Even homeowners who already own a cordless drill-driver find that a cordless electric screwdriver is a convenient and useful tool for do-it-yourself projects and flat-pack assembly. An electric screwdriver can bring efficiency and ease to a task: it will save time and save strain and blisters on wrists and hands.
Battery-power, of course, means portability and prospective buyers will consider the available voltage and recharging times; lithium ion batteries are preferred for their capacity and durability. The size and weight of the tool will also be something to be taken into account. Most household tasks can be completed with relatively lightweight, easy-to-handle tools. Look for rubberised grips which can offer better grasp and less hand fatigue.
Many electric screwdrivers feature variable speeds and torque settings allowing the user to adapt the tool to the job, for faster work or tougher driving. A reverse function is always useful for backing out old or new screws that need to be removed and we like the integrated light available on some screwdrivers that enables a user to illuminate a screw in dark areas such as a basement or inside a cupboard.
Finally, we prefer tools with a reliable brand-name or ‘beyond-statutory’ guarantee. There are good choices available, well-suited for average household use, at feasible prices and may not be worth trading-down to a no-name pick.
All of the screwdrivers on our ‘best list’ use rechargeable lithium ion batteries and are designed in a ‘pistol’-style. Additionally, they all include some of the features highlighted above.
Best Electric Screwdrivers
Von Haus 3.6V Li Ion Electric Screwdriver
The Von Haus Screwdriver is supplied with a fabric belt holster and nine different driver bits that can be stored in a compartment behind the chuck. It has a fixed speed (with a reverse function) but a relatively strong torque rating of 4.5 Newton metres. The (included) charger allows the Li Ion battery to be recharged via the mains or a USB connection and charging progress is indicated via three led lights (red, amber, green) on the barrel of the driver. The work-illuminating LED in the tool’s handle draws some criticism but, in general, this is a great-value piece of kit that comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Black & Decker 3.6V Li-Ion Easy Access Screwdriver
The ‘easy access’ electric screwdriver is a compact, lightweight tool weighing only 558g. Speed and torque are fixed although users report sufficient power for most household jobs; a ‘reverse’ function is available. We like the bright, white, spotlight LED mounted directly beneath the bit that provides useful illumination in dark spaces. A rubber ‘over-mould’ makes for a comfortable grip. In summary: A basic but useful tool from a reliable brand name.
Hilka MPTCS36 3.6 V Cordless Screwdriver
The Hilka MPTCS6 screwdriver has a fixed speed (maximum 200 rpm) but eight different torque settings to a maximum of 3.0 Newton metres. The tool is equipped with a powerful LED and comes with a selection of bits and a charging base/storage stand. The two-position adjustable handle is an unusual but worthwhile feature. The driver has a ‘reverse’ function and a spindle lock allows the tool be used ‘manually’. Hilka is a somewhat unfamiliar name but their tools have been available in the UK for over 40 years, under their own brand and white-labelled through various retailers. They maintain a distribution centre in Witney and a customer-support office in Chessington.
Katsu 102378 12V Rechargeable Screwdriver
The Katsu 102378 has a 12v Li Ion battery pack that allows 18 torque settings and two speed settings (max unloaded 600 rpm and 1,300 rpm) for flexible and efficient operation. The tool is delivered in a plastic carrying case with a 3-pin mains charger and a spare battery pack. Based on user reviews, this Katsu tool seems to offer excellent quality and versatile performance at a very competitive price.
Bosch IXO Cordless Screwdriver
The Bosch IXO is delivered in a metal carry-case with ten bits and a 5V micro-USB charger. It has a ‘reverse’ function and runs at maximum 215 rpm unloaded. Users report satisfactory torque for household purposes. It is equipped with a white LED, mounted on top of the unit that can provide a spot- or scattered-light. This is Bosch’s basic screwdriver model but it is effective and durable, weighing 620g. The IXO is a ‘best seller’ from a well-regarded manufacturer and comes with a 3-year warranty with on-line registration.
WORX WX254.6 SD 4 V Slide Lithium Screw Driver
The Worx WX254.6 SD features a ‘revolver’ style cartridge mounted behind the chuck containing six screwdriver bits that are easily interchangeable and loaded with a slide action. The speed is 230 rpm maximum unloaded and it is torque-rated at 3.0 Nm. The screwdriver has a ‘reverse’ function and an auto-spindle lock that engages when the trigger is not depressed. Work-illumination is provided by a white LED mounted on the front of the main body, beneath the bits-cartridge, and a rubber over-mould provides a comfortable grip. This WORX electric screwdriver is sufficiently powerful and versatile for most household tasks.