I was wandering around Homebase yesterday as I'm prone to do, and
found myself musing over battery screwdrivers on one of the stands. I
sometimes put a screwdriver bit in my battery drill when I've got lots
of screws to drive, and thought that perhaps a battery screwdriver
might be a useful birthday present idea for the future.
However, I was rather surprised that these are either 2.4v or 3.6v.
That seems way too low for my liking - 5 minutes use and surely they'd
be dead? And with a minimum recharge time of 5 hours not very
convenient! I didn't bother buying one because they seemed like a toy
rather than a useful tool, and I'm not into shelling out £20 on
Just wondered whether anyone has one of these battery screwdrivers and
would care to comment on their experience?
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I've got a really old (like >10 years) PlasPlugs one. 3.6v 1200mAh
battery. It is useful and decptively powerful, I usually can't tighten
screws any further by hand unless the battery is low.
I find it useful for getting into awkward places where I can't get into
a good position to effectively use a manual screwdriver, or close to a
brick wall where you would likely take all the skin off your knuckles
using a manual screwdriver.
It would be no use for building one of Tommy Walsh's decks but I reckon
you could remove, or hang, all the doors in a 3 bed house on one charge.
I have a really old, battered B&d 2.4 v which is my very favourite and most
It came free with a workmate from Argos, and is the best freebie I've had;
I would replace it but TBH the modern equivalents seem to cost a fortune
for what you get.
It doesn't replace my bigger drill/driver, it does a different job and is
more in demand, from spinning out mk screws to light wood screwing and
The beauty is it converts to afairly rugged manual by simply ignoring the
buttons, so I can start to extrect a screw by hand, then spin it the rest
of the way out, or vice versa; on this point you MUST make sure you avoid
cheapo ones which don't have an auto spindle lock - they are useless.
PS I'd love to know how it knows when I want to turn it by hand...
They're not meant to replace battery driver drills, more just for the
odd screw here and there really. I have a cheap drill, (£10), that I
use for screwdriving but it'll do more if it has to.
I do have a 'gopher', <http://tinyurl.com/yvmuw , it's handy when
sticking things in the back of cabinets and tight spaces etc, but
still not for anything serious.
If you already have a battery drill, then this is the better option.
The battery screwdrivers tend to be only useful for very light use,
such as removing machine screws, rather than wood screws and etc..
I used to have a B&D 3.6v one which actually wasn't bad, although was
a simple on/off with no clutch. However it was quite highly geared
and so the low voltage wasn't an issue. You can't really compare
with a drill driver, because for a screwdriver, it isn't a problem if
it only goes at perhaps a third of the speed of the top rate of a
I now have a DeWalt DW920K that I bought in the U.S. in an offer in
Home Deepo with two batteries - 7.2v. This is a pretty good
product with sensitive speed control with most of the torque like
Makita drills and an adjustable slipping clutch.
It's smaller and lighter than the drill but certainly has no issue in
driving pretty much any screw.
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Andy Hall wrote in message ...etc
I also use a B&D 3.6V unit combined with an 18V Sears drill driver (2
batteries). The B & D driver needs recharging regularly overnight, but is a
good high torque unit for everyday use.($18 in the US!) The 18V drill
drivers have massive adjustable speed and torque, ideal for the more serious
work. Recharge on 18V is around 45mins (WMD?). Both were purchased as a
result of using and being impressed with the products
I have used them in the past. They are surprisingly tough and durable
but very very slow they have quite a bit of torque.
However if you spend around £80 up. I think you'll get a really nice tool
I have owned and had stolen several differnt makes and there was nothing
much to choose between them except for the battery life.
The Bosch 9.6v and 12v work well also the Erbauer was really smooth (2
weeks before theft).
Currently I'm using a 2nd hand ebayed Makita which I got for about £80.
The combi (hammer also) option is not reliable on these products unless
you pay very big money (£200) and they tend to make for a heavy and less
You can drill holes in masonry with a good cordless drill if you have a
_sharp_ bit if that makes no progress you probably need to get the SDS
drill out anyway.
At the very minimum you need a product with a 2 speed gear box, electric
brake and TWO batteries. A fast charger is helpful, reverse and torque
adjuster are universal. Speed control is helpful but not as much as
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
I have a nice Panasonic driver; it has a 3.6V battery which gives a lot
more than the 5 minutes' use PoP feared, a rapid charger which does seem
to properly monitor the state of charge and swap to trickle (even so, I
keep it on a 30-mins-a-day overrideable timer to keep the spare battery
topped up without cooking). It's *much* smaller and more manouverable
than a cordless drill/driver, and gets a fair bit of use with both machine
screws in 'puters and woodscrews up to and including BFO 6 x 120 mm jobs.
With an auto clutch and a pivoting body, so you can use it straight or
bent into a not-quite-L shape, it allows manual use for starting screws
or breaking them out of initially-stuck positions, and then spinning them
in/out the rest of the way under wrist-preserving battery power. Damn good.
But I'm not at all sure the 20quid wannabes would be anything like as useful.
HTH - Stefek
As others have said, the B&D 3.6V (model #9019 ISTR) is actually pretty
good. Not fast, but lots of torque that can drive 4" x #10 into softwood
with no pilot hole.
Then if it runs of grunt, the body shape makes a damn fine manual
screwdriver that you can apply _loads_ of torque with.
On another note, at work we need some electric drivers for an urgently
for a field repair job, so a colleague went down to Bodge-it and Queue,
surveyed the 20 odd different electric screwdrivers, and picked a power
pro one that was headlined as "3 hour charge".
Now it appears quite nicely made, BUT here's the scam. It contains 3x
1200mAh nicds and the charger is rated at 160mA. So its not exactly
going to be 3 hours for a "full" charge is it?
No little asterisks, or small print, or any mention anywhere what the
claimed "3 hour" charge is supposed to be.
Thw 3.6V ones are a waste of time.
There is a De-Walt 7.2V battery screwdriver. I have used it in a wide
range of applications from PC covers to boarding up properties with 3/4
inch tabopan. The battery (a NiCad (maybe they make a NimH now)) lasted
a few full shifts. It has finer control over torque than a battery
drill, is lighter to carry and is small enough to fit in a pocket.
Unfortunately it was small enough to fit in the pocket of the thieving
scumbag who nicked it from me!
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