Show more

Comparison of the cordless screwdriver and the cordless impact driver

Comparing the two devices is not all that difficult. If you regularly work with cordless screwdrivers, you will appreciate the advantages of the cordless impact driver. 

One important reason for me, as a keen DIYer, is that the weight and handling of the impact drill does not differ much from that of a simple screwdriver. The quality of the drill chuck therefore plays an important role in this regard. An example of this is the TE-CD 18 Li-i brushless cordless impact driver, which has a is very smooth chuck made of sturdy metal, whereas my cordless screwdriver has one made of plastic and requires a slightly firmer grip when clamping. For me, the cordless impact driver is suitable for many projects. For example, I often use it in wood or metal work.The impact function in a cordless screwdriver is aligned axially. In other words, the force is directed forwards to be able to penetrate harder materials with a corresponding drill bit. For example, tightening a nut requires a radial direction impact (force along the radius), such as the TE-CW 18 Li brushless cordless impact driver. Of course, the cordless screwdriver works without problems and to the utmost satisfaction. For some time now, I have been using the cordless impact driver, and the "simple" cordless screwdriver has been enough for me. But I do have to say that this versatile device has convinced me and I wouldn't be without it in my workshop now.

In the following I'll list a few comparisons:

1. Battery

The battery power naturally depends on the power of the battery itself. I have 1.5 Ah, 3.0 Ah and 5.2 Ah batteries, for example. But for smaller projects, smaller batteries are more than adequate. One advantage they have is that they don't need to be charged for as long.The 5.2 Ah strong battery is well suited for longer work but it can become heavy very quickly due to the weight at higher positions.Personally, I think the 3.0 Ah battery is my favourite because the charging time is manageable and it has great performance and durability. I also use other Einhell cordless tools like the circular saw, angle grinder and the jigsaw and I've also tested the batteries with these. For the circular saw, I opted for the 5.2 Ah battery, because I need a lot of power here and the weight doesn't really have an impact. For the angle grinder and the jigsaw I use the 3.0 Ah battery and the 5.2 Ah battery. 

2. Speeds

Usually cordless screwdrivers have two speeds – a faster speed and a slower speed. Using the faster speed, you can progress quickly with your work, but this is only possible if you accept a loss of power. Larger/thicker screws can thus pose a problem with the second speed.In a nutshell you can say that with the first speed the screwdriver has a higher torque and a lower speed, so it is well suited for screwdriving. The second speed is primarily used for drilling but if the cordless screwdriver has enough Nm and you work with a powerful battery (e.g. 5.2 Ah) you can also screwdrive using the second speed. But really, you'll want to use the first speed for screwdriving.  This is slower and therefore has a lot of power (which you need when screwdriving). A car is also easier to start in first gear, than in second or third.It also means you have better control over the material you're using and avoid more twisting or wearing the screw head.

3. Torque

Torque shutdown or limiting is an important feature of cordless screwdrivers that protects the material when working with wood. If the preset torque value is exceeded, the slip clutch engages and prevents more force being exerted on the screw.If I want a screw to be flush with the wood, I start with little torque and then increase it until the desired result is achieved. Simply turn the dial all the way down and turn it up gradually until you're where you want to be.This is not necessary when drilling. I simply rely on the drilling function for this (the drill shown on the dial).

4. Chuck changing

without spindle locking:

Start by removing the battery. Then the machine's chuck can be loosened. Be careful to ensure that the drill chuck is secured to the machine with a safety screw. There are two different types of screws; Phillips head screws and the slotted screws. Therefore, it is important to try different screwdriver sizes first to avoid wearing out the screw. If there is no screw, the chuck can be removed by simply turning it to the right. After the screw has been successfully removed, take an Allen key (use the largest possible size) and then insert it into the chuck and tighten in a clockwise direction. When this is done, you can loosen the chuck with short, powerful strokes. Note here that this must be done in an anti-clockwise direction. Now you can easily turn the old drill chuck in an anti-clockwise direction and replace it with a new one. This is turned clockwise on the spindle. Here you should note that the drill takes each chuck, but sometimes the force is not sufficient for the respective (thick) screwdriver. The last step is to clamp the Allen key into the chuck as before and firmly rotate the chuck onto the spindle. Now fix the original locking screw with a screwdriver in an anti-clockwise direction. If you want to spend less time or effort when disassembling the chuck, you should get a cordless hammer drill with spindle locking, as this will allow you to remove the drill chuck easily with just a few movements. 

5. Brush/Brushless

In devices with conventional electric motors with installed carbon brushes, these are subject to normal wear and must be replaced after a certain amount of time.In contrast, brushless cordless tools have minimal frictional losses (bearings) so do not generate involuntary breaks due to overheated motors. What's more, the carbon brushes require no maintenance, which increases the tool's lifespan. In addition, there is an increase in performance and an energy-saving mode of operation (high efficiency), which results in extended battery life with battery charging. 

AuthorStefan Ossenbrüggen
Reading time5 minutes

Our product recommendations for your DIY project