Can a Cordless Drill be Used as a Screwdriver?

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When it comes to building or repairs, whether a boat or otherwise, you’ll need fasteners and tools to work with those fasteners. Of course, one of the most common fasteners is the good old screw.

To insert and remove screws, you will need some kind of screw-driving tool. If you are working on a boat, this will often be a handheld screwdriver. They’re small, convenient, and can perform delicate work without causing damage to the material below.

You might not always have a screwdriver on hand, or yours may have broken. Moreover, you might have dozens or even hundreds of screws you need to drive. In this case, using a manual screwdriver is going to take forever. So, can a cordless drill be used as a screwdriver?

Can a Cordless Drill be used as a Screwdriver?

The simple answer is yes; generally speaking, a cordless drill can be used as a screwdriver. A cordless drill might also be referred to as a drill driver.

Technically speaking, drilling holes is only half of the job that a drill is designed to perform. As the name implies, the other half of a drill driver’s function is to drive screws into materials.

A cordless drill is usually used to drill holes and then insert screws. But, of course, driving screws is one of any drill’s jobs, whether cordless or corded, can do. But, of course, having a motor makes driving screws much easier, more efficient, and faster.

One thing to consider is that a cordless drill usually comes with a clutch. In addition, they typically have adjustable speed levels, so you can easily adjust the speed and torque to match the job.

You might use a screwdriver because it can be very delicate. This can help prevent screws on your boat from being stripped or from being overdriven to the point where they damage the material underneath. With a cordless drill, you can set the power and speed to the point where the tool is delicate enough to perform this work.

What About Corded Drills?

We previously mentioned the clutch and speed features because of the difference between cordless and corded drills. Unfortunately, corded drills usually don’t have a clutch, so you can’t easily adjust the power level.

The result is that you will often use too much power with a corded drill. The result is that you can strip the screw head, which is a huge problem. You might also drive the screw too deep into the material, thus causing damage to your boat.

Differences Between Screwdrivers and Cordless Drills

Let’s look at the differences between screwdrivers and cordless drills.

The Power Source

First and foremost, a screwdriver is a manual tool. It does not have a power source other than your muscles. On the other hand, a cordless drill is a power tool with a motor that does the hard work.

Therefore, if you have a lot of work, a cordless drill is the better option. However, keep in mind that you need to keep those batteries charged with a cordless drill. This is obviously not an issue with a manual screwdriver.

Can a Cordless Drill be Used as a Screwdriver

Size

Cordless drills are substantially larger than regular screwdrivers. Therefore, if you are working in tight spaces, a standard screwdriver might be best. However, many cordless drills won’t fit into extremely tight spaces.

Weight

A regular screwdriver can weigh a fraction of a pound, whereas a cordless drill can weigh several pounds. The screwdriver is obviously the better option if user fatigue is an issue.

However, this difference is probably negated because you have to power a manual screwdriver with your own arms rather than having a motor do the work for you. Either way, a cordless drill is heavier.

Speed and Efficiency

Of course, the most significant difference is speed and efficiency. Using a regular screwdriver, you can only get those RPMs up so high with your own arms. However, these speeds can easily reach up to 1,500 RPMs or more with a cordless drill.

They’re much faster, easier to use, and more efficient. However, even with the clutch, a cordless drill will not be as delicate as a regular screwdriver.

If you are doing delicate work on your boat and you are worried about causing damage to the material, a regular screwdriver is probably the best choice.

The Bottom Line

As long as you’re careful with the cordless drill, you can use it as a screwdriver. Just be sure to use the clutch and turn down the power.

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