Originally cordless drills were made to drive screws. They made the job faster than doing it by hand. Now you bust up concrete with a 36 volt drill, but thankfully drills have gotten better at their original task too. Drills designed specifically as screwdrivers are much lighter and precise than they used to be. And that's what we're looking for. We want a screwdriver that's compact and light for easy use. But it also needs to pack a punch, at least for this category. Most importantly, it needs to be elegant. It needs to be responsive so you can do precise work with it.
|Categories||Hitachi DB3DL||Milwaukee0490-22||Makita DF010DSE||DeWalt DW920K-2||B&D VP810|
|Avg. Rating at Amazon (# reviews)||4.29 (119)||4.28 (64)||4.67 (12)||4.71 (220)||4.69 (32)|
|Summary of Reviews||Few people had faulty units; no variable speed; otherwise mostly favorable.||Note: has handy torque control; few faulty units; otherwise favorable.||Note: has handy torque control; few reviews so far, but all positive.||Few people dislike the bit holder, otherwise very well liked.||Doesn't appear to have variable speed; no light; otherwise the smallish number of reviewers liked it.|
In this category, their is no clear winner. The Milwaukee and Makita are probably the best drills, but they are also quite a bit more expensive than the competition. The DeWalt has the best rating and the most features but it weighs over 3x more than the competition in a category where small size and light weight are the whole point. The Black and Decker is much cheaper than the competition, but skimps on features. Lastly, the Hitachi is great, but doesn't have variable speed.
If the Hitachi had variable speed, I would recommend it without caveat. As it is, I recommend it with the caveat that you shouldn't buy it if not having variable speed is a deal breaker. If you need variable speed and are willing to pay for it, go with the Makita or Milwaukee. If you don't mind a larger, heavier tool, go with the DeWalt. And if price is your main concern, go with the B&D.
The link for the winner at Amazon: Hitachi DB3DL 3.6-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Screwdriver The jointed head (also called a stick driver) is a popular format for screwdrivers. As a stick driver you can fit into small holes without switching to an extra long bit. In the right angle position you can fit into spaces with less clearance between the screw and the obstruction. You also get more leverage in this position.
Hitachi executes well on this format with the DB3DL. So far 119 people have reviewed it at Amazon with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5. The drill comes with two batteries so you can run it indefinitely. It has two speeds so you can drill pilot holes and do slower, more precise driving. It uses a 1/4" hex chuck for quick bit changes and has a built-in LED for lighting. As I noted above, the only thing missing is a variable speed trigger.