Can a Cordless Drill Be Used as a Screwdriver?

By Tool Scout | Cordless Drill Advice

Can a Cordless Drill Be Used as a Screwdriver

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Having a range of useful, versatile power tools to choose from will make life a lot easier for you. One of the best options in this respect is to choose a cordless drill. This tool will come in incredibly useful to you on a number of occasions.

Yet, you may wonder whether you can also use this item as a screwdriver as well when needed. Wouldn’t this be a terrific additional benefit? There are a few important points that you need to know about before you get started.

Can I Use My Drill as a Screwdriver?

The short answer, absolutely. Just make sure your drill has some of the basic features we'll break down, which if it's operating and functional, you'll be able to drive screws with ease.

You can not only use a cordless drill as a screwdriver, but if you're operating with a corded power drill, there are also options to utilize this tool to sink screws effectively.

So let's cover exactly how you can use your cordless drill to drive screws and remove screws effortlessly. 

Can I Use My Drill as a Screwdriver

Check the List of Functions

It is safe to say that most modern, cordless drills can be used as screwdrivers. This is great news, but it doesn’t mean that all of them can be used in this way. So how can you tell if a certain model has the capacity for this task or not?

It should be clearly listed in the device’s functions. If it doesn’t mention use as a screwdriver, then it seems unlikely that it can be used safely in this way.

Another way that you can check is by looking at the settings on the tool. If it can be used as a screwdriver, then there might be a setting that you select in order to switch over to this function very easily.

Why can’t you just use any sort of power drill to fix or remove screws? The key here is that it needs to have a clutch and variable speeds. This is what stops it from exerting too much pressure and potentially stripping the head off your nails.

Benefits of Using a Drill as a Screwdriver

You may be wondering whether there are any benefits to using a cordless drill rather than a specific power screwdriver. Would it be best to always use your drill for fitting and removing screws?

The first big advantage is in cost, as you only need one tool to carry out a range of jobs. A screwdriver only does one job, whereas a cordless drill can help you out in a number of very different situations.

Drills also tend to be bigger and more powerful screwdrivers. This means that they are more suitable for tougher jobs where you need some extra force. You might find that a screwdriver isn’t always powerful enough for your needs.

Of course, if you use your cordless drill for many different things, you can take it everywhere with you. This means that you are always ready to carry out various tasks without the need to carry around a selection of different tools all the time.

Benefits of Using a Drill as a Screwdriver

Is It Worth Having a Standalone Power Screwdriver?

Bearing in mind what we have seen so far is there still any reason for getting a power screwdriver if you have a cordless drill that can carry out the same jobs and do other things for you as well?

For a lot of people, a drill is enough to handle everything that they want to carry out. However, others may find that a power screwdriver can come in handy from time to time too. It is really down to personal preference, but the type of jobs you carry out will also affect your decision.

This is especially true when you need to carry out smaller jobs in tighter spaces. The smaller, lighter build of standalone screwdrivers means that you can carry out even awkward, cramped jobs more easily.

Is It Worth Having a Standalone Power Screwdriver

How to Use a Drill as a Screwdriver

The final point we need to cover is around how you can use your power drill as a screwdriver. In most cases, it is simply a matter of selecting an appropriate screwdriver bit and fitting it into the chuck. As always, it is important to choose the perfect size of bit for the job.

If the drill has a screwdriver setting, then you should select it. Otherwise, choose a very low-speed setting to get you started. The exact amount of power that you need will depend upon factors such as the toughness of the wood or other material that you are screwing into.

When you want to remove a screw, you need to reverse the direction of the drill. This will let you slowly draw out the screw as safely as possible.

As we have seen, it is possible in many cases to use a cordless drill as a screwdriver. If you are looking for a tool that will come in handy in many different situations, this is one of the reasons why a power drill can be your best choice.

Which is the Best Cordless Drill Screwdriver?

This is kind of a loaded question considering all the options available when it comes to both cordless drills, and cordless screwdrivers. But with that said, there are some brilliant and very affordable cordless drills, impact drivers, and cordless screwdrivers that will make any DIY task substantially easier.

Now, which tool you choose to drill screws depends entirely on the project size and whether you're looking for a specific tool just to drill screws.

Either way, if you want a detailed analysis and comparison of the best cordless drills, we conducted a complete review covering all of the top available models. If you're interested in reading more and want to buy the best cordless drill of 2020 to drive screws, look no further.

Although, if you already have a cordless drill and you're interested in buying a tool specifically just for driving screws like a cordless screwdriver, the Metabo HPT DB3DL2 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver Kit could be a great little power tool for increasing your productivity when conducting light DIY tasks.

The Better Alternative?

Keep in mind though, a cordless screwdriver is extremely limited in comparison to a cordless drill or impact driver and is completely different in terms of both their functionally and application. A cordless screwdriver is designed for less intensive tasks; like drilling screws into flatpack furniture or fastening screws on door hinges.

In other words, you won't be fixing a drill bit to a cordless screwdriver and punching through an internal wall, that's not their forte.

If you're looking at drilling screws at a rapid rate into hardwood or require a power tool to assist you in building a new patio, an impact driver like the Makita XDT131 18V Brushless Cordless Impact Driver would be a brilliant choice as it's an affordable and reliable workhorse with an abundance of torque.

Honestly, once you start working with a quality impact driver, you wouldn't be able to operate without one.

That said, another very cost-effective option is to go with a combo kit like the PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill & Impact Driver Combo Kit which gives you the best of both worlds.

Owning both a cordless drill and an impact driver could be considered more of a luxury than a necessity, but if you ask anyone who regularly utilizes both, they'll no doubt stress the advantages of operating proficiently with both tools.

In short, if we're talking about the best power tool for drilling screws at a highly productive pace, an impact driver is by far the better tool of choice. You can find out more about their ideal use cases and consider whether or not an impact driver would benefit you by checking out our recent article on whether impact drivers are worth it.

Conclusion

As we have seen, it is possible in many cases to use a cordless drill as a screwdriver. If you are looking for a tool that will come in handy in many different situations, this is one of the reasons why a power drill can be your best choice.

Regardless of the power tool you choose, you really need to pick the tool that is right for you and make sure you do your research before investing in a lesser-known brand. When it comes to power tools, you want something with a decent warranty that will be fulfilled if a fault occurs with your new prized possession. 

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