Electric Screwdriver vs. Drill: Which is Better For Your Needs?

Electric Screwdriver vs Drill

* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Power tools are, nowadays, a necessity in every house. The market is chock full of vast arrays of such devices that can easily lead any buyer astray. The extent of available options might very well confuse you, and in this article, we will discuss two tools that are often mistaken for one another.

And, although they can, indeed, be used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. An electric screwdriver is a lot different from a drill, and we will show you just how.

Short Answer:

If your work is generally high torque and requires a lot of power, then a Drill is the right choice for you. However, if what you need is building up some furniture and fixing a couple of cabinets, then all you need is an Electric Screwdriver.

What’s an Electric Screwdriver and How to Use It?

As the name suggests, an electric screwdriver is a compact power operated tool that allows you to screw and unscrew nails into/out of their designed places. A screwdriver is designed for light-torque projects, it cannot dig holes into hardwood, but it can screw a nail into an already drilled hole.

Usually, a screwdriver will weigh less than a pound and comes in angled varieties that allow you to get into very tight nooks and corners. Using a screwdriver involves all the safety precautions that are given when dealing with any power tool. These precautions include:

  • Do not wear anything that might get stuck to the screwdriver. 
  • Make sure to always have safety gear on such as goggles, working gloves, and safety shoes. 
  • Always work in an arid, well-lit place that’s absolutely free of any children or pets.

Now operating the device itself is not a complicated procedure:

  1. If it’s cordless, then make sure your battery is completely charged and place it correctly if it is a corded one then connect it to an outlet. 
  2. Adjust your torque and your angle. 
  3. Make sure that you have already drilled the holes that you need for the nails. 
  4. Pick up the nail using the screwdriver itself as it is mostly magnetized to hold the nail. 
  5. Place the nail inside the hole as far as it will go and then power your device on. 
  6. Make sure that the mail is secured.
  7. Turn your device off and unplug the cord.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Light 
  • Compact

Cons:

  • Low power 
  • Low torque 
  • Cannot drill holes
  • Expensive

What’s a Drill and How to Use It?

A drill is a much stronger version of a screwdriver. It goes through any material drilling a hole inside of it by shaving away its route. As mentioned before, a drill and an electric screwdriver can be used interchangeably, but to be more precise, a drill can be used for the majority of what a screwdriver would be needed for; however, the opposite is not true.

Another similarity between drills and electric screwdrivers is that they both exist in corded and cordless versions. Again, if you’re going to use power, always check the safety precautions prior to anything else. Then comes the tool itself. With the drill you need to:

  1. Loosen the chuck 
  2. Choose the appropriate tips from amongst the included selection 
  3. Retighten the chuck 
  4. Adjust your torque 
  5. Either input your battery or plug-in the cord 
  6. Power on the device 
  7. Make sure that the place of your future whole is marked well and precisely 
  8. Get drilling

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • High torque
  • Can make holes
  • Relatively cheap

Cons:

  • Heavy

Electric Screwdriver vs. Drill – Full Comparison

 Electric ScrewdriverDrill
WeightLess than a pounds6+ pounds
VersatilityHighLow
PowerHighLow
CostExpensiveCheap
TorqueLowHigh
Level of PracticeLowHigh
Hole Drilling Can’t Can
TypesCorded and CordlessCorded and Cordless

Now that we have spoken in general about both tools, we would like to give you our view on the best models representing these power tools. We have scoured the market online and off-line to select these two options as the best candidates for an electric screwdriver and a drill.

Electric Screwdriver Best Pick: The DEWALT DCF680N2

Overall this device has been well praised by 99% of its users. It is automatic in a lot of aspects, which relieves the user of a lot of effort and worry as to torque adjustment. Meaning that it adjusts its power according to the movement of your own hand.

It is also very well balanced as it is designed to be held in two different positions to give the user the freedom of choice. You could even put it in reverse if the need arises for such an option. At a weight of 1.1 pounds, they cannot get any better.

Pros:

  • Can work with wood, plastic, and metal 
  • Motion-activated 
  • 0-430 RPM 
  • Very light 
  • Well-balanced 
  • Two different holding positions 
  • Reverse-ability

Cons:

  • Might over-torque and damage the material

Electric Drill Best Pick: The DEWALT DCD771C2

This tool combines a robust structural foundation with user comfort through an ergonomic handle that allows you to work for extended periods of time without fatigue. It is also extremely powerful as it can give you 300W reaching 1500 RPM in its peak.

It is lightweight in relation to other models of its class, and DEWALT has also provided its users with LED light for those tight nooks and corners.

Pros:

  • 20 V lithium battery 
  • LED lights 
  • Ergonomic handle 
  • 1500 RPM

Cons:

  • No place for bit storage 
  • Charging mechanism may be faulty


Final Thoughts

As mentioned before in the article, these two devices can be used interchangeably; however, as explained later on, each one of them has been designed for a specific job. One thing that we can conclude is that they are perfect friends, and owning both of them will not come back to bite you. Nevertheless, always be specific about what your work demands as your need for one might surpass the other, and therefore it will be higher on your priority list.