How to choose a screw gun | Pro Construction Guide
How to choose a screw gun

How to choose a screw gun

screw gun

Screw guns are designed for the specific task of driving screws, so things like speed, depth of set of the screw head, and automatic loading of the next screw make them the best tool for driving screws.

Drywall, cement board, decking, sheetrock, underlayment, flooring and many other tasks require driving screws lots of screws.

You can use a drill with an appropriate bit. But if you want increased productivity with consistency, use a screw gun. You might even want to use a collated screw gun, which has an automatic feed for the screws so you can set rows very quickly.

Screw guns are designed for the specific task of driving screws, so things like speed, depth of set of the screw head, and automatic loading of the next screw make them the best power tool for driving screws. And there are different guns that can make overhead drywalling a breeze, or screwing down an underlayment a task you can do comfortably while standing.

Screw gun features

All screw guns used to be corded since they must develop high torque. However, the newer 18-volt Lithium-ion cordless screw guns are definitely up to the task and there’s no cord to tangle in your feet. This is especially useful for overhead work.

Whether you choose corded or cordless, motor speeds will range from 2,500 to 4,000 rpm with drywall screw guns using the higher speeds. Motors should be reversible to allow you to remove a badly driven or angled screw.

An adjustable nose piece on the screw gun allows you to set the screw depth for a consistent finish. This is especially useful in drywalling because the screw depth can be set at or just below the surface and it won’t tear the paper surface of the sheetrock.

This gives great, consistent clamping of the boards. Be sure the depth adjustment dial is located where you can set the screw depth even when you’re wearing work gloves.

The nosepiece also allows you to select the screw length you need. Tool-free adjustment for screw length is an excellent feature. Depending on the torque of the driver, a screw gun can handle screws up to 3 inches. Bit release and change should also be tool free for adjusting the screw gun to handle different screw heads.

For big jobs, a lock-on button enables continuous driving, which is especially handy with the collated auto-feed screw gun. Some tools have a wider trigger to allow two fingers to be used on the switch.

Choose a compact, lightweight model with a comfortable grip, load the screws, set the depth and you’re ready to work.

—By Steve Sturgess, stevesturgess.com


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