9 Best Cordless Screwdrivers for Quick Light Duty Jobs

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One of the biggest problems when looking for a cordless screwdriver is the frequent contradictions in various cordless screwdriver reviews. Even the best cordless screwdriver is not designed for heavy-duty use such as driving screws into a deck.

As a result, users are often disappointed with the screwdriver being too weak when they use them for a specific project. For those medium to heavy duty projects, they’d be better off simply using their trusty cordless drill with a screwdriver bit. For light jobs, that’s where a cordless screwdriver excels.

While some experienced craftsmen are able to use a drill or other high-torque tool for delicate jobs instead of a cordless screwdriver, this carries a risk of damaging the screw or material without precise control and is not advised for the average DIYer.

While it’s totally fine using a normal screwdriver set, a cordless electric model will save you time and effort, especially when lots of screws are involved such as when assembling that Ikea bookcase. The following electric screwdrivers are great for general light use around the house and well worth their low cost.

Our 9 Favorite Cordless Electric Screwdrivers

 ProductPowerSpeedTool WeightLED?
best-cordless-screwdriver-1DeWalt DCF680N28V0-430 RPM17.6 ozYes
milwaukee-cordless-screwdriverMilwaukee M4 2101-204V200 / 600 RPM16.0 ozNo
makita-electric-screwdriverMakita DF001DW3.6V220 RPM12.8 ozYes
worx-power-screwdriverWORX WX255L SD4V0-230 RPM17.6 ozYes
ryobi-quickturnRyobi QuickTurn4V200 / 600 RPM14.0 ozNo
best-black-decker-screwdriverBlack+Decker BDCSFL20C4V180 RPM17.6 ozYes
skil-rechargeable-screwdriverSkil SD5618014V230 RPM13.6 ozYes
skil-cordless-electric-screwdriverSkil SD5612014V230 RPM7.8 ozYes
budget-cordless-screwdriverBlack+Decker BDCS20C4V180 RPM16.0 ozNo

Cordless Screwdriver Reviews

#1 – DeWalt DCF680N2 8V Max Gyroscopic Screwdriver

best-cordless-screwdriver-1You almost can’t have a list of power tools these days without DeWalt making an appearance. In this case, the DCF680N2 Gyroscopic Screwdriver has proven yet another winner for the household name company.

This battery operated power screwdriver uses the 8V MAX battery pack to deliver motion-activated variable speeds of up to 430 RPM when working with wood, plastic, and even light-gauge metal.

The grip (an important part of any screwdriver) is adjustable to allow for either straight or pistol-grip handling, while 15 clutch position settings make work go even smoother regardless of which direction the motor is running.

Owners of the DCF680N2 have a lot to say about the quality found in both the driver and its batteries. Despite abuse and frequent drops, consumers have reported no damage beyond some cosmetic scrapes.

The MAX battery system continues to impress, providing the screwdriver with enough power to drive approximately 200 screws on a single charge. The charger can be wall-mounted and will completely restore a battery in only 30 minutes, allowing very little downtime during heavy use.

Finally, the gyroscopic feature has proven very popular with users, as it allows for superior control and reversal by simply turning your wrist.

There is one major complaint among owners of this screwdriver, and that is the low torque. Usually this is due to the user not understanding a cordless screwdriver’s main purpose. As long as people understand the power limitations of any cordless screwdriver, this is not an issue.

The lightweight build and power may make it the best electric screwdriver for household use, such as hanging pictures or drilling into drywall, but it cannot handle major jobs.

Lastly, the consensus is that the screwdriver is best used solely for screws, even though it can accommodate drill bits.

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#2 – Milwaukee M4 2101-20 4V Cordless Screwdriver

milwaukee-cordless-screwdriverIf you are a tradesman who has need for a cordless screwdriver on a daily basis, then you’ll likely become a huge fan of Milwaukee’s M4 model the first time you try it.

This electric screwdriver is built to last and features a 21-position clutch with auto shut-off, for improved torque control (something not found in other models). The Milwaukee tool also features a quick-change chuck that allows for 1-handed bit changes and a 2 speed selector (200 or 600 RPM).

Unfortunately, there is no onboard LED light so you’ll likely want to go with another model if you plan on working in low light conditions.

While it is certainly true that there are a number of cheaper cordless screwdrivers available on today’s market, one can easily justify the expense associated with this particular model. Milwaukee carries a superb reputation for excellence and is known for producing tools that are more than capable of withstanding the test of time.

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#3 – Makita DF001DW 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver Kit

makita-electric-screwdriverThe Makita DF001DW is perfect for the avid DIY enthusiast, who is always in the midst of completing a new project. This screwdriver can be used in your choice of either a pistol grip or straight barrel design depending on comfort or fastener access.

The electric screwdriver operates at 220 RPM and the bright LED does a great job of illuminating the work area. Also included is an 81-piece accessory bit set and carrying case, for added convenience. At only 12.8 ounces, it’s one of the lightest cordless models around.

A number of consumers have expressed dissatisfaction toward the Makita’s lack of torque and speed controls. While this should be of little concern for most consumers, those wishing to self-tap screws into harder surfaces, such as cement or brick, might be better off opting for a different product.

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#4 – WORX WX255L SD Semi-Automatic Cordless Screwdriver

worx-power-screwdriverThe WX255L is a cordless screw gun designed for efficient, one-handed work. It features a detachable screw holder attachment, reloadable six bit capacity storage cartridge, and an LED light to illuminate the work area.

The driver is able to handle any one-fourth inch hex shank insert bit, and the 4V MAX Lithium battery is able to retain its charge for up to 18 months.

One of the most common comments by owners of this small electric screwdriver is its ease-of-use. Whether the user is a seasoned builder in need of a compact portable tool or a family member who wants to tighten a loose screw, the experience proves satisfying.

On longer projects, the ability to change bits quickly and hold onto screws will save you both time and effort. Finally, the amount of torque provided by the WX255L is adequate to complete most jobs without the risk of damaging screws.

As is the case with the DeWalt, some have complained that this small electric screwdriver lacks the power for heavy-duty jobs, although it works fine for regular tasks.

In the event you plan to work on projects where higher torque is necessary, this is not the battery screwdriver for you.

The other common complaint is a lack of speed variation. While the WX255L is able to tackle a number of projects, some users have found it difficult or slow to complete tasks due to the inability to control speed.

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#5 – Ryobi QuickTurn 4V Electric Screwdriver

ryobi-quickturnThe Ryobi QuickTurn cordless hex screwdriver is a good all-purpose cordless screwdriver for home use. It allows for easy change-out from standard driver to stick driver, thereby saving time and effort.

Weighing in at 14 ounces, the tool easily switches between 200 and 600 RPM. Additionally, the QuickTurn includes a charger, driving bits, and a 3-year limited warranty.

Some consumers have found fault in the Ryobi’s lack of integrated bit storage. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find many negatives toward the functionality of the screwdriver itself if you understand its intended uses.

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#6 – Black+Decker BDCSFL20C 4V Max Cordless Screwdriver

best-black-decker-screwdriverBlack+Decker was one of the early pioneers of the cordless screwdriver, while higher end models may be faster or offer more torque, the BDCSFL20C is arguably the best value in cordless screwdrivers.

This product can be used as both a screwdriver and a rechargeable flashlight. It features a comfort-grip handle that pivots into three different positions, so that you can access tight spaces and work in almost any orientation imaginable. 

While 180 RPM won’t win any awards for speed, it’s still a heck of a lot faster than a manual screwdriver. Occasionally, some have expressed dissatisfaction toward the screwdriver’s battery life. However, this issue can be largely avoided by placing the screwdriver on its charger after each use.

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#7 – Skil SD561801 4V Pistol Grip Rechargeable Screwdriver

skil-rechargeable-screwdriverThe SKIL SD561801 should be ideal for any homeowner looking to complete a wide range of daily tasks or DIY projects. This screwdriver showcases an ergonomic design, which allows easy grip and handling, with a two-finger trigger.

The SKIL screwdriver operates at 230 RPM also has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is known for its superior service life, and can be charged quite conveniently, through the use of a micro-USB cable thus requiring no docking charger.

Some consumers have expressed reservations toward SKIL’s choice of bit-retention magnets, stating that bits are easily dislodged with minimum force. However, this issue appears to have been remedied during a recent product update.

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#8 – Skil SD561201 4V Stick Rechargeable Screwdriver

skil-cordless-electric-screwdriverLike its “pistol grip” sibling above, this SKIL  is perfect for those that find themselves regularly tackling a wide array of projects. This screwdriver features Circuit Sensor Technology, which detects live wires in outlets, switches, and cords, from up to 1″ away.

The screwdriver easily switches between forward and reverse, with just a simple twist of the unit’s collar. At just under 8 ounces, you won’t find a more lightweight model out there.

It is worth mentioning that a number of consumers have found fault in the screwdriver’s relative lack of torque. However, most who had an issue with this fact, also stated that they were attempting to use this product outside of its intended range of acceptable uses.

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#9 – Black+Decker BDCS20C 4V Max Screwdriver

budget-cordless-screwdriverBlack & Decker often makes products for specific uses, trading versatility for quality. The BDCS20C is a prime example, with a compact design intended for tight spaces.

The motor provides 180 rpm, making it perfect for a wide variety of jobs ranging from guitar tuning to furniture assembly. As a trade-off, the unit is obviously not a good option for drilling or even medium-duty use.

The list of positives are extensive. Some of the things users frequently note are the durability, compact design, and ease-of-use. The long battery life and overall efficiency appeal to a wide array of consumers, ranging from workshop owners to those who simply need to tighten a screw.

These consumers have also cited a wide range of projects, including guitar tuning, assembling furniture, hanging curtains, electronics repair, and even installing doggie doors.

There are three common complaints about the BDCS20C. The first relates to the low RPM, which makes it a poor drill. These complaints are generally accompanied by comments that the speed is sufficient for its intended use, however.

Secondly, many consumers are disappointed that the screwdriver lacks some common features, such as an LED light and bit holder.

The final issue owners have had with this model relates to a common problem with ordering online, namely the risk of getting a used or lower-quality product when ordering from a third-party distributor.

It’s always best to purchase tools such as this from a reputable website or store to make sure you’re getting the genuine product.

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How to Choose a Cordless Screwdriver

The following are several key features of value that every consumer should look for when shopping for a cordless screwdriver.

Power

In terms of power, not all cordless screwdrivers are created equally. In fact, screwdrivers of this type come in a wide variety of power ratings, each of which is intended to tackle specific tasks. Ultimately, it pays to know how much power you will need, as one is best to focus their search based upon these criteria.

A cordless screwdriver’s power output is rated in volts. While several light-medium duty cordless screwdrivers fall into the 3-7 volt range, the vast majority of today’s heavier-duty products find themselves in the 8-15 volt range. These heavier cordless screwdrivers are better suited to drilling applications.

Torque

A cordless screwdriver’s torque rating defines the amount of rotational force that it is capable of placing upon a screw, in any one particular direction. The higher a cordless screwdriver’s torque rating, the more capable it is of diving stubborn fasteners into hardened surfaces.

In the world of cordless screwdrivers, torque is measured in Newton Meters, which is abbreviated as N.m. Screwdrivers of this type generally feature a working torque of anywhere between 1 N.m. and 27 N.m., though each extreme is quite rare.

In reality, the vast majority of cordless screwdrivers carry torque ratings that fall into the 3 N.m. to 10 N.m. range.

Speed

The exact speed at which a cordless screwdriver works is variable, differing greatly from one unit to the next. This speed is recorded in the form of RPMs or revolutions per minute. Most standard cordless drills feature a speed rating of 150-300 RPMs.

Though one would be tempted to believe that a higher operating speed would prove beneficial, this is not always the case. In fact, attempting to drive fasteners at too great of speed can lead to striping, ultimately damaging the fastener in question. 

Therefore, extensive value is offered by a cordless screwdriver that features adjustable speed settings, which allow users to operate with the perfect blend of speed and precision. Variable settings of this nature also serve to reduce operator fatigue.

Maneuverability 

Maneuverability is an essential factor when choosing an electric screwdriver. Several forms of screwdrivers are available including inline, fixed pistol grip, and variable grip models.

  • Inline electric screwdrivers resemble the look and feel of a manual screwdriver, but function the same as any other electric model. Caution does have to be practiced in using an inline screwdriver, due to its straight grip. If your hands or the grip of the screwdriver are wet, or the speed or torque is too high, the screwdriver can easily slip from your grasp.
  • Fixed pistol grip electric screwdrivers come by their name from the shape of the grip that they feature. This variation features a small handle and finger trigger which allows you a firm hold on the screwdriver without the risk of slipping even when higher speeds or torque are being exerted
  • Variable grip electric screwdrivers have an adjustable grip that can be bent or rotated for multiple places of access and maneuverability. These adjustable grips are the perfect choice if you have space restrictions or can’t decide between the other types of screwdrivers.

Battery

Battery power for an electric screwdriver is measured using milliAmp hours (mAh) for small batteries, or Amp-hours (Ah) for larger batteries where 1000 mAh equals 1 Ah. Thus a one-amp hour (Ah) battery is capable of producing one amp of energy for one hour.

A 1-Ah battery can produce higher amps of energy but will only last for shorter periods of time. Typically you use a cordless screwdriver intermittently on projects and a battery only loses power when the screwdriver is being operated. Lithium batteries are most commonly used in cordless screwdrivers. 

It is very important to assess your battery life needs before purchasing a cordless screwdriver. The average Ah rating is between .5 Ah and 2.5 Ah so consideration should be taken into the availability of electricity for recharging and the needed power, torque, and speed requirements of the jobs you will be using it for as the higher the energy output, the faster the battery will drain.

Extra Features

Today’s cordless screwdrivers come complete with an array of additional features, most of which are intended to simplify the life of the tradesman who regularly uses such tools. The following are some of the most helpful of these features.

  • Adjustable Torque System: Allows users to select from multiple torque settings, on the fly
  • LED Light: Casts additional lighting on fasteners, providing enhanced visibility.
  • Magnetic Screw Retainer: Retains screws for the sake of simplicity, allowing one-handed operation.
  • Load Limiting System: Cuts power to a cordless screwdriver motor, if placed in an excess bind, preventing potential hand/wrist injury.

Can a Cordless Screwdriver Drill Holes?

While a cordless screwdriver is not ideally suited to the task of drilling holes, such a feat can be readily accomplished if care is taken.

One must first consider the type of surface that is to be drilled. Most cordless screwdrivers can easily drill softwoods and thin metal, drilling hardwood of thick metal surfaces is best avoided.

It is also worth mentioning that many cordless screwdrivers feature a “drilling” symbol on their torque-adjusting collar. The presence of such a symbol generally means that the screwdriver in question has been engineered to withstand alternative use as a drill, if only for limited periods of time.

Cordless Screwdriver vs Manual

A cordless screwdriver is a tool of convenience. By design, a cordless screwdriver is intended to drive screws in rapid succession without hesitation of any type. However, this convenience comes with a price tag. For the better models, you may pay much more for a cordless screwdriver, than you will an entire pack of manual, hand-operated screwdrivers.

To summarize, those who intend to sink no more than the occasional screw, are likely to save money by sticking to the use of a manual screwdriver. However, those within the construction, carpentry, or maintenance trades should find ample value in the purchase of a quality cordless drill, as such a tool will make you a more efficient worker in the long run.

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