of torque, this is an excellent tool for homeowners and professionals alike.
Measuring 8.6 x 8.4 inches and weighing just under two pounds, the Milwaukee pistol grip both comfortable and lightweight, making it a great all-purpose tool. It has plenty of torque, making it quite capable of tightening or loosening even tough screws, and its small size makes it quite handy for reaching difficult areas.
While this is quite a nice little screwdriver, there are a couple things to be aware of. This particular model doesn’t include any driver bolts, and it doesn’t come with a battery, either.
Both the batteries and the charger will have to be purchased separately, so you can expect to add $30-$40 to the total price for this drill. Having said that, this is still an exceptional product, with enough speed and power to perform any household task.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $100
Hitachi DB3DL2 Power Cordless Screwdriver Kit
The Hitachi DB3DL2 is one of the smallest cordless screwdrivers you’ll ever find. 10.5 inches long and just 14 ounces, this is not your typical power tool. Its small size makes it perfect for performing household tasks, as it is far less cumbersome and heavy than most models. And while women may appreciate its smaller size, it works just as effectively for men as well.
Although it has just a 3.6V battery, the Hitachi screwdriver is surprisingly fast, up to 780 RPM. It doesn’t have a lot of torque – just 44 inch-pounds – but that’s to be expected for such a small screwdriver. But this is strictly a household tool, and most people don’t have a need for all that extra torque anyway.
Despite its size, the Hitachi has a lot of precision, with 21 clutch settings and one drill setting as well. It has two speed settings, 260 RPM and 780 RPM, and switches quickly from forward to reverse. It comes with a little LED light, and runs for about 90 minutes on a single charge. The screwdriver comes with two 3.6V batteries, letting you continue your while the battery recharges.
The screwdriver also comes with a charger and a handy carrying case, allowing for easy storage. If you’re looking for a great electric screwdriver, this is one of the best ones around. It is covered by a lifetime warranty, so you can feel secure in your purchase for years to come.
DEWALT DW920K-2 1/4-Inch 7.2-Volt Cordless Screwdriver
Pistol grip cordless screwdrivers are common largely because they are comfortable to use. Unfortunately, the design can make it difficult to reach certain angles. That’s what makes the DeWalt DW920K such a great design. This two-position screwdriver can be used in either pistol grip or in-line, giving you more freedom and versatility.
With a 7.2V battery, the DW920K is designed to run longer and charge faster. It ships with two batteries so you can continue to work with the second battery while the first unit is charging.
Unlike most screwdrivers, which have set RPM setttings, the DeWalt provides variable RPM from 0-500, giving you more control over your speed. With 80 inch-pounds of torque, the screwdriver also provides a good deal of power, and the screwdriver is rated for wood, plastics and even thin metals.
The screwdriver is backed by a limited three-year warranty, giving you security over your purchase. It also comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, so you can test the product to ensure it will meet your demands. With plenty of torque, a variable RPM and flexible positioning, this is an excellent electric screwdriver. It’s a little on the heavy side, which is surprising considering its size, but all in all this is a great screwdriver.
Best Cordless Screwdrivers Under $150
Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Cordless Screwdriver
The Bosch PS31-2A is far and away the most powerful screwdriver on this list. With a maximum speed of 1300 RPM and 265 inch-pounds of torque, this screwdriver is powerful enough for any professional setting.
Like other professional cordless screwdrivers, this model has two different speed settings. The first runs from 0-350 RPM, and the second from 0-1300, giving you awesome performance and lightning fast speeds, perfect for heavy-duty professional use.
With 265 inch-pounds of torque, the PS31-2A boasts enough power to drill through almost any surface, including metal. It features several integrated LED lights for enhanced visibility, and offers a 20+1 clutch for precise torque adjustments.
In addition, the screwdriver comes with two batteries, letting you work longer. It also includes an optional 21-piece bit set, ideal for filling in some missing bits in your collection. If you’re looking for a powerful, professional-grade screwdriver, this is the one for you. It’s a little expensive, and it boasts more power than the average household really needs. But for those who need a heavy-duty tool, this is it.
If the idea of buying an electric screwdriver seems daunting, it doesn’t have to be. There are no shortage of options to choose from, and for the average household, it’s hard to go wrong. However, it’s important to know what kind of performance you need from an electric screwdriver.
If you’re not sure if a particular model has enough speed or power to get the task done, talk to a specialist at your local hardware store. They can help direct you to right product. And when you know what you’re looking for, come back here.