What’s The Difference Between an Electric Screwdriver and a Drill?

When it comes to tackling DIY projects, having the right tools at your disposal is essential. Two of the most common power tools found in a homeowner’s tool box are electric screwdrivers and drills.

While these tools may appear similar at first glance, they serve distinct purposes and are better suited for different tasks. In this article, we will explore the key features, benefits, drawbacks, and practical applications of both electric screwdrivers and drills, helping you make an informed decision on which tool is right for your needs.

Electric Screwdrivers: Precision and Convenience

An electric screwdriver is a handheld power tool designed primarily for driving screws into various materials. These tools are compact, lightweight, and offer a high level of precision, making them ideal for smaller jobs like assembling furniture, fixing electrical appliances, or installing fixtures.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Precision: Electric screwdrivers are known for their accuracy, allowing users to drive screws with minimal effort and without damaging materials.
  • Lightweight and Compact: These tools are generally smaller in size and weight, making them easy to handle and manoeuvre in tight spaces.
  • Ease of Use: Electric screwdrivers often come with adjustable torque settings, allowing users to control the amount of force applied to the screw, preventing overtightening or stripping.


  • Limited Power: Electric screwdrivers are not as powerful as drills, which means they may struggle with larger or more demanding tasks.
  • Less Versatile: While electric screwdrivers excel at driving screws, they are not suitable for drilling holes or other tasks that require more power and speed.

Drills: Power and Versatility

A drill is a versatile power tool that can be used for drilling holes, driving screws, and even mixing paint or mortar. Drills are designed for heavy-duty tasks and are commonly used in construction, woodworking, and other DIY projects that require more power and speed.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Power: Drills offer more power than electric screwdrivers, allowing them to handle a wide range of tasks, from drilling holes in wood, metal, and masonry to driving large screws.
  • Versatility: With the right attachments and accessories, drills can be used for a variety of tasks beyond drilling and driving screws, such as sanding, polishing, or cutting.
  • Adjustable Speed: Most drills come with variable speed settings, allowing users to control the speed and power based on the task at hand.


  • Size and Weight: Drills tend to be larger and heavier than electric screwdrivers, which may make them more difficult to handle in tight spaces or for extended periods.
  • Less Precision: Due to their increased power, drills may not be as precise as electric screwdrivers, making them less suitable for delicate tasks or working with fragile materials.

Comparing Electric Screwdrivers and Drills

To help you decide which tool is right for your needs, let’s compare electric screwdrivers and drills across several key factors, including price, functionality, durability, and ease of use.

  • Price: Electric screwdrivers are generally more affordable than drills, making them an attractive option for those on a budget or who only need a tool for occasional use. However, if you plan to tackle a wide range of tasks, investing in a drill may be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Functionality: Drills are undoubtedly more versatile than electric screwdrivers, offering a broader range of applications and the ability to handle more demanding tasks. However, if your primary need is driving screws with precision, an electric screwdriver may be the better choice.
  • Durability: Both tools are designed to be durable and long-lasting, but drills are typically built to withstand more rigorous use and heavier loads. If durability is a top priority, a drill may be the better option.
  • Ease of Use: Electric screwdrivers are generally easier to use due to their lightweight design and adjustable torque settings. Drills can be more challenging to control, particularly for inexperienced users or those with limited hand strength.


When deciding between an electric screwdriver and a drill, consider the types of tasks you’ll be performing most frequently. If your primary need is driving screws with precision and ease, an electric screwdriver is likely the best choice.

However, if you require a tool that can handle a wider range of applications and offers greater power, a drill is the more versatile and powerful option. By understanding the key differences between these tools, you can make an informed decision that will help you tackle your DIY projects with confidence.