How to Use a Cordless Drill as a Screwdriver

Published on: May 16, 2024
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Driving a screw is a simple task! But things can go wrong surprisingly when you are driving a screw. Splitting the board, broken screws and stripped the screw head are some common problems you may face during driving a screw.

how to use a cordless drill as a screwdriver

But by following proper technique you can avoid any of these problems.

You can use a cordless screwdriver or a cordless drill drive a screw to complete a furniture. For this, you only need to consider some simple tips.

Today I’ve discussed those simple and easy techniques which will help you to complete your driving task smoothly. Also you can learn about similar tools- Hammer Drills and Ratchet Wrench.

How to Use Your Cordless Drill to Drive a Screw

Using a cordless drill as a screwdriver is easy and time-saving. But you need to follow mentioned simple tips to do it properly without any mistake.

1. Back off the Clutch

Almost every drill has a clutch which is also known as torque control. It is located behind the drill chuck. The numbers you find on the clutch refers to the torque amount that the drill is able to produce. The higher the number is, the more twist you can have.

If you learn to use the slip clutch of the drill properly, you’ll be able to drive your screw to their correct depth. This clutch monitors the torque amount you are applying while driving the screw.

If the torque exceeds than required speed as you set up, the clutch will back off and the chuck will stop turning.

It will take a little bit time and practice to know well to set your slip clutch. You can start with midrange number. Such as, if your drill has the clutch setting of 30, you can set it at 15 and then start driving the screw.

If the clutch slips before the screw is fully done, you can rotate the clutch setting to the higher number than and similarly if your drill drives the screw deeply than required, adjust the setting to a lower number.

Generally, slip clutch with higher speed is used for driving fat, large screws and lower speed is used to drive small and thin screws. But you should also consider the solidity of the material you are going to screwing together.

If you’re going to drive the screw into any soft material like cedar, pine or fir, you’ll need less torque speed. On the other hand, if you need to use hardwoods like mapleoak or mahogany, you should use more torque speed & higher clutch settings.

2. Use the Right Bit

You should use the right screwdriver bit similar to the screw you are going to use. You‘ll find the information is engraved in the metal of the bit.

If you are not sure about it, you can hold the bit at 45- degree angle on the screw. If the screw doesn’t fall off and stays on the bit, it is the right bit for that screw.

3. Protect the Workpiece

Before starting driving the screw you can protect your workpiece by using clamps. It will prevent the workpiece from slipping while you are drilling.

For that, place a scrap board under your workpiece so that when you use the drill it will protect your worktop from getting damaged. It’ll also protect the fiber from getting torn.

Firmly Fitted Bit: You should make sure that the bit is seated firmly on the head of the screw. And as you are drilling, apply pressure on the drill so that the bit will stay on the screw head while drilling.

4. Hold the Screw

Sometimes the screw can slip from the board while driving it. To prevent the slipping, gently grip the sides and hold it in the spot until the screw starts to get into the material.

5. Make Clearance Hole

After learning the controlling method of the slip clutch, you need to learn to drive the screw without any crack in the board.

For this, you can pre-drill a hole into the board which is equal to the diameter of the screw. This clearance hole allows the screw to easily pass through the board.

6. Drill Pilot Holes

You can also drill a pilot hole into the bottom board which will help the screw to go through the board without any crack.

7. Use a Magnetic Bit Tip Holder

Using a magnetic bit tip holder will help you to change the bits easily so that you can complete the job quickly. It also enhances the length of the drill bit.

A magnetic bit tip holder helps you to hold the metal screw in place so that you can drive it easily.

8. Look for Trox Head Screw

Trox head screw offers the best grip and is better than slotted screws. Your star-shaped trox bits will fit firmly on the star-shaped screw head. It is easier to drive a Torx head screw as you don’t need to apply pressure to hold the screw in place.

Safety Precautions Should be Taken When Using a Cordless Drill as a Screwdriver

1. Wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from flying debris.

2. Wear a dust mask to prevent breathing in dust and debris.

3. Wear protective gloves to protect your hands from scrapes, cuts, and abrasions.

4. Always use the correct-sized drill bit for the screw you are using.

5. Make sure the drill bit is securely attached to the chuck of the drill.

6. Use a clamp or other method to secure the workpiece in place to prevent it from moving during drilling or screwing.

7. Make sure to use a low-speed setting when driving screws.

8. Always unplug the drill when changing bits or accessories.

9. Do not use the drill to break or loosen screws, as this may cause the drill to kick back and injure you.

10. Make sure to use the tool in well-ventilated areas and away from any combustible materials.


Hope these tips will help you to drive a screw in any project properly.

But before starting you must check the power tool you’re going to use is working well or not.

And most importantly, never forget to wear your safety gear while using any power drill to prevent any unwanted accidents.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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