Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: only

I write for you

Many now think for sure "What a stupid question." But it is not, because what most call home as a cordless screwdriver, is only in rare cases really a cordless screwdriver. I admit that I myself often only use this short expression, technically it is wrong. Do not worry, I do not want to torment anyone here with technical terms that you only understand someone who does not need this article. No, I would like to explain to everyone (including the occasional handyman) understandable, what is what cordless drill screwdriving device.

The cordless screwdriver

Let's start with the mentioned cordless screwdriver. As the name implies, it is a cordless device (that's what it's supposed to be today) and a screwdriver. Screwdriver! Right, it's for screwing and not for drilling. And so many devices fall out, which are so in the local workshop.

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: impact

Cordless screwdriver Bosch IXO

Depending on the design or speed, cordless screwdrivers are only suitable for screwing. They often have no chuck, but only a hexagonal socket for bits. To do this, they work through a large ratio at low speed and generate a large torque. Exactly what you need to screw.

Cordless screwdrivers exist mainly in two categories. On the one hand, the mostly professional larger devices, which are less often used by do-it-yourselfers because they are too inflexible, and on the other hand, the small handy ones, which simply rotate only slowly and are therefore intended for screwing. Conditionally, you can drill with it, but rather as an emergency solution. The best-known cordless screwdriver is probably the IXO from Bosch.

The cordless drill driver

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: cordless

Cordless Drill
Bosch PSR 18LI-2

Now we come to what most do-it-yourselfers really have at home. These devices are suitable for drilling and screwing. To accomplish both purposes, most drills have two gears through which the transmission ratio can be changed. As with the car, you do not achieve high speeds with the first gear, but more power to bring even heavy loads in motion. This is the gear with which to screw. The second gear does not deliver so much torque, but the required speed for drilling.

The Cordless Drill thus covers a larger work area and is the most widely used cordless tool. To get back to the car - there are even cordless drill drivers with four gears.

The cordless combi drill

To the drilling and screwing, now comes a beating function, as they are used to a conventional percussion drill.

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: only

Cordless impact driver Black-Decker

Between the engine / transmission there are two notches (similar to a ratchet) on top of each other. One is fixed in the housing and one rotates with the spindle. If the spindle now rotates and pressure is exerted on the spindle with detent disk, the disks on the teeth press apart and collapse again at the end of the tooth. That then gives the somewhat annoying noise and a flapping motion. Since this flapping motion results only from their own use of force, it is not very large and impact drills should rather be used for medium-hard materials such as sandstone or brick. With appropriate physical effort, but sometimes smaller holes in concrete are possible. Since impact drills have a common chuck, wood and metal can be drilled without impact as usual.

Now someone might ask, "Why do not we just buy impact drills, they can do more than drill drills?" Yes, in principle this is already correct and for some it is probably practical, only impact drills also have disadvantages. For one, they are, of course, heavier and bigger due to the additional mechanics. On the other hand, the drill spindle must be able to move in the direction of impact and can not be guided as well as in a pure drill or a cordless drill without impact function. Anyone who attaches importance to an exact concentricity when drilling, is only partially happy with a hammer drill.

The cordless hammer drill

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: only

Cordless rotary hammer Bosch Uneo Maxx

Now we drive on heavier devices. The cordless rotary hammer has a striking function similar to the cordless impact driver. Only this is not generated by its own effort, but by an internal mechanism in which a flying piston in a cylinder is tossed back and forth, beating repeatedly on the firing pin and thus drill. By air compression... I do not want to go into that. In short, the impact energy increases almost by itself the harder the material to be drilled is. The cordless rotary hammer is therefore the optimal drill for stone and concrete.

Due to the high impact energy and conditional movement of the drill, the cordless hammer drill does not use a standard chuck. Rotary hammers therefore have the standardized SDS recording. The different tool manufacturers even agree on that. You should only pay attention to the SDS size. Mainly SDS-Plus is used, which is used in most home improvement devices. For larger devices and drills, use SDS-Max and smaller SDS-Quick (currently only Bosch Uneo and Uneo Maxx). SDS-Quick also offers the advantage that even the commercially available long bits have a tight fit.

Even though there is often an exchangeable chuck for rotary hammers, a hammer drill is only partially suitable for screwing or drilling wood and metal. For hammer drill are too big, too heavy and often have too low a speed. Combination devices are more of an exception.

The cordless impact wrench

Is a cordless screwdriver a cordless screwdriver?: only

Cordless Impact Wrench

The impact wrench is probably the confusion king among the screwdrivers. Although it has a similar name as the impact drill, it is a completely different device, with different structure, different function and especially other use. The impact wrench is only suitable for screwing and this mainly for large heavy connections with enormous power.

Many may also know hand impact wrenches. Such a heavy round part, on which one hits the back with the hammer and thus solves tight-fitting screw connections. In principle, this also works a cordless impact wrench. An axial impact energy is converted into a rotary motion and thus produces a very slow but enormously powerful screwing. Next I would not go into detail, because otherwise it is too complicated for the end user but only plays a minor role.

Cordless impact wrenches are very rare in the local workshop. But their field of application is too special and the devices are too expensive. Pneumatic impact wrenches are often seen and heard in car workshops when changing wheels.

I hope, I could give a small and understandable insight into the cordless screwdriver family and everyone can easily understand for themselves which device he needs. To give a direct purchase recommendation is of course difficult, but I am happy to answer any questions.

Cordless Impact Wrench:
all other pictures: Riccardo Düring (

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