Cordless screwdrivers

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
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15 or so years ago I did some research online and a guy said he had a high end cordless screwdriver, but the one he usually reached for was a Black and Decker with Versapak battery. I found a few of those online and have used them ever since. Those batteries, that's the issue. Seems like every time I reach for one of those screwdrivers, the battery is worn down or dead. I have some NiCD and some NiMH. They both self discharge all to quickly. NOT GOOD!

So, I'm thinking LITHIUM!

I live in a two story house and there's a detached garage in which I keep 1/2 my tools. So, several cordless screwdrivers are a good idea. And removable batteries.

Suggestions? What do you like and why?
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
14,189
1,041
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Are you talking about screwdrivers or impact drivers? Is this a tool for small repairs or are you twisting in quarter inch lags?
Aside from that, Ryobi seems to be the better homeowners line of power tools. I have two Ryboi tools that get very limited use and I have no complaints. They work as advertised. Dailey use or spectiality tools are always top tier.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
52,597
2,028
126
I switched to Ridgid cordless tools around 10 years ago. Lifetime service agreement (when you register the tools) and includes the batteries...
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
52,597
2,028
126
Are you talking about screwdrivers or impact drivers? Is this a tool for small repairs or are you twisting in quarter inch lags?
Aside from that, Ryobi seems to be the better homeowners line of power tools. I have two Ryboi tools that get very limited use and I have no complaints. They work as advertised. Dailey use or spectiality tools are always top tier.

I found Ryobi (the old blue (NiCd?)) versions to be junk. Batteries "built a memory," and the tools fell apart with just light use.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
Are you talking about screwdrivers or impact drivers? Is this a tool for small repairs or are you twisting in quarter inch lags?
Aside from that, Ryobi seems to be the better homeowners line of power tools. I have two Ryboi tools that get very limited use and I have no complaints. They work as advertised. Dailey use or spectiality tools are always top tier.
Just really a screwdriver. I have a Porter-Cable PCL212IDC-2 12-Volt Max Compact Lithium-Ion 2-Tool Kit, bought refurbished off Ebay for $77, one of the best tool purchases I've made. The batteries seem to never die. I hardly ever use the driver, just the drill, but if the battery runs down I just swap in the one on the driver and I'm good to go. It's light and always has the zip. Great reviews.

Today I noticed that my old Black and Decker AS600 4x AA screwdriver wasn't working. I used it almost exclusively with computers, those tiny screws, it's good for that. Don't know how well it works with driving screws into wood, but I bought two new B&D AS6NG 4x AA screwdrivers today, $10 each off ebay. Seems like they are very similar to the AS600.

I'd still probably like a Lion cordless screwdriver or two. Those Versapak batteries are usually dead by the time I reach for them. Maybe if I make a habit of recharging them monthly I won't mind keeping those tools. Maybe charge them on the first of the month.

If I need to drive lag bolts into concrete I'll bike over to the tool lending library a couple blocks away.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
I found Ryobi (the old blue (NiCd?)) versions to be junk. Batteries "built a memory," and the tools fell apart with just light use.
I'm not buying any more tools that use NiCD or NiMH batteries unless they are AA or AAA. I have a lot of Eneloops, they're terrific. Have a couple La Crosse chargers, good stuff.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
Got on a fix it kick. Played golf yesterday and my push cart broke, the knuckle on front right wheel. Managed to get off the course and called Bag Boy and ordered new knuckles. Got home and went outside in 90 degree heat and jury rigged the fucker. So, I won't ride Monday, I'll walk and push, which is my way of golfing. Riding is for, well, lazy folks or infirm people, IMO.

Then, this morning, I fixed the Black and Decker AS600 4x AA screwdriver. Almost gave up, parts were sprayed all over the floor, but I managed to get it back together. My initial thought turned out to be right, I think... i.e. a discontinuity in the current to the motor. I think the contacts that pick up current from the battery pack were failing. I had to bend in some tabs, cleaned them with alcohol. Even then, wouldn't work, but somehow, not giving up, it did work! Hurray!
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
Muse,
You do know that rechargeable Lithium-Ion AA batteries are available, right?
No, I did not know that. Wonder if I can charge them in my La Crosse AA/AAA chargers!

Edit: Wish they had them in the Versapak "format." Those damn batteries are a bitch. I don't use those screwdrivers enough to keep them charged up and most of the time when I reach for one, the batteries are dead or almost dead. Plus, the replacement batteries are pretty expensive.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
3,699
363
126
Which LaCrosse charger do you have. If it's for Nicd/Nimh only then no you can't charge Lithium batteries with your charger. They peak differently. The BC500 and BC700 look to be Ni only chargers.

Slickdeals has had Li batteries with a charger on sale for $12 several times now. Search their site for tenavolts. I can't comment on their quality.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
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I have a BC900 and a BC700, I think the BC700 came out later, at least I bought it later. Wouldn't expect either to support Lion rechargables. I bought the BC-700 in March 2012, the BC-900 in March 2007.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
3,699
363
126
Yep. Both of those chargers only support Nicd/Nimh batteries.

I've always wanted a cordless screwdriver myself. I'm just to cheap to pay for one with decent power since I would only use it occasionally.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
Yep. Both of those chargers only support Nicd/Nimh batteries.

I've always wanted a cordless screwdriver myself. I'm just to cheap to pay for one with decent power since I would only use it occasionally.
Get a $9.99 B&D like I did off ebay the other day. How much power do you need? 6V DC should provide enough. Really handy. I hate turning and turning screws with a manual screwdriver, plus I have arthritic wrists. That B&D I fixed the other day is perfect for computer assembly/disassembly. Almost no power required, lots of twisting.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
3,699
363
126
Get a $9.99 B&D like I did off ebay the other day. How much power do you need? 6V DC should provide enough. Really handy. I hate turning and turning screws with a manual screwdriver, plus I have arthritic wrists. That B&D I fixed the other day is perfect for computer assembly/disassembly. Almost no power required, lots of twisting.
From delicate work screwing into plastic to screwing a screw in a wall. It probably needs to have a clutch to prevent stripping plastic.

My sister has one that's probably similar to what you have. It works ok but I couldn't use it in plastic.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
From delicate work screwing into plastic to screwing a screw in a wall. It probably needs to have a clutch to prevent stripping plastic.

My sister has one that's probably similar to what you have. It works ok but I couldn't use it in plastic.
If I think there's a chance of damage, I release the power and finish with a couple of manual twists. The more powerful the device, the more important this is. I have one Black and Decker cordless screwdriver that has a clutch, bought it new at Home Depot. I should have returned it because the clutch never worked right, not even close. It slips way too early even at the top torque. For most work, it suffices though. I wouldn't trust those clutches. I figure they are gonna be YMMV.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
3,699
363
126
If I think there's a chance of damage, I release the power and finish with a couple of manual twists. The more powerful the device, the more important this is. I have one Black and Decker cordless screwdriver that has a clutch, bought it new at Home Depot. I should have returned it because the clutch never worked right, not even close. It slips way too early even at the top torque. For most work, it suffices though. I wouldn't trust those clutches. I figure they are gonna be YMMV.
That's probably true. I would probably have to start the screw by hand to avoid cross threading and then tighten down the screw by hand to avoid stripping. I've also often thought about getting a ratcheting screwdriver. The only thing that stops me is it wouldn't fit in tight places.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
5,467
1,534
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Hmm, only time I really used a cordless screwdriver was when it was my turn in IT to repair/upgrade a bunch of computers. Anyway - I'd go lithium if you do get a new one. They slowly lose capacity over time, but no real issues managing charge/discharge percentages like NiMH.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
22,381
638
126
That's probably true. I would probably have to start the screw by hand to avoid cross threading and then tighten down the screw by hand to avoid stripping. I've also often thought about getting a ratcheting screwdriver. The only thing that stops me is it wouldn't fit in tight places.
I have more than one, probably 3. I find them less useful than cordless, much less useful. Usually there's an issue with the ratcheting not kicking in at the appropriate time. There's a mechanism in them that senses when to engage ratcheting, and it's unreliable to put it mildly. Cordless always knows. You engage or set it to act like a regular screwdriver. They really are hell of handy.
 

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