How to choose a screwdriver

In this article we would like to raise the subject of the choice of the drill, more info to analyze their types and technical characteristics to which you should pay attention when buying this type of tool that is deployed to answer the question, which occurs more often, namely how to choose a drill for home, cottage or work.

Applications of the screwdriver

Direct appointment:

  • tightening/loosening screws, screws, bolts and other fasteners
  • drilling holes in wood, metal and brick

The "people" application:

  • mixing mixes and paints
  • drilling holes for ice fishing (video)

Types of screwdrivers:

The market represented a huge number of handbags of various dimensions and manufacturers. They are divided into professional and consumer depending on the nutrient, Chuck size, power, number of additional features supplied and the price. The division, however, is inherent in almost any instrument.

For a start let us examine the division of nutritional element. We can distinguish two types: rechargeable (Li-Ion, Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh) and electric power about each of them in detail later.

Li-Ion batteries

depicts Li-Ion batteries Milwaukee

The most modern and most common, to date, type of batteries, not only in handbags but in many other tools (as well as in portable devices that we all use). Modern Li-Ion batteries are designed for three thousand cycles of charge-discharge. Battery is lightweight and quickly recharges, furthermore, has no memory to charge.

The main disadvantages are: the shelf life of the battery, which is three years, the need for continuous use, to maximize impact and significant cost.


Tip: Batteries of this type are designed for continuous use, and therefore, to maximize the possibilities it is advisable to take them not for a single work! It is also worth noting that Li-Ion batteries it is not advisable to recharge and discharge in full, a stable discharge to 15% and charge to 90% significantly prolong the life of the battery. Three cycles of charge-discharge in a row will allow you to calibrate the battery capacity to the maximum.

Ni-Cd batteries

pictured Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries AEG

Appeared on the market long enough, are used in many tools, not only to the screwdrivers. Designed for fifteen hundred cycles of charge-discharge. The shelf life of these 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.

Negative aspects of this type of batteries is quite a long time, the charging process (is at best an hour), the presence of memory-to-charge and considerable weight of the battery.


Tip: since batteries of this type have a memory-to-charge should make a habit of fully charging and discharging them, thereby reducing their service life. A full charge will take the charger and a full charge can be achieved, for example, with the aid of the lantern, which is very common in the included screwdrivers with Ni-Cd batteries. In the case of the lantern, you can pull the button with a regular elastic and after some time, the drill runs out of power itself. To store this type of battery recommended are discharged.

Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries

pictured Ni-Mh batteries Makita

Essentially a cross between Li-Ion and Ni-Cd batteries. Meet at the bras much less frequently than the above types of batteries. The number of cycles of charge-discharge varies about a thousand. Has virtually no memory to charge and has a minimal self-discharge among all types of batteries . Of the minuses not to mention weight.


Tip: This type of battery for almost free from memory effect, but still, before using a screwdriver, after long-term storage, it is discharged and then recharged for further use. For long-term storage batteries of this type should keep fully charged.

All batteries vary in capacity and battery voltage.

Capacity is measured in amps multiplied by hours (Ah). The greater this ratio, the more the battery is able to bear a charge, respectively, more work will be done on a fully charged battery.

Battery voltage is measured in V (Volts). From this indicator depends on the power which can be obtained from a screwdriver, working on these batteries. Simply put, the voltage of the batteries directly affects the maximum possible indicators of soft and brutal torque, which we will discuss below.

Network screwing

network drills (makita, Interskol, anchor)

Very similar to the drills (don't miss also the article "How to choose a drill") , the main difference is the presence of adjustment torque. Model screwdrivers of this type is represented by only a few manufacturers of household tool class. Eminent manufacturers focus on professional screwdrivers to work on the drywall, the cartridge which spins the bits only after the "drowning" it in the material.

Network screwdrivers ideal for odd jobs around the house or for professional use in repair and construction. Depending on the situation, no need for charging can be considered a plus . The restrictions created by the need for electric networks, low mobility and underfoot leads, definitely, the main disadvantages of this tool.

Cartridges and reducers

Screwdrivers are available with a Keyless three-jaw Chuck (clamping range of the snap-in from 0.5 to 13 mm), and hex bore place for a snap with a 1/4 inch shank. Keyless Chuck is more practical and allows the use of any suitable diameter, snap-in. Of course, the larger the diameter, the more versatile the drill.

The hex Chuck is useful when you need frequent change of equipment and when working in tight spaces. To drill in this drill you must use drill bits with hex shank. Is possible to install a conventional Chuck with hexagonal shank.

The rotation of the motor to the cartridge is transmitted through the gearbox. Gears inside the gearbox can be made of metal or plastic. Metal gears are the most characteristic for powerful professional models of screwdrivers.

Power screwdriver

Reflect two parameters, measured in Nm (Newtonmeter), it is soft and hard torque:

  • Soft torque is a measure of the maximum effort of the screwdriver in terms of tightening/loosening rotational speed in this mode, most of the handbags ranges from 0 to 350 rpm.
  • Hard torque, in turn, reflects the maximum force in the drilling mode, in this case, the frequency of rotation, usually calculated from 0 to over 1000 rpm.

The more these parameters are, the more powerful, more productive and more practical screwdriver. For example, a screwdriver having a torque of 25 to 30 Nm can easily twist in a wood screw length of 70 mm. To tighten the screws from 70 to 100 mm required torque of 40 Nm. To tighten the longer screws require pre-drilling holes.

Important! This example is not universal, as the screws and the materials used are of varying quality and density.

Additional features some screwdrivers:

additional features: sparkling

  • – The presence of the impactor, without a doubt, quite a useful feature, especially when working with sockets or when drilling holes in brick and stone.
  • – The presence of a pulse, periodically, high torque, useful for easier fastener drowning in the material, loosening jammed screws or even drill if the drill fails. Especially useful when there is no possibility to stretch, to press firmly the screwdriver.
  • – The presence of 3 speed allows you to change the network drill at home, as the rotation speed of the Chuck in this mode can reach more than 3000 rpm, and first gear will give decent torque.
  • – The light is very important when working in remote places or with poor, if not absent lighting. The most successful version of the arrangement of illumination on battery pack, there are models with illumination are located above the pushbutton that is less efficient in most cases.

To summarize, under all of the above, I would like to note that to recommend a universal screwdriver for all is impossible, because many components of the choice depends on your goals and objectives that you intend to implement this tool, but finally, I still share your opinion about the choice, some examples :

  • – Screwdriver for home/villas: for the most part it will be enough and the network version, because of its accessibility, low weight and lack of need for special mobility. If we consider the battery version, should pay attention to Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh if you plan to work it is not often, so you'll save money and get more battery life.

In cases where the planned frequent use, requiring the business continuity process, no doubt, the choice of Li-Ion battery will justify itself by 100%. Why don't I suggest to take out for rare works by more modern batteries? Quite simply, they are more expensive and designed for stable use, it is not necessary to forget that the shelf life of 2 years less, but because of missed opportunities in this case will be much greater.

For domestic use a maximum torque 25-35 Nm would be sufficient, of course you can take and more powerful, here it all depends on your desire and financial opportunities. The battery capacity is not so important for occasional use in the home, because 1,5-2 Ah will be just right.

  • – Screwdriver for professional use: when working in inaccessible places it would be logical to choose a more compact model. Features frequent and long continuous use in many cases, justified will lead to the purchase of Li-Ion screwdriver with a maximum torque of 40 Nm and above, depending on the type of materials with which to work in the future.

Li-Ion batteries, in this case, relevant because of the business continuity process, provide fast charging of batteries, and they are just lighter, which is important for your hands during prolonged use.

Selection of additional features of the screwdriver depends on your needs. Try to clearly define what needs you will use it, decide the budget. Not in last place and you have other tools, like drill or hammer drill, for occasional use these moments will allow you to weed out unnecessary features and to distinguish clearly needed.

In conclusion, I would like to mention that the market is full of different drills and variations to choose exactly what will fit you, will not be big difficulties. We hope that we were able to help you determine the choice of the screwdriver. We wish you the greatest return on your tool and more positive emotions!

About: Gary