Craftsman 4.8 Volt Cordless Screwdriver Review
The Craftsman 4.8 Volt Cordless Screwdriver is a handyman’s (or handywoman’s) “go-to” tool. This rechargeable pistol grip screwdriver is perfect for those around the house jobs for which the big boy tools are simply too darn cumbersome. It’s a tool that’s a bit more simplistic than more advanced products like the DeWalt 8V Gyroscopic Screwdriver or the Black & Decker Gyro 4V Max Cordless Screwdriver, but sometimes simple is nice. We tested out this pistol grip screwdriver in a variety of jobs and found it to be long lasting and perfect for most basic projects, provided you didn’t expect much torque or require the finesse of a variable speed drill.
Craftsman 4.8 Volt Cordless Screwdriver Build Quality
The Craftsman 4.8 volt cordless screwdriver has a nice pistol grip and is light as a feather compared to the company’s larger Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max System or the Craftsman 11910 C3 19.2V Drill/Driver. That’s essentially its charm. For anyone who has attempted to hang a picture of put together a small table or desk with a full size cordless drill, you’ll quickly understand the convenience of having a smaller, lightweight tool around when you need it. It’s also less intimidating and more likely to be used over a standard screwdriver by those family members you’re trying to help bring into the wonder of power tools.
The drill is a “pistol grip” style, which gives the user a bit more leverage than traditional in-line drivers more commonly associated with low voltage rechargeable tools. You can really push the bit into the screw head as you drive it home, allowing you to use the driver with a larger number of materials and screws. Unlike many basic “household” electric tools, the Craftsman Pistol Grip Driver also includes a variable torque clutch. Adjustable from 1-12, the torque setting allows better control over driving screws home, ensuring that you don’t overdrive the screw and strip it.
Activation is via a big red rocker switch that enables single speed forward and reverse motion. The chuck accepts 1/4 inch hex bits. These bits exist in the nut/drill/screw driver format and in fact the cordless screwdriver comes with a 32-bit accessory bit set that includes 4 drill bits, 8 flat head bits, 5 Philips bits, 1 bit extender, 2 bolt drivers, 4 hex bits, and 4 star bits. It’s a nice assortment of tools that will likely last a long time and it’s a bonus inclusion that will get nearly everyone started on the right foot in using this tool around the house.
Ergonomics and Use
For a driver rated at only 4.8 volts, the Craftsman actually packs some decent power – and does so with style. The first thing you’ll note is that it fits nicely in the hand. It’s great for both large and small hands and the overmold rubberized grip makes it nearly impossible for the driver to slip during use. While we felt that the rocking trigger was adequate for activating forward and reverse modes on the drill, it took some getting used to when switching between modes. Users may find themselves using a two-finger approach: index finger for forward, and middle finger for reverse. Those with larger hands may simply be able to manipulate both modes with the same finger.
The driver has a DC port right in the handle to recharge the hidden NiCd batteries. Charging takes a while, but the drill runs for quite a long time between charges. We took it to task and used the Craftsman to drive drywall screws into a piece of 2×4. It drove literally dozens of screws before the driver began to lose its maximum torque.
For household duties, the Craftsman pistol grip 4.8 volt screwdriver is going to work very well. If, however, you’re looking for something more robust and intend to drill into thick wood, then don’t expect this tool to handle endless screws before it gives up the ghost and needs to be recharged. Since charging takes a good bit of time, it’s also not recommended for extended periods of use or critical applications.
The included bits are handy, though we broke off the smallest drill bit fairly quickly when drilling into several pieces of old lumber. The design of the tool makes insertion and removal of the bits easy, however since the driver has a magnetic, rather than a more advanced speed-lock chuck, the bits tended to pull out easily rather than stay in the drill. This was more common than we would have liked and took away from the enjoyment of using the tool.
The Craftsman 4.8V screwdriver is an ergonomic tool that is great to use around the house. Those used to straight drivers will appreciate its more ergonomic feel and ability to apply some leverage to tougher jobs. When used appropriately and in small doses, this tool will deliver lots of satisfaction. The only real downsides are the lengthy charge time and the fact that the NiCd batteries will most definitely deteriorate over time. Still, for under $30 this is a tool you can afford to replace every couple of years without really hurting your pocketbook. We recommend it and think it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal.