Screwdriver Selection Test Review Comparison
7 tips for choosing a quality screwdriver Tips from experienced craftsmen on choosing a quality screwdriver for construction and home repairs. How to choose the right screwdriver in 2017.
So, so that you know what to look for when choosing the right model for your conditions of use, we bring to your attention a few important tips from experienced craftsmen:
- Consider the tool torque (measured in Newton meters, [Nm]). If you need to screw / unscrew small screws in drywall and boards, it is enough to choose a model with a torque of no more than 30 Nm. For professional construction and roofing work, it is better to choose a model with a torque of over 40 Nm.
- When drilling holes in concrete and brick, it is better to opt for an impact screwdriver. Most modern models include this feature, but some may not have it, so it’s best to double-check it is there.
- The backlight above the start button will not hurt. Of course, some experts argue that the location of the flashlight above the battery is more effective, but one way or another, when choosing a screwdriver, pay attention to the fact that the backlight is in any case.
- Avoid the memory foam model. This function requires the battery to be completely discharged before placing it back in the charger. If you accidentally charge an incompletely dead battery on recharge, it will reduce its resource by an unexpired amount. Sometimes, inadvertently, the memory effect can become a whole problem.
- If you need a professional screwdriver for the job, we recommend choosing the more durable model with metal gears. In hobbyist and budget models, there are plastic gears.
- Pay attention to parameters such as ampere hours, which represent the capacity of the battery. For a home, the choice of a 1.5-2 Ah screwdriver will be quite reasonable. If you want to choose a power tool for construction, try to find a battery with a larger capacity, but keep in mind that it will cost more.
- Also, you should know which brand is the best screwdriver. Among the leading manufacturers, Bosch (Bosch), Makita (Makita), Hitachi (Hitachi), Metabo (Metabo) are distinguished. Better to overpay a little money and choose a quality tool. Zubr and Interskol have good quality from Russian production.
Comparison of screwdrivers from different manufacturers, you can look at:
7 tips for choosing a quality screwdriver
Today, there are several main types of screwdrivers, so the choice of the one that is suitable in price and quality should be carried out after you are familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each version. So, manufacturers of power tools produce the following models of screwdrivers, which you can choose not only for home and summer cottages, but also for work:
- Network (electrical) or battery. The first ones work from a 220V network, which is convenient if you need to work in one place next to an outlet (for example, when assembling furniture). Screwdrivers operating from the electrical network do not discharge, but as a disadvantage. Attachment to the outlet, which is not very convenient if you need to work in a place where there is no electricity. In addition, the cord during electrical / installation work will constantly get tangled underfoot, which can also be attributed to the disadvantages of choosing a network screwdriver. Rechargeable models are more popular and, moreover, can hold a charge for more than an hour with active use. They are more often used by both professionals and amateur masters.
- The nutrient is represented by a lithium-ion battery (Li-lon), nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH), lithium-polymer (Li-Pol) or nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd). The lithium-ion battery holds a charge for a long time, quickly charges and, moreover, has no memory effect (we will talk about it below). If you need to choose a quality screwdriver for construction and electrical work, give preference to the cordless model with a lithium-ion battery. The only but significant drawback is the highest cost of such power tools, therefore, it is better not to choose this option for summer cottages and rare repairs in the house. The nickel-metal hydride version of the battery is no less common. Due to its environmental friendliness, all modern manufacturers of screwdrivers are already gradually switching to this version. From the pros, the small dimensions of the battery should be distinguished (and therefore the lower weight of the instrument), and from the minuses. The high cost. Another type of battery is a lithium polymer battery. Its development is the most modern. The advantages of such a battery are its higher capacity, the disadvantage is the shortest service life compared to analogues. Soon, lithium-polymer batteries for screwdrivers will be finalized and, most likely, will oust their competitors due to their undeniable advantages. Well, the last option that you can choose for your home and garden is a nickel-cadmium battery. Its undoubted advantage is that it is inexpensive, so this option is most often found in budget screwdrivers. In addition, a 5-year shelf life can be considered a positive point (for other options, no more than 3 years). Pros do not give preference to screwdrivers with such a battery. The duration of charging in this case is an order of magnitude longer than in other versions, and besides, there is memory for charging in nickel-cadmium batteries.
- Hexagon or three-jaw chuck. The first type of cartridge is suitable just for home and summer cottages, if repair work is carried out extremely rarely and with the need for frequent replacement of equipment. If you want to choose a professional screwdriver, it is better to give preference to a universal three-jaw chuck, which is also called a keyless chuck. Its advantage is that you can fix any bit or drill, the main thing is that the diameter is appropriate.
- Voltage 12; 14.4 or 18 volts. The higher the voltage, the more the power of the power tool for the electrician. If you need to choose a powerful screwdriver for screwing in long self-tapping screws for metal, moreover, with a large diameter (for example, for roofing on a roof made of corrugated board), choose an 18-volt model. A 12 V screwdriver will be enough to assemble furniture, housework or a summer residence.
- The number of modes is 1, 2 or 3. The simplest budget models are single-speed. Their speed can be from 0 to 800 rpm. Reliable and popular. Cordless screwdrivers with 2 speeds. From 0 to 400 rpm (for tightening) and from 0 to 1300 rpm (for drilling). The third speed can be found in professional versions. The number of revolutions per minute can reach as much as 3000.
We figured out the main options for execution, now we will provide some useful tips that will help you choose the right screwdriver for home, work and summer cottage. Be sure to review the below, which clearly describes all the main parameters of this power tool.
Choosing a screwdriver
In this article, we would like to touch on the topic of choosing a screwdriver, take a closer look at their types and, of course, technical characteristics that you should pay attention to when buying this type of tool in order to fully answer a question that has recently arisen more and more often, namely. How to choose a screwdriver for home, cottage or work.
Applications of the screwdriver
- Twisting / unscrewing screws, screws, bolts and other fasteners;
- Drilling holes in wood, metal and brick.
- Stirring building mixtures and paints;
- Drilling holes for winter ice fishing.
There are a huge number of screwdrivers on the market, different in parameters and manufacturers. They are divided into professional and household, depending on the nutrient, cartridge size, power, a number of additional functions, delivery set and price. This division, however, is inherent in almost any instrument.
To begin with, let’s analyze the division by nutrient. Two types can be distinguished: rechargeable (Li-Ion, Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh) and electric, we will talk more about each of them below.
The most modern and most common, today, type of rechargeable batteries, not only in screwdrivers, but also in many other tools (as well as in portable devices that we all use). Modern Li-Ion batteries are designed for three thousand charge-discharge cycles. The rechargeable battery is lightweight and fast enough to charge; moreover, it has no memory to charge.
The main disadvantages are: battery life, which is three years, the need for constant use to get the most out of it, and significant cost.
They appeared on the market for a long time, they are used in many tools, not only in screwdrivers. Designed for one and a half thousand charge-discharge cycles. The shelf life of such batteries is five years, there is also the possibility of working in the cold, at temperatures up to 15 degrees and it is very important for the average buyer, the lowest price of all types of batteries.
The negative aspects of this type of battery are the rather long charging process (at best an hour), the presence of memory for a charge and the significant weight of the battery.
At its core, it is a cross between Li-Ion and Ni-Cd batteries. Found in screwdrivers much less frequently than the types of batteries described above. The number of charge-discharge cycles varies about a thousand. It has practically no memory for a charge, and has the lowest self-discharge among all types of batteries. Of the minuses, one cannot but note the weight.
All batteries differ in capacity and battery voltage.
Capacity is measured in amperes per hour (Ah). The higher this indicator, the more the battery is capable of carrying a charge, respectively, more work will be done on a fully charged battery.
Battery voltage is measured in V (Volts). This indicator determines the power that can be obtained from a screwdriver operating on these batteries. Simply put, battery voltage directly affects the maximum possible performance of soft and hard torque, which we will talk about below.
Very similar to drills (don’t miss also the article “How to choose a drill”), the main difference is the torque control. Models of this type of screwdriver are represented by only a few manufacturers of household tools. Renowned manufacturers focus on professional drywall screwdrivers, the cartridge of which begins to rotate the bit only after “drowning” it into the material.
Corded screwdrivers are suitable for one-time work around the house or for professional use in repair and construction. Based on the situation, the absence of the need for charging can be considered a plus. Constraints created by the need for an electrical network, low mobility and tangled wires are definitely the main disadvantages of this tool.
Chucks and reducers
Screwdrivers come with either a quick-release three-jaw chuck (clamping range of the tooling from 0.5 to 13 mm), and with a hexagonal tool seat with a 1/4 inch shank. The keyless chuck is more practical and allows you to use any tool of a suitable diameter. Of course, the larger the chuck diameter, the more versatile the screwdriver is.
The hexagonal chuck is convenient when you need to change equipment frequently and when working in hard-to-reach places. To drill with such a screwdriver, you must use drills with a hex shank. It is possible to install a conventional chuck with a hex shank.
Rotation from the engine to the chuck is transmitted through a gearbox. The gears inside the gearbox can be made of metal or plastic. Metal gears are most common in powerful professional screwdriver models.
They reflect two parameters, measured in Nm (Newtonometer), these are soft and hard torques:
- Soft torque is an indicator of the maximum force of a screwdriver in terms of twisting / unscrewing, the rotational speed in this mode for most screwdrivers varies from 0 to 350 rpm.
- The hard torque, in turn, reflects the maximum force in the drilling mode, in this case the rotational speed is usually calculated from 0 to 1000 or more rpm.
The more these parameters are, the more powerful, productive and practical the screwdriver is. For example, a screwdriver with a torque of 25 to 30 Nm can easily screw a self-tapping screw up to 70 mm long into a tree. To tighten self-tapping screws from 70 to 100 mm, a torque of 40 Nm is required. Longer self-tapping screws require pre-drilling the hole.
Additional features of some screwdrivers:
- The presence of the hammer mechanism is without a doubt quite a useful feature, especially when working with socket heads or when drilling holes in brick and stone.
- The presence of an impulse, periodically increased torque, is useful for easier drowning of fasteners into the material, when unscrewing a stuck self-tapping screw or even a drill if the hammer drill fails. It is especially useful when there is no way to rest in order to press the screwdriver tightly.
- The presence of 3 speeds will make it possible to fully replace the power drill at home, since the rotation speed of the chuck in this mode can be more than 3000 rpm, and the first speed will give out a decent torque.
- The presence of backlighting is very important when working in hard-to-reach places or with poor, or even completely absent lighting. The most successful version of the location of the backlight above the battery pack, there are models with a backlight located above the start button, which is less effective in most cases.
Summing up all of the above, I would like to note that it is impossible to advise a universal screwdriver for everyone, because many components of the choice depend on your goals and tasks that you are going to carry out with this tool, but in the end, I will still share my opinion about the choice, some examples.
Home / cottage screwdriver
For the most part, the network version will be sufficient, due to the availability, light weight and lack of the need for special mobility. If we consider rechargeable versions, then it is worth paying attention to Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh, if you do not plan to use them often, this way you will save money and get a longer battery life.
In cases where frequent use is planned requiring continuous workflow, there is no doubt that choosing a Li-Ion battery will pay off 100%. Why don’t I advise taking more modern batteries for rare jobs? Everything is very simple, they are more expensive and are designed for stable use, do not forget that their shelf life is 2 years less, and therefore, there will be much more missed opportunities in this case.
For domestic needs, the maximum torque of 25-35 Nm will be quite enough, of course you can take a more powerful one, it all depends on your desire and financial capabilities. Battery capacity is not so important for occasional use at home, so 1.5-2 Ah will be just right.
When working in hard-to-reach places, it will be logical to choose a more compact model. The features of frequent and long-term continuous use in many cases justifiably lead to the purchase of a Li-Ion screwdriver with a maximum torque of 40 Nm and higher, depending on the type of materials with which to work in the future.
Li-Ion batteries, in this case, are relevant because of the continuity of the workflow provided by fast charging of batteries, and they are simply lighter, which is important for your hand during prolonged use.
The choice of additional features of the screwdriver directly depends on your needs. Try to clearly define for what needs you will use it, decide on a budget. Last but not least, if you have other tools, like a drill or a hammer drill, with rare use, these points will allow you to weed out unnecessary functions and highlight those that are clearly necessary.
In conclusion, I would like to note that the screwdriver market is full of various variations and choosing exactly what suits you will not be difficult. We hope we were able to help you decide on the choice of a screwdriver. We wish you the maximum return from the instrument and more positive emotions!
Parameters of reliable screwdrivers
The reliability of a screwdriver, like any other tool, depends on several criteria:
- Power. The higher the power of the instrument, the greater the range of actions it can perform. Accordingly, at the same load, a more powerful screwdriver will handle the job easier and last longer.
- Operating voltage and battery capacity. Battery voltage is directly related to the power of the tool, and the capacity determines how long the tool will function without recharging the battery or replacing it with a charged one.
- Chuck type. The hex chuck provides lightning-fast tool changes, however, you may not always find drills with a hex back. The three-jaw chuck will provide reliable fastening of any working part with a cylindrical shank.
- Number of speeds. The speed switch is present on quality models, allows you to work with fasteners at the same speed, including faster rotation for drilling holes. Professional models are available in three speed ranges.
- Component quality and assembly. Since it is difficult to check this parameter, the choice is stopped on models of time-tested manufacturers, the reliability of the instrument of which is beyond doubt.
Of course, there are much more criteria by which you can distinguish a quality screwdriver. However, the rest of the parameters have more impact on usability and functionality, rather than reliability.
Consider the models of screwdrivers that performed well in 2016.
Metabo Power Maxx BS
Small and lightweight, but quite powerful screwdriver Metabo Power Maxx BS uses a Li-Ion battery with a voltage of 10.8 V and a capacity of 2 Ah. With its very small size, the screwdriver can give out a maximum of 34 Nm of torque.
Special technology for optimal use of energy, battery indicator will allow you to use the battery life in the best possible way.
The keyless chuck is reliable. It does not loosen the fastening even with intensive use in reverse mode. In addition, the chuck is removable, which allows the use of a magnetic hex mount for the bits. Since the design is simplified in this case, strength and reliability only benefit.
Makita tools are almost synonymous with durability. The inclusion of this manufacturer’s tool in the rating of screwdrivers for reliability is inevitable. Nine out of ten professionals have used, are currently using, or plan to use this firm’s tool.
Specifically, the DDF454RFE model has an all-metal gearbox, a powerful four-pole electric motor. The maximum torque reaches 80 Nm. With the tasks that are usually set before screwdrivers, this device copes quite simply.
The used 18-volt Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 3 Ah will ensure long-term trouble-free operation. In addition, a full charge takes just over half an hour. Since the kit comes with an additional battery, in fact, a completely autonomous operation of the tool is ensured if there is a rechargeable possibility in the access zone. Compatible with Makita 4 Ah battery.
Multifunctionality, reliability and quality tested by more than one generation. What makes Bosch tools the market leader. Having been producing construction and household appliances for over 100 years, they do not lose their grip and are constantly improving their numerous assortment. Bosch screwdrivers are no exception.
Professionals highly appreciate the products of the German company, highlighting a number of qualities:
1.Durable motor with high speed and torque;
2. Light weight and compact body, helping to work at height;
3. Selection of modes of rotation speeds.
The screwdrivers of the German company are universal, capable of working both with wood and with drywall and plastic. Individual devices such as the GSB 14.4 V-LI Plus or GSB 10.8-2-LI have the power to cut holes in metal and stone. If we talk about nutrition. Among the devices it is not difficult to find both mains screwdrivers and those that run on batteries.
If you want to distinguish between devices for household and industrial use. You can easily distinguish them by their color. Household tools are green when professional appliances are blue. Although Bosch tools remain among the most expensive on the market, the difference in price is more than offset by high quality standards and ease of use.
In addition to the basic device, customers receive a selection of different bits and tips to fit all the screws they need. Therefore, whatever the task of fastening is not faced by the master. Bosch devices help you cope with it.
Second on the list is Makita, a Japanese company that has been making professional construction tools for 60 years. The range of the company includes both cordless and cordless Makita screwdrivers, coping with tasks such as:
1. Tightening screws, self-tapping screws and nuts into wooden structures;
2. Drilling holes in wooden surfaces;
3. Installation of plasterboard structures.
In addition to the standard models, those who make the Makita screwdriver offer a range of devices equipped with an impact function. If the idle speed of the shockless device reaches 2300 rpm, the impact drivers reach speeds of up to 3200 rpm. With this strength, the tool works well even on stone and iron surfaces.
With their small size and ergonomic appearance, the company’s screwdrivers operate at high power, reaching high values of torque and working speed. The result is a perceptible vibration that even the ergonomic handle does not completely contain. Despite this, the company’s devices remain one of the most convenient on the market thanks to the rubberized handles and LED backlighting.
The Achilles’ heel of Makita devices is a weak battery that needs frequent recharging. Experienced craftsmen advise buying the best network models (such as FS4000 or FS2700), as for a modest surcharge, they significantly reduce time costs. However, if a screwdriver is needed not for professional purposes, but for home fastening work. It is not that important.
Top 10 best manufacturers of screwdrivers which brand is better
Manufacturer. One of the main criteria when choosing both a professional and a household screwdriver. And if the buyer is already wondering which company a screwdriver to choose, he is looking for tools from only the most reputable companies. Companies distinguished not only by a wide range of products, but also by high customer ratings.
Among the manufacturers of screwdrivers, we have identified 10 that show excellent results, both in construction and in home fastening work. Here you will find information about each of them.