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How to choose the right voltage

Shop for Cordless Screwdrivers

Voltage The power of your cordless screwdriver largely depends on the voltage of its battery.

The higher the voltage, the more powerful the tool will be, and generally, the more expensive.

For power tools, voltage ranges from around 3 to 48 volts.

Voltage marking on cordless screwdriver head The voltage of a cordless power tool is often  printed on the side of the tool itself…
Voltage marking on cordless screwdriver battery …or on the tool’s battery.
small and large cordless screwdrivers Generally, cordless screwdrivers range from 3 to 10.8 volts.

Consider the following when selecting your tool to ensure you choose a voltage that’s right for you:

What will you be using the cordless screwdriver for?

Softwood, plastic and plasterboard

Light duty jobs only

Driving small screws into softer materials such as softwood (e.g. pine, cedar), plastic and plasterboard is considered light duty and will not require much power

Cordless screwdriver For light duty work only, select a cordless screwdriver with a lower voltage:

4v or less

Ceramics and hardwood

Light and heavy duty jobs

Drilling small holes and driving small screws into; softwood, plastics, and plasterboard….

…as well as…

…hardwoods (e.g. oak, walnut) and ceramics is considered heavy duty and will require more power.

Cordless screwdriver For heavy duty work, select a cordless screwdriver with a higher voltage:

7v or more

How important is the tool’s weight?

Scales with two cordless screwdrivers Typically, higher voltage cordless screwdrivers weigh more than lower voltage ones.
Large cordless screwdriver 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 heavier tool can put excess strain on your arm and wrist.

cordless screwdriver being used on curtain hook You should also consider the kind of work you are going to be doing with the tool.

Driving screws 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.

How much are you looking to spend?

Price tag Keep in mind that the higher the battery’s voltage, the more expensive it is likely to be.
Voltage symbol Think about how you may wish to use the tool in the future.

If you buy a low-voltage tool just to save money, you may have problems in the long run when trying to complete more heavy-duty tasks.

Voltage summary

materials and nails A higher voltage tool will be more powerful and will allow you to work with a larger variety of screws and materials.
Pile of gold coins However, a higher voltage tool will typically be larger, heavier and more expensive than a lower voltage one.