I love cordless screwdrivers and I have an entire collection, but that hasn’t always been the case. A few years ago, I didn’t own a single one. When I had a project that needed completed, I would use a regular old screwdriver from my extensive collection. When I started having arthritis in my joints, my son bought me a cordless screwdriver for Christmas and as much as I hated to admit it, I was really glad because tightening difficult screws had become all but impossible.
My kid was still in college at the time so it wasn’t anything fancy; something he picked up at Wal-Mart for about $20 most likely. Still, it was a good quality cordless screwdriver that lasted me for the better part of a year until I had become so hooked on it that I decided to start buying my own.
This article is a result of my research. My goal is to educate you on everything you need to know about buying the right cordless screwdrivers for the job.
You’ll learn the advantages of a lithium battery cordless screwdriver, why you should keep a gyroscopic screwdriver in your toolkit and which projects you should be using a light, 35-inch-pound screwdriver for and which ones require a powerful 80-inch-pound brute.
Most of the time, the price will go up the more powerful the screwdriver and there is no reason to spend that kind of money unless you are going to be completing projects that require that kind of power. Plus, the most powerful screwdriver is the wrong tool for some jobs.
So, let’s get started because if your house is anything like mine, you’ve got a huge list of home improvement projects that need completed and some of them are going to need the perfect cordless screwdriver.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Best Cordless Screwdriver under $100
- Best Cordless Screwdriver under $70
- Best Cordless Screwdriver under $50
- Best Cordless Screwdriver under $20
- Best Cordless Screwdriver under $10
- How Much Power Should You Sacrifice in Favor of Weight?
DeWalt DEWALT DCF680N2
Best under $100
Best under $50
Black and Decker AS6NG
Best under $20
Best Cordless Screwdriver under $100
The first category that we’re going to discuss is the cordless screwdrivers that truly outperform all of the rest – the cream of the crops, so to speak. I own both of these screwdrivers because I got the DCF680N2 (the first one on the list) first and then I found the DW920K-2 which had every drill bit known to man. Needless to say I couldn’t resist. They both work about the same though.
DEWALT DCF680N2 8V Max Gyroscopic Screwdriver 2 Battery Kit
Motion Activation Variable Speed and Reversing Control
If there is a perfect screwdriver out there, then this is probably it. I absolutely love this cordless screwdriver because it is so versatile that I can use it on just about every job. It has some amazing features and gives me all of the power that I need in a very small package that will fit into any corner or crevice, and always gets my screws in straight.
- This is a really powerful screwdriver that packs a major punch even though it’s pretty small. The major advantage is the RPM’s that this thing pushes. It runs up to 430 but you can pretty much hit anything in between because you get to choose the speed based on your pressure. This also comes with two batteries and they are lithium so they are going to last you for a really long time.
- Really, the only disadvantage is the price, but if you need a powerful cordless then the money you spend on this is well worth it. Also, you don’t get the array of bits like you do with the other DEWALT on this list and that’s bothersome, which is why I decided to get the DW920K-2 as well.
- Comes with two batteries so one is always charged
- Lithium batteries so they last longer
- Two handle positions – in-line and pistol-grip
- 15 clutch positions
- Up to 420 RPM’s
- Reverse control and pressure activated speed control
- Comes with a light
What Customers Are Saying
It should come as no surprise that this is one of the highest-rated cordless screwdrivers on Amazon. About 500 people bothered to rate after they bought it, and 91% of them rated it as four stars or higher – most of them giving it a perfect score.
I absolutely love this screwdriver and I use it constantly – big and small jobs. The only time I trade this off for the other DEWALT is if I feel like I need to justify having both of these. I got the 45 bits so these two screwdrivers will allow me to take on any project. I highly recommend you get yourself one.
DEWALT DW920K-2 1/4-Inch 7.2-Volt Cordless Two-Position Screwdriver Kit
Adjustable two-position handle allows for operation as both in-line and pistol-grip
As I mentioned, I own both of these and if I had to choose a favorite it would be this one, only because of the 45 bits that came with it. Sure, 45 may seem like overkill, but think about this: how often have you needed a certain size screwdriver and spent 45 minutes looking for that one screwdriver in that size that you know you used to have? You’ll never have to do it again now that you have this screwdriver and bit set.
- The major advantages that this screwdriver offers are pretty much the same advantages offered by the other DEWALT we just discussed. Both of these screwdrivers are super powerful and allow you to reach lots of places because of the way that the head reclines. This one does offer a bit more power with up to 500 RPMs and 80 inch-pounds. Of course, for a little less than the other DEWALT, you get a full set of 45 bits as a bonus, so there’s that.
- You don’t get quite as solid of a screwdriver with this one; I feel like it’s a little more cheaply made than the other DEWALT. Both are quality screwdrivers, but the first one feels more solid. You also don’t get the extra battery with this screwdriver and that’s a shame because a backup battery is a very useful thing to have. You also don’t get the lithium battery’s extended life.
- Easy to use with two different grip positions – in-line and pistol-grip
- Reversing trigger
- Variable speed depending upon pressure
- Up to 500 RPM’s
- Comes with either a 40 or 45 bit set or you can simply buy the screwdriver by itself for less
- Quick release chuck so you can change bits fast
- Lights your area so you can see
What Customers Are Saying
People are really thrilled about this little screwdriver. People are commenting on how many uses they have found for the bits – I can relate to that – and several people posted years later about how this screwdriver is still running. Like I said, it might feel lighter than the other one I grouped it with, but it’s a quality product.
I love this screwdriver. If I had to make my decision over again and could only choose one of these two – I would choose this one. It is basically the same screwdriver – except without the extra battery – and it comes with tons of bits that I find useful all the time.
Best Cordless Screwdriver under $70
Now, let’s go over some cordless screwdrivers that are more budget-friendly than the last batch but are still really amazing tools that you will be able to complete almost any project with and will last nearly as long.
DEWALT DCF682N1 8V MAX Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver
Motion activation which allows for driving or reversing fasteners by twisting the tool left or right
I don’t have this screwdriver myself, but it has a really cool feature that makes me want to get one, even though the last thing I need is another cordless screwdriver. If you think the first two are a little too big of an investment and you don’t use a cordless as often as I do, then you might want to check this one out.
- This is the perfect casual cordless screwdriver. It has a lithium battery which means it will always be ready when you need it. It’s an in-line screwdriver with a super cool feature. It starts up when you rotate the handle. If you turn it left it will spin one way and if you twist it right it will spin the other. This is really unique and I wish some of my button in-line screwdrivers had this feature.
- Of course, this doesn’t convert to pistol-grip and it’s not as solid as the other two. The major disadvantage is that this one just isn’t as versatile as the more expensive ones.
- Twist motion activates the screwdriver
- Comes with a light for illuminating your task
- In-line design allows you to get into some tight spaces
- Lithium battery
- Up to 430 RPM’s
- Charge state displayed right on the handle
What Customers Are Saying
This one doesn’t have quite as many five-star reviews as the other two but it does have a 91% rating of four stars and higher. There were a few complaints on the review section about the missing clutch and the fact that there was no pistol-grip but most people were really pleased.
If you’re looking for a screwdriver that will allow you to complete most of your projects with ease this is a great purchase. It won’t do every job but it will do the majority of them.
Hitachi DB3DL2 3.6 Volt Lithium Ion Dual-Position Cordless Screwdriver Kit
Covered by Hitachi's Lifetime Lithium Ion tool warranty & 2-year Lithium Ion battery warranty
If you shop for screwdrivers for very long you are going to notice a pattern – two names and a whole lot of yellow/black and orange/black. That’s because DEWALT and Black & Decker dominate the market when it comes to cordless screwdrivers, not to mention lots of other tools. But this little Hitachi can give some of their models a run for their money.
- What’s great about this cordless is that it has a lithium ion battery which lasts almost four times as long as a traditional battery and it comes with a sweet warranty – lifetime on the tool and 2 years on the battery. Plus, it has more clutch settings than any of the others so far and a spindle lock if you want to tighten something by hand.
- Unfortunately, there are also a couple of disadvantages with this screwdriver as well. The price is pretty high for this screwdriver, considering that it’s nowhere near as powerful as the other one on the list. Of course, this one is dual position so you have to decide if power is more important to you or versatility. In addition, it is just a straight rotation button rather than a pressure sensitive trigger. It does do forward and reverse though.
- Push button operation for two different directions
- Lithium ion battery
- Lifetime warranty on device
- 2 year warranty on battery
- 17 clutch settings
- Dual position – pistol-grip and in-line
What Customers Are Saying
The customers are actually pretty pleased with this screwdriver. There were a few people who weren’t happy with the reduced power – and at the price I can understand their concerns – but it’s a solid purchase if you can get it on sale.
Pricewise, one major redeeming quality this screwdriver has is that for about $20 more than the price of the screwdriver, you get a set of 45 bits. In my opinion that makes it well worth the price and I can, in good conscience, recommend that you get one.
Best Cordless Screwdriver under $50
Now, we’re going to talk about some screwdrivers that are under (or around) $50. These tools probably aren’t going to work for someone who is always using their screwdriver on a variety of projects, but for the average user who just sometimes needs a cordless screwdriver to put together furniture from IKEA, because all that manual turning would give you carpal tunnel, these are great choices.
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver
Ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks
This cordless screwdriver is pretty unique even among the items on this list because it doubles as a drill, which means that it is very powerful. I believe I have a very similar model to this drill if not the exact same one and I can attest to the power of this tool. It comes with bits for both driving screws and drilling, but unfortunately you have to choose one or the other and buy the other set separately.
- This tool has several advantages that you are really going to find useful. First of all, this is powerful enough to become your replacement for the current selection of drills and power screwdrivers that you have around the house. That’s because it does both things at once. It’s perfect for any type of screwing or drilling including wood, sheet metal, plastic and pretty much anything else you can find.
- The disadvantage in this case is that you just don’t get some of the extras that the other drills on this list have featured. You also don’t get quite as much power as those drills. In addition, you are going to have to purchase the drill bits and the screwdriver bits separately, which is going to put you over $50.
- Combination cordless screwdriver and cordless drill.
- Comes with 10 screwdriver bits that are double ended – sold separately.
- Comes with 10 drill bits – sold separately.
- Lithium-ion battery last three times as long as the conventional battery and is rechargeable.
- 11 clutch positions.
- Solid Black & Decker product.
What Customers Are Saying
Although there have been a number of people who have rated this product low – usually because of some kind of problem that is almost certainly covered by the warranty – there have also been a lot of satisfied customers. 88% rated the product at four stars or higher and while this product certainly doesn’t have the incredible reviews that the very first cordless screwdriver on the list had, judging from what people are saying it’s still a pretty decent tool.
To recap, this is a pretty solid product from a good brand – Black & Decker – and it’s definitely worth the price tag. It’s just too bad that you have to pay for the drill bits in the screwdriver bits separately.
BLACK+DECKER BDCS40BI 4V MAX Lithium Pivot
Features pivot to reach tight areas
I really love this screwdriver. It is pretty similar to the previous B&D model in this section but it is quite a bit lighter. You really have to decide what your personal preferences on weight are. Some people prefer that their cordless screwdrivers have a little bit of weight to them and others prefer that they be lightweight and easy to use. Being light doesn’t necessarily mean a subpar screwdriver and this tool is a perfect example.
- If I were going to choose from these two cordless screwdrivers, I would definitely choose this one and the reason is how many advantages it gives you. For example, it has one of the longest life batteries of any cordless out there as well as a pivot function that allows you to squeeze into tight spaces. Another advantage is that it charges over USB which makes it charge a lot faster.
- It is actually pretty tough to come up with some disadvantages to put here. It has pretty much everything that even the best screwdrivers on this list are sporting but really it all comes down to power and although this will provide plenty for the average user, someone who is going to be using their cordless screwdriver every day should probably get a more powerful one.
- Has a pivot function that allows it to go from a pistol grip to and in-line screwdriver so you can fit it just about anywhere.
- Bright LED light that illuminates your workspace.
- USB charging means that you get your battery charged five times as fast.
- Lithium-ion battery that will hold a charge up to 18 months so you don’t have to keep recharging if you’re not using it.
- Magnetic bit holder.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers are fairly happy with the screwdriver. A little over 85% of them ranked it at four stars or higher and while the odds are excellent that you will be extremely happy with the screwdriver, there are more problems and lower reviews than with some of the more expensive models.
This is actually a really good screwdriver and if you’re not willing to spend the money for the more expensive ones this is a safe bet. It probably isn’t going to last as long but it will do the job and it has just as much functionality as the premium models.
Best Cordless Screwdriver under $20
Next, we are going to start getting into budget screwdrivers. But these screwdrivers work really well and are somewhat comparable to the other power screwdrivers on this list. Basically, I scoured the offerings for this budget amount and came up with the best out there. I was actually pretty surprised how powerful of a tool you to get for 20 bucks. I specifically chose lithium powered screwdrivers and these are the most inexpensive ones out there. They are also really light, which is nice as it makes them easier to use.
BLACK+DECKER LI2000 3.6-Volt 3-Position Rechargeable Screwdriver
Spindle lock allows manual screw driving and greater control
When you are on a budget, it can be tough to find a cordless screwdriver that is going to be worth having around the house and still is inexpensive enough to be affordable. This screwdriver, as well as the other Black & Decker cordless screwdriver after it, fits both descriptions.
- The major advantage of this Black & Decker model is that it’s cheap. For about the price of dinner for two at Applebee’s, you get a cordless screwdriver that will bend to three different positions including pistol grip and in-line, a lithium-ion battery and some additional features on top of that. It actually offers quite a bit for a budget screwdriver.
- When it comes to the disadvantages, there are two major ones that come to mind. First of all, this isn’t going to be as powerful as the premium screwdrivers and it isn’t going to last nearly as long – the chances of something going wrong are higher well. Second, this doesn’t allow you to choose your speed with pressure; it’s a simple back-and-forth switch function.
- The lithium-ion battery will hold its charge for a year and a half.
- Handle pivots to three different positions including in-line and pistol grip.
- Spindle lock for manual operation.
- Forward and reverse operation within easy to use switch.
What Customers Are Saying
With nearly 1000 customer reviews, 61% have given this product five stars. Obviously, it is not as highly rated as some of the other ones on the list but most people are pretty happy with it, even people that rated it three or four stars. They mention of course that it isn’t the most powerful screwdriver out there; that should be obvious from the price.
If you just need to screwdriver to have around the house that will do things like remove the electrical wall outlets, put together furniture or hang the occasional picture frame, this screwdriver will be sufficient, especially at such an attractive price.
BLACK+DECKER BDCS20C 4-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Rechargeable Screwdriver
Inline trigger grip provides comfort and control
Another Black & Decker model is up next and this is the other lithium-ion cordless screwdriver that I mentioned earlier. These screwdrivers are somewhat powerful and last for a very long time. This price range is either for the person who is on a very tight budget or the person who wants to have a cordless screwdriver around the house that will probably only use it once or twice a month. Either one of these is perfect for that situation.
- Although this model is only about a third of the RPM speed of the premium models discussed at the beginning of this list, and only 35 inch-pounds of torque, is still fairly effective at driving screws and removing them. The major advantage with this model is that it costs about the same amount that you pay that kid up the street to mow your lawn.
- There are two main disadvantages with this screwdriver. The first is that while it is designed to be compact – to supposedly fit in tight spots – is actually quite wide and if you need to reach a screw where the passageway is very narrow this probably isn’t going to work, especially considering how short the barrel is. The other disadvantage is that it just isn’t that powerful and you’re going to have trouble screws that are really locked in there.
- Black and Decker product.
- Pistol grip design with trigger on the bottom and directional switch on the top.
- 180 RPMs.
- 35 inch-pounds of torque.
What Customers Are Saying
The reviews on this are actually pretty good. More than 80% of people rated it four stars or higher. It maintains an average of 4.4 out of five stars after nearly 200 reviews. Some people have had trouble with the charger and lots of people have commented on how it was adequate for small jobs but almost totally useless for larger jobs.
If you are going to be using it around the house on projects as described in the previous product, this is a perfectly adequate screwdriver. Unfortunately, the power just isn’t there and you are probably going to run into a problem eventually – even with household projects. If I had to choose between these two I would go with the previous one.
Best Cordless Screwdriver under $10
The last category that we are going to discuss is the under $10 category. If you are on a really tight budget or you just aren’t that concerned making sure that your screwdriver will last for many, many years of regular use, then you may want to consider one of these. Although these are close to $10 rather than under $10, this is the bare minimum you should spend on a cordless screwdriver – even if you only plan to use it once per year.
Black & Decker AS6NG Alkaline Cordless Screwdriver
Easily switch from driving to removing screws with forward/reverse switch
This is a budget screwdriver that can be used for light household projects and will certainly last long enough to justify the cost – especially considering that a good manual screwdriver set can run anywhere from $3-$15. It’s from Black & Decker and it runs on regular batteries. Plus, as a number of useful features that may surprise you.
- The major advantage with this product is that it’s only around $10. It does everything that a cordless screwdriver is supposed to do and will easily remove and install basic screws.
- One of the major disadvantages is that this screwdriver runs on regular alkaline batteries. The problem is, it takes four of them and you’re probably going to have to replace them a few times a year which could equal the price of the screwdriver depending on which batteries again. It also turns really slowly. When it gets into the groove of a screw you have to work to loose it if it’s tight because there just isn’t hardly any power behind this tool.
- Easy and accessible switch to go from screwing to unscrewing.
- Comes with four alkaline batteries.
- Has peg hole already installed to hang on pegboard.
- Locks for manual operation.
What Customers Are Saying
I’ll be honest; there was a lot of irritation with this product. Some of things that people were complaining about included the fact that there was nowhere to store the to drill bits that came with the screwdriver and a problem with the batteries running down far too quickly – one reviewer said after 10 minutes of use the batteries were dead. Of course, there was also quite a few people who were pleased with the operation of the tool considering how much they paid for.
If you are on a super tight budget or if you absolutely don’t see yourself ever using your cordless screwdriver for anything more difficult or challenging than removing plates from electrical outlets then you should definitely get this – otherwise, spend a little more and get a really great one.
Stalwart 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver with 11 Bits
Driver Voltage: 3.6 Volts (DC), AC Adapter Input Voltage: 120V (AC)
This is a very last screwdriver that we are going to recommend here. This is one of the around $10 models but unlike the previous one, this is a rechargeable. There are a few other really neat things about this screwdriver as well and it really surprised me how much quality you get for 10 bucks.
- To be honest, I was almost impressed by the screwdriver. I probably would have been impressed even at the $20 price point. That’s because not only is this a rechargeable screwdriver, it’s also boasts 250 RPMs. In fact, it’s more powerful in theory than some of the other screwdrivers we have on this list at higher prices.
- Disadvantages include the fact that you cannot move the handle or pivot it like some of the other ones on this list, and the power issue. While 250 RPMs sound like a lot, the truth is that as soon as you actually try to do something with screwdriver it becomes much less powerful. It does turn at 250 RPMs when you’re just spinning it without screwing her and but that doesn’t help others on a power to keep those RPMs going when you actually needed to do a job.
- The no-load speed is 250 RPMs, but much less when it needs to turn something.
- Uses three rechargeable batteries.
- Comes with a long cord for recharging.
- Has forward and reverse.
- Comes with a total of 11 screwdriver bits and their carrying case.
What Customers Are Saying
With only eight customer reviews is really difficult to see how this screwdriver does. After the people who bought it rated it a perfect score and about a third rated it at just one star calling it worthless and cheap. But again, it’s a $10 screwdriver and a lot of people have really had success with it.
It’s a tossup between this and the other screwdriver in this category. On one hand, this comes with screwdriver bits and is rechargeable but your only get to be able to accomplish the simplest of jobs with it. On the other hand, the Black & Decker is more powerful but it doesn’t come with the array of bits and it uses regular alkaline batteries which some people claim drain after just 10 minutes of using it. You have to weigh what’s more important for you.
How Much Power Should You Sacrifice in Favor of Weight?
Choosing the perfect cordless screwdriver is no easy task. As you might remember, I couldn’t choose a single screwdriver myself that did all of the jobs that I want but there are some on this list that are really excellent.
I really love the two DEWALT screwdrivers at the very beginning of this list. I may be a little biased because I own both of them but they are incredibly powerful and have done every job that I’ve needed them to. They are the workhorses of my screwdriver collection and I expect them to last for many, many more years. Everything from the extra lithium-ion battery to the massive inch-pounds and RPMs give you plenty of reasons to go with either one of these if you can afford the investment.
If you are on a budget or you don’t really use screwdrivers that often you might consider going with some of the ones that are a lot further down the list. I really have no problem with the two $20 screwdrivers, other than the fact that they just aren’t powerful enough to do every job. I definitely wouldn’t recommend the $10 screwdrivers unless, as I said, the tasks that you need the screwdriver to perform are very light and you can’t squeeze more than that out of your budget.
Basically, if I were you, I would choose one of the DEWALT models that are somewhere between $80 and $100, but if you are loath to do that than I recommend you go with the least one of the two $50 models. They are almost as good as the first two and the reviews on them are excellent, especially compared to the cheaper models.