An electric screwdriver isn’t the first tool on every DIYers shortlist. But there’s a case to be made for buying one of the best electric screwdrivers, so you have the best tool for the job. A quality electric screwdriver can help avoid frustratingly driving screw after screw which inevitably leads to hand fatigue. Our handy guide to the best cordless screwdriver includes our top picks, a comparison of their features, and essential buying tips so you can buy the right cordless screwdriver the first time. Let’s dive in!
The best electric screwdriver
- Top pick overall: Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver
- Alternate top pick: Metabo HPT 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver
- Heavy duty pick: Bosch PS21-2A 12V Cordless Screwdriver
- All-in-one pick: Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver
- Electric precision pick: Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver
- Budget pick: Black & Decker 4V Cordless Screwdriver
- Alternate budget pick: Skil 4V Cordless Screwdriver
- Variable-speed motor
- Inline and pistol grip
- Includes a LED light
- Adjustable clutch
- Somewhat pricey
- No bits included
|Max Torque (inch lbs)||40|
The Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver packs in all of the essentials, which explains why this is such a handy cordless screwdriver with good power. This powerful versatility is enabled by the motor that maxes out at 430 RPM with up to 40 inch lbs Of torque.
Rare among even the best cordless screwdrivers, the Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver includes a clutch around the spindle with 16 available settings. This way, you can max out the clutch to confidently drive screws into dense materials or ratchet down the clutch for low-density materials. The low clutch settings also help to avoid stripping screw heads based on the material you’re driving screws into and the hardness of the screw itself.
The namesake feature of the Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver is the gyroscopic motor. There is no right or left button to toggle, just place the bit into the screw head and turn the electric screwdriver clockwise or counterclockwise. This operation takes driving a few screws to get used, but once you quickly get a feel for it, you’ll confidently wield the screwdriver.
The gyroscope also powers the variable speed motor. Rotate the Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver slightly to slowly drive a screw or rotate it further to ramp up the RPM.
Rounding out the features, the Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Screwdriver has a dual-position handle that can be used with a pistol or in-line grip, great for versatility.
This cordless screwdriver isn’t perfect though. The price isn’t a fit for everyone DIY’er. It also doesn’t include any bits.
|Max RPM||Not advertised|
|Max Torque (inch lbs||44|
Consider buying the Metabo HPT 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver Kit if you like the features of the Dewalt model on this list but want to pay less. Of course, you won’t get as many features, and we’ll discuss more about that below.
But you will get a great electric screwdriver with the great build quality and ease of use. Importantly, the Metabo HPT 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver has 44 inch lbs of torque. You’ll also get a clutch with a whopping 21 settings. Both features explain why the tool felt good in the hand when we tested driving screws into various materials.
The Metabo HPT 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver has a dual-position handle that can be used with an in-line or pistol grip. The spindle also locks, great for versatility when you don’t want to use the motor to tighten or loosen screws.
Where you make a few small sacrifices, compared to the Dewalt model on our list, is there’s no variable speed or gyroscopic motor. The battery is also considerably less powerful at 3.6V, although two batteries are included, and the quick charger rapidly pushes a full charge.
So, deciding between the two models ultimately depends on your budget and the value of a variable-speed motor.
- High RPM and torque
- Two-speed motor
- Includes a LED light
- Adjustable clutch
- Includes two batteries
- Pistol grip only
|Max Torque (inch lbs||265|
The Bosch PS21-2A 12V Cordless Screwdriver is the best cordless screwdriver if you want a powerful and compact tool. Its specs are unmatched by the other best-in-class picks on this list. Not only will does it max out at 1,300 RPMs but it can also deliver up to 265 inch lbs of torque, This electric screwdriver also has a 20+1 clutch, great for versatility driving screws into materials with different densities.
These features combine to make the Bosch PS21-2A 12V Cordless Screwdriver very powerful, which we felt in our tests.
This electric screwdriver is arguably a specialty tool since many DIY’ers already have an impact driver and drill combination in their garages. But you may reach for this cordless screwdriver frequently once taking it for a few spins in lighter-duty tasks.
As for its specialty uses, woodworkers are a perfect fit. The compact design can reach into tight corners and narrow spaces, such as when building smaller drawers. The lowest clutch and RPM settings also make it good for driving screws more delicately than a drill or impact driver.
One nice additional feature is the two 12V batteries included in the box. The Bosch PS21-2A 12V Cordless Screwdriver’s battery will last a while, and you’ll rarely be left without a working tool when forgetting to charge a battery
- Simple, fast bit changing with onboard storage
- Includes bits
- Screw holder can be useful in some situations
- Pistol grip only
- No Adjustable clutch
- No variable speed motor
|Max Torque (inch lbs)||Not advertised|
The Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver is a great all-in-one solution to ensure you have the right bit at the right time. The bits are stored onboard in a revolving bit holder hidden behind the spindle. Slide the bit storage open, rotate to the desired bit, then close the housing, and fire away.
Admittedly, we didn’t know if we’d like this feature since it could be clunky if poorly done. But that feeling was short-lived once trying out the quick-draw bit storage feature for the first time. The casing slides open easily, and it’s smooth when slotting in a new bit. No issues, just great convenience.
Beyond the onboard bit storage, the Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver has another unique feature. There’s a screw holder that can be used to hold a screw in place without needing your second hand while driving a screw. This feature is helpful for some tasks, but we found it was obtrusive and unnecessary for other tasks.
For the downsides, the Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver doesn’t have a variable-speed motor and doesn’t have an adjustable clutch.
|Max Torque (inch lbs)||Not advertised|
The Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver is the best electric screwdriver for electronics we’ve encountered. There are a few important reasons why.
Firstly, the Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver has a dual-speed motor that can be adjusted on the bottom of the screwdriver. You can also lock the spindle to drive screws without the motor. Setting the speed to any of the three settings feels tactile and smooth.
The case and magnetic casing are also standout features. Inside the sleek metal housing, 24 bits stay perfectly organized in the magnetic casing that holds the screwdriver. We shook the casing vigorously in our testing, and nothing fell out. The magnetic casing also slides smoothly into the rounded metal housing and has a nice push-to-open spring, similar to the feel of a push-to-open drawer.
The primary downside of the Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver is that the shaft isn’t flexible or extendable. Many of the best precision screwdrivers include this versatile feature, albeit none of them are electric.
But not everyone needs a precision electric screwdriver with an extendable, flexible shaft. In that case, the Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver is an easy pick with outstanding build quality.
- Adjustable inline and pistol grip
- Includes a LED light
- Includes a Philips and slotted bit
- No variable speed motor
- No adjustable clutch
|Max Torque (inch lbs)||35|
The Black & Decker 4V Cordless Screwdriver is the best budget cordless screwdriver we found after running through our testing. The build quality surprised us when holding the tool for the first time. While the casing is made of plastic throughout, it doesn’t feel flimsy and has a good amount of weight. This is also one of the few electric screwdrivers with a three-position grip.
Nicely, the Black & Decker 4V Cordless Screwdriver can confidently drive screws with sufficient power. It even has more torque (44 inch lbs) than the Dewalt model atop this list, and it includes two bits. But there is only one speed setting, and there isn’t an adjustable clutch, which is where the budget price shows.
One feature that would also be nice to have is a charger with a more versatile connector. The proprietary connector means you can only charge this electric screwdriver via the included charging cable and plug. But this can be easily overlooked for the price and won’t be a major downside for most people.
|Max Torque (inch lbs||Not advertised|
Consider buying the Skil Rechargeable 4V Cordless Screwdriver if you want a portable tool and bit set for a great price.
You won’t get the advanced features other electric screwdrivers offer at this price point, such as a variable-speed motor and an adjustable clutch.
But the Skil Rechargeable 4V Cordless Screwdriver has sufficient power to drive screws into many types of materials, although it did bog down some when we tested driving screws into wood, as did many of our picks.
What we also like about this electric screwdriver is that it includes 45 bits and a USB charging cable. You’ll likely have the right bit to handle any task around the house, and you won’t risk losing them with the carrying case over time. You’ll likely have a charging brick to plug the USB cable into several places around the house.
One nice added feature is that the Skil Rechargeable 4V Cordless Screwdriver has a circuit sensor in the spindle. The LED light flashes red when there’s a live electrical current.
How to pick the best cordless screwdriver
Finding the best screwdriver for your needs can be simplified by focusing on several important factors. Let’s dive in to cover a few of those essentials.
There are three primary designs for electric screwdrivers, in-line, pistol, and adjustable grips.
- In-line: The in-line grip is how a standard non-powered screwdriver is designed in a straight line. In-line designs are good for rotating screws with good ergonomics. But in-line electric screwdrivers tend to be long lengthwise and have some added bulk over a traditional screwdriver. This design can make using an in-line style electric screwdriver in tight spaces hard.
- Pistol: Pistol grip electric screwdrivers are suitable for applying a lot of inward/downward pressure on a screw. They also excel when working in tighter spaces where an in-line screwdriver is too long to fit into.
- Adjustable: Adjustable grip electric screwdrivers offer the best of both worlds and can be used in-line or as a pistol grip. Most have a dual-positioned setting, though some models have three positions. Adjustable grips are our preferred choice, but they aren’t a fit for all needs and can be too bulky if you just need an in-line electric screwdriver.
Electric screwdrivers are suitable for a mix of tasks, but not every model can handle precision jobs or tasks that a ratcheting screwdriver is better for. Most DIY tasks around the house, including driving screws into drywall, can be completed with an electric screwdriver with 30+ inch lbs of torque.
But you’ll need more torque if wanting to drive screws confidently into wood. The most powerful electric screwdrivers will offer upwards of 200 inch lbs of torque.
Electric screwdrivers come in two types: a removable battery that must be seated in a standalone charger, or the charging cable is charged into the tool, where the battery resides.
Standalone batteries can be replaced and typically use the same battery ecosystem a brand’s other power tools use. The added battery versatility is helpful if you have multiple tools from the same manufacturer, all using the same charger and battery.
Electric screwdrivers with onboard batteries will typically need to be replaced when the battery doesn’t work or doesn’t hold a long-enough charge any longer.
Some higher-end electric screwdrivers include a clutch and variable-speed motor. These are great features if you have the budget. Variable-speed motors are great for versatility when different tasks require driving screws at different speeds.
A clutch with different settings helps apply the right amount of torque for each job, resulting in fewer stripped screws in light tasks and more power for heavier-duty tasks.
Bits and portability
Not all types of screwdrivers include bits or a carrying case in the box. An electric screwdriver with an included carrying case or a case to store bits is helpful to keep track of bits and for organization.
Few models also offer onboard bit storage, helpful for portability and keeping bits organized. The Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver is one of the few electric screwdrivers we came across with an all-in-one focus that includes bits and onboard storage.
Comparing the picks
Below you can find a brief comparison of specs for each of our picks, plus our takeaways from testing in-house.
|Model||Variable-Speed Motor||Max RPM||Max Torque (inch lbs)<||Adjustable Clutch|
|Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic||Yes||430||40||Yes|
|Metabo HPT 3.6V||No||Not advertised||44||Yes|
|Bosch PS21-2A 12V||Yes||1,300||265||Yes|
|Worx WX255L||No||230||Not advertised||No|
|Xiaomi Electric Precision||Yes||170||Not advertised||No|
|Black & Decker 4V||No||180||35||No|
|Skil Rechargeable 4V||No||230||Not advertised||No|
All of our picks (except the Xiaomi Precision Electric Screwdriver) competently drove a screw into lightly denser materials.
But all but the Bosch bogged down in our tests on woods. The budget picks, including the Black & Decker 4V and the Skil 4V, aren’t great options if you’re wanting to drive screws into more than drywall or plastics.
The Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic Cordless Screwdriver has the best combination of ergonomics and performance. The motor has a variable speed controlled by how much you rotate the tool, a high RPM, a high max torque capacity, and a clutch. The tool can also be used in-line or with a pistol grip.
The Bosch PS21-2A 12V Cordless Screwdriver outshines all of our picks regarding performance alone. It has a two-speed motor that maxes out at 1,300 RPM and a max torque of 265 inch lbs.
|Model||Grip Type||Guide Light|
|Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic||Pistol & in-line||Yes|
|Metabo HPT 3.6V||Pistol & in-line||Yes|
|Bosch PS21-2A 12V||Pistol||Yes|
|Xiaomi Electric Precision||In-line||No|
|Black & Decker 4V||Three positions||Yes|
|Skil Rechargeable 4V||In-line||Yes|
We think most DIY’ers are best to buy an electric screwdriver with good ergonomics, including the versatility of a pistol and in-line grip in one, a guide light, and light weight.
All of our picks for the best rechargeable screwdrivers include a guide light, except for the Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver. These models are also competitively lightweight, which can reduce hand fatigue and helps with portability.
Portability and bits
|Model||Includes Carrying Case||Includes Bits||Onboard Bit Storage|
|Dewalt 8V Gyroscopic||Yes||No||No|
|Metabo HPT 3.6V||Yes||No||No|
|Bosch PS21-2A 12V||Yes||No||No|
|Worx WX255L||No||Yes (6)||Yes|
|Xiaomi Electric Precision||Yes||Yes (24)||No|
|Black & Decker 4V||No||Yes (2)||No|
|Skil Rechargeable 4V||Yes||Yes (45)||No|
A higher price doesn’t mean you get all the bells and whistles, such as driver bits and a carrying case. Our top picks don’t include any bits. Some of this is expected. Most people interested in these tools already have a multi-bit set.
As you move down the price spectrum, you get more bits, making these picks perfect for DIY’ers wanting an all-in-one package. The Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver, the Black & Decker 4V Cordless Screwdriver, the Skil 4V Cordless Screwdriver, and the Xiaomi Electric Precision Screwdriver are all great options if you want an assortment of driver bits.
The Black & Decker model includes the fewest bits with just a Philips and slotted bit included.
The Worx WX255L Semi-Automatic Power Screwdriver is the only pick on our list that provides onboard storage. Onboard storage can be convenient since everything is packed into one, and there’s a reduced risk of losing bits.
The Milwaukee 2401-20 M12 Cordless Screwdriver is a good kit that is a good option instead of the Bosch model on our list. But its lower torque rating explains why the Bosch landed on our shortlist.
The Worx WX240L 4V Cordless Screwdriver is well-rated on Amazon and is a pick on several best electric screwdriver lists. But this in-line-only model is slightly more expensive than the Skil model on our list, though it is rated for more torque and has three speeds.
The Craftsman CMHT66718B20 4V is a basic in-line electric screwdriver with a price that can be beaten. It has sufficient power and includes many bits, but there’s no carrying case.
The Ryobi HP44L 4V Screwdriver is a solid pick that maxes out at 600 RPM. But availability is limited, and it doesn’t include extra bits, a carrying case, or versatility features such as a variable-speed motor or a clutch.
The iFU Mini Electric Screwdriver Set is a good alternative to the Xiaomi model on our list. The main difference is the iFU model includes additional electronics tools, such as pry bars, picks, and tweezers. It also has a LED light.
We reviewed the online ratings, specs, and pricing for 20 electric screwdrivers. Once compiling this information, we narrowed the list to picks we tested in-house. In-house testing mainly involved driving screws into several materials with different densities, including wood, plywood, and drywall. Tools were also inspected for build quality, ergonomics, and portability.
An electric screwdriver can be a valuable tool for DIYers and professionals. An electric screwdriver reduces hand fatigue when driving multiple screws into dense surfaces. A quality electric screwdriver is powerful enough to handle these tasks, along with a variety of others jobs. Plus, there is a range of prices, so you don’t have to break the bank to have the right tool for the job.
The performance of electric screwdrivers varies based on the RPM and torque offered, but don’t expect many light-duty electric screwdrivers to power through driving screws into wood. Some higher-end electric screwdrivers are as powerful as a corded drill, offering upwards of 200 inch lbs of torque and 1,300 RPMs. These models also provide adjustable clutch settings to avoid stripping screws for lighter tasks.