Electric screwdrivers

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Do electric screw drivers produce more torque than human hands? I.e., would an electric screwdriver tighten a screw that I would struggle to tighten by hand? Would anyone care to recommend an electric screwdriver (which is the torque of the town as it were)?
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Frederick Williams wrote:

Depends on how strong you are. But probably not, or you would have a problem holding it. They are just quicker.
Would anyone care to recommend an electric screwdriver

I doubt if I would buy a screwdriver. I'd buy a cordless drill. (a) this has a better grip and (b) it's more versatile.
Rob Graham
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Rob Graham wrote:

Excuse my ignorance (which is deplorable) but are you saying that a drill may be used as a screwdriver?

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Frederick Williams wrote:

I certainly am. I screw many many screws and I have a 'big' mains drill for difficult screws and a smaller cordless which does all the others. But no screwdriver.
Most drills today have a variable speed and a reverse. If you put a suitable screwdriver bit into the chuck (these are supplied either individually or as a kit of different types and sizes which fit into the end of the bit that goes in the chuck) then you have a screwdriver. Take it out and you have a drill! Bingo!
Rob
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Rob Graham wrote:

Ay, there's the rub; my drill has neither.

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Frederick Williams wrote:

Better still get a drill/driver which has torque control. Ideal for screw driving and can be set to match a particular screw & timber to get flush countersinking every time (use the screws with self cutting c'sinks). Deals with multiple battery packs are usually far cheaper than buying extra batteries.
Bob
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Bob Minchin wrote:

Agreed. Many drills have this.
Rob
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Frederick Williams wrote:

But as I understand you, you were thinking of buying an electric screwdriver. I'm suggesting not buying one of these but getting a drill instead.
Rob
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Rob Graham wrote:

I've now decided against the screwdriver and in favour of the drill plus screwdriver bits. (And all because of the advice given here--I'm quite moved.)
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On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 19:25:37 +0000, Rob Graham wrote:

I'd used the combi drill as a screwdriver for a couple of years, then bought the last Lidl LiON screwdriver just because it gets into smaller spaces. It'll do up to 'medium' screws and is more contrllable than the combi. Also has already been useful having the 2 tools for drilling then screwing.
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Frederick Williams wrote:

Looking at cordless tools they are divided into (a) electric screwdrivers which are mainly lower voltage (aprox 4v) and are simply powered screwdrivers, (b) drill/drivers, 9v - 18v ish which can be used as a drill or a screwdriver, which IME will put in a screw so well you would have trouble removing it manually, (c) combi drills which are screwdriver, drill & hammer drill and (d) impact drivers which are incredibly powerful to the point where they could snap a small screw.
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

I shall go for (b) or (c). Any recommendations? I'm hoping to drive some pretty hefty screws.
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Frederick Williams wrote:

My cordless is a 9v Black & Decker, with variable speed, reverse, hammer, 7/16 chuck, and 3 batteries. Does most jobs. But real big jobs I do with a mains powered 1/2 drill.
If I were buying a cordless now I'd probably go for a 12v. But I'd definitely want to have more than I battery. I recently bought a Chinese drill for my son (who doesn't do very much DIY) but the drill was cheap. It only came with 1 battery. So I bought a second drill to have two batteries. Still dead cheap and when the first one dies he'll have another ready and waiting.
Rob
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Frederick Williams wrote:

I'd go for 14.4v minimum. All my stuff is Makita, but I use it every day - you may not need such quality.
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Agreed - with a decent electric drill, you get huge torque - more than you can give it by hand - possibly because you can concentrate on pushing the bit into the screw, rather than worrying about turning it. Careful on plasterboard though - I've got a few big screwholes to fill! :-)
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John Whitworth wrote:

Good, that is what I want. Can you (or anyone else reading this) recommend a drill? A kit with bits and screwdriver things might be useful. What does one call what I have called "screwdriver things", i.e. the business end of a screwdriver that one would fix in the drill chuck?
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Frederick Williams wrote:

It might be best to go into B&Q and look in their tool shelves for a little plastic box about 4" x 3". The clear lid should allow you to see a 'bit', which is a round tube with a male hex end one end and a female the other. You put this in the chuck. Also in the kit will be an assortment of driver bits, which are much shorter, have a male hex end, and are pushed into the female end of the chuck bit, in which they stay by magnetism. Cost you around 2 (guessing, but the price will vary on how big a kit you buy).
Rob
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FWIW, I have bought umpteen kits, and the screwdriver bits are not very good. That said, the kits will get you the quick-change adaptors etc, and a few small drills too probably. The last kit I bought was a Ryobi, and it had quite a lot in it.
Anyway, due to the standard ones not being great, I recently invested in a pack of three Bosch titanium coated PZ2 driver bits. So far so good. So go for the kit, then see which bits you use the most, and buy decent replacements!
As for the drill - well, this has been debated before. I have a fairly standard 18V cordless B&D, with torque control, hammer and reverse action. It works beautifully, though having now used it a lot for the garage conversion, I am becoming a little suspicious of the battery life. That said, some wearing drill bits might be making some jobs take longer than they should.
JW
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I think this is the updated version of mine: http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductGuide/Product-Details.aspx?ProductID 898
They have changed it to charge two batteries at a time - which could be useful. I should point out that with normal, occasional, use, the batteries last ages between recharge - literally months. But with hard usage, you'll get perhaps a couple of hours of screwdriving, and less drilling, depending on the material.
JW
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John Whitworth wrote:

http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductGuide/Product-Details.aspx?ProductID 898

Yes, and it's a total pain not having a charged battery to hand. I think some require the whole drill to be put into the charger cradle. This means that you can't even use the tool while it's charging!
Rob
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