Electric Screwdriver vs. Drill: What’s the Difference?

Electric Screwdriver vs. Drill: What’s the Difference?

Electric screwdrivers and drills are two very popular tools used in a variety of applications. It’s easy to see why both devices have become so popular – they’re lightweight, easy to use, and versatile enough for most tasks. But the question is: what exactly is the difference between an electric screwdriver and a drill?

What is an Electric Screwdriver?

An electric screwdriver is a hand-held power tool that uses a rotating action to drive and remove screws.

It is usually powered by either an AC or DC motor, and has a wide range of torque settings which allow it to work with both large and small screws. Electric screwdrivers are designed specifically for driving screws – not drilling holes as drills are typically meant to do. [1]

What is an Electric Screwdriver?

What is an Electric Screwdriver Used For?

An electric screwdriver is a handheld tool used to help drive screws into materials such as wood and plastic. They are great for light-duty projects around the home or office, such as assembling furniture or tightening door knobs. With an electric screwdriver, you can do all of these tasks quickly and with minimal effort.

Electric screwdrivers are also useful for projects where tight spaces and difficult angles make it hard to work with a regular drill or manual screwdriver. They come in two types: cordless and corded electric screwdrivers. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose the type that best suits your needs. [1]

Cordless Electric Screwdriver Pros and Cons

Cordless electric screwdrivers are a popular choice among DIYers and contractors alike. They offer the convenience of being cordless, which means you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet or dealing with cords — plus they’re light and easy to transport. The downside is that these tools run off rechargeable batteries so you may have to pause your work if the battery runs out.

Additionally, electric screwdrivers are generally limited in power and not powerful enough for heavy-duty projects like drilling large holes through tough materials. They’re better suited for lighter jobs such as assembling furniture or driving screws into wood without splitting it.

If you’re looking for a tool that can do just about any job, you’ll want to go with a drill. They offer more torque and power than an electric screwdriver, so they’re the better choice for projects requiring more effort. However, drills are heavier and require cords or batteries — making them less portable than electric screwdrivers. [1]

What is a Drill?

A drill is a tool used for drilling holes into or through material, such as wood, plastic, metal, and concrete.

It consists of a motor-driven spindle connected to an adjustable chuck that holds various bits (drill bits). The different types of drill include the hammer drill, which is designed for masonry work; the rotary hammer drill, which is more powerful and used for concrete and stone; the percussion drill, which has a hammer-like action to drive masonry bits; and the magnetic drill, which is designed for heavy-duty metal work. [1]

What is a Drill?

What is a Drill Used For?

A drill is a versatile tool that can do more than just turn screws. It can also be used for drilling holes and driving in bolts and other fasteners. Drills come with different types of bits, such as masonry, spade, Forstner, auger, brad point, hole saws, etc., to complete a variety of tasks.

Drills are also great for heavier and more intricate carpentry jobs, such as building furniture or installing cabinets. The drill’s powerful motor can easily handle larger screws and bolts that an electric screwdriver may not be able to manage. [1]

Drill Pros and Cons

The drill is a powerful tool, and it can do a lot of heavy lifting. It has plenty of torque power to be able to tackle tough jobs, making it great for larger projects. Drills also have an extended battery life, so you won’t need to worry about constantly recharging it.

However, drills can be a bit unwieldy and awkward to use. And due to their power, they can be dangerous for inexperienced users or those without proper safety gear. [1]

What’s the Difference Between a Drill and an Electric Screwdriver?

Drill Bits and Chucks vs. Socket

The main difference between a drill and an electric screwdriver is the type of bit used. A drill typically uses drill bits, which are inserted into a chuck, while an electric screwdriver uses socket heads. Socket heads are designed specifically for use with screws, making them more effective and faster than using a regular drill bit. [2]


Another difference between a drill and an electric screwdriver is the range of tasks that can be completed. A drill is much more versatile than an electric screwdriver, as it can be used for drilling holes in wood or metal, driving screws, and even grinding materials. An electric screwdriver, however, is limited to only driving screws into material. [2]

Size and Portability

Electric screwdrivers are designed to be more compact and lightweight than drills, making them much easier to transport and store. This can be especially useful when working in tight spaces or on jobs that require frequent relocation. [2]

Torque and Power

The amount of torque and power that a drill or electric screwdriver has can vary greatly depending on the model. Generally, drills tend to be more powerful than electric screwdrivers, allowing it to take on larger projects with ease. Electric screwdrivers, on the other hand, have enough torque to drive screws into material quickly but may not have the power to drill holes into tough materials. [2]

What’s the Difference Between a Drill and an Electric Screwdriver?

Safety Features

When using any type of power tool, safety should always be a top priority. Drills are typically equipped with safety features such as an adjustable speed setting and a lock-on switch that allows for continuous operation without having to press the trigger continuously. Electric screwdrivers usually have fewer safety features, but some models come with a depth stop that prevents over-driving screws into material. [2]


The cost of a drill and an electric screwdriver will also depend on the model you choose, but typically drills tend to be more expensive than electric screwdrivers. However, the added versatility of a drill may make it worth the extra cost.

No matter which type of tool you choose, it’s important to do your research and choose one that fits your needs and budget. Comparing the features and costs of different models will help you find the right fit for your project.

Should I Buy an Electric Screwdriver or a Drill?

When it comes to choosing between an electric screwdriver and a drill, it can be difficult to decide which is the right tool for your job. After all, drills are much more powerful than electric screwdrivers and they can do a lot of different tasks. On the other hand, electric screwdrivers are lighter, easier to use and ideal for precision work.

So, when should you choose an electric screwdriver and when is it better to opt for a drill? Let’s take a look! [3]

When Should I Use an Electric Screwdriver?

Electric screwdrivers are best suited for small jobs such as assembling furniture or installing window frames. They can also be used to tighten and loosen screws on objects like motorcycles, lawnmowers, and kitchen appliances. That said, they are not designed for heavier jobs like drilling holes in the wall or working with heavy metals.

Electric screwdrivers are great for those who need to access tight spaces, as they provide a level of precision and accuracy that you don’t get from a regular drill. They also make it easier to drive screws into soft materials like wood or plastic without damaging them, since the electric motor rotates the screw in a consistent direction.

For jobs that require greater torque or more power, an electric screwdriver may not be the right tool for the job. In these cases, you should opt for a drill instead. Drills provide much more power than electric screwdrivers and can handle heavier loads with ease. [3]

When Should I Use a Drill?

If you’re looking to make holes in a wall or ceiling, then the drill is your go-to tool. Drills are perfect for making precise holes through wood and other materials. They can also be used to drive screws into place but should not be relied upon for small precision jobs due to their lack of accuracy and control. [3]

When Should I Use a Drill?


Are drills better than screwdrivers?

It really depends on the job you are completing. Drills have a higher torque output than screwdrivers, making them better suited for applications such as drilling into masonry or driving long screws. However, an electric screwdriver can be more precise and efficient when working with small fasteners in softer materials.

Can I put a drill bit in an electric screwdriver?

No, electric screwdrivers and drills typically have different types of chucks, so it’s not possible to attach a drill bit to an electric screwdriver.

Can any drill be a screwdriver?

No, some drills do have the capability to be used as a screwdriver by switching gears, but this is not true for all drills. The best way to know if your drill can be used as a screwdriver is to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Can a drill unscrew screws?

Yes, some drills are capable of reversing their direction to unscrew screws, but not all drills have this feature. If you need to remove screws, an electric screwdriver is the best tool for the job.

Can you use a screw instead of a drill bit?

Yes, you can use a screw instead of a drill bit if the hole you are creating is not too large. However, it’s important to note that screws can wear down the material they are being driven into and damage the tool over time. It’s best to use a drill bit when drilling holes into hard materials to prevent this from happening.

Can you use a drill bit by hand?

Yes, you can use a drill bit by hand if needed, though it isn’t recommended as it will take more time and effort. Electric screwdrivers and drills are designed to make the task of drilling holes much easier and faster.

Can any drill use any bit?

No, the type of drill you have will determine what kinds of bits it can use. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that your drill is compatible with the bit you want to use.

How do you change a drill bit to a screwdriver?

If your drill has the capability to switch between a drill and screwdriver setting, you can use it as a screwdriver by simply changing the gear settings.

Again, make sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting this.

Useful Video: DRILL VS. DRIVER (What’s The Difference?!! Cordless Drill Vs. Impact Driver–COMPARISON)


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a tool that can tackle both light and heavy-duty drilling tasks, then the electric drill is your best option. It’s powerful, durable, and provides more versatility when it comes to drilling into any surface or material. On the other hand, if you need something lightweight and easy to maneuver, then an electric screwdriver is the perfect choice for you. It’s convenient and great for those smaller and more precise tasks.

No matter what your needs are, it’s important to understand the differences between these two tools so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing one. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to find the right tool that meets your needs – and budget!

Good luck with your next DIY project! Thanks for reading our article on Electric Screwdriver vs. Drill: What’s the Difference?


  1. https://sawsonskates.com/electric-screwdriver-vs-drill/#
  2. https://ronixtools.com/en/blog/cordless-screwdriver-vs-drill/
  3. https://www.electronicshub.org/electric-screwdriver-vs-drill/