What Is an Electric Screwdriver? All You Need to Know Before Purchasing One

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An electric screwdriver is a powerful tool that helps you drive screws into various surfaces and appliances. Unlike a manual screwdriver, an electric screwdriver is quite efficient and saves your time and effort in simple DIY tasks. An electric screwdriver can be used to unfasten screws from different locations, either your old IKEA furniture or if you want to take a look inside a kitchen appliance.

In this post, we will give you an insight into exactly what is an electric screwdriver and the different parts of an electric screwdriver.

Different Parts of an Electric Screwdriver

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Driver bit – This is a long, sleek, and slender accessory that drives in screws into various surfaces. Driver bits have different designs suitable for different screws. For instance, some driver bits might have a star driver head, while others might have a flat tip for driving a screw into various surfaces. These are interchangeable, depending on the task at hand.

Chuck – This is the part that grips a driver bit as you are driving in screws. If you want to use an electric screwdriver to drive screws into various surfaces, you should connect a driver bit to the chuck. The chuck size might differ from one screwdriver to another.

Torque control – Torque is the rotating power of an electric screwdriver. Some screwdrivers have a torque control mechanism that can be used to increase or decrease this setting.

Battery power indicator – As the name hints, a battery indicator shows you whether an electric screwdriver has enough power to perform a specific task or not.

Motor – Found in the interior compartment of an electric screwdriver, a motor is an appliance that converts electricity into mechanical energy. It also activates the rotary motion in an electric screwdriver.

Grip – This is the part that you hold when you are driving screws into various surfaces. Most cordless drills come with a grip that is made from a comfortable material.

Battery – The battery powers an electric drill with electrical energy. While lithium-ion battery powers most electric screwdrivers, some are powered by nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries are quite popular due to their long life.

Not to mention, the battery life, voltage, and battery capacity might differ from one drill to another. Some electric screwdrivers may not have a removable battery if they are a corded option, in which case they will connect directly to an electrical outlet.

Reverse switch – This is a special switch that changes the direction of the rotary motion. For example, it might change the rotation from a clockwise to an anti-clockwise motion. A reverse switch can be quite handy if you want to unfasten screws from a certain surface.

Gear control mechanism – A gear makes it easier for you to increase or decrease the speed of an electric screwdriver as you are working on different household tasks.

Trigger button – As the name hints, this button activates the rotary motion in an electric screwdriver, making it easier for you to drive screws in flat-pack furniture.

LED light – LED lighting illuminates the area that you are working on.

Two Major Types of Electric Screwdrivers

These are two types of electric screwdrivers that a homeowner can use:

Corded Screwdrivers

Corded electric screwdrivers have to be connected to a power source to function effectively. In addition, such screwdrivers have a corded cable that transfers electricity from the power source to the screwdriver. The good thing about corded screwdrivers is that they are quite lightweight. Not to mention, a corded screwdriver has a very high torque.

Corded screwdrivers are ideal for mechanical workshops and different industrial assembly stations. While such drills draw electricity straight from a power supply, corded screwdrivers may limit your movement as you are working. Cords are quite risky because they can cause an accident.

Cordless Screwdrivers

Cordless screwdrivers are powered by various batteries and can be used in various applications. The battery rating might differ from one cordless screwdriver to another. Most cordless varieties with a higher battery rating have higher torque than screwdrivers with a low battery rating.

Unlike a corded drill driver, a power screwdriver makes it easier for you to move around as you drive screws into various appliances. Due to this, cordless drivers are not restricted and can be used at various angles as well as positions throughout the house for all of your DIY jobs.

While cordless screwdrivers and cordless drills are quite portable, they are quite heavy. A battery adds some extra weight to an electric screwdriver which could cause fatigue. Also, consider that batteries do eventually run out of charge, so opt for an option that comes with an extra battery, so you are never without power.

Different Designs

Electric screwdrivers are available in different designs that are suitable for different DIY tasks/projects.

Straight electric – As the name hints, this is an electric screwdriver that has a straight shape. The chunk is located on one end of the screwdriver, while the trigger is on the other’s other end.

Pistol screwdriver – A pistol screwdriver comes with an angled grip that makes it easier for you to handle it. While a pistol electric screwdriver might look like a power drill, it is much lighter and less powerful than a power drill.

Variable screwdriver – A variable screwdriver has the properties of a straight screwdriver and a pistol screwdriver. For starters, you can hold it in a straight position like a straight screwdriver. It also has a pivot that allows you to use it as a pistol electric screwdriver.

Simple electric screwdriver – These resemble a traditional screwdriver but comes with a chuck that rotates at high speed, making it easier for you to drive in screws into various appliances. Most simple electric screwdrivers have a low voltage rating and are suitable for non-intensive projects.

Impact driver – An impact driver looks like a pistol screwdriver, but it has more torque and power than a pistol screwdriver. Plus, an impact driver is suitable for intensive DIY projects.

Drill drivers – Drill drivers are more powerful than regular power tools. A drill driver can be used to drive screws into furniture. A drill driver can be used in other projects, too.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Screwdriver

These are some of the factors that you should be keen on while looking for an electric screwdriver:

Rotation speed – An electric screwdriver that has a high rotation speed can be used to drive in nuts and screws into multiple materials. The rotation speed of an electric screwdriver is measured in rpm (rotation per minute). If you like working on intensive DIY jobs and projects, an electric screwdriver with a high rpm might be suitable for you.

Some electric screwdrivers also come with a gear mechanism that allows you to change the rpm. Such screwdrivers can handle a wide range of tasks as compared to screwdrivers that have fixed rpm.

Torque – This is the rotary power of an electric screwdriver. The torque of an electric screwdriver depends on the voltage rating of the screwdriver. Electric screwdrivers with a high voltage rating have higher torque than electric screwdrivers with a low voltage rating. Most electric screwdrivers have a torque control mechanism that allows you to change the torque, depending on the intensity of the task.

Productivity – How long are you planning to use an electric screwdriver? Since most electric screwdrivers have different power sources, they have different productivity rates. For instance, cordless electric screwdrivers with powerful batteries can run for a long time and are quite productive.

On the other hand, unlike cordless screwdrivers, corded screwdrivers can run continuously (non-stop) for hours. Such screwdrivers are ideal for intensive projects and jobs.

Benefits of Owning an Electric Screwdriver

Saves time – An electric screwdriver saves time as you are fastening screws and bolts into various equipment. It rotates at a very high speed and increases your work productivity.

Accuracy and precision – With an electric screwdriver, you can accurately drive screws into a predetermined position.

Suitable for a wide range of projects – Some electric screwdrivers come with different drill bits that can be used to fasten and unfasten different types of screws. Plus, you can change the torque and speed of the screwdriver, depending on the project you are working on. Adding an electric screwdriver to your collection of power tools will only increase the number of projects you can work on.

Energy-efficient – While electric screwdrivers are powered by electricity, some are quite energy-efficient and don’t consume much power.

Affordable – Electric screwdrivers can be acquired at an affordable price. Not to mention, some screwdrivers come with a complete kit that has multiple drill bits.

Start Your DIY Project

An electric screwdriver is a powerful tool that can help you drive a screw into different surfaces and appliances. It should be an integral part of your toolbox. Electric screwdrivers are available in different designs, so knowing what is an electric screwdriver exactly will make it easier for you to choose the one that suits you the most. Such screwdrivers also have different features; corded screwdrivers come with a cable, while corded screwdrivers are powered by a battery.

If you like moving around while driving in screws, a cordless screwdriver might be suitable for you as corded screwdrivers may limit your movement.

Have you ever tried using an electric screwdriver at home? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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