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Single gear vs. multiple gear drill drivers

Shop for Cordless Drill Drivers

Gears Simply put, gears alter the relationship between torque and speed.

Some cordless drill drivers only have 1 gear, others have 2 or more.

Single-gear drill drivers

Red single gear cordless drill driver Some cordless drill drivers only have 1 gear. Using the speed control trigger, you can vary the speed within a single range of 0-600 rpm but no higher.
Finger pulling the speed control trigger on a cordless drill driver Squeezing the trigger increases the speed but decreases torque. The more you release the trigger, the slower the chuck will turn but the more torque the tool will deliver.

Multiple gear drill drivers

Yellow multiple gear cordless drill driver Cordless drill drivers with more than one gear offer the possibility to select different speed ranges.

The cordless drill driver on the left has two gears.

Cordless drill driver gear selector switch In first gear, you can use the speed control trigger to vary the speed within the range of  0-350 RPM but no higher.

In second gear, you can use the speed control trigger to vary the speed within the range of 0-1200 RPM but no higher.

Set of gears

Are more gears better?

Basically, gears break up the tool’s power into manageable chunks, preventing too much torque and speed from being delivered at one time. This is useful if you are going to be working with a variety of materials and screw sizes.

Softwood, metal, plastic and three different sizes of screws A cordless drill driver with two or more gears will allow you to complete a wider variety of tasks and because you can really fine-tune the amount of power being delivered, there is less risk of a damaged screw or work surface.
Price tag with three large gold pound sounds However, the more gears a cordless drill driver has, the more expensive it’s likely to be.

If you only want to work with smaller screws and softer materials, then a single gear drill driver should be sufficient.

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