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Cordless Screwdriver
Old 04-02-2021, 07:47 PM   #1
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Cordless Screwdriver

I find myself needing to assemble a lot of things lately. Furniture, TV stands, etc. And Iíve been installing a bunch of dimmer switches to replace the standard light switches. So far Iíve been using a good old fashioned screwdriver to do everything, but my hand is getting tired from holding it so much.

I know there are power tools that can help me do this. But my question is, should I be looking for a cordless screwdriver, a cordless drill, or a cordless impact driver?

I donít really ever drill holes, and I donít find myself needing to drive screws into wood unless there is an existing thread to screw it into. Which tool would be the best overall tool to have around the house for light handyman projects? None of them seem to be terribly expensive so Iíd rather just get the best overall tool to have around when I need it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:58 PM   #2
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I prefer Milwaukee or DeWalt power tools but there's plenty other good ones... Whatever you get, look for one with a good range of torque settings.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:03 PM   #3
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I had a cordless screwdriver years ago and it just had no power and the battery was always dead when i needed it. I now have 2 cordless drills, one for drilling and the other I use with screwdriver bits. One is a Craftsman that my son gave me when he upgraded to bigger and better and I inherited the 2nd one when someone left a bag of tools with a DeWalt drill inside at my house and never came back for it. So both were free, they still work great and charge quickly and fulfill all my needs
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:13 PM   #4
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Look at this, or something like it:
https://www.milwaukeetool.com/tools/...driver/2401-20

Light weight, variable speed (very important), a light, variable torque settings.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:20 PM   #5
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I used to have a 14.4 volt Dewalt drill with an adjustable clutch to prevent over tightening. It was about $200 about 30 years ago. It was great but the battery died and recently I used a cheap, 4AA battery screwdriver with no clutch that I got free with a magazine subscription. It was a huge help! For your use, you can go cheap and I think you'll be satisfied. For wood you could get screw wax in case the cordless screwdriver isn't powerful enough.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:16 PM   #6
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If you truly never need to drill, then an impact driver is all you need. But given your light amount of usage I would suggest getting a drill so that you have more flexibility. Sometimes you may find that you need to drill a pilot hole for a screw or a nail. And the clutch can help prevent over torquing a fastener when screwing things together.

Much like the "Cordless Leaf Blowers" thread, part of your decision should take into account any other tool (jigsaw, circular saw, ...) that you might possibly want in the future before deciding which battery system to buy into.

I think you will be happy with any of the major brands. A couple of times last year Home Depot had a Makita XFD131 kit on sale for $100, like around father's day if I recall correctly. That is what I bought (and have been happy with it) since I could share the battery & charger with my blower. There is a corresponding XDT131 impact driver. They make a subcompact versions if size is a concern but it I thought it was not enough to make a difference. Whatever you decide, it does get confusing for a DIY'er to chose as many of the brands have an extensive lineup of size vs power and with a range of features such as drill, drill/driver, hammer drill, etc.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:18 AM   #7
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I agree, get a decent cordless drill/screwdriver with adjustable torque, and keep it on the lowest setting for screws in pre-threaded holes. Eventually you'll need to drill, or remove a screw that hasn't been budged in decades, and you'll be glad you don't have to buy another tool just for that. I have a Craftsman that was given to me as a gift, and it is not bad, I like that it came with a work light that uses the same battery, but if I had to replace it I'd probably also consider Makita, Bosch, DeWalt, and Milwaukee.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:28 AM   #8
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Yeah a simple cordless drill will work for most situations vs a driver, and be more useful overall. Much more versatile.

There are some times where the screw is in a fiddly place, and the longer/skinnier profile of the screwdriver reaches it better. I'd assume there are attachments for a drill to fill that gap though...but I know I've forced some screws in non-critical things at not exactly the perfect angle.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:42 AM   #9
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I use my Dewalt cordless 1/4" impact driver for almost everything now. I also have a right angle attachment, a couple longer extensions, and a flexible extension. With that I can use it for almost anything.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:49 AM   #10
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As a cheap stop gap, I find ratcheting screwdrivers much easier on the hands/forearms when I have a lot of manual screws to sink and I don't want to use my driver/drill for the project.

Sometimes power tools are just to ,,,, powerful.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:12 AM   #11
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I’m still trying to understand the terminology with these tools but if I’m understanding correctly an impact driver would be overkill for me and too much power for assembling furniture or installing light fixtures. But I see a lot of drills described as drill/drivers. Is there a difference between a drill and a drill/driver? And what does a drill with 2 speeds offer that a single speed drill can’t do? Don’t drills generally get faster as you put more pressure on the trigger?
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready View Post
Don’t drills generally get faster as you put more pressure on the trigger?
(VSR's) Variable speed drills do, fix speeds don't. Most (not all) drills today are VSR's (Variable Speed Reversible)
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Yeah a simple cordless drill will work for most situations vs a driver, and be more useful overall. Much more versatile.

There are some times where the screw is in a fiddly place, and the longer/skinnier profile of the screwdriver reaches it better. I'd assume there are attachments for a drill to fill that gap though...but I know I've forced some screws in non-critical things at not exactly the perfect angle.
Yep, I accumulated a bunch of bits, including one flexible gooseneck-type extension that works pretty well in tight spaces, although it won't work at too much of an angle. I can almost always get by with something like these:
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
I prefer Milwaukee or DeWalt power tools but there's plenty other good ones... Whatever you get, look for one with a good range of torque settings.
Whichever driver you choose, look for a Lithium Ion battery. I have a Makita 18V drill/impact set and I love that it can sit in the basement for 6 months but if I need it right then, it still has plenty of charge for what I need. Unless I'm involved in a large project I probably only charge each battery about once per year.

The old tools used to suck (literally) as they wouldn't hold a charge for very long.

I have heard good things about the little Milwaukee drivers, though.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:59 AM   #15
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Any of the cordless drills will suit your needs. I personally like those that are lithium battery powered because they hold a charge better than a nickel battery drill.

Any major brand will do. I have three different ones and a corded 1/2 inch hammer drill.

My problem is keeping up with the chargers and batteries. I have two homes, and find what I'm looking at to often be at the other house or in the other pickup truck I'm not driving when it's needed.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:10 AM   #16
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I also have this Neiko close quarters ratcheting screwdriver for tighter places than any cordless screwdriver could reach. I used it on the back of a large dresser/desk that was against a wall.

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Old 04-03-2021, 08:17 AM   #17
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Agree with all the recommendations for a lithium battery variable speed reversing drill. Get one along with a bit assortment kit. It will do all you need. Just about any brand will do fine, it is good suggestion to think about other tools that can use the same battery system. 18 or 20 volt range is very popular and have many brands and options as far as battery capacity (amp-hours).

An impact driver can't drill, but a drill can drive fasteners. Drill can obviously work for drilling holes as well. Impact driver are stronger at driving fasteners; good for construction projects, but not as convenient for routine maintenance type work.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:21 AM   #18
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The Yankee stye screwdriver will work, never needs charging.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:29 AM   #19
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Get a cordless drill, a good one, you won't regret it. Make sure you get one with an adjustable torque setting. Important to not destroy stuff, these things are really powerful. I have a Milwaukee and a Ridged from Home Depot. The Ridged batteries are guaranteed for life. As long as you register your tool after you buy, they will replace bad batteries forever for free. Other tools, replacement batteries often cost as much as the tool itself.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:34 AM   #20
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Years ago, DW bought a cute 9V Nakita cordless drill. I use it all the time as it is a lot smaller than my 20 volt cordless.
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