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Screw Guns vs. Drills: Key Differences to Consider

Screw Guns vs. Drills: Key Differences to Consider

Whether you are considering renovating your house all by yourself or simply wishing to upgrade your toolbox, choosing between a screw gun and a drill machine can be quite confusing especially if you are a layman. 

And to clear this confusion, in this article we will be discussing all the key differences that you should know before buying either one of these handy tools!

What Is a Screw Gun?

A screw gun has a drill-like appearance and is used for driving screws, as the name suggests. But rather than a chuck, it has a “nose.” The nose is where specific drilling tips are placed.

Screw guns and nail guns are extremely similar, as the screws are fed into the gun from a clip. As with a drill, you don’t need to line up every screw, meaning that screw guns are much faster than drills.

Screw Gun vs Drill Key Differences to Consider

Screw guns come in two major varieties: corded and cordless. Corded screw guns plug into the wall, as the name implies. Although less portable, they are still rather light.  

On the other hand, screw guns that are cordless are powered by batteries. As long as their battery has some life left, they can be utilized in almost any place. Compared to other available options, these are significantly heavier and more expensive. 

However, a screwdriver is only good for one function only. Due to this fact, they are significantly less adaptable and tend to be more expensive than other solutions.

What Is a Drill?

The main use of a drill is to create round holes or to drive screws. They are far more adaptable than the majority of alternatives simply because they may do both tasks very effectively. They have a chuck at the front holding a tip that is attached to them.

Drills have a lot of uses. There are several tips available, allowing you to drive all types of screws and drill holes of all sizes. In addition to screws, you may also drive bolts quickly. 

With the correct accessories, drills may even be used to combine concrete and paint or grind metals and remove corrosion.

Screw Gun vs Drill Key Differences to Consider

There are many different types of drills. Some are more multifunctional while others are made for specific uses. The most common choice is a corded drill.

Corded drills are hooked directly into the wall and are typically the most powerful. They are both incredibly strong and relatively light for their size.

On the other hand, cordless drills, despite being recently introduced, are quickly gaining popularity. They are considerably more portable and need a battery to operate making them somewhat heavier than their corded counterparts.

Further, hammer drills also exist. They resemble the typical drill in appearance and can drill masonry thanks to their drilling action. They are extremely specialized instruments, so they are also not as widely used.

Key Differences Between Drills and Screw Guns

Drills are intended to produce holes, whereas screw guns are made expressly to drive screws.

Despite both performing similar tasks, there are some distinctions.

Screw guns can automatically feed screws, making them perfect for driving several screws of the same size for fixing drywall or doing other tasks. Although certain drills may also take a screwdriver bit, hanging drywall with this method is not efficient.

Compared to screw guns, drills often have lower RPMs, in part because the proper drill bit and tension prevent the bit from spinning as quickly. Although certain screw gun variants may also be used as drills, screw guns are not as adaptable as a drill.

In contrast, a drill is far more adaptable than a screw gun, and by switching out the bit, you may use the drill for different tasks.

For instance, you can use a drill to drill both tiny and big holes, drive flathead and Phillips screws, tighten and loosen nuts and bolts, and can even do chores like stirring paint with the correct accessories.

Also, drills typically receive updates more frequently than screw guns. As a result, new innovations like brushless motors often appear in drills first. Brushless motors are lighter, more energy-efficient, quieter, and need less upkeep.

Can You Use Your Drill as a Screw Gun?

You can use your drill as a screw gun, as long as you use the proper sort of drill. However, drills need to have a clutch and several speed settings in order to drive screws.

The clutch’s function is to detect strain. Without a clutch, the drill chuck will continue to rotate after the screw has been inserted into your workpiece. As it continues to spin, the screw’s head will get stripped. It is therefore more difficult to insert the screw farther into your material. Further, the process of removing the screw from the material will likewise get much more challenging.

The other factor to consider is whether your drill has variable speed. This is because inserting screws does not require much speed or power as it normally would when drilling a hole. You’ll need slow speeds to properly and accurately drive screws in place.

For installing or removing screws, cordless drills are the best choice because they can perform both of these tasks. On the other hand, corded drills lack a clutch, so they are unable to drive screws since doing so will strip the screw heads.

Is a Screw Gun the Same As an Impact Driver?

A screw gun is simply a portable powered tool that runs at extremely fast speeds with little torque, whereas an impact driver is a powerful tool that creates the force necessary to drive screws into surfaces using a hammer action.

However, an impact driver employs significant rotating force to drive screws and often produces large bursts of power quite fast when it encounters resistance.

Nonetheless, these tools do share some similarities with both having the adequate force to penetrate surfaces with screws and both having a trigger that spins the screw in addition to chucks that holds the screw in place.

Further, there are corded and cordless versions of the impact driver and screw gun.

Final Words on Screw Guns vs. Drills

To sum it up, a screw gun is a tool that would drive screws in place efficiently, whereas a drill is primarily used to drill holes but can be used to perform a variety of other tasks.

A screw gun typically is only good to drive screws in place. However, a drill, depending on its type, can be used to perform a wide range of tasks with some even being able to insert screws.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.