I start out each weekend by writing a “Honey Do” list. This is a list of everything around the home and garden which my husband and I need to work on. This could be a small task like hanging a picture frame, or a large task like assembling our children’s swing set. Each weekend as we slowly check off our “Honey Do” projects my husband sends me running to his workroom for tools. One of the most versatile and easy tools we use for our projects is the cordless screwdriver. It doesn’t matter if the project is big or small, we can always find a use for a cordless screwdriver. A cordless screwdriver is helpful for pros and DIYers alike. Here are a few of the tips and tricks we have learned that will help you use this awesome tool.
Pick the Right Type of Cordless Screwdriver
There are actually quite a few tools that will fall under the “Cordless Screwdriver” category. It is important to pick the type of cordless screwdriver that is best suited for the types of projects you will be working on. Some of the bigger projects you will be working on, will require you to hold your cordless screwdriver for a long time. So pick a screwdriver that is comfortable for you to hold. Here are a few different types of cordless screwdrivers you have available to help a household handyman such as yourself.
Cordless Drill and Driver
This is the most basic and most popular version on the market. Cordless drill and drivers are extremely versatile and handy. These power tools have two different functions. The high speed setting is meant for drilling and the lower speed setting works for driving fasteners. These tools are lightweight and easy to use. They come in a variety of sizes and power levels, this makes sure that there is a cordless drill and driver for any size project you may have around the home.
Cordless Right-Angle Drill
A cordless right-angle drill works very similarly to a cordless drill and driver. The biggest difference is that this drill is used in spaces most other drills cannot fit. This drill has a specialized design that makes it very useful in certain situations. It has a right-angled gearing that powers the chuck at a 90 degrees to the motor shaft. Because of this special design, it can be used to drill in tight spaces such as between floor joints. It really only needs a few inches of room to work, making it easier to finish tight projects around the house. This makes it ideal for electricians and plumbers.
Cordless Impact Driver
This tool is typically lighter and more compact than most of the cordless drill and drivers you will find. It is used to drive and loosen even the biggest fasteners. A cordless impact driver has an incredible amount of control. It can get the job done quickly and efficiently and is less likely to strip a screw than your typical driver.
A cordless screwdriver is small, inexpensive, and good for driving smaller screws. It is a good beginner tool to have around the house. Because they are small and lightweight, you can use them for longer periods of time without getting tired. Although they are really only good for driving small screws, you can use them to pre-drill small holes if you use the correct bit. This should only be done if you are in a pinch and do not have access to a stronger drill.
Know How Much Power You Need
The next cordless screwdriver tip you should know is how much power you need. Cordless screwdrivers are not only used by DIYers around the home, but by professionals in their trades. Just because there are super powerful cordless screwdrivers and drills available on the market, does not mean you need to purchase the most powerful one you can find. The power of a cordless screwdriver is measured in volts. The voltage range in cordless screwdrivers ranges from 6-36 volts. The higher the voltage the more torque, or twisting power, your tool will have. For most users 12- 18 volts is more than enough to tackle jobs around the house, and even a few heavy duty drilling jobs. If you are using a cordless screwdriver with voltage that is too high, you are more likely to injure yourself. More power does not always equal better quality.
Don’t Forget Your Battery and Chargers
If you find yourself consistently reaching for a cordless screwdriver, you may want to invest in some handy accessories. The most important accessory you can buy for your cordless screwdriver is a good battery pack and charger. Most cordless screwdrivers come with a lithium-ion battery. These are good because they are lightweight and hold their charge well during long periods of rest between uses. Battery chargers are also an important accessory to have. They can recharge your battery in as little as 15 minutes, although most chargers will take a few hours. If you are a professional, working on a job-site, it may be worth the extra money to buy a charger that will power your tools quickly. If you are not on a time crunch, consider buying a second battery so you can continue working while one battery recharges.
Choose the Right Drill Bits
Drill bits are just as important as the drill itself. There are many different drill bits available in large variety of sizes and shapes. Check the markings engraved on the bit to know what type of bit you are working with. To test if the screw and bit you are working with are compatible, first install the bit in the chuck of the drill. Next, insert the bit into the head of the screw. Then, hold the screw at a 45 degree angle. If the screw falls off of the bit, than it is not the correct size and you should try again, if they are compatible the screw will stay in place. It is important to use the correct size bit, because you are less likely to strip a screw when you use the correct size.
The last cordless screwdriver tip is to practice using a cordless screwdriver until you feel comfortable using it. It may take a few practice drives into a spare piece of wood before you get the hang of using your cordless screwdriver. It is better to practice on a spare piece of wood, than on your projects where you could damage a wall or your screws. You can play around with how much pressure and control you need to exhibit to get a nice and smooth drive. It is also important to read your manual before using a cordless screwdriver. This will help you avoid improper usage, which could be a costly mistake.
A cordless screwdriver is a versatile and easy to use tool that should be in everybody’s tool belt! It can easily tackle small jobs like hanging a picture frame, to the large jobs, like building a deck. The more you use your cordless screwdriver the more comfortable you will feel pulling it out for all the projects in and around your home.
Related Article: Finding the Best Cordless Screwdriver: Top 10 Reviewed and our Pick
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