What to Look for in a Cordless Screwdriver

Panasonic EY7410LA2SThe number of different types of cordless drills is endless.  Trying to figure out which is the best for you can be a daunting task.  If you do a lot of small projects around your apartment or home then a cordless screwdriver may be the best choice for you.  A cordless screwdriver falls under the category of cordless drills.  It has the least amount of power in the cordless drill category.  Its primary function is to drive small screws and act as a automated screwdriver for one-time projects by hanging a picture or a shelf.

Even though I do many larger projects that need a more powerful cordless drill it is nice to have a cordless screwdriver around for the small jobs.  It's a nice light weight tool to keep in my toolbox.  As I get older, my hands appreciate not having to do strenuous repetitive twisting motions.

Most Important: Batteries

Milwaukee 0490-22I don't look for the same things in a cordless screwdriver as I do for a cordless drill.  Although it is nice to have high-speed and powerful torque, it is not the most important feature for me.  What is most important for me is the battery.  My cordless screwdriver can sit in my toolbox for many months without use.  When I do need my cordless screwdriver, I want to be able to pull it out of my toolbox and use it immediately.  So, the best battery for this situation is a lithium ion battery.  They hold their charge the longest and they are very light weight.  Ideally, the cordless screwdriver with two removable lithium-ion batteries is the best situation. Cordless screw drivers that I previously reviewed such as the Panasonic EY7410LAS2 and Milwaukee 04900–22  have two replaceable lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries.

The Clutch Settings

Hitachi DB3DLAnother important item that I look for in cordless screwdrivers is the clutch settings.  A clutch setting will release the pressure when you are screwing or unscrewing a difficult screw.  If the pressure isn't released, the screw head can snap off.  Having multiple clutch settings allows you to work with smaller and more fragile screws.  Many of the cordless screwdrivers have over 20 clutch settings.  The Hitachi DB3DL I previously reviewed has multiple clutch settings and is a good choice for the tool box.

Stay Away From


SKIL 2354-01The cordless screwdrivers that I would stay away from are the ones with the built in battery.  If and when the battery dies, the tool becomes useless.  It is usually more expensive to have the tool fixed than it is to buy a new one.  A perfectly good cordless screwdriver ends up in the landfill and is not a very green option.

One more Important Feature

Another thing that I look for in cordless screwdrivers is the warranty.  I would prefer at least a two-year warranty on my cordless screwdriver.  One of the best warranties is on the Hitachi DB3DL cordless screwdriver.  It comes with a lifetime warranty!

You can see all of my detailed cordless screwdriver reviews here.

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