Whether you're completing some home DIY or you're an electrician on a busy worksite, a cordless screwdriver is a must-have addition to your toolbox. The good news, shopping for the best cordless screwdriver doesn't need to be complicated.
We've included an electric screwdriver buyers guide below, but most people find the following features are important in their buying decision:
Ready for reviews of our 8 favorite cordless screwdrivers of 2020? Great, let's go!
There's a lot to like about Dewalt's 8V Gyroscopic Screwdriver Kit. Its maximum speed of 430 rpm and 80 inch-pounds of torque provides enough grunt to plow through most household and light professional tasks.
Whether you're working with wood, plastic, or lighter metals, this cordless screwdriver has you covered. We are particularly impressed with the variable speed control and precision obtained through the gyroscope.
The gyroscopic feature allows you to control both the speed and the direction by moving your wrist. It's a fantastic feature for better control in tight spaces. This can sound intimidating for new users, but don't let it scare you. It's really quite easy to learn and most people pick it up within 5 minutes of use.
If space allows, we recommend getting acquainted with the gyroscopic movement control whilst the handle is in the in-line (or straight) position rather than the trigger. This should have you up and running within minutes and you can then move to the trigger position should you wish.
The 15 clutch settings are sufficient to cover most screw lengths, so use the clutch properly and you shouldn't be stripping any more screws!
We like the kit that includes 2 batteries because there is nothing more frustrating than getting halfway through a job and then having to wait until the screwdriver is charged again. With a charge time of 1 hour, you should be able to alternate between the two batteries to finish most jobs without wasting time waiting for the battery to charge.
You also have a battery life indicator to help you plan when you should be getting your second battery ready.
We were pleasantly surprised by the quiet sound of the Dewalt 8V. With the high RPM and torque, we were expecting the screwdriver to be louder. But no, we can safely and quietly use this screwdriver in one room without disturbing family in the next room.
The main improvement we would have liked to have seen is the inclusion of some bits! You'll need to purchase these separately.
Overall, this is a solid choice for those that appreciate the efficiency that comes from the gyroscopic action, adjustable grip, and two batteries. There's also a 3-year limited warranty from Dewalt should something go wrong.
Don't let the name fool you, this is not some cheap knock-off. Hitachi has renamed to Metabo HPT.
Not ready to use the gyroscopic function of the Dewalt 8V? Then this could be the lightweight, versatile, low-torque friendly screwdriver you're after.
With variable speed, 21 clutch settings, a drill setting, and an adjustable handle, this cordless screwdriver can handle most light to medium screwing applications and some light drilling if required.
The 21 clutch settings and variable speed allow it to perform above average for those delicate, low-torque jobs such as electronics.
The 44 in-lbs of torque is less than the Dewalt 8V, so if you're going to primarily use it for high-torque applications you might be better off with the Dewalt.
We like that the kit comes with a spare battery, one bit, and a sturdy carry case. The spare battery will likely become a valuable asset come project crunch time.
Metabo HPT backs this screwdriver with a lifetime warranty and quality after-sales service. Note, the battery only has a 2-year warranty.
But, two design-related issues hold it back from achieving a perfect score. Firstly, we would have liked to have seen a slightly shorter nose as some users may have control issues with the extended nose. Secondly, the forward/reverse switch is on the side, rather than on top. This can make it awkward when trying to reach over the screwdriver to change directions.
That said, given the flexibility, lightweight, and overall quality, we're happy to overlook these relatively minor design issues. We recommend the Metabo HPT for hobbyists or even electricians that need a reliable and versatile cordless screwdriver for continuous light to medium duty applications.
Makita's range of products are aimed towards professional electricians and hardcore hobbyists that appreciate longevity, durability, and quality craftsmanship. High-quality standards have become expected from the Japanese tool giant and they've delivered with their DF012DSE cordless screwdriver.
But, quality has a price and their range of tools are not for the budget-conscious. If budget is a primary driver for you, then best skip this one.
Electricians love the level of control the Makita provides to their fastening jobs. With 21 clutch settings, you'll always have just the right amount of torque for all applications. The torque ranges from 32 to 50 in-lbs, providing you with ample range at the low end for any delicate fastening.
They've also included an auto-stop clutch that turns off the unit once the clutch disengages. This helps prevent screws from stripping. We also like the one-way clutch feature that allows you to manually finish/start should you choose.
The gear system operates at speeds of 200 & 650 RPM, giving you a choice depending on what you're screwing into.
We're impressed with the attention to detail with the Makita. The LED front light is controlled by its own switch. This is more useful than some screwdrivers that only allow the LED to operate whilst the screwdriver is turning. They've included an LED battery life indicator, so you know when you need to start charging the second battery. Charge time takes less than one hour.
Weighing around 1.2 lbs (incl battery), this screwdriver has a good feel to it. The soft grip rubber handle increases comfort over prolonged use.
Also, the carry case is a nice touch. Most cases provided with tools are either afterthoughts, poorly designed or both and ultimately end up in the trash. The case provided by Makita is sturdy and well designed. You'll actually want to store your screwdriver in there.
We like that they've provided 2 different gears, but we'd have loved to seen variable speeds for an even greater level of control. The other improvement we'd like to see is a lock whilst the handle is in the straight or in-line position.
Overall, the Makita is a quality cordless screwdriver that won't let you down. Well suited to electricians and other heavy users that need a durable, portable wireless screwdriver that has been built to Makita's high-quality standards. This is not the screwdriver for the occasional DIYer.
The 4V Max from Black & Decker is a versatile cordless screwdriver with 180 RPM and 70 inch-pounds of torque, making it ideal for a wide variety of general household applications.
But, where this portable screwdriver really excels is the ease of use. We really like the combination of the screw holder attachment with the magnetic tip, making it perfect for one-handed operation.
The 4V Max holds its charge for an impressive 18 months, so you'll never be left in the lurch when you need it most. But, you can't just leave it plugged into the charger. Black & Decker recommend using, or at least undocking, the screwdriver once per month to maintain charge.
Another usability feature is the adjustable clutch to prevent stripping. The visual guides on the screwdriver's barrel allow you to easily adjust the clutch to the length of the screw your using. The end result is a smooth screwing motion that doesn't damage the screws.
The LED light is a nice touch and does help in low-light situations, but I wouldn't want to rely on it for anything other than a quick job.
The two improvements we'd like to see are variable speed control and a non-proprietary charger. But, given the affordable price, these are not deal breakers for us.
I'll be honest, I was apprehensive about this unit from NoCry. You see, whenever I see a product that matches the specifications of its higher-priced competitors, I naturally question the durability and general quality.
But, I'm glad I have it a second look because I have to admit I'm impressed. And I'm not alone. Customer reviews tell the same story - initial trepidation followed by complete satisfaction and even a little self-congratulating for taking a small gamble on a 'no-name' product.
So, what's to like about this screwdriver? Turns out a lot. The high torque of 88 lb-in, the variable speed from 0-230 RPM, and the 6 clutch settings are all features generally found in screwdrivers that cost double the price.
The front LED light is operated by pressing the trigger halfway, allowing you to use the light without operating the screwdriver.
NoCry has included a decent 31 piece screwdriver bit set too. We particularly like the flexible extension that allows you to operate in tight spaces. This opens up the versatility of the unit, particularly as the handle is fixed at pistol grip only and doesn't adjust to in-line.
How about performance? The large 7.2V, 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery can fasten 300 screws on a single charge too.
Simply put, it performs much better than it should for the price.
And, if you're still apprehensive about trying a brand you haven't heard of, perhaps their 4-year warranty will put that to rest.
Whilst I can't reasonably expect much more from such an aggressively priced electric screwdriver if I was to be picky I'd request a higher RPM. 230 RPM is good for most day to day uses, but it's not fast enough to cover some applications or for very repetitive tasks. You'll need to go up a price bracket for higher RPM.
Overall, the NoCry is our pick for the best affordable cordless screwdriver. We think it holds the best balance between price and features for the average DIYer. Its large battery allows it to plow through a lot of work on a single charge and its massive torque will have you completing most household fastening tasks with ease.
This is our second value pick. The Tacklife cordless screwdriver competes at the same price point as the NoCry, but there are several significant differences.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the torque output. They both feature 6 torque settings, but the Tacklife maxes out at 35 lb-in compared to NoCry's 88 lb-in. So, if you're mainly using for torque heavy applications, the NoCry is a clear winner.
But, the Tacklife comes with an adjustable handle. NoCry's does not.
Other than that, they both feature large, non-removable batteries with impressive performance, similar RPM (NoCry is slightly more), LED lights, and both come with a 31 piece accessory kit. Nice.
Charging is via the supplied micro-USB cable. The benefit of charging via USB is that you aren't relying on (another) external charger that can break and you've probably got some spare micro-USB cables lying around should the supplied cable kick it.
But, the considerable downside is that the battery is not removable. Which also removes the possibility of having a second battery. So, once the battery is empty, you'll need to plug it in and twiddle your thumbs before you can get back to work. Not a huge issue for the average home DIYer, but potentially income crippling for professional electricians.
As much as we like the Tacklife cordless screwdriver, there are a couple of minor improvements that we'd like to see. Firstly, the LED light only operates whilst the chuck is spinning - ie once you're already screwing. We'd like to be able to control this LED so we can see before and after each screw has been fastened.
Secondly, we like that they've allowed 3 different handle positions. But, the middle position doesn't really lock that well. We'd like to be able to lock this in securely so we can safely add more leverage.
Overall, if you're looking for a budget cordless screwdriver that features an adjustable handle that performs well at the lower torque range, we recommend the Tacklife. But, if you need more torque, slightly more RPM, and double the warranty, we recommend the NoCry instead.
The Dremel Go is effectively a re-badged Bosch Go, but at half the price. The specifications and design are almost identical.
The Go from Dremel features an impressively high RPM of 360 and solid torque output of 44 lbs-in. The speed is particularly impressive given its 4V power output and small weight and size.
Instead of the traditional trigger operation, the Dremel Go uses a push to activate button controlled by the palm of the hand. I personally like this design as it mimics the natural movement of a screwdriver. But, others have found a steeper learning curve and did not find the design to their liking. This comes down to personal preference.
The 6 torque settings are controlled by a knob at the base. Dremel has included 'overdrive protection' too, which will disengage the clutch before it starts stripping screws. This is a handy feature and combined with the manual lock for finishing/starting and the 44 lbs-in of torque, you have plenty of torque control at your fingertips.
Like the Tacklife unit, charging is via the included micro-USB cable. See the pros/cons above on whether micro-USB or replaceable batteries are right for you. This also comes down to personal preference. You'll know when to charge the screwdriver thanks to the battery life indicator at the base.
This unit is pretty light on accessories, but they do provide 7 screwdriver bits to get you started.
Overall, this is our pick if you're after an affordable, inline cordless screwdriver. It's the lightest in our list and one of the most portable. Just make sure you're comfortable with the push to activate button before purchasing.
Our final pick is also the cheapest and most simple. The Black & Decker AS6NG cordless screwdriver won't win any awards for torque, speed, or clutch settings. But, it doesn't need to.
This is not the screwdriver an electrician is going to rely on for their income. No. It's a screwdriver that sits in your kitchen drawer and does occasional odd jobs around the house. The main aim is to reduce operator fatigue and won't increase your fastening efficiency like some of the other screwdrivers in this list.
The Black and Decker AS6NG is the only screwdriver in our list that operates on 4 x AA alkaline batteries (included). This means the speed maxes out at 130 RPM and torque at 20 in-lbs. Still powerful enough to get through most of the screwing, but you may need to switch it to manual mode for the final twist.
We recommend taking out the alkaline batteries when not in use because one leaking battery can destroy any electronic device.
There is a switch to change between forward and reverse. But, the design of the switch could be improved as it's easy to forget which way direction it's currently set. We'd like to see a toggle button instead.
Overall, this is a super cheap cordless screwdriver that will help with light fastening duties. Just don't think you'll be doing any drilling or heavy screwing with this one. For that, you'll need to spend a little bit more.
We're really smitten with Dewalt's 8V Gyroscopic Screwdriver Kit. With 430 rpm, 80 inch-pounds of torque, 2 batteries, and 15 clutch settings, you'll be able to complete most fastening duties quickly without damaging screws or working materials. Just make sure you understand how the gyroscope works as there is a small learning curve if you haven't used one before.
For electricians or other heavy users, we recommend Makita's 7.2V Cordless Kit. The 21 clutch settings, two speeds, and adjustable handy provide the required versatility. Makita's build quality and attention to detail ensures durability and longevity.
But, if budget is a priority, then we recommend the very affordable NoCry screwdriver. It has the best mix of high-end specs at a budget price point. We'd only recommend the Tacklife if you need an adjustable handle, or the Dremel Go if you prefer inline only.
There's actually a wide set of considerations for what may appear to be a simple, small power tool. We've included what we consider the most important factors to consider when buying a cordless screwdriver below.
The two basic designs are pistol (ie 90 degrees) or straight (180 degrees). Some screwdrivers have the ability to switch between the two modes for ultimate versatility.
You can decide what size is right for you according to your main applications. Some cordless screwdrivers can fit right in your pocket, whilst others come with cases.
Battery life is a crucial factor while purchasing a cordless screwdriver. The bigger the battery, the more charge it can hold, and the more screws you can fasten with a single charge. The trade-off is battery size. The bigger the battery, the less portable the unit. The size of the battery can also be an indicator of speed (more battery means more speed).
However, if you only use the rechargeable screwdriver once in a while, the size of the battery doesn't matter as much.
The more volts, the greater the power input to turn the chuck. So, as a general rule, a screwdriver with a higher voltage will also have a higher RPM. 4V is suitable for most household jobs, with some cordless screwdrivers operating at an impressive 8V.
The number of rotations per minute (RPM) the screwdriver can make, the better chance it has of penetrating the material. Some materials like wood require a high RPM to fasten a screw. It really depends on your application. Some screwdrivers provide two gears (high and low speed) to allow use with different materials.
Bear in mind that the higher the speed, the more likely you are to also lose control of the tool and strip the screw.
These triggers allow you to apply more pressure for greater speed, giving you more control and helps avoid stripping screws.
This isn't so much an issue for occasional use, but if you're using the screwdriver for hours at a time then you're going to want something ergonomic. Some screwdrivers provide soft rubber grips for increased comfort, whereas others stick with the hard plastic grip.
Reverse action is for taking out screws. Most screwdrivers come with a reversible feature as it saves a lot of time when removing screws. Look for the forward/reverse switch.
The quick charge feature allows you to decrease the charge time so you can use the screwdriver when you're in a hurry and don't want to wait for the battery to completely charge.
Great for working in poorly lit or dark areas, some screwdrivers provide an LED at the front (and maybe at the back too). Turning the LED on/off is different for each model. If this feature matters to you, make sure you understand how the LED operates as some manufacturers haven't properly thought this feature through.
A warranty can save you money and hassle if your tool breaks down or if it is defective. Be sure to check any limitations as some manufacturers may not cover every component.
Some screwdrivers come with accessory kits that are often good value compared to buying the bits separately. Some come with zero bits. But, be wary of kits that inflate their overall piece numbers with small, useless tools.
This nifty feature allows you to position the screw and operate the cordless screwdriver with only one hand. Leaving the other hand free to keep the pieces in place, scratch your nose, take a drink, or whatever you want with your free hand.
A magnet keeps the screw in place to make operation easier and potentially use with one hand.
Besides saving the manual effort and preventing wrist cramps, cordless screwdrivers increase productivity and can save you a lot of time. Rather than putting all of your energy into screwing and unscrewing, you can focus on the planning and assembling components of the task at hand.
Increase how many screws you can fasten or unfasten per hour and you've just increased your efficiency and overall output. Cordless screwdrivers are great time savers.
Screws are EVERYWHERE. From mountains of IKEA flat-packed furniture to electronics, investing in an electric screwdriver will ensure you've always got the right tool at hand. Just make sure you've also got the right set of bits to use.
Regular corded screwdrivers save a lot of hassle and are certainly more powerful. But the mess of cords can cause many safety hazards that can be avoided with cordless tools.
Operator fatigue is a common issue with manual screwdrivers. The constant rotating of the wrist can cause pain and RSI issues with extended use. Cordless screwdrivers significantly decrease the amount of manual effort required, thereby increasing operator safety.
You no longer have to deal with power cables not being long enough to let you work in a particular area. Cordless screwdrivers are also small enough to fit into nooks and crevices that bigger, corded tools cannot. Add in adjustable handles, and you really open up the flexibility.
They don't occupy much space and they are very easy to carry with you wherever you go.
Screwdrivers play a central role in all kinds of household, furniture, and garden assembly. Cordless screwdrivers combine the function of a regular screwdriver with more power to let you complete tasks quicker and with less effort.
Cordless screwdrivers eliminate the need to manually turn the screwdriver for fastening (or removing) the screws.
Every battery-operated screwdriver has an electric circuit in place that lets you operate it using a trigger of some sort. Many are shaped like handguns, with the trigger finger resting on the speed control trigger.
When you pull the trigger, you complete the electric circuit, allowing power to flow which turns the screwdriver. Most electric screwdrivers come with rechargeable batteries.