Screwdriver vs Drill: The Differences and Purposes of Usage

When choosing new tools for your home, you may find the problem of having to choose between screwdriver vs drill.

This happens because they’re used for similar purposes. So you’re likely to get a little confused about what they offer, which one will work better for you, and so on.

If you have this problem, we’re going to help you out in this article. Here, we’re going to explain what each does, and all the different factors that set them up apart from each other.

This will help you learn exactly what you need to know, so you can eventually pick the ideal one for your needs.

Are you ready to learn more about screwdrivers & drills? Then keep reading!

What is a Screwdriver?

Screwdrivers have only one purpose – drive screws in and out their holes. There’s nothing more to a screwdriver than that.

That’s why they’re usually small and lightweight, easy to use, and often have low power or torque.

The advantage is that you can control a screwdriver without making much of an effort. And they will reach places where larger tools can’t – so they’re super handy.

Apart from that, you will find screwdrivers affordable and available in a wide array of designs & constructions. So there’s a lot to choose from depending on your needs.

Syntus Precision Screwdriver Set, 63 in 1 with 57 Bits Screwdriver Kit, Magnetic Driver Electronics Repair Tool Kit for iPhone, Tablet, Macbook, Xbox, Cellphone, PC, Game Console, Black
  • Update with a piece of triangle plectrum, plastic opening tool and a bit for disassembling the mainboard of iPhone.
  • 57 different bits elaborated by Syntus to repair smartphones, tablets, and PCs including iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, as well as gaming consoles and controllers from Nintendo, PlayStation, or XBox.
  • A flexible shaft included is perfect for electronics where the shaft is hard to get.
  • Multi-magnetic driver makes it easy to fix bit and pull screws out.
  • Press & Push design enables you to take out bits for saving hassles.
CRAFTSMAN Screwdriver Set, Assorted, 8-Piece (CMHT65075)
  • Black oxide tip provides improved durability and grip without compromising tip fitment.
  • Speed zone provides quick rotation control for efficient run down.
  • Torque Zone provides added grip texture and geometry for heavy torque applications.
  • Precision tactile zone provides rotation control for precision tasks.

What is a Drill?

A drill is a powerful & practical machine that opens holes in different objects. Drills can be cordless or corded, provide a wide array of power options, and may even help to drive screws if needed.

They’re usually heavy and somewhat bulky, but not enough to be uncomfortable. Yet, they take some time to learn how to use and can be slightly dangerous if misused.

Luckily, drills have a wide array of uses apart from opening holes, such as driving screws, sanding, and more.

Drills tend to be decently priced, yet they often go to the expensive side when compared to other tools. Especially cordless and multi-functional models, they tend to be extra costly.

DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool (DCK240C2),Yellow/Black Drill Driver/Impact Combo Kit
  • DCD771 in cordless drill combo kit features 2 speed transmission (0-450 / 0-1500 RPM)
  • DCD771 high performance motor of cordless tools combo kit delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications
  • DCD771 compact, lightweight design of the drill/ impact driver combo kit fits into tight areas
  • DCD771 1/2-inch single sleeve ratcheting chuck provides tight bit gripping strength
  • DCD771 Ergonomic handle delivers comfort and control
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Drill / Driver, 3/8-Inch (LDX120C)
  • Lithium Ion Technology and 20V MAX: Lighter, more compact, no memory, longer life
  • 11 Position Clutch: Provides precise control for drilling into wood, metal, plastic, and all screwdriving tasks
  • Features integrated bit holder under drill handle that includes double ended bit
  • Variable Speed: Allows countersinking without damaging material
  • Ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks

Drill vs Screwdriver: Factors to Consider

Now that you have a better idea of what screwdrivers & drills offer separately, it is time to compare them.

The next aspects will let you know more about each tool:


When comparing screwdrivers with drills, you will find that their usages differ a lot – they one is slightly more practical than the other.

Screwdrivers, for example, can be used for anything related to screws. From setting up cabinets and drawers to replacing covers and parts, remove batteries, hang frames or portraits, craft woodworking projects, and sometimes even make small repairs or improvements.

Overall, screwdrivers are used for everything you need screws for.

A drill, on the other hand, works mainly for opening holes in walls and materials like wood or plastic. Some may even offer the chance to add extra attachments and provide additional usages, like sanding wood or metals, cleaning metal objects, and sometimes even drive screws into wood.

In short, drills are often used for opening holes, they also offer many other uses – including driving screws like a screwdriver.


In terms of torque or strength, the battle between electric screwdriver vs drill is not too close.

Most screwdrivers have no motor or engine to work with. If you pick an electric screwdriver, however, you may have the chance to drive screws in challenging materials like wood or metal. But the power is still not enough to handle large jobs.

Instead, you can always use a power drill. Even a cordless drill which tends to be weaker than a corded drill is more powerful and effective than screwdrivers. However, the precision is not the same – yet it is still much better for driving screws on woods and similar materials.

Size & Weight

You don’t only want something practical and powerful, you also want something easy to handle.

That’s why it is important to remember that drills are often pretty heavy and bulky. Even a small corded model can weigh up to 6 pounds or even more. And that can be sort of uncomfortable to handle.

That’s why even the largest screwdrivers, electric or not, is way easier to bring around and use. Thanks to the often small design and lightweight construction, screwdrivers manage to be more portable. And that also makes them a little more versatile.

Learning Curve

Following their weight & size, you will find that learning how to use each is also different.

A cordless screwdriver vs drill, for example, tends to be super straightforward and require no more than two or three uses to master. Some models are small enough that handling them in tight spaces is a piece of cake, so you can enjoy maximum versatility.

But when it comes to drills, the experience is not that pleasant. They lose versatility due to the massive design. And with the extra power, they also become a little more challenging at first – requiring several tries to learn how to use correctly.

Here, you will find that even complex electric screwdrivers are easier to use than the simplest of drills.


How many different kinds of screwdrivers are there? And how many types of drills you can find?

Well, when it comes to manual screwdrivers, you will find that they offer Phillips, Flathead or Slotted, and Torx. Others like Hex and Robertson's models are less common. And they all differ only in the head/bit.

But you may also find electric screwdrivers. These may offer all the different bits/heads available, yet they’re not manual like the conventional model.

As for drills, you will find tons of different models to choose from. There’s the standard drill driver, the impact driver, the hammer drill, the rotary hammer, and many others. Each one serves a specific purpose.

For example, can you use an impact driver as a screwdriver? Yes, they’re actually perfect for that. A hammer drill helps to open holes in concrete, and a rotary hammer opens large holes in cement.

So, when it comes to variety – drills have the most varied catalog to choose from. And they work for the same things a screwdriver does.


Last but not least, it is time to compare the prices between these two.

Here, you will find that screwdrivers are often super cheap. Even the most convenient & functional electric screwdriver is super affordable and may not cost more than a mid-range drill.

In contrast, the most expensive drills may cost up to five times a super powerful electric screwdriver does, and up to ten times than an entire set of manual screwdrivers.

So, of course, screwdrivers are the cheaper of the two.

Screwdriver vs Drill: Which One to Choose?

Having read enough about drills and screwdrivers, it is time to make your choice.

We recommend screwdrivers if you are only working on small home projects that don’t require much power. And of course, if you’re only screwing things together, so you want to be comfortable. Otherwise, you will find them underpowered and less convenient for most situations.

But if you want maximum power for small or large jobs, more convenience, and extra functions, then a drill is your best bet. You will only battle a tricky learning curve and spend more money at first – yet they’re totally worth it.

So, what are you choosing between screwdriver vs drill? Use our advice and recommendations, choose the machine wisely, and enjoy it!


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