- What are the fundamental differences between screwdrivers
- What is Chinese consumer goods good for?
- Drill-screwdrivers of the middle weight category
- Heavy Duty Screwdrivers
- Special screwdrivers and wrenches
- Small tools and other “electric screwdrivers”
The screwdriver has become an invariable attribute of most craftsmen. If you are going to acquire a reliable assistant or are planning to buy a replacement for the old one, this material will be useful to you, where we will discuss the types of screwdrivers, their purpose and the main selection criteria.
What are the fundamental differences between screwdrivers
For clarity and ease of understanding the difference between screwdrivers, they can be divided into five main categories. In each of them, the tool may differ in quality in one direction or another in a number of ways. To be more precise, the quality is determined by the reliability of performance and functionality of the five main technical units.
Screwdriver batteries differ in operating voltage, capacity and maximum current that the battery is capable of delivering. The spindle rotation force directly depends on these parameters..
The screwdriver body can be safely attributed to one of the most important parts. It is worth assessing both the quality of assembly and ergonomics: balancing, shape, the presence of anti-slip pads, etc..
The screwdriver motor is usually a DC collector with a speed of 500 to 1000. Since you hardly want to delve into the technical details of the structure of electric motors, try to choose a screwdriver that uses a commercially available replacement motor model. Metal gear is welcomed.
The screwdriver button can differ in the smoothness and reliability of the motor load current control circuit. Almost all models have speed control at the push of a button, a reversing switch and DC braking when the button is released. But the smoothness of pressing and adjusting the speed is different for all screwdrivers.
The gear unit of the screwdriver is a planetary transmission in a maintenance-free housing. It is better if the parts of the mechanism are made of metal, it is desirable to have collapsible body ties to replenish the lubricant and assess the condition. The gearbox can have two or three switchable positions – for drilling, tightening and tapping.
Safety clutch and chuck – usually do not have fundamental differences and almost always their quality and reliability go hand in hand with the cost of the tool.
What is Chinese consumer goods good for?
The first class of screwdrivers worth considering can be found in most supermarkets and convenience stores. The cost of such a tool is in the range of 500-1000 rubles, the reliability is quite low, but fully justifies the price. The body is the simplest, it is assembled rather roughly and is almost never comfortable, the gearbox usually does not have a gear change. Battery voltage 12 V, extremely rarely – 18 V, capacity in the region of 2-2.5 A / h, which approximately corresponds to 20-30 minutes of intensive work.
The engine is used by the no-name of Chinese production, it is easy to find a replacement. A button without any special claims to smoothness of regulation, lamella-type adjustment on an unpackaged microcircuit and a bipolar transistor. The chuck and coupling are the most common.
It is safe to say that such a screwdriver should be unambiguous in the household and for housework, but the tool of this class is completely unsuitable for at least some professional activity. The advantage of such screwdrivers is that for a meager price you get a completely ready-made motor unit for homemade products, for example, for a small drilling machine.
Drill-screwdrivers of the middle weight category
The next class of the tool has a cost from 2000 to 6000 rubles. In the matter of acquiring such screwdrivers, it is already worth considering official dealerships. The main manufacturers are Russian-Chinese brands like “Enkor” or “Fiolent”, Makita, Metabo, AEG are already at the top of the price range with applications for a semi-professional level.
This class has the highest run-up in quality and reliability, and it is this category that has the greatest versatility. The most common battery voltages are 12 and 18 V with a capacity of 1.5 to 4 A / h. Such screwdrivers are used mainly by fitters, finishers and furniture assemblers..
The motors in the tools of this category are already used proprietary and, in principle, most of them are quite easy to find a replacement. With gearboxes, the situation is more complicated, they are often sold only assembled with an electric motor. The speed control in the button is implemented using a linear potentiometer, which is considered a smoother, more reliable and ergonomic circuit, although lamella buttons are still common, as a rule, among Russian-Chinese brands.
It is definitely worth buying such a screwdriver for those who are in one way or another connected with the assembly of gypsum board, but only if the work does not go at an accelerated pace. Most repair professionals buy such a tool either for slaughter or keep it in case the main workhorse fails. The weak point of this class of screwdrivers is the short-lived Ni-Cd batteries, plastic-filled gearboxes and crumbling buttons. You should always consider the prospect of replacing spare parts and check if they are available for sale.
Heavy Duty Screwdrivers
The main distinguishing feature of a drill-screwdriver from a simple screwdriver is the collet chuck and the position of the torque coupling in which it is blocked for drilling. There is a special class of such a tool costing 9000-12500 rubles, which is designed for long-term autonomous operation. The first striking difference of this tool is a sturdy ergonomic body and smooth speed control, the performance of the clutch and chuck is also almost always on top.
These screwdrivers are already equipped with more durable Li-ion batteries that can hold a charge well in subzero temperatures. The capacity starts from 3 A / h and in some models reaches 8-10 A / h at a voltage of 18 or 24 V. The main disadvantage of this class is its considerable weight, therefore such a tool is popular mainly with window installers, roofers, special installation workers (air conditioners , heating, electrical), in other words – everyone who works in non-electrified facilities. Some tools in this category have a three-speed gearbox..
The high capacity and voltage of the battery means that the motor unit is powerful. Therefore, the quality of the motor and the gearbox should not be in doubt: only the metal filling and the stamped maintenance-free gearbox housing. Instruments of this class must always carry a warranty for at least the first year of use. Of the manufacturers, the most trusted are Hilti with a “lifetime” service, Milwaukee, Bosch and the like. Often, heavy screwdrivers can be found in the so-called KIT-sets of cordless tools next to light hammer drills, angle grinders and flashlights.
Special screwdrivers and wrenches
The subclass of the previous class has a similar weight and dimensions, but differs in the absence of a permanently installed collet chuck. These are the clean screwdrivers that are used in industries where several thousand screws need to be tightened per work shift..
It is worth purchasing such a tool for assemblers of metal structures and frame buildings, for cladders with a daily installation rate of gypsum boards of 100-150 m2, in one word – to all the shock workers of construction and dry finishing. Screwdrivers of this class are also popular in car services and on assembly lines of various industries, they are increasingly used instead of pneumatic tools..
In terms of the engine and power supply, this tool is similar to the previous class, the manufacturers are the same: Hitachi, Hilti, there are representatives of AEG. The hexagonal chuck makes these screwdrivers really special. Quick change of the working tool is possible when using a wide range of socket heads, bits, stars.
The third gear speed is also present, in addition, the most expensive representatives have a torque clutch with fine adjustment of the tightening torque. Wrenches are characterized by a vibration mode of rotation, which allows driving pins 200-250 mm each into solid wood without significant effort. A feature of some wrenches is the lack of an adjusting clutch.
Small tools and other “electric screwdrivers”
As a conclusion, let us recall a special subclass of mid-price screwdrivers. In it you can find a very compact tool, the size of the battery of which does not go beyond the dimensions of the handle. The battery capacity rarely exceeds 2.5 A / h, even in the most expensive models, and the voltage is almost always used “special” – 10.8 V.
It is not recommended to use this screwdriver as the main working tool and it is absolutely not allowed to drill with it with core drills or use it as a mixer. These screwdrivers have a sufficiently high tightening force and are not inferior to larger models in terms of the quality of the assemblies. However, a low battery capacity implies a large number of charge / discharge cycles, which means that the longevity of the battery can be called into question. Due to the reduced dimensions of the housing, there are problems with the cooling of the motor, therefore, such screwdrivers should not be used in continuous operation..
However, as an additional, such a screwdriver will take a worthy place in the arsenal of many furniture makers and drywall makers. Office equipment assemblers, electricians and construction workers will also appreciate the ability to press a button and calmly tighten a screw terminal or small bolt instead of sweating with a screwdriver.
A small-sized tool will be especially useful for adherents of multi-tiered ceiling systems, who often have to work in cramped conditions, despite the fact that the load on the screwdriver is not particularly high. Light weight and the ability to crawl into a narrow niche mean much more here, and by paying extra 1,500-2,500 rubles for AEG or Bosch products, you can be sure of the quality and durability of the Shurik.