How To Choose A Cordless Screwdriver For Home
Choosing a cordless screwdriver
How to choose a cordless screwdriver
How to choose the right cordless screwdriver
After considering the main properties of universal cordless tools, we will dwell in more detail on the choice of a cordless screwdriver, and we will consider the parameters that will allow using the tool not only at home, but also for commercial purposes.
We will restrict our consideration to products equipped with NiCd batteries, which are currently in wide demand, since, despite all their advantages, Li-Ion batteries are not particularly popular due to their high cost. The main parameters that you should pay attention to when choosing a tool are:
- Completion of the tool with 2 batteries with a voltage value of at least 12V
- Availability of a charger capable of restoring the performance of the model in 1 hour
- Equipping the tool with a large number of stages (tightening forces) by means of which the frequency of the torque is adjusted
- High torque value
- Chuck type with which the tool is equipped
- Multiple rotation speeds
It is recommended that you carefully read the warranty card, as some manufacturers do not provide a warranty for batteries. It is advisable that the additional equipment includes a set of attachments, 3 rechargeable batteries and a flashlight.
Armed with all the necessary knowledge, we will appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of the following models of famous brands:
- Cordless screwdriver brand Makita 8281DWPE, the price of which is 5.8 thousand rubles and is equipped with a Li-Ion battery and a shock option.
- Cordless screwdriver brand Hitachi DS12DVF3 equipped with flashlights.
- Cordless screwdriver brand BOSCH GSR 12-2 Professional.
- Cordless screwdriver METABO BSZ 14.4 Impuls, cost from 7 thousand rubles and has a rather rare option “impulse”
Unfortunately, due to the exchange rate, the cost has become irrelevant and is indicative
Of course, all the instruments selected for consideration are of high quality, reliability and durability. Although all of the above screwdrivers belong to the category of professional tools, at a cost they are quite affordable for an ordinary user, now we will understand in more detail the characteristics and decide which one to choose better.
Cordless universal tool. Advantages and disadvantages
It is quite obvious that the optimal choice of a tool is primarily determined by the tasks, the solution of which the tool should provide, and, of course, by the conditions of its future operation (operation in domestic conditions or solving professional problems). A clear understanding of future operating conditions is all the more important when you consider that the cost of multifunctional household tools does not differ much from the cost of professional cordless screwdrivers. It is quite logical that the question arises. What is the difference between a professional tool and household models. The main difference is that a professional screwdriver is able to withstand longer loads and less gentle handling.
It is these parameters that distinguish a professional model from a simple one, and therefore many manufacturers in technical data sheets indicate that their product does not lose its performance after falling from a certain height. It should also be taken into account that even under repair conditions, tools intended for domestic needs are used less intensively than in production conditions. However, such a high resource of strength and reliability is provided at the expense of functionality. It is for this reason that a professional tool is less functional than a household one.
For a clearer understanding of the essence of the issue, it is necessary to analyze the situation by considering a specific example. Suppose that a batch of QUATTRO universal cordless screwdrivers arrives at a certain furniture shop, each of which is 4 BlackDecker KC2002FK screwdrivers in one.
On a superficial examination, it seems that the furniture production was equipped with excellent equipment produced by a well-known brand, and at the same time saved quite a decent amount of money (the cost of a set is 6,000 rubles, while a separate tool is not much cheaper). But this judgment is rather superficial. Let’s consider the question more thoroughly. In production, almost always during a working day, you have to perform the same type of operations or plan a tree, or engage in the installation of finished products, or solve issues of packaging products. It is easy to guess that to perform these functions of the same type, only one tool is required (for example, a jigsaw, a plane, a screwdriver, etc.). Everything will become clear if we compare the characteristics of the screwdriver with the BlackDecker KC2002FK attachments and the characteristics of the individual tool. This versatile cordless screwdriver is chosen by those who do not need to use individual components very often, and the tool itself.
For greater clarity, it makes sense to consider the products of the same brand, namely the BlackDecker CP12K screwdriver, which costs 3.5 thousand rubles. The KC2002FK screwdriver uses a battery with a capacity of 1.5 Ampere / hour and a voltage of 14.4 V, while a non-universal model uses a battery with a capacity of 1.5 A / hour and a voltage of 12 V, but its torque value is 16 Nm, and the more powerful universal screwdriver only 10.5 Nm. The first significant sacrifice for instrument versatility.
The universal tool can also be used as a jigsaw, to which, of course, there is no point in making special requirements. The jigsaw of the same company KS999EK has a power of 600 W, and the adjustable blade speed varies from 0 to 3200 strokes / min.
The nozzle of the universal device demonstrates the same stroke rate (3000 strokes / min), but with its help it is possible to cut material to a depth of 38 mm, and with a specialized jigsaw, wood is cut up to 65 mm.
Who should choose this instance? The universal screwdriver with BlackDecker KC2002FK attachments is the ideal tool for use at home, where it is used only when necessary, that is, quite rarely. Its use in production makes no sense, and therefore in a professional environment, specialized tools equipped with the same type of battery packs and performing strictly defined, standard functions have become widespread.
Cordless screwdriver BOSCH GSR 12-2 Professional
The tool is widely known in our country and externally is made in the style traditional for the BOSCH company. The product rotation speed range consists of 2 sub-ranges, namely:
- First sub-range from 0 to 400 rpm
- Second sub-range from 0 to 1200 rpm
The technical equipment of the tool includes a keyless chuck (10 mm), covering the handle of the product with a shock-absorbing pad and 25 steps of setting the torque, the maximum value of which is 27 Nm. The delivery set includes 2 batteries with a capacity of 1.5 Ah and a charger that restores the product’s performance in 1 hour.
The main disadvantages of a screwdriver are:
- No overlay on the back of the tool body
- Somewhat unsuccessful chuck positioning, which can cause inconvenience when changing the replacement tool
Cordless screwdriver Hitachi DS12DVF3
The instrument is made with a somewhat exotic appearance. This design is not accidental. Firstly, it is simply not economically feasible to forge a tool body, and, secondly, exotic linings protect the tool from falling. In addition, the pads also provide the necessary ergonomics for the screwdriver handle (the user’s hand is protected from vibrations and does not sweat during intensive work).
The delivery set of the screwdriver includes a flashlight, a charger that ensures the restoration of the product in 1 hour and a battery with a capacity of 1.4 Ah.
The screwdriver has 2 ranges of speeds: the first range of speeds includes values of rotation frequency from 0 to 300 rpm, and the second range from 0 to 1100 rpm.
The screwdriver is equipped with a keyless chuck (10 mm) and 22 torque settings.
When choosing, pay attention to the main disadvantages of the tool:
- A morally outdated, albeit very reliable drill chuck
- Unsuccessful attachment of the removable bit to the bracket (the bit often clings to clothing)
- Small size of the reverse button, although its location is quite convenient for the user
Choosing a cordless screwdriver
How to choose the right cordless screwdriver.
Therefore, the user needs to keep in mind that when choosing a universal tool, he deliberately allows averaging some characteristics according to which the quality of the tool is assessed, for example, the drilling speed or the impact force. Over, some of the characteristics of the tool become simply incompatible, for example, hammer drilling and small hole drilling. But the user enjoys all the advantages inherent in universality such as:
- Battery powered tool provides autonomy from household power
- The multifunctionality of the tool provides a wide range of possibilities for its application
- Simplicity and accuracy of work
And this is a far from complete list of the capabilities of universal tools. Currently, manufacturers offer a wide range of different models of cordless universal tools such as: screwdrivers, grinders, planers, and more. In the present, there is a tendency to replace the usual network tools with battery tools, and not only in everyday life, but also in production and in industry. In the article, given the relevance of the issue, the correct choice of tool, the characteristics and parameters of cordless screwdrivers are discussed in detail.
Cordless screwdriver Makita 8281DWPE
The tool is powered by a new generation Li-Ion battery with a voltage of 14.4 V, which is undoubtedly its advantage.
The instrument is supplied with 2 rechargeable batteries and a charger that restores the instrument to function in just one hour. The rotational speed of the screwdriver is divided into 2 ranges: the first range of speeds includes values of the rotational speed from 0 to 400 rpm, and the second range from 0 to 1300 rpm.
The screwdriver is equipped with a keyless chuck (10 mm), equipped with 16 steps of setting the torque (maximum value 36 Nm), and the weight of the tool is 1.7 kg. In addition to typical operations, the tool is equipped with an impact option, and is able to perform from 0 to 18 thousand impacts per minute.
As disadvantages of the tool you can specify the following:
- For a tool equipped with an impact function, the manufacturer has provided it with a fairly weak chuck
- Low battery capacity (only 1.3 Ah), which is not enough for intensive work
- There is a possibility that the hand may overlap the ventilation openings for cooling the motor during impact operation, and the ventilation openings are so poorly positioned that they will overlap in the case of wide palms of the user
- The gearbox housing of a screwdriver equipped with an impact function is preferably made of metal.
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 discuss below.
Very similar to drills (also check out How to Choose a Drill), the main difference is the torque adjustment. 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 for frequent tool changes 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 by means of 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.
- 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 revolutions per minute.
The larger these parameters, 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 firmly press the screwdriver.
- 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 finally, I will still share my opinion about the choice, some examples.
Home / cottage screwdriver
For the most part, the network version will be enough, 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 home 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 or more, 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!
In branded models, the manufacturer, in addition to the standard features, also offers the user auxiliary functions. They greatly facilitate the work and can become a point above the “i”, dispelling doubts whether it is worth buying this or that model.
Most often found in tools:
- Charge indicator. A small light that will tell you when to put the battery on recharge;
- Reverse motion. And unscrew the screw, and the drill can be removed from the thick board;
- Impact mechanism. Indispensable if you need to work with a stone surface or brick;
- Illumination of the workplace. In some screwdrivers it is so powerful that there is no need for additional lighting.
There is also an impulse, various blockers, speed switches, etc. Each additional function is a plus to the price of the device, which means that you need to be 100% sure about its need in the device.
A hackneyed truth. A brand beyond competition. Yes, branded tools are more expensive, but they have a quality guarantee and service centers for repairs, and the screwdrivers themselves are made of durable components.
Quite good screwdrivers with a removable battery are also offered by Varo Kreator, Sparky, Dnipro-M and others.
To choose the ideal device for specific purposes, you should pay attention to the number of revolutions. The manufacturer calls this parameter speed or rotational speed. It is adjusted by pressing the “trigger”. The harder you press, the greater the speed. In addition, the frequency shows whether the tool will be able to drive a screw into a dense material and what is the approximate diameter of the hole if the screwdriver replaces the drill.
If the customer is confident that the device will only be used for tightening screws and bolts, 500 rpm is more than enough. Screwdrivers, which act as drills, operate at 1200 rpm.
Nuance: there are models with 1, 2 and 3 speeds on the market, where one is for self-tapping screws, the second is for drilling small holes, the third is for working with metal or other durable raw materials.
Criteria for choosing a cordless screwdriver
To choose a quality screwdriver, it is not enough to pay attention only to the price, appearance and comfort in the hand. It is necessary to additionally evaluate a lot of characteristics. Those who do not trust the consultants can independently study the technical passport of the device they like. It describes the main parameters and capabilities. What is important when buying a cordless screwdriver and which device is better for the house from inexpensive ones is described in detail in the following sections.
Buyers often ask: “How to choose the right screwdriver for home, focusing on the type of chuck?” The answer is to remember the information and learn how to distinguish one type of cartridge from another. There are 3 of them:
- The key is that the drill holds in it a device resembling “cams”. The two sides of the chuck are connected with the fastening side to the center and in this way clamp the tool. The chuck nut is tightened with a special key that comes with the kit. It takes some time to replace the rig, but the hold is strong and secure, ideal for working with hard material.
- Keyless. One- and two-clutch. The main difference is that in single-cartridge cartridges, the nozzle changes with one hand. Press the cartridge, remove the rig, put the other. For two-clutch ones, you will have to use both hands, which is already inconvenient.
- Hexagon. A special “socket” for bits, which are necessarily included in the tool kit with such a chuck.
Looking through the assortment of cordless screwdrivers with different cartridges, it is difficult to answer which one is better. Here, rather, you need to look at the diameter of the hole in the chuck, it depends on it what kind of equipment can be used when working. In household tools, nozzles no more than 1 cm thick are used.
Voltage and other parameters
For an ordinary buyer of a screwdriver, it is enough to know:
- For household appliances, the voltage ranges from 10-14 V;
- For professional, the indicator should be more. From 18 V. Some instruments boast a level of 36 V.
The next characteristic is power. The parameter informs the user about the speed of the device. It is logical that the higher the power, the faster the screw will be screwed in. But you should not overdo it, for household purposes and do-it-yourself flow repairs, a 500-700 W model is quite enough.
In order not to send the device for charging every half hour of operation, you should pay close attention to the battery. Modern screwdrivers use:
- Lithium-ion batteries are not subject to self-discharge, the most common. They can be charged up to 3000 times, and at any stage and discharge level.
- Nickel-cadmium. Are not afraid of cold, they work efficiently at subzero temperatures. However, there is a small drawback. Self-discharge. You need to store such a battery with 0% charge in order to save capacity to the maximum.
- Nickel-Metal Hybrid batteries are eco-friendly batteries found in some European brands. These batteries are compact and lightweight, but they are frost-resistant.
When comparing battery specifications, it’s also worth looking at capacity. The autonomy of the device and the number of possible recharges depend on it. Over time, the capacity decreases, this also needs to be taken into account.