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What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Shop for Cordless Drill Drivers


Advantages

red cordless drill driver

They’re powerful

Compared to cordless screwdrivers, cordless drill drivers tend to have higher-voltage batteries and more efficient gear systems. This means that they can deliver greater levels of torque at higher speeds.

Cordless drill driver driving a screw into a tough mateial On average, cordless drill drivers can deliver around 50Nm (Newton metres) of torque. That’s a lot of power compared to a cordless screwdriver, which can only produce around 10. As a result, a cordless drill driver will allow you to drive larger screws into tougher materials (hardwoods, plastics etc.).
Cordless drill driver screwing in a screw into a piece of wood

They have torque control

Torque control is a feature that allows you to adjust the amount of torque being delivered by the drill driver when inserting screws.

If used correctly, torque control enables the user to drive screws to the correct depth, helping to prevent damage to the screw head or work surface.

Labelled torque control on a red and black cordless drill driver Cordless impact drivers do not have this feature which means that it can be easy to over-squeeze the trigger and sink screws below the surface of the material.

For more information, see our section: What is torque control?

Wonkee Donkee says "Nowadays, most cordless drill drivers have up to 20 different torque levels, meaning you can really fine-tune the power being delivered!"
Black 3-jawed keyless chuck

They have a 3-jawed chuck

The chuck is the part of the tool that holds the screwdriver or drill bits. Cordless drill drivers have a chuck with 3 jaws that open and close to accept bits.

3-jawed chucks are popular with users because they can hold bits with straight shanks as well as hexagonal. (Most drill bits have straight shanks, almost all screwdriver bits have hexagonal)

Silver drill bit with a hex shank and a gold drill bit with a straight shank Cordless impact drivers and screwdrivers don’t have 3-jawed chucks, which means that if you want to use them for drilling, you will have to purchase drill bits with hexagonal shanks. This could mean replacing most of the drill bits in your toolbox!

Disadvantages

Blue cordless screwdriver and a red cordless drill driver

They can feel cumbersome

Compared to cordless impact drivers and screwdrivers, drill drivers are larger and usually heavier. This is because of their higher-voltage battery and 3-jawed chuck which, together, can increase the weight of the tool and length by several centimetres.

Drilling with a large drill If you’re only going to use the tool occasionally, then its weight may not be an issue. However, if you’re planning on working for long periods of time, a heavy tool can put excess strain on your arm and wrist.
Drilling a hole with a cordless drill driver into a ceiling You should also consider the kind of work you are going to be doing with the tool. Screwdriving or drilling in awkward spaces such as in the rafters of a roof, where the tool will most likely be held above your head, will also become extremely tiring if working with a heavy tool.
Drilling with a large drill bit

They can kick back

When drilling large holes or driving large screws in tough materials, the motor will encounter resistance, making it harder to turn the chuck.

Cordless drill driver where the motor is turning anticlockwise and the bit is turning clockwise If resistance is too high, the motor will not be able to turn the screw or drill bit. As a result, the mechanical power being transferred to the bit from the motor is transferred to the body of the drill instead, turning it in the user’s hands. This is known as ‘kick-back’ and can cause strain to the user’s arm and wrist as they try to hold the tool steady.

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