How To Choose A Screwdriver For Home
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.
Recommendations for choosing a quality screwdriver
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 a construction site, 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 are Bosch (Bosch), Makita (Makita), Hitachi (Hitachi), Metabo (Metabo). Better to overpay a little money and choose a quality tool. From Russian production, ZUBR and Interskol have good quality.
7 tips for choosing a quality screwdriver Briefly about the types of tools
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). Electric screwdrivers 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 greatest 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 rechargeable battery is lithium polymer. Its development is the most modern. The advantages of such a battery are 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 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 can be fixed with 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 work 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, 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 below, which clearly describes all the main parameters of this power tool.
Rating of the best models
Makita 8281DWPE. This 14.4 volt 2-speed nickel-cadmium battery can be used for both construction work and home. The price is justified by the quality and the presence of all the necessary functions, shock mode, fast charging, light weight, comfortable handle.
Bosch PSB 10.8 LI-2 0. An equally suitable option for home use and construction. The quality of Bosch products has been tested by time, and the model itself has a sufficient number of advantages: a good battery, a flashlight, and a lock on the power button. In general, this model justifies its price and we recommend choosing it for home and work.
Hitachi DS12DVF3. We personally use this screwdriver for electrical and construction work. Despite the fact that the model is already outdated and has some drawbacks (an inconvenient place for attaching a bit, a small battery capacity, a small reverse button), its reliability covers all the disadvantages. Particular attention should be paid to the rubberized case (you can clearly see it) how many times our Hitachi fell from the ladder, is still alive and working well.
Interskol DA-10 / 14.4M2. The undoubted advantage of the domestic manufacturer is the low cost of this model, but at the same time decent quality. This screwdriver has all the features you need, 2 NiCd batteries and a case. Due to its low price, the tool does not lend itself to particular criticism, so choosing this option for the house is the right thing.
We also recommend watching a test drive of the most popular shura. On you can clearly see the difference between 12 and 18 volts:
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 it is drowned in 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!
Everything about battery-powered screwdrivers: pros and cons
The main difference between the cordless screwdriver and the network model is the absence of a cord. Autonomy of work and non-attachment to an outlet are the main advantages of a tool with a battery inside.
The advantages of the device also include:
- Mobility. The tool and the charging battery are in the same housing, no additional elements are needed for operation. It is enough to take the device in hand, and it is already ready to work. Can be transferred to any location.
- Compactness. Typically, household autonomous screwdrivers are small in size. This makes the device especially convenient in hard-to-reach places.
- Versatility. Technique replaces screwdriver and drill.
In practice, a cordless instrument is indispensable in objects without electricity, when it is necessary to frequently move or climb to a height. The device can be operated outdoors or indoors.
The only drawback here is the need to periodically charge the battery. Manufacturers are trying in every possible way to solve this problem, for example, offering 2 batteries with the tool. While one is in the working process, the other restores energy.
How to choose a cordless screwdriver: 6 tips and a rating of 5 cool models
A screwdriver is essentially an electrical substitute for a screwdriver. It performs the same functions as its younger brother, only makes the process of tightening / unscrewing screws and bolts much faster. Such a tool is especially effective if there are tens or even hundreds of screws. The device can not only twist the screws. By installing a special drill, you can make holes in wood, plastic and thin metal with a screwdriver. Powerful devices even take bricks and concrete. In general, the tool is indispensable in everyday life and during repairs.
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 than 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 slight downside to self-discharge. You need to store such a battery with 0% charge in order to save capacity to the maximum.
- Nickel-metal hybrid 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.
The hackneyed truth is 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.
Rechargeable or mains
The type of screwdriver should be decided first. The cordless screwdriver is more mobile and allows you to work in places where there is no way to connect to the mains. Although the network one will tie you to an outlet, it has constant power and eliminates the need to monitor the battery.
There are three types of screwdriver batteries:
Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) are suitable if you need to use a screwdriver often. The battery is lightweight and has a higher number of charges compared to other batteries (up to 3000 times), charges quickly and has no memory effect. To prolong the life of the battery, do not fully charge or discharge it. Optimum discharge rate 15%, charging 90%. The battery should be kept half charged.
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) are optimal for medium frequency applications. Such a battery needs to be charged and discharged at least once a month. The battery has a charge memory effect, so it must be fully discharged and charged. For the device to perform its maximum 1000 cycles, it must be stored discharged. Such a battery is unpretentious in operation, but it takes a relatively long time to charge (up to 7 hours), so experts recommend purchasing two batteries at once. Many screwdrivers come with a second battery.
Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH, less common) are suitable for rare use, since batteries of this type have a weak memory effect and self-discharge more slowly than others. It is better to store such a battery charged, and after a long period of inactivity, discharge and charge it completely. The number of charge cycles is up to 500.
How to choose a screwdriver for home
Anyone who has at least once rubbed calluses with a screwdriver, trying to unscrew a rusty screw or screw a dozen screws into a baseboard, knows how useful it is to have a screwdriver in the tool pantry. In order to figure out which tool is right for you and get a really useful thing, let’s look at what kind of screwdrivers are.
Cartridges and bits
Screwdriver chucks are key, quick-release or hex. In order to secure the bit holder or drill in the key chuck, you need to spend some time and make an effort, but this option will be as reliable as possible. The keyless chuck is more convenient than the key chuck; it can be used to change the drill in a matter of seconds. Keyless chuck is of two types:
Double-clutch it must be tightened with both hands. Cartridges of this type are usually installed on budget models.
The single sleeve chuck allows you to change tooling extremely quickly and with one hand, since such a chuck is equipped with an automatic spindle lock, which stops the shaft when you release the button. Keyless chucks can be plastic or metal.
The hexagonal seat is designed to work with bits and allows you to change heads as quickly as possible. Typically, a set of bits is included with a hex chuck screwdriver.
The PH marked bit is a cross-shaped bit. They are available in sizes from # 0 to # 4. The larger the screw you are working with, the larger the bit size you will need. There are also titanium-coated bits that are eaten much more slowly.
The bit marked PZ is a bit for self-tapping screws with Pozidriv slot. Nozzle No. 0 is suitable for self-tapping screws with a diameter of 2.5 mm, nozzle No. 2 is 3.5-4 mm. Attachment No. 3 is designed for mounting anchor bolts.
Bits for nuts and bolts have a size range of 6 to 13 mm.
Bits marked with T asterisk bits. Depending on the size, they are used for the repair of household appliances and cars. Sizes range from T8 to T40.
The slotted (flat) bit is used to work with screws and screws.
There are other types of bits: for drywall with a special limiter, triangular, combined and others. When choosing bits, you need to keep in mind that the price, as a rule, corresponds to the quality. For example, titanium coated bits are more expensive than non-titanium ones, but they also last longer.
An important parameter when choosing a screwdriver is the diameter (inner) of the chuck. It depends on what size drill or bit can be used to work with the tool. In most cases, home screwdrivers allow you to use attachments up to 10 mm in diameter. In addition, the instructions for the screwdriver must indicate the maximum diameter of the holes that can be made using this model when working with different types of materials.
The pulse mode will make it easier to unscrew stuck fasteners, will work with very hard surfaces and will make it easier to work in places where there is insufficient support. Backlighting is another plus. On some screwdrivers, it is so powerful that it does not use an additional light source at all. It is better to place the flashlight above the battery pack. The presence of the third speed will allow the chuck to accelerate to 3000 rpm and fully replace the drill in everyday life.
The power of cordless screwdrivers depends on the operating voltage of the battery. It can be in the range from 1.2 to 36 V. For the simplest work, a screwdriver with a voltage of 3-6 V. 10-15 V is enough for drilling in non-solid materials, but for working with hard materials, at least 18 V will be needed It should also be borne in mind that more powerful screwdrivers are heavier than their less powerful counterparts.
Cordless drill / driver Bosch PSR 1200
Another important characteristic of a screwdriver is torque (force). The higher this indicator, the larger the diameter of the screws you can tighten. The minimum torque of a household screwdriver is 10-15 Nm. This is quite enough for working with drywall or for assembling furniture. If you plan to use the tool as a drill, then it is better to stop at the option with higher rates of 30-40 Nm. Professional screwdrivers have a torque of up to 130 Nm, which allows you to drill very hard surfaces.
In most screwdrivers, the maximum torque can be adjusted using a stop, which is a numerical ring behind the chuck. Using the limiter, you can set the force, after which the screwdriver will not screw the screw. The more graduations the stop has, the more precisely the torque can be dosed. There is usually a separate division for drilling.
Typically, screwdrivers have two speeds. The lower one allows you to unscrew and tighten screws. The rotation speed is 400-500 rpm. Higher drilling; rotation speed 1200-1300 rpm. It is imperative that the screwdriver has a reverse function. A smooth start will not be superfluous at all, this will allow you to adjust the force required to work with a certain material as accurately as possible.
For apartment work (minor repairs, furniture assembly), a network screwdriver with a capacity of 10-15 Nm is quite suitable. Tools with Ni-Cd or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries are ideal for occasional use, for example, in the country.
If the work is planned more serious (plasterboard plating, drilling holes), the power of the tool should be at least 30-40 Nm. The choice of power is up to you, but if you prefer the battery type, then Li-Ion is the best solution.