Electric Screwdriver vs Drill (2024 Guide)

Are you looking for a comprehensive electric screwdriver vs drill guide.

Fantastic stuff – you are in the right place!

In this ToolsGaloreHQ.com guide you will learn

  • Key differences and similarities
  • When to use which tool
  • Some interesting facts
  • And So Much More!
Electric Screwdriver vs Drill




Small to Medium


Battery Voltage

4 V to 10 V

12 V to 20 V


Generally Cheaper

More Expensive

Use Cases

Screwing and Unscrewing


Top Rated

DeWalt Drill

What Is An Electric Screwdriver

Very simply put, an electric screwdriver is a power tool that allows the user to screw and unscrew very effortlessly.

Typically the choice between selecting an electric screwdriver is fundamentally dependent on only a few things. These include (amongst others):

  • the weight of the tools (typically between 160g to 600g);
  • The noise level of the machine (typically ranging between 60 dB to 71 dB);and
  • RPM (ranging between 130 to 650 RPM)

Electric screwdrivers also come in two types, either corded or cordless. The main difference between these two options basically comes down to the overall weight. Due to the fact that cordless electric screw drivers have batteries, they end up weighing more than their corded counterparts.

electric screwdriver

Over and above all of this, the electric screwdriver generally comes in a variety of models.

These are namely:

  • Straight electric screwdriver – This type is characterized by its straight handle with a bit towards the end. It actually looks just like your typical manual screwdriver.
  • Pistol electric screwdriver – This type actually looks more like a cordless drill, in that the handle is actually between 45 to 90 degrees from the main screw bit head. It is a lot more compact and lighter than a cordless drill however.
  • Right-angle electric screwdrivers – For this type the handle is actually exactly 90 degrees off from the axis of the screw head.

Read More:>>> Learn How to Sharpen A Drill Bit

What Are Key Qualities Of A Drill

A cordless drill on the other hand is a hand held power tool that is used for multiple applications over and above just efficiently tightening and fastening screws.

Below is a list of a couple of common applications whereby one might consider the usage of a cordless drill

  • Camping tool – a cordless drill is a fantastic addition to your camping gear. It can be used to peel fruits and vegetables outdoors, as a brush for any dirt and mud, and even as a prime mover for a portable electric mixer.
  • Paint mixer – probably one of the most extensive uses cases can be found in using a cordless drill to mix paint. What makes this tool very suited to this task is it’s ability to variably increase/decrease speed. This results in the ability to really mix the paint and water to a fine grained level of smoothness.
  • Plant potter – I was thoroughly surprised in fact when I realized that with a little bit of ingenuity, you can use your cordless drill together with an auger bit as a plant potter. Another really sweet application.

These tools also come with a multitude of key features. These include amongst others the chuck, the clutch base, a powerful motor (typically brushless DC) and fantastic ergonomic features.

The clutch generally can be found to be either a 3/8 inch or ½ inch. The larger the chuck the bigger the bit that can be used. This helps the overall versatility of the drill. Furthermore drills have various clutch settings that can be used to increase or decrease torque – increasing the versatility even further.

Ergonomically, drills are also equipped with some interesting features. These include things such as:

  • Waterproof rubberized handles
  • Tough polymer covering; and
  • LED lighting to make drilling visibility a lot easier.

Electric Screwdriver vs Drill : Key Differences

When looking to purchase an electric screwdriver or a drill there are a couple of key differences that you should be aware of. These include:

Torque Control Mechanism

For an electric screwdriver these generally come with some form of torque limiter that can be precisely fine-tuned to ensure that the screw head can sit perfectly on the surface.

For drills however, it is a bit more difficult to get the torque just right especially for screwing applications. However the drill - because of its high power can be a lot handier for heavy duty applications that do not require such levels of precision.

Read More:>>> See Top Drills For Ice Auger


As you already can imagine, the drill is a lot more versatile than your electric screwdriver. It can perform drilling and screwing jobs through a variety of holes and materials. Whereby the electric screwdriver is only limited to screwing and unscrewing. Plus you will generally also need to create a pilot hole in materials that are not wood.


When it comes to the price ranges for both of these tools. The electric screwdriver is definitely a lot cheaper than a cordless drill. So it’s a lot more affordable given that it is only used for screwing.

electric screwdriver vs drill

When Should You Go With An Electric Screwdriver

Due to the fact that electric screwdrivers are a lot more compact and lightweight. They are a lot better for small projects in and around the house or within the your tool shed. Here are a few examples of when you should go with an electric screwdriver:

  • Hanging a pictures in and around the house;
  • Screwing or unscrewing various cabinets or wardrobe doors or covers;
  • DIY wood working projects;
  • Fixing furniture in and around the home; and
  • Screwing or unscrewing screws in those often hard to get to places.

When Should You Go With A Drill

Cordless drills on the other hand are a lot more versatile, larger and more powerful. See below a couple of examples whereby you can use a drill.

  • Needing to drill any size hole be it small or large. With this tool, you have a much larger range of options when it comes to drill bit sizes as well.
  • Cordless drills can be used as the prime mover to attachments such as auger bits or a grout/concrete/paint mixer.
  • They can be used together with an attachment to perform the purposes of angle grinding. Helping one remove rust from iron or metal household products.

Read More:>>> Corded Hammer Drills Can Sometimes Be Better Than Cordless

Bonus Content: Deep Dive into Screwdriver Bits

Many blogs talk about the electric screwdriver but do not often give a lot of detail when it comes to the various screwdriver bits that could be used. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common options.

  • Cross-shaped head screw – these are generally one of the more common types found within the market.
  • Tamper resistant bits are practically designed with a minor slot that can be found in the middle that acts as a locking or anti-theft mechanism. They also generally require special tools to fasten or remove
  • Torx screw bits – these speak to a grade of screw heads that were developed by Camcar Textron in 1967. It has a distinctive 6 point star shaped pattern. Some people actually even refer to this type of screw head as a star screw.
  • Tri-wing is a type of screw head that has something akin to triangular slots

Final Thoughts On Electric Screwdriver vs Drill

Hopefully I was able to shed light on the key similarities and differences. One thing I think is actually quite interesting is that the electric screw driver and drill can be used for very similar applications. I had a lot of fun compiling this article and hopefully is has shed some light on the topic.

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale is a professional engineer (PrEng). With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

2 thoughts on “Electric Screwdriver vs Drill (2024 Guide)”

  1. I must thank you for the efforts youve put in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now 😉


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Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale is a professional engineer (PrEng). With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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