Electric Screwdrivers

Electric screwdrivers – also sometimes known as power screwdrivers – can take some of the strain out of DIY tasks like building furniture and installing lights by doing the hard work for you. This useful tool can be a real timesaver when used properly.

Electric Screwdriver Safety

Though power screwdrivers are generally very safe to use, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure you can perform the job at hand, problem-free.

Safety First

  • Buy your electric screwdriver from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • It’s important to register a new electric screwdriver with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
  • Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
  • Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask for their advice.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
  • Any socket you plan to use to plug in an electric screwdriver should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider using an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
  • If you’re using a screwdriver that connects to the mains, ensure that the cord is long enough to easily reach the area you’re working in before you get started – if it isn’t, plug the screwdriver into a fully-unwound extension lead to extend your reach.

Using your electric screwdriver safely

  • Make sure you select the right size bit for the screw being used – PZ2 is the most commonly used size.
  • The screwdriver bit should be firmly seated in the screw head before you start screwing.
  • If you’re drilling into soft wood, it’s a good idea to hold the screw in place until it starts to bite (but mind those fingers). For hard wood, it’s best to pre-drill a pilot hole.
  • Apply firm, steady pressure when using the electric screwdriver, and press the trigger smoothly and gently.
  • When removing screws, it’s best to select the highest torque setting.
  • Unplug corded screwdrivers before removing or inserting a new drill bit; when replacing a bit in a cordless model, ensure your finger is well away from the trigger/select ‘off’ mode.
  • If your screwdriver works using a rechargeable battery, be sure to unplug and safely store the charger once you’re finished with it.