The best electric screwdrivers

Upgrade to an electric screwdriver for easier DIY tasks


by Ryan Gilmore |

A good quality electric screwdriver may seem like a needless purchase when a good set of screwdrivers can cost less than £20. However, if you're always tinkering with cars or DIY projects, they’ll save you so much time and effort that you’ll curse yourself for not buying one sooner.

What is an electric screwdriver?

Also known as cordless screwdrivers, electric screwdrivers are small power tools which take the effort out of screwing and unscrewing...well, screws.

They are good for effortlessly tightening and untightening screws with nothing more than the squeeze of a trigger. They also feature swappable screwdriver heads (called bits) which means you’ll only need one tool for tackling Phillip, flathead and even Hex screws.

Related: The best cordless drills | The best socket sets

Other uses for an electric screwdriver

Powered screwdrivers have more use than just keeping a car roadworthy and in one piece, think of any DIY task that requires a screwdriver and 99 times out of 100, an electric screwdriver will make the task quicker, less strenuous and easier overall.

Even the most tool-adverse will own a handful of screwdrivers and a single cordless option with a selection of heads will be a welcome upgrade, so long as they remember to charge it up.

The best electric screwdrivers

This electric screwdriver is everything the average DIYer would need to work on their car and home too. While it’s not the most powerful option, it’s more than capable of almost any domestic task and has the added bonus of being really easy to use. This is largely down to its ergonomic design, the direction is controlled with a thumb switch and the trigger is progressive, squeeze it harder and you’ll get more power.

It also features an LED light for low light vision and three additional LED lights for checking the battery status. Even the chunky handle is wrapped in a grippy green coating for additional comfort.

The IXO is a versatile choice too as it can be fitted out with a number of attachments that are genuinely useful. For example, it can be fitted out with drilling and cutting heads making it a great multi-use tool.

Battery voltage: 3.6V
Charging time: Two hours
Weight: 0.34kg
Drill bits included: 10 screwdriver bits
Extras: Storage box, variable speed control, LED light

Pros
• Perfect for DIYers
• Ergonomic design
• Stylish

Cons
• Only 10 screwdriver attachments
• Torque control is an extra purchase
• Optional parts are expensive

Looking more like a traditional screwdriver, this powered option from Worx is another excellent choice for DIY and automotive tasks. Featuring a beefy 4V battery and three torque settings, it’s more powerful than the Bosch model but also weighs almost twice as much.

It is well made and has a solid focus on ergonomics. The screwdriver features a soft rubber handle, dual-LED lights and a handy battery indicator. It’s also slightly better value for money than the Bosch, thanks in part to the generous 24 included screwdriver bits. Although this tool can’t be modified to work as a drill or cutting tool.

The biggest issue is that it’s quite a hefty unit, in terms of weight and size. Those Tonka-truck looks are good for grip but do limit the screwdriver’s ability to work in small spaces.

Battery voltage: 4V
Charging time: 1.5 hours
Weight: 0.66kg
Drill bits included: 24 screwdriver bits
Extras: Storage box, torque adjustment, LED light

Pros
• Top-quality
• Includes torque adjuster
• A powerful choice

Cons
• Too chunky for small spaces
• Heaviest option here

For ensuring that you could happily work on anything up to and including the Space Shuttle Endeavour, you’ll be needing a lot of screwdriver bits. This kit from Makita comes with 81 of them and is by far the most conclusive choice we’d recommend. We also really like that it can be either pistol-grip or pencil-shaped depending on what you need to do and that it’s so light but without scrimping on power or battery life.

There are two main issues with this screwdriver, however, battery and power. The battery issue is that there’s no knowing when it’s actually charged, a small bank of LEDs would come in really handy for dealing with this. The second and arguably more annoying issue is that there’s no power control. This means you’ll be going full force no matter what, not ideal for dealing with more delicate surfaces like MDF.

Battery voltage: 3.6V
Charging time: Varies
Weight: 0.36kg
Drill bits included: 81 screwdriver bits
Extras: Storage box, adjustable handle, LED light

Pros
• A conclusive kit
• Adjustable handle
• A powerful choice

Cons
• Most screw bits will remain unused
• No power adjustability

For something a little more serious, Bosch’s Professional range of power tools are well-suited to trade use and so would easily cope with even the most serious automotive or DIY task. Designed to be really easy to use, this screwdriver will start rotating either with the press of a button or by pressing the bit onto a screw.

This electric screwdriver is also designed with longevity in mind, ensuring the internals remain protected even if you’re using it repeatedly. It features an electronic brake, for example, reducing wear on the bit and screw head. It also has five torque settings with a mechanical clutch for better precision.

Battery voltage: 3.6V
Charging time: N/A
Weight: 0.31kg
Drill bits included: 25 screwdriver bits
Extras: Storage box, five torque settings, electronic brake

Pros
• Built to last
• Great adjustability

Cons
• Expensive

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