Lots of carpentry projects require you to use screws, but if you have to regularly drive lots of them for your work, it can quickly become tedious. Electric screwdrivers can help you pick up the pace, though dealing with a cord can be annoying as well. For these reasons, some may prefer to use cordless electric screwdrivers.
The good news is that there are plenty of great cordless screwdrivers available today, and we’ll talk about the best choices and how to find one that fits your needs.
- The Qualities That Matter in a Cordless Screwdriver
- Top 9 Best Cordless Screwdrivers 2021
- 1. Best Overall Screwdriver: BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver
- 2. Best Premium Screwdriver: DEWALT Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver
- 3. Best Budget Screwdriver: BLACK+DECKER Li2000
- 4. TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver
- 5. Best Small Screwdriver: Bosch PS21 2A Pocket Driver Kit
- 6. Best for Home Use: Skil Cordless Screwdriver
- 7. TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver
- 8. Best for Professionals: Milwaukee M12 Cordless Screwdriver Kit
- 9. Most Efficient Screwdriver: WORX WX255L
- Your Full Guide to Buying a Cordless Screwdriver
- Start Enjoying the Convenience of a Cordless Screwdriver
The Qualities That Matter in a Cordless Screwdriver
Cordless screwdrivers aren’t the most expensive tool you’ll ever buy, but if you’re going to drop the cash to get one, it’s important to know which qualities are important.
You should take into account how comfortable the screwdriver is to use, how well it fits into hard-to-reach spaces, how long a single battery charge usually lasts, and what added convenience features it has to make your job easier.
Whenever you buy a handheld tool, you want it to feel comfortable in your hand and be easy to use. A cordless screwdriver is no different in this respect, and you shouldn’t feel aching or discomfort in your hand or forearm after driving just a couple of screws.
Cordless screwdrivers are generally small tools, which helps when you need them to fit into a tight space to secure that all-important final screw. The last thing you want is to reach a point in your work when you realize you can’t get the screwdriver where you need it to be, to reliably drive a screw.
Obviously, when you buy a battery-powered tool, you know you’ll have to recharge it occasionally. However, it’s always better when your cordless screwdriver can go for longer periods of time without charging, so you have a higher chance of finishing your present task before it runs out of power.
Another positive about cordless screwdrivers is that manufacturers have come up with some great convenience features for them over the years. For instance, some have a built-in light in case you’re ever working in a dark space, whereas others have warning lights that let you know the battery will need recharging soon. Additionally, some products come with added accessories to help you get started on your next project, like extra bits or a carrying case.
Now that you know what to consider in a cordless screwdriver, here are the 9 best options available today!
Top 9 Best Cordless Screwdrivers 2021
1. Best Overall Screwdriver: BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver
- Voltage: 4V maximum
- Weight: 1.1 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 180 RPM/~3.95 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 10 hours
- Dimensions: 7”x2”x9”
This screwdriver offers you a nice 2-for-1 deal since it has a built-in flashlight set directly under the chuck. You can use the flashlight anytime, even when you’re not driving a screw. Plus, the adjustable handle provides a great boost to the tool’s maneuverability. When you factor in the solid battery life and ergonomic grip, you’ve got a great all-around cordless screwdriver.
The handle is designed for comfort, and you won’t feel any irritation in your hand when using the screwdriver.
The BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver is already a compact tool, which makes it easier to use in tight areas. However, its 3-position pivoting handle is what gives it an edge in the maneuverability department. If the screwdriver isn’t quite fitting where you want it to go, try one of the other handle positions and see if it works.
The tool has a respectable battery life, and it should last you for most jobs, provided that you keep it charged. However, this screwdriver has some drawbacks regarding its battery. It takes 10 hours to charge, and there are no indicator lights to let you know when the tool needs recharging or has finished charging.
Aside from the adjustable handle, the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver’s biggest claim to fame is its built-in rechargeable flashlight that you can use whenever you want. The best part is that the flashlight is bright enough that you’ll be able to see even in the pitch black.
The tool comes with 2 bits as well, a Phillips and a flat-nose. Lastly, it has a 2-year limited warranty in case you encounter any issues with the tool. The screwdriver’s only missed opportunity in this category is that it doesn’t have any dedicated space to store the bits when you’re not using them.
- Built-in flashlight right below the chuck
- 3-position adjustable handle is comfortable and helps you deal with awkward spaces/angles
- Good battery life
- Takes a long time to recharge and doesn’t tell you when it’s done
- Flashlight makes it harder to maneuver in small spaces
- Voltage: 8V maximum
- Weight: 1.1 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 0-430 RPM/(torque information not provided by the manufacturer)
- Recharge Time: 1 hour
- Dimensions: 12.5”x3.13”x8.88”
This screwdriver is offered in several varieties and commands a high price, especially if you opt for one of the versions with an extra battery and bit set. However, it justifies its price tag thanks to its superb motion-activated controls and abundance of features that make your job easier. The tool’s only real downside is that it doesn’t offer as much torque as it could.
The DEWALT Gyroscopic is designed so that you can keep a good grip on it whether you’re holding it in its straight or pistol position.
The tool has a 2-position pivoting handle to help you properly angle the tool in cramped quarters. You can hold it in either a straight or pistol grip.
That said, the tool’s gyroscopic design requires you to turn the tool in the direction you want to fasten the screw while you’re pulling the trigger. While this control scheme does let you easily adjust the tool’s speed, it can make it harder to use in smaller spaces due to the needed movement.
Taking care of the battery is easy since it only takes an hour at most to recharge, and the indicator lights on top of the tool tell you when it’s time to recharge and when it’s ready to use again.
The added user-friendly features are one of the DEWALT Gyroscopic’s strongest selling points. The motion-activated controls allow you to adjust the tool’s speed on the fly, and the 15 different clutch settings let you apply exactly as much force as you need for your present job.
Plus, you can change whether the tool drives forward or in reverse just by tilting it left or right, and the LED lights on the chuck improve visibility.
As if all of that weren’t enough, the screwdriver comes with a carrying bag to make storage and transportation easier.
- Comes with several user-friendly features
- Fast recharge time
- Easy to control clutch and speed
- Comes with carrying bag
- Gyroscopic controls can make it harder to use the tool in cramped areas
- Not as much torque/power as some other screwdrivers
3. Best Budget Screwdriver: BLACK+DECKER Li2000
- Voltage: 3.6V
- Weight: 1 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 180 RPM/~4.52 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 12 hours
- Dimensions: 7.69”x2.88”x9.5”
The BLACK+DECKER Li2000 provides strong performance at a low price. It offers an impressive amount of torque considering its small, lightweight stature.
This is the BLACK+DECKER Li2000’s greatest weakness. The switch that turns the screwdriver on and controls its direction is on top of the tool. This design makes it hard to use the tool one-handed since you have to grip the handle with your fingers while holding the switch with your thumb. Alternatively, you could use two hands to operate the tool, but that’s a bit inconvenient.
Like some other BLACK+DECKER screwdrivers, the Li2000 has a 3-position adjustable handle, which will come in handy when you need to accommodate an awkward angle.
The Li2000’s battery life is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it can keep its charge for up to 18 months, so you can set it aside for quite some time, then pick it back up and expect it to still work.
On the other hand, it takes 16 hours to charge the first time, and 12 hours every time after that, so you’ll need to plug it in well in advance of when you expect to use it. The tool also lacks an indicator light to tell you when it’s fully charged.
The tool has a spindle lock feature that lets you use it as an ordinary manual screwdriver. You can use this feature when you’ve just driven a screw and want to tighten it a little bit more. It also comes with two bits, one Phillips and one flat-nose.
- 3-position adjustable handle
- Can be stored for 18 months and used later without charging
- Impressive amount of power/torque for such a small, lightweight screwdriver
- Works as a manual screwdriver
- Power switch is in inconvenient spot so the tool sometimes needs 2 hands to operate it
- Takes a long time to charge and lacks an indicator light to tell you when it’s done
- Voltage: 3.6V
- Weight: 1 lb
- Speed/Torque: 200 RPM/1-4 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 1-3 hours
- Dimensions: 7.8”x5.9”x2.2”
The TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver provides solid performance in all of our categories, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for a dependable tool to use on your next project.
The TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver is made with ease of use in mind as it rests comfortably in your hand while you work. Plus, the forward/reverse switch is within quick reach of your thumb if you want to change the direction in which the tool is moving.
The tool has a 3-position pivoting handle to help you fit it in small spaces. You can set it to 100, 140 or even 180 degrees if you want to hold it like an ordinary screwdriver.
The screwdriver has a Micro-B USB charger cord which works with most mobile phone or tablet chargers, so you’ll have plenty of options for plugging in the tool. Once it’s all powered up, you’ll enjoy a respectable battery life as it can drive at least 400 screws per charge.
The TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver offers a wealth of added features and accessories. Perhaps the best feature is the adjustable torque. You can choose between 6 torque settings so you can apply as much strength to your current job as you need. Just turn the rotor to the setting you want. If you want to engage the tool’s safety lock, just move the forward/reverse to its middle position. The last noteworthy positive feature is the magnetic chuck, which easily holds bits in place. As for accessories, the tool comes with 31 bits and has a 2-year warranty.
Unfortunately, not all of the screwdriver’s features work as well as they should. It has a front light that turns on when you use the tool and a rear light that can be used anytime. However, the lights aren’t very bright, so you shouldn’t use this tool for working in dark places. The tool also doesn’t have a speed control, meaning you’ll have to be careful not to drive screws in tighter than you intend.
- Adjustable torque
- 3-position pivoting handle
- Several user-friendly features and comes with bits
- Front and rear lights are somewhat weak
- No speed control
5. Best Small Screwdriver: Bosch PS21 2A Pocket Driver Kit
- Voltage: 110V
- Weight: 1.4 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 0-350 or 0-1,300 RPM/~30 N.m. (maximum)
- Recharge Time: 30 minutes
- Dimensions: 5.6” head length (Other dimensions not provided by the manufacturer)
Don’t let this screwdriver’s size fool you because it packs a huge punch. It provides up to nearly 30 Newton meters of torque and has two speed gears, one of which goes up to 1,300 RPM. Plus, the tool gives you 21 clutch settings and has a variable-speed trigger that helps you slowly accelerate to the speed you want. As a result, you’ll always have sufficient control over how much power the screwdriver applies.
The PS21 2A has a remarkably soft grip that fits nicely in your hand. Additionally, its lightweight construction allows you to use it for long work periods and/or overhead jobs without quickly getting fatigued.
As we’ve already mentioned, the PS21 2A is a compact tool even by the standards of cordless screwdrivers. Its short head was made to fit easily inside awkward spaces.
The battery is the PS21 2A’s Achilles heel. The battery itself works well as it lasts a reasonable amount of time between charges, and it charges up quickly. The problem is that removing the battery is a massive headache.
Simply put, it takes far more effort to remove the battery at charging time than it should – to the point where you may need to either use pliers or enlist the aid of a friend with strong thumbs.
The PS21 2A has a built-in LED under the chuck so you can see what you’re doing. It also comes with a bag and 2 bits. Lastly, it provides a generous warranty that offers 1 year of free tool replacement followed by 2 years of free tool repair. The first 2 years of the warranty provide free battery replacements as well.
- Lightweight but offers high speed and torque
- Small enough to fit in awkward spaces with relative ease
- Easy to use for a long time before fatigue sets in
- Easy to control speed and torque
- Hard to remove battery when it’s time to recharge it
6. Best for Home Use: Skil Cordless Screwdriver
- Voltage: 4V
- Weight: 0.85 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 220 RPM/4.07 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 3 hours
- Dimensions: 5.47”x5”x1.65”
Sometimes you don’t need the most powerful tool available, just one that gets the job done and is easy to use. The Skil Cordless Screwdriver fills the bill in that department and is perfect for home use. Its easy handling, small size, and reasonable battery life make it a great choice for home projects.
The Skil Screwdriver is designed for easy use, providing a comfortable grip and simple one-handed operation. You can use your index and middle fingers to pull the trigger, while your thumb can reach the forward/reverse switch on the tool’s left side at any time.
The tool is remarkably small, which comes in handy when you need to fit it in awkward spaces.
The Skil Screwdriver offers solid battery life, and charging is easy since it comes with a micro USB charger cord. You’ll have plenty of options when deciding where to plug it in for recharging. When the indicator light stops blinking, it’s ready to go again.
This screwdriver comes with 9 bits and has an LED light directly under the chuck so you can see what you’re doing when working in dark places. The Skil Screwdriver has a magnetic chuck to hold the bit you’re using in place.
There are also two mini alcoves on either side of the chuck where you can store two more bits. This feature lets you quickly swap one of them for the bit you’re using if necessary.
However, the magnet isn’t very strong; you should exercise caution while working as the bits, including the one you’re using, may fall off the tool. Sometimes the magnet itself may fall out as well.
- Easy to control and change direction with one hand
- Small enough to fit in awkward spaces
- Micro USB charger cord gives you lots of options for where to plug it in
- Comes with 9 bits
- Chuck magnet is weak and may fall out
- Voltage: 4V
- Weight: 0.77 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 200 RPM/4.5 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 3 hours
- Dimensions: 5.5”x4.33”
The TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver is another versatile choice for home projects. It offers solid performance in each of our categories, and its small size and lightweight nature will allow you to use it for extended periods of time without fatigue setting in.
The tool’s biggest flaw is that it’s mainly made for smaller projects. It certainly won’t win any strength contests, and you should consider other screwdrivers if you need something with more power. The speed isn’t adjustable either.
The tool is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, and it’s easy to carry thanks to its small size and lightweight construction. The non-slip, rubberized handle helps you keep a firm grip on the screwdriver whenever you use it.
The TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver certainly lives up to its name. It’s small enough that it can easily fit and work in tight areas.
The tool’s battery should last you for most home projects when fully charged. Luckily, the screwdriver makes keeping track of the battery charge easy since the 3-light power indicator shows you how much life it has left. The lights represent 10%, 50% and 100% power, respectively. The screwdriver also comes with a USB charging cord, so you can plug it in a variety of places.
The TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver comes with 9 bits and 1 bit extension. The chuck is magnetized to help keep bits secure while you work, and like many other cordless screwdrivers it has an LED light right below the chuck. Lastly, the tool has a 2-year warranty in case you have any problems with it.
- USB charging cord and power indicator lights make battery management easy
- Small enough to fit in tight areas
- Designed to easily fit in hand and provides firm grip
- Comes with 9 bits
- Not very strong
- No speed or torque controls
8. Best for Professionals: Milwaukee M12 Cordless Screwdriver Kit
- Voltage: 12V
- Weight: 2 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 0-500 RPM/19.77 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 30 min
- Dimensions: 6.5”x6”x2”
The Milwaukee M12 Cordless Screwdriver is another excellent choice for anyone who values precision and great controls in their tools. It works as a professional carpenter’s tool as its metal casing grants significant durability. The tool has a variable speed trigger and 15 clutch settings so you can control its speed and torque at all times. It’s small and light, but also surprisingly powerful.
If you decide to order this tool, be aware that the packaging isn’t always up to par. It’s sometimes shipped in just a plastic bag with little or no bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or other forms of impact buffering. This usually happens when buyers purchase just the screwdriver itself and not the entire kit (the kit includes the tool as well as a battery charger, 2 batteries, and a bag), but you might want to review the return policy before you click “Buy.”
The screwdriver is built for smooth operation thanks to its thin handle and easy grip.
While the Milwaukee M12 isn’t the smallest screwdriver on our list, it’s still small enough to use in hard-to-reach spaces. The tool is also surprisingly lightweight given its metal exterior and high speed and torque settings, so using it in awkward areas or for overhead tasks won’t be much of a hassle.
The Milwaukee M12 boasts impressive battery life, and the 4 indicator lights on its left side let you know how much charge the tool has at any time.
If you buy the whole kit, the tool comes with a decent set of equipment, including 2 batteries, a battery charger, and a carrying bag. It also has an LED directly under the chuck so you can see what you’re working on. Lastly, it has a 5-year limited warranty.
However, while the kit provides you with enough materials to get started on your project, it’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t come with extra bits. You’ll have to look for those elsewhere.
- Easy to control speed and torque
- Power indicator lights tell you how much charge remains
- Light but powerful
- Metal casing provides durability
- Packaging is sometimes sloppy and offers inadequate protection for the tool during transport
- Doesn’t come with extra bits
9. Most Efficient Screwdriver: WORX WX255L
- Voltage: 4V
- Weight: 1.1 lb.
- Speed/Torque: 230 RPM/3.05 N.m.
- Recharge Time: 5 hours
- Dimensions: 3.8”x1.8”x5”
The WORX WX255L is made with efficiency and convenience in mind, boasting several unique features like the slide-action bit changer and screw holder that make it easy to use. Plus, it’s lightweight and remarkably small. All in all, this tool works great if you need a screwdriver to help you get work done around the house.
That said, this screwdriver isn’t appropriate for heavy-duty jobs. It doesn’t have much torque, and the battery life isn’t the best, so you should seek other screwdrivers if you’ll be taking on more challenging tasks.
Handling this screwdriver is a breeze thanks to its slide-action bit changer and screw holder. All 6 bits that come with the WORX WX255L fit into a revolver-style chamber set that you rotate by sliding the bit changer back. You won’t have to head back to the toolbox to get the bit you need or constantly bend down to pick up a bit when you drop it.
The screw holder keeps your screw in place while you drive it into the work surface. This feature lets you operate the tool one-handed since you won’t have to hold the screw yourself.
The WORX WX255L is surprisingly small and lightweight, so overhead work and using the tool in awkward spaces aren’t an issue.
The screwdriver’s battery is its greatest drawback. It can hold its charge for up to 18 months, which is convenient for when you’ve set it aside for a while but need it for a quick task or two. However, it has a disappointingly short battery life and it takes hours to recharge – you should plug it in well in advance of using it and don’t plan on completing a lengthy project with it all at once.
As mentioned above, the tool comes with 6 bits and has an LED light on the front. It’s not much, but it’ll get you started.
- Easily gets into tight spaces as it’s small and lightweight
- Can be used one-handed
- Can carry 6 bits at once and easily switches between them
- Not for heavy-duty jobs
- Low battery life and takes hours to charge
Your Full Guide to Buying a Cordless Screwdriver
At this point, you know what makes a good cordless screwdriver, and you’ve read about some of the best options on the market. However, you might still wonder whether you need one or if another tool could fulfill the same purpose.
If you decide that a cordless screwdriver is what you need, how do you know which one meets your needs the best?
Next, we’ll answer those questions and then finish things up by giving you everything you need to know to determine the best cordless screwdriver for you.
When to Use a Cordless Screwdriver
Many prospective buyers often wonder if they even need a cordless screwdriver, especially if they already own a cordless drill. After all, doesn’t a drill basically serve the same purpose as a screwdriver?
Most of the time, you can use your cordless drill as a screwdriver. A lot of the differences between the two tools arise from the fact that drills are meant to be used for many different types of jobs, while screwdrivers serve just one function: they fasten and tighten screws. Here’s a closer look.
Drills are usually much more powerful than screwdrivers since they have higher voltages and torque. As such, you can use them as screwdrivers, especially if you’re working on a large project that requires you to drive many screws quickly.
Precision & Control
Drills are less precise and harder to control than screwdrivers because they use so much power, so you may occasionally see some stripped or improperly driven screws as a result. If your drill has variable speed or clutch controls, you should use those functions to help mitigate this risk.
Likewise, the main advantages that cordless screwdrivers enjoy over cordless drills are their greater precision and how easy they are to control. You probably noticed that some of our screwdriver reviews emphasized that the products offer control over exactly how much force was applied to the screw.
Another point we frequently mentioned in our reviews was how many of the screwdrivers on our list could be used in tight spaces. Screwdrivers tend to be smaller and lighter than drills, so it’s much easier for them to fit in those areas.
To summarize, you can use a cordless drill as a screwdriver, especially if you’re working on a larger project or one that requires you to fasten lots of screws quickly. On the other hand, you’re better off using a cordless screwdriver for a smaller job that requires a more delicate touch or one where you’ll be working in small spaces.
DIY projects and maintenance jobs around the house that don’t require a cordless drill’s power are best suited for a cordless screwdriver.
How to Find the Right Cordless Screwdriver for You
We’ve given you a lot of information and products to think about in this guide. If you just want straight-up product recommendations based on your needs and preferences, here are our suggestions.
If you want a screwdriver with at least a decent performance in each of our categories, that’s understandable. In this case, you should consider the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Screwdriver, the TACKLIFE Cordless Screwdriver, or the TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver.
Let’s say your next project requires you to drive screws onto a delicate surface, or maybe you just want a screwdriver that makes it easy for you to control exactly how much speed and torque the tool applies. If that sounds like what you need, take a look at the DEWALT Gyroscopic or the Bosch PS21 2A.
If you need a screwdriver for more demanding work or for use on a job site, then you’ll want one with plenty of speed and torque. The strongest screwdrivers on our list are the Bosch PS21 2A Pocket Driver Kit and the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Screwdriver.
Light-Duty/Home DIY Project Screwdrivers
Maybe you just need a cordless screwdriver for the occasional bit of home maintenance. In that case, you don’t need the most powerful option, just a reliable one. Some products that fit this criterion are the Skil Cordless Screwdriver, the TACKLIFE Compact Screwdriver, and the WORX WX255L.
Start Enjoying the Convenience of a Cordless Screwdriver
Whether you’re planning to do some quick work around the house or you’re a professional carpenter in need of a small, reliable tool that can fasten screws—cordless screwdrivers are a great addition to your toolbox.
Just find one that’ll work for the jobs you’re doing, and you can rest assured that driving screws will get much easier. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about a cord again, which is cause for celebration itself.