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Choosing a cordless screwdriver - what to pay attention to?

Time : 2024-02-08 Hits : 26

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A drill/driver is one of the most popular tools. Even though we can find it in every professional workshop and in almost every apartment, from time to time the day comes to purchase a new device. Drill/drivers are extremely practical, they make work significantly easier, and their wide selection means that everyone will find a device perfectly matched in terms of parameters and price. Therefore, we advise you which drill/driver to choose to meet your expectations and what to pay attention to when purchasing a screwdriver. How to choose a cordless screwdriver?

How to choose a cordless screwdriver?
At the beginning, it is worth noting that in most cases, a drill/driver is commonly called simply a screwdriver and we will use both terms interchangeably to describe this type of device. Moreover, there is also another type of power tools with a similar purpose, which are called screwdrivers.
The type of cordless screwdriver you should buy depends on the scope of work you would like to perform with the screwdriver. Is it intended to be a device for occasionally assembling furniture or other small projects? Or will it be used regularly for more complex work, e.g. during renovations or in car workshops?

Good to know!
The most important parameters to pay attention to when choosing a screwdriver are:
● tension,
● torque,
● stroke or lack thereof,
● battery capacity,
● libra.

However, you should not assume that the best device will be the one with more power and high torque. High-power devices may not be effective in some light work and may even cause damage, e.g. when we use too much force in soft materials.

A powerful cordless screwdriver, or a few words about the basic parameters

When choosing the right device, you should consider two basic aspects: what you will use the screwdriver for and how often it will be used . When choosing a drill/driver, it is important that it has sufficient power and meets the intended requirements, especially in the case of intensive use.

Screwdriver voltage

Voltage is one of the key parameters to pay attention to when choosing a cordless screwdriver. Screwdrivers usually have voltages from 3.6V to even 40V, which means that the higher the voltage, the greater the power of the device. However, screwdrivers with higher voltage are not always the best choice - the final choice of voltage should depend on the type of work we will perform, as well as our preferences regarding the weight and size of the screwdriver.
Devices available on the market can be divided into three categories in terms of power:
● approx. 3.6 V: typical power for cordless screwdrivers intended for minor assembly work,
● from 10 V to 18 V: more powerful screwdrivers with a wider range of work,
● from 18V: the most powerful devices used by professionals.
Low voltage screwdrivers tend to be more handy and lighter, which can be beneficial for light work, while higher voltage screwdrivers tend to be more efficient and better at handling more difficult jobs.



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YATO 3.6V screwdriver with a rotating joint allowing you to change the position of the handle


Examples of light work that a cordless screwdriver is often used for are assembling furniture, assembling shelves, or driving screws into wood or soft materials. In turn, heavier work that requires a higher-power screwdriver is, for example, driving screws into hard wood or metal materials, assembling wooden structures, or doing renovation or construction work.
For work requiring greater strength and endurance, it is worth considering purchasing a screwdriver with higher torque and a larger battery capacity to be able to perform tasks without interrupting work while charging the battery.


Torque

Torque is another important parameter influencing the power (strength) of a screwdriver. This value mainly determines whether our screwdriver will be only a tool for screwing or can also handle heavy construction work, e.g. drilling in metal. The torque is adjusted using a ring with numbers on the screwdriver handle. The higher the number on the ring, the higher the torque. Manufacturers usually specify the highest torque that a screwdriver can produce, e.g. max. the torque of the YATO YT-82780 screwdriver is 40 Nm and we will work with this force when the number "20" is selected on the adjustment ring.

High torque allows you to work with hard materials, e.g. hardwood, concrete or metal, and determines the force with which screws or bolts will be driven. It is important to match the torque to the material we are working with. Too much power will not only not speed up the work, but may also destroy the material.

The rule is that when drilling in metal, we use high torque , which is available after turning the clutch ring to drilling mode (drill pictogram on the handle). At the same time, use the slider at the top of the device to select gear I (we then use 100% of the screwdriver's torque).

We do the opposite when drilling in concrete - we select the second gear and the pictogram of a drill with a hammer. The impact mechanism then operates at the maximum impact frequency. When drilling in wood, we also work at high speed (selecting the drilling function without impact), and use the upper slider to select second gear.



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Construction of drill/screwdrivers


What are the benefits of an impact screwdriver?

Some drill/drivers have a hammer drilling function. The stroke is a combination of two types of movement: rotational and sliding. This mechanism allows for faster and more effective screwing or drilling in hard materials such as concrete or brick. While a regular screwdriver uses only torque to drive screws into the material, an impact drill uses an additional mechanism that generates shock pulses. These impulses cause the screw to penetrate the material much faster and easier, which shortens the working time and reduces the strain on the screwdriver and the user's hands.

Work during which the use of a hammer may be necessary includes, for example, installing skirting boards in concrete walls, attaching shelves, racks and furniture to brick or concrete walls.
It is worth choosing an impact screwdriver when we are going to perform assembly or installation work in hard and dense materials, such as concrete, brick, stone, etc. In addition to easier drilling, impact screwdrivers are often equipped with higher torques.

A drill/driver with an impact is necessary for:
● drilling in hard materials,
● screwing in large diameter screws,
● screwing into hard materials,
● for fast and deep screwing of a large number of screws/screws.

For assembly and installation work in soft materials, such as pine and spruce wood, MDF, plaster or plastics, a drill without an impact will work better. It provides more precise work, is also lighter and smaller, which allows easier access to hard-to-reach places.

Good to know!

Drill/drivers use a mechanical impact, which allows drilling in hard, mineral building materials. They are best suited for working with materials of medium hardness, e.g. brick, silicate or porotherm. They can also handle concrete, but for intensive work with such hard materials, devices with an electro-pneumatic impact will be more practical. We can recognize them by using an SDS+ drill holder.

Battery capacity

A cordless screwdriver is useful in various situations. It is handy and can be used in places where there is no access to electricity. The only limitation here is the battery capacity. Of course, the larger the battery capacity, the longer the operating time of the screwdriver. Capacity is given in ampere-hours (Ah) or milliampere-hours (mAh), i.e. in one thousandth of an ampere-hour.
The operating time of a screwdriver also depends on several factors , including: depending on the type of work performed, intensity of use and even ambient temperature.

Below are approximate operating times for various battery capacities and application examples:

● less than 1.5 Ah - allow for approximately 15 - 20 minutes of continuous operation. Most often used in screwdrivers for light household work, such as assembling furniture, assembling shelves, pictures, etc. Due to their small capacity, they are not recommended for working with hard materials, as the battery may discharge quickly;
● between 1.5 and 2 Ah - allow for approximately 20 - 30 minutes of continuous operation. They are suitable for slightly more complicated work, such as installing plasterboards, screwing into hard wood, as well as for light workshop work. A battery with this capacity allows for extended operating time and can be used for more demanding home and workshop work;
● greater than 2 Ah - allow for approximately 30 - 45 minutes of continuous operation. They are recommended for intensive work, such as renovations, drilling in hard materials, screwing into thick materials, as well as for work in car workshops.
For many people, the operating time on one battery is very important, so it is worth buying a battery with a larger capacity. When the weight of the device is also important to us, it is good practice to have two batteries. This way, we can recharge one of the batteries while working on the other battery.


Good to know!

Some batteries have a charge level indicator. This is a very useful element that allows us to find out whether our energy level is low. Thanks to knowing the battery condition, we will not be surprised by its sudden discharge.




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Most cordless screwdrivers use lithium-ion batteries. These are batteries with the best features : they are lighter and hold a charge longer than other types of batteries. In addition, lithium-ion batteries have virtually no memory effect. In the offer of YATO and Sthor screwdrivers, all batteries used are lithium-ion batteries, and the 18V System chargers have a fast charging function, thanks to which a 2Ah battery can be charged in just 60 minutes.

Is the weight of a screwdriver an important parameter?

The weight of a cordless screwdriver can be up to 1.5 kg. Often, higher voltage screwdrivers weigh more than lower voltage ones. However, weight does not always have to be a decisive factor when choosing a given model. The nature of the work performed will also be important here. Even a large and relatively heavy device will not pose a problem in use if it is used occasionally. However, if you plan to use the screwdriver intensively and for a long time, the heavy tool will put excessive strain on your arm and wrist. Also, working in awkward places, e.g. when the screwdriver is held above your head, will become extremely tiring.

It should also be remembered that the factor that significantly increases the weight of the screwdriver is the battery capacity. So, instead of one large-capacity battery, you can choose two smaller batteries that we will use interchangeably. The YATO 18V System offers a large selection of batteries with capacities from 2000 mAh to 6000 mAh, thanks to which we can choose the battery that is best suited to the nature of the work we will perform.

If you are looking for a screwdriver that is to be the only device of this type in your home or workshop, first pay attention to parameters such as voltage, impact, torque and battery capacity , because they are more important for the performance and functionality of the device. Only in the next stage should you focus on the weight of the screwdriver.

A screwdriver for screwing furniture - which screwdriver to choose for your home?

If you are looking for a screwdriver with the assumption that you will use it several times a year, you will not need a drill/driver with a large battery, impact and power suitable for drilling in steel. All you need is a screwdriver with a voltage of 10.8 V and a small battery capacity, e.g. 1300 mAh. Such a device will be convenient to use due to its small size and low weight, and will ideally cope with light tasks such as assembling furniture, tightening hinges in cabinets, driving screws into soft materials or drilling small holes. The low torque of such devices makes them ideal for use in delicate materials that could be damaged by stronger tools.

It is worth remembering that the higher the battery voltage, the more expensive it will usually be. However, price should not be the only selection criterion. Consider how you might use your screwdriver in the future. Choosing a lower voltage screwdriver just to save money can cause problems when you need to perform more demanding tasks, such as drilling a hole in a harder material.

A good solution in such a situation will be to choose a 12V model with a surge function and a battery with a capacity of 1.5 to 2 Ah. Such a device will also be perfect for DIY enthusiasts due to the large scope of work that can be done.




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Compact YATO 12V screwdriver


A small screwdriver with two gears and a drill chuck designed for drills from 0.8 to 10 mm in diameter. Comes with a 2Ah battery and a practical suitcase.





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STHOR brand screwdriver with a voltage of 10.8V


Well-balanced screwdriver with a 1.3Ah battery. It has speed control with a potentiometer in the button and torque control with a clutch.

Which screwdriver for the workshop?

It all depends on the specific nature of the work performed. If you do not need high tightening force, choose a model with a voltage of 12V and a torque of around 15 - 20 Nm. Such a device will be light and handy and will cope with most undemanding tasks. In addition, the smaller size will make it easier to maneuver the screwdriver in a small space , e.g. between boards or behind the sink during plumbing work.

However, it is worth remembering that in workshops, renovations or construction sites, devices with the highest parameters are more often needed. When working in hard materials, devices with high torque will be useful - the higher the tightening torque, the easier it is to screw into such material. Fast revolutions also mean faster work, but they must be selected appropriately. A screwdriver with multiple speed levels will allow you to choose the speed that best suits the job.
In cases of heavy work, the drill/driver should not have a voltage lower than 18V. A good choice here will be devices from the YATO 18V series, whose torque reaches up to 75Nm.


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YATO YT-82796 screwdriver with impact, multiple speed levels and max. torque of 42 Nm.


Another parameter to take into account is the battery capacity. A larger battery capacity will allow for longer operation, but will also significantly increase the weight of the device. A good solution when the screwdriver is to be used very intensively, e.g. all day long, is to use system solutions. Thanks to this, we can choose a battery with a capacity appropriate to the nature of the work or choose two batteries and a quick charger to make sure that a charged battery is always at hand.


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Battery with a capacity of 2000 mAh


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Battery with a capacity of 3000 mAh


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Battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh


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Battery with a capacity of 6000 mAh


YATO 18V System batteries with capacities from 2Ah to 6Ah.

YATO 18V System screwdrivers

The YATO 18V system is a power tool system that provides efficiency, reliability and versatility in one. Thanks to their functionality and a wide range of applications, YATO power tools are intended for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals.
The YATO 18 System offers drill/drivers with various parameters, so you can choose a model tailored to your individual needs. All models have adjustable rotation speed, which allows you to adapt the tool to the type of work performed. YATO 18V screwdrivers also have an ergonomic design that allows for comfortable and convenient work for a long time.
One of the most important features of the YATO 18V System is the ability to personalize the device. All screwdriver models operate on one type of battery and are available in a version without a battery. Available batteries with a capacity from 2.0 Ah to 6.0 Ah allow you to adapt the tool with the appropriate performance for a given job. Lithium-ion batteries used in YATO 18V screwdrivers are characterized by short charging times, high efficiency and low self-discharge.


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18V screwdriver with brushless motor.


Without batteries.

Powerful brushless drill/driver with max. torque of 75 Nm in the version without battery and charger.


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18V screwdriver with brushless motor.


With one battery.

The same model of drill/driver in a version with a 3000 mAh battery, a fast charger and a handy suitcase.



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18V screwdriver with brushless motor.


With two batteries.
Another configuration of the brushless drill: with two 3000 mAh batteries, a fast charger and a suitcase.


YATO 18V System screwdrivers in various battery configurations.

To choose an optimally suited drill/driver, it is worth first determining what tasks it will perform. The power of the device does not have to be the first criterion for choosing equipment. If you are not going to drill into steel or drive long screws into hard wood, choose lighter equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions


1. What work can be done with a drill/driver?

Drill/drivers are tools that combine many functions, thanks to which they enable performing various tasks. Here are some examples of work that can be done with drills:
● drilling holes in various materials, such as wood, metal, concrete or plastic. They can be used to install shelves, hang pictures, or install lighting;
● screwdriving: a drill/driver is, of course, a great tool for driving screws and bolts. By using appropriate tips (bits), you can screw in various types of screws. They are particularly useful when assembling furniture or installing plasterboards;
● mixing: powerful drill/driver models allow you to mix materials such as paints, adhesives or putties. This is a particularly useful tool during painting or renovation work. All you need is a suitable mixer;
● grinding and polishing: screwdrivers can also be used for grinding work. This type of work is made possible by appropriate grinding attachments.
Good to know!
It is worth remembering that the capabilities of a specific drill/driver depend on its power, functions and properly selected accessories.


2. What is the difference between a screwdriver and a drill driver?

The screwdriver is mainly intended for driving and removing bolts and screws into various, mainly not very hard, materials. It is usually more compact and lightweight, making it easier to maneuver in hard-to-reach places. For light work, it can also be used as a drill, mainly for drilling holes for screws.
The drill/driver combines the functions of a screwdriver and a drill in one tool . Thanks to this, it can be used to drive screws and drill holes in various materials, and can also be used for mixing paints and mortars, and even for grinding. Drill drivers are usually more versatile than screwdrivers.


3. Brush or brushless drill/driver?

The difference is mainly due to the type of motor that powers the tool. Here are the basic differences between a brush and a brushless drill:

Brush drill driver:
● uses a motor with rotating brushes that supply electricity to the rotor;
● the brush motor is cheaper to produce, which translates into a lower price of the drill/driver;
● is characterized by lower energy efficiency compared to brushless;
● the brush motor generates more friction and heat, which may lead to greater wear and the need to replace the brushes during use;
● brush drills are popular due to their availability and lower price. They are suitable for home users and lighter applications.

Brushless drill/driver:
● brushless motors use permanent magnets and electronic controls to generate rotor movement;
● the brushless motor is more energy efficient, which means longer operation on a single charge and greater power;
● is characterized by less heat generation and lower energy consumption, which translates into a longer tool life;
● brushless drills are usually more efficient, durable and better suited for professional use, especially in intensive construction and assembly work.

4. Which drill bits fit the drill/driver?

Drill drivers usually have a drill chuck that allows you to attach various types of drills. The choice of the appropriate ones depends on the type of material we intend to work with.
Smaller screwdrivers usually have a 0.8 - 10 mm tool holder in which the most frequently used drill diameters can be mounted. For larger devices, with a 1.5 - 13 mm holder, we can mount larger drill diameters, hole saws, and paint and mortar mixers.
Drills with cylindrical and hexagonal handles are suitable for drills and drivers.

5. How long to charge an 18V screwdriver battery?

The charging time of an 18V screwdriver battery may vary depending on the screwdriver model, battery type and discharge status. Nevertheless, there are some general tips to consider:
1.read the user manual: each manufacturer and model of a screwdriver may have different recommendations regarding the battery charging time. Therefore, it is important to read the operating instructions provided by the manufacturer. There you will find detailed information about charging the battery and the time you need to devote to it;
2.use an appropriate charger: it is recommended to use the original charger supplied with the screwdriver or a charger recommended by the manufacturer. Other chargers may have different charging power and may not be suitable for your battery;
3.Monitor the charge indicator: Many drills/drivers are equipped with a charge indicator that shows the battery's charge status. You can monitor this indicator while charging to judge when the battery is fully charged;
4.proper charging temperature: for most batteries, the optimal charging temperature is around 20-25 degrees Celsius. If the ambient temperature is significantly higher or lower, it may affect the battery charging time;
5.do not exceed recommended charging times: although lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in drills, are protected against overcharging, it is recommended not to exceed the recommended charging times. Prolonged charging once fully charged may cause the battery to overheat and shorten its life.
Below are examples of charging times for YATO 18V System batteries using a fast charger
● 60 min for a 2 Ah battery,
● 90 min for a 3 Ah battery,
● 120 min for a 4 Ah battery,
● 180 min for a 6 Ah battery.

6. What accessories fit drill drivers?
There are many accessories that can be used with drills to increase their functionality and enable them to perform a variety of jobs. Below are some examples of popular accessories:
● Drills are a basic accessory for drills and screwdrivers. Depending on the parameters of the screwdriver, we can use drills and screwdrivers for drilling in wood, concrete, metal and plastics;
● screwdriver bits , i.e. bits that allow the drill to be used as a screwdriver, which facilitates quick and effective screwdriving. There are different types of screwdriver bits available, e.g. flat, Phillips, Allen, Torx, etc., that fit different types of screws;
● mixers for paints, mortars, adhesives. Mixing using a drill/screwdriver is possible, but remember that it may generate a heavy load on the tool, especially when mixing thick and viscous substances. Therefore, it is important to use a drill/driver with appropriate power and durability and to select appropriate mixers for the type of substances we intend to mix;
● grinding attachments: a drill/driver is not a tool intended for grinding, but in some cases it can be used for simple grinding work. There are special accessories such as sanding discs or grinding wheels that can be attached to drills to allow surface grinding;
● extensions and adapters , which are useful when you need to reach hard-to-reach places, such as deep holes in walls or ceilings, and allow you to use various accessories with your drill driver that would not normally fit in its standard holder.

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YATO is a Poland company that sells professional hand tools and power tools mainly, YATO has been in the market for more than 30 years. We have over 10,000 kinds of tools and a 12,000-square-meter warehouse in Zhejiang, China.
Our headquarter is a public company in Warsaw, Poland. YATO is one of the most famous tool brands in Europe.
You can find our website  www.toya.pl


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