Craftsman gyroscopic e-screwdriver, you may want one

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

5 Responses

  1. Interesting, Ben! I currently have a Ryobi battery screwdriver/drill which is now wearing out its second battery, so I’m looking around – good timing! Since it’s a given that everything inside the hull and quite a bit of whats fastened onto the hull is held in place with SS screws an electric screwdriver is an essential piece of kit.
    I think I like the DeWalt a bit better than the Craftsman (though the Craftsman name has good memories for me, too). One feature on both of these that I like is that the light comes on BEFORE it starts turning – a near-fatal flaw in the Ryobi. I also like the USB charging – my AC-only little Ryobi charger is not very convenient on a 12VDC boat 🙁
    I think I’ll take a cruise down to Lowe’s and check ’em out 🙂

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Yes, the LED headlights essentially switch on independently, though you use that same long thin button that must be held in to activate the driver. In fact, it starts that 20 second ON period so easily that it will occasionally light up your tool bag as you move around the boat unless you use the button lock.

      I’ve become a major Ryobi customer, by the way, with maybe a dozen tools in their 18v Plus family and another half dozen that use the same 40v batteries. Cordless tool families with common batteries and chargers is an excellent concept, I think, and I’ve found most of the Ryobi designs reasonably decent and well made for the cost. I even took a chance on their new model snowblower and, by jiminey, it can handle most of the messes we so enjoy on the coast of Maine.

  2. Hi Ben – yes, I assembled a grouping of Ryobi 18V tools (and lithium batteries) before we headed out in 2015 – I have a drill, 5″ circular saw, “Fein tool”, Sawzall and a saber saw. I don’t use them all that often, but they’re darn handy when needed. I also bought the 12V charger, which has proven a good investment. The sawzall has been used extensively chopping up firewood on the beach 🙂
    That’s why I bought the Ryobi screwdriver/drill, but the light is annoying and the controls are not optimal.

    I do NOT want to be anywhere where I need a snowblower!

  3. Hi Again, Ben.. I went down to Lowes and bought one of the Craftsman screwdrivers – while it was working out of the package, I charged it first, and it took several hours (maybe my 12V USB charge port is low powered?) – but then I launched into several Nav Station repairs, which involved LOTS of screws 🙂
    The gyro action takes some getting used to, though having the light on before you start is handy. The #2 Phillips bit it came with was not a good fit, but that was easy to fix. The amount of torque available isn’t huge, but certainly sufficient for what I was doing. I did discover that when you release the trigger (so the motor doesn’t run) and try to use the driver manually, it does not lock the shaft, so the amount of torque you can apply is limited.
    Today the wind dropped below 20 knots, so I sawed and drilled and mounted the additional solar panel (which did not involve the electric screwdriver but did involve my Ryobi battery tools!). Always something to do 🙂

  4. Hi Ben,
    I’ve never been a fan of small formot (non-gun type) power screwdrivers – they’ve usually been wimpy things that don’t fair well in the real world. On your suggestion I got one of these Craftsman gyro screwdrivers. Over the past couple of months it has become the must have go-to tool in my bag. I am really impressed by it’s power and once used to the gyro action it is a really useful tool. Thanks for the heads up.

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