Cordless Screwgun Head to Head

NOISE

WINNER – DEWALT

The occupational risk accepted by the construction worker over the course of the year varies, but is almost always constant, especially when you consider the exposure to loud noise throughout the day. Noise is often overlooked as a hazard, but considering the lifetime of exposure that contractors will experience, limiting noise is important to ensuring the safety of our crews. With that said we’ve recorded the output of each tool in decibels for a baseline measurement and considered features that limit the duration of that output.

cordlessdrywallscrewgunheadtohead

The reduction in noise level of cordless screw guns was significant. I recently brought several of these screw guns to a job site and the first response from the hanging crew was how quiet the tools were. The average corded screw gun is well over 100 db and even higher when the clutch engages. All of the screw guns that we tested are well beyond almost 10 db lower than standard corded versions. That may not sound like much, but decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, and a reduction of 10 db is a perceived volume reduction of almost half! Each decibel difference is a huge difference in how much quieter these drills are.

The clear winner in this category was the DEWALT screw gun. While only a few decibels lower than the competition any amount is a good thing when it comes to protecting hearing. A strong case can be made for Makita being on top of this list as well due to Makita’s Push Drive ™ Technology ( in lock-on mode the motor starts only when the fastener is engaged). Designed to increase run-time this feature also limits exposure to noise for the installer by reducing duration to loud noise.

OVERHEAD USE

WINNER – Bosch

This category is focused on the drywall installation application, hanging a ceiling is a taxing task and any relief is much appreciated. While fastening boards to the ceiling, the tool must be used overhead of the installer, the feel and balance of the tool changes significantly, so a well-designed tool will excel in this category. We evaluated this category by evaluating the comfort of the tool and considering the overall weight of the screw gun.

As the lightest weight model in our Head to Head, the Bosch has a clear advantage for overhead use, but it’s rises above the rest of our screw guns in this test as the collated attachment adds some convenient length to the tool to reduce the reach for installers.

Bosch Cordless Screw Gun with Collated Attachment

Both SENCO and HILTI earn honorable mentions for their comfortable use in overhead applications despite their heft. 4.9 and 4.0 lbs respectively each model brings something to the table to make up for their weight. The SENCO delivers a monster reach of 16” and the HILTI is so well balanced when fastening vertically the weight of the tool seems to melt away.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of several other sites including: Home Construction & Improvement and Today's Green Construction

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

All posts by Todd »

5 Comments

  1. Mike Cormier

    Do the Dewalt and Bosch collated attachments accept various lengths of screws? The Hilti attachment you tested only accepts 1-1/4″screws but their other attachment accepts screws from 1″-2″ in similar strips like those used in the Dewalt, Bosch and Senco. It also can be bought with smaller batteries that would reduce weight.

    Side note: Makita sells a collated only gun like the Senco and they also sell smaller batteries to reduce weight.

    In the end, I agree with your choice of Dewalt based on the entire series including their Rotozip. It will be a big deal when they package the gun with the collated attachment and the Rotozip in one bag.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      The Bosch attachment will accept screw lengths from 1″ to 2-5/8″ long. The DEWALT accepts 1″ to 2″ in length. DEWALT does sell a combo kit with the screw gun, cutout tool, in a bag with two 2.0 Ah battery packs for $279. It’s model DCK263D2.

  2. Martijn Dingjan

    @ Mike Cormier: Rotozip is a part of Bosch and shares the battery platform, in Europe they changed it to a Bosch tool: http://www.bosch-professional.com/gb/en/straight-grinders-177713-ocs-c/
    Bosch also has 6Ah batteries and even 2Ah wireless chargeable batteries.
    I guess the battery platform already owned will determine which one would go for.

  3. Carl

    Hilti smd 50 attachment uses senco strips.

  4. Sean

    Makita has a cutout tool too. For drywall

Leave a comment

Disclosure

Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.