Detailed review and test of electric screwdrivers

To understand what kind of drill for screwing hardware is the highest quality, you need to run a screwdriver test. The modern market offers various models of such power tools. Therefore, it is difficult for an inexperienced buyer to make the right choice. Below are considered and tested in detail 8 varieties of electric screwdriver.

Electric screwdriver

Electric screwdriver is used to assemble furniture both at home and at work.

Screwdriver Overview

In recent years, tools of this type have spread widely in the global market. Due to the high competition, manufacturers began to invent models with additional functionality designed to simplify the work with the tool. So, the screwdrivers increased power, and the battery began to hold the charge much longer. Most modern screwdrivers significantly reduced their weight. This achievement is due to the latest lightweight components, which include lithium-ion batteries, motors, and the body of the power tool.

Testing was conducted on the following models:

Screwdriver device

Screwdriver device.

  • DeWALT DCD980L2;
  • Festool T 18 + 3;
  • Hitachi DS18DL;
  • Makita BDF451 (FRE);
  • Metabo BS 18 LTX;
  • DeWALT DCD780C2;
  • Hitachi DS18DSAL;
  • Bosch Compact Tough.

It should be noted that the first 5 models from the list are intended for everyday use at elevated loads. The remaining 3 varieties are more used for domestic purposes. Despite its compact size, all tools are the most powerful representatives of their brand.

Any of the tested models is presented in the domestic market, it can be found in the public domain. The only exception is Bosch Compact Tough, since it is produced exclusively for the US market. Moreover, its review is quite relevant for Bosch GSR 18 V-LI Professional, which is available for the Russian market. These models are very similar, so the difference in use is almost not felt.

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What about batteries?

Charger for a cordless screwdriver

Charger device for cordless screwdriver.

All varieties of tested power tools are equipped with 18 V batteries. The battery of such power has a rather modest size, it consists of 5 modules of 3.6 V with a capacity of 1.5 Ah. Screwdrivers for increased loads are equipped with batteries with 2 sets of modules of the same capacity, they are connected in parallel. Due to this capacity doubles (3 Ah).

Due to the high competition, manufacturers of such tools are trying to find innovative solutions to increase battery power, which will allow using the tool for a longer time. As a rule, this is not the main problem of screwdrivers, as there is always a spare battery in the kit that can be charged while working with the main one. If you plan to work frequently and continuously, it is recommended to purchase a power screwdriver. Portable tools are not designed for high volume jobs.

An important point when choosing a tool is the dimension of the battery. If you use other devices (Bulgarian, perforator, jigsaw), it is best to look at the screwdriver of the same manufacturer. The batteries of these devices are more likely to fit together and become interchangeable.

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Power and speed characteristics

Comparative table of characteristics of screwdrivers from different manufacturers

Comparative table of characteristics of screwdrivers from different manufacturers.

Most of the tested instruments have 2 speeds. The only exceptions are the DeWalt DCD980L2 and Makita BDF451 models, as they are equipped with 3 speed modes. This provides a smoother setting of the speed of the screwdriver. Despite the extra comfort, this function should not be fundamental in the selection of tools.

A comparative test showed that the most high-speed models are both types of DeWalt. The speed of rotation in them reaches 2 thousand rev / min. The remaining types of screwdrivers showed average speed results, which are significantly inferior to the DeWalt models.

The power test has more subjective results, since the manufacture of this type of power tool does not apply a specific standard. For example, the Bosch Compact Model is rated at 600 psi, and the American Ridgid R86008K, 535 psi. The comparison shows that the second model is much more powerful than the first. It is worth remembering that such results when testing screwdrivers occur almost constantly. Therefore, it is not always necessary to focus on the indicated power.

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Rotation limiter

Screwdriver rotation limiter

The screwdriver rotation limiter will allow you to control its speed.

This device has quite useful functionality, but professionals rarely use it, because you can dose the torque by pressing the trigger. The limiter is most often useful for amateurs, it is usually used for domestic purposes.

Virtually all models that participated in the comparison are equipped with the simplest limiters in the form of a rim with notches. Metabo BS 18 LTX has an electromechanical type coupled coupling. As soon as it works, the device turns off automatically.

This limiter adds convenience when working and significantly saves battery power.

Battery Screwdriver Performance Chart

Table of characteristics of batteries for the screwdriver.

The restriction clutch of the Festool T 18 + 3 screwdriver is entirely electronically controlled. Its adjustment is carried out using a disk located on the edge of the housing. As soon as the rotational speed reaches the point of limitation, the device beeps and immediately turns off. The functional features of the limiter are quite sensitive to the speed of rotation, so they have high accuracy.

DeWalt and Makita models allow you to switch to drilling mode without setting the limiter. This feature provides a quick change of device modes, it brings comfort and significantly reduces the work time.

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Battery indicator

Half of the tested battery screwdrivers are equipped with a special indicator showing the level of remaining charge. However, many of them require pressing a dedicated button to display the status of the battery. The Festool T 18 + 3 model requires the battery to be connected to the screwdriver, since the charge is displayed directly on it. DeWalt brand manufacturers are planning to equip their models with a charge indicator in the near future.

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Brief description of tested screwdrivers

Each type of power tool has its advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed in more detail below.

Bosch Compact Tough

Bosch Compact Tough Screwdriver

The main advantages of Bosch Compact Tough is a small amount.

The instrument is marketed exclusively for the US market, but, as mentioned above, its Russian counterpart is the Bosch GSR 18 V-LI Professional. Screwdriver is equipped with LED lighting, which is located under the bottom of the handle. This adds convenience when used, but the lighting functions without a turn-off delay, which is a slight drawback.

The Russian equivalent of the instrument includes 2 batteries, a high-speed charging device and a carrying case with convenient pockets in which you can store drills and nozzles.

The main advantages of Bosch are a small amount, a sensitive trigger and an indication system of charge level. Among the drawbacks is only the absence of a delay in switching off the lighting that was mentioned above.

DeWalt DCD780C2

Screwdriver DeWalt DCD780C2

The drawback of the DeWalt DCD780C2 screwdriver is not enough power.

This model is equipped with LED lighting, which is located above the trigger and has an off delay of 20 seconds. The device includes 2 batteries and a plastic carrying case.

The main advantages of the screwdriver are compactness, comfortable grip, high rotational ability and a volumetric case with additional pockets. The drawbacks of the model are not high enough power, the lack of indication of the charge level and the unfortunate location of the backlight, due to which the device cartridge enters the lighting zone and overshadows its small area.

DeWalt DCD980C2

This screwdriver is equipped with a similar lighting system with a 20 second delay typical of DeWalt models. Its kit includes a special side grip, 2 batteries, a charger and a plastic case.

The advantages of the screwdriver are high power, three-phase speed mode switch, high rotational ability and a comfortable grip. Among the shortcomings can be noted more weight (if you compare it with other models considered), a tight trigger, the absence of a fastening element on the belt and an indication of the level of charge.

Festool T 18 + 3

Screwdriver Festool T 18 + 3

The disadvantage of the Festool T 18 + 3 screwdriver is the charge level indication, which is located on the device case.

The tool is equipped with LED lighting, which is located above the trigger, it has a shutdown delay of just 1.5 seconds. At the same time, the equipment package includes 2 batteries, a charger, a compact case, a simple quick-clamp cartridge, a cartridge and a Centrotec bit holder, and FastFix end and eccentric nozzles.

The main advantages of Festool T 18 + 3 are the following:

  • good power;
  • long term charge retention;
  • the presence of additional cartridges in the kit;
  • sensitive trigger;
  • rotation limiting clutch;
  • availability of the switch of the modes of drilling and screwing up.

In addition to the complete set, there is a trimmed set without additional attachments and cartridges. As a rule, it is much cheaper.

The disadvantages of the screwdriver are unnecessarily softened disk, switching the limiting coupling (it is difficult to adjust the desired speed), and the indication of the charge level located on the device body.

Hitachi DS18DSAL

Hitachi DS18DSAL screwdriver

When buying a Hitachi DS18DSAL screwdriver with it, it comes with 2 batteries, a charger, a portable flashlight and a case made of plastic.

This model is equipped with LED lighting located above the trigger. In this case, the delay of its disconnection is completely absent. The screwdriver set consists of 2 batteries, a charger, a portable flashlight and a plastic case.

The main advantages of the instrument are compactness, lightness, a comfortable grip, the presence of a flashlight and a convenient mount on the belt. The disadvantages of Hitachi DS18DSAL are the lack of indication of the charge level and poor compatibility of batteries of the same volume, which causes difficulties when updating batteries.

Hitachi DS18DL

The screwdriver has LED lighting, which is placed on the fastener for the belt, it is turned on using a separate button. This model comes with 2 batteries, a charger, an extra handle and a plastic case.

Among the advantages include increased power, the possibility of exhibiting low revolutions and the presence of a convenient clip for attaching to the belt. The drawbacks of the screwdriver are an excessively wide handle, the absence of an indication of the charging level and the relatively low durability of the clip clips.

Makita BDF451

Makita BDF451 screwdriver

The disadvantage of Makita BDF451 can be considered the lack of charge indication.

Illumination is provided by two LED elements located above the trigger, they have a shutdown delay of 10 seconds. The screwdriver kit includes 2 batteries, a charger, a case and an additional side grip.

Makita has plenty of advantages:

  • three-phase speed switch;
  • the ability to turn on the drilling mode without activating the limiter;
  • comfortable grip;
  • bright lighting;
  • charger with cooling system;
  • clip for fastening on the belt.

The obvious disadvantage of this model is the lack of charging indication. In addition, the trigger is a bit tight, and the weight significantly exceeds the mass of the other models.

Metabo BS 18 LTX

This model is equipped with lighting without the possibility of a delay off. The device includes 2 batteries, a fast charger with a cooling system, a plastic case and a side handle.

The main advantages of the Metabo screwdriver are:

  • high power;
  • body strength;
  • rotation limiter, which combines the electron-mechanical system;
  • sensitive trigger;
  • fast charger.

The disadvantages of this model are the excessive thickness of the handle, the absence of the clip on the belt, the inconvenient placement of the battery and fewer levels of the rotation controller.

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Running time tests

All power tools are equipped with batteries that hold the charge required for comfortable work for a certain time. At the same time, among the tested models, certain varieties gave better results with a significant margin.

Figure 1. The number of holes drilled on one battery charge

Figure 1. The number of holes drilled on one battery charge.

For the test, a pine board was used, in which 50 mm holes were drilled using 25 mm drills. According to the total number of holes, a conclusion was made about the duration of each model. Such a task can be done by any heavy-duty screwdriver, but portable tools are most often evaluated for this parameter, since their batteries must withstand the required level of load.

All models were tested on new drills at the lowest speed. The board was drilled only in uniform areas where there were no flaws or hard areas. Each tool was used until the battery was completely discharged or the electronics were automatically turned off. All screwdrivers relied small simple with an interval of 10 holes.

Each model was tested 5 times, when the main battery was discharged, a spare battery was used and vice versa. The obtained results are presented on average in the form of a diagram in Fig.1.

Dark blue color marked screwdrivers, which are designed for increased loads. They are equipped with more powerful batteries 3 Ah.

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Summing up the test

The test showed that the most successful models are the screwdrivers of the brand DeWalt. They have an excellent charge level, high rotational speed, comfortable grip and small size.

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