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What Is an Autofeed Screwdriver?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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An autofeed screwdriver is a power tool that drives screws using a feeder, so that the user doesn’t have to attach each screw to the screwdriver by themselves. This type of power equipment replicates the design used in traditional nail guns, where the nail gun replaces the traditional hammer and nail approach to a job. New kinds of autofeed screwdrivers bring a “mass assembly” capacity to projects.

Using an autofeed screwdriver for a project greatly cuts down on the required time for completion. These types of tools can be extremely valuable in drywall projects, flooring projects, or other projects where screws are used as fasteners. This can help contractors to bring down overall prices by working more efficiently. Buying these power tools can improve a contractor’s bottom line by cutting out the cost of time spent lining up screws for the screwdriver.

In some cases, the option of using an autofeed screwdriver can persuade a builder to use screws as fasteners, where they otherwise would have used nails. Some experts point out that in many projects, screws provide more effective fastening, helping to avoid issues with settling or creaking over time. For many contractors, the issue of whether to buy an autofeed screwdriver rests on the percentage of projects that would use screws, rather than nails, for fastening large sheets of plywood or other materials.

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Although autofeed screwdriver models can be extremely useful in building, some contractors and others point out a few drawbacks to these types of power tools. One of them is that the choice of screws can be significantly limited by the autofeed mechanism. In some of these models, builders are limited to choosing specific types of screws made by the company that sells the power tool. Another problem with these types of tools relates to issues with bad calibration of the feeder, or malfunctions that jam up the machine and cause the feeder to work improperly.

Another issue for autofeed screwdrivers is torque. Torque is the amount of force used to drive the screws. It’s important for builders and DIY project implementers to think about whether a power screwdriver will use excessive torque, and drive screws too quickly. While high torque is great for some larger commercial projects, it can be a bad fit for a range of smaller projects where screws need to be driven more slowly and carefully in order to avoid causing damage.

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