View Full Version : Electric drywall screw guns - what's useful about them?

Stephen Tashiro
03-11-2010, 12:02 AM
My knowledge of electric drywall screw guns may be out of date. About 8 years ago I bought a Dewalt drywall screw gun. By screw gun, I don't mean anything fancy such as a tool that holds a magazine of screws. This is a tool that looks like an electric drill. It has chuck that takes a fixed size hex shaped bit. It was adequate to drive screws of all types. Later I got a Dewalt screw gun (plain "screw gun", not "drywall screw gun"). it was more powerful than the drywall screw gun and I quit using the drywall gun. Even later, I began using a cordless "impact driver" to drive screws. Both the corded screw guns are now packed away somewhere.

What is (or was) the advantage of the drywall screw gun? (I confess I didn't put up any drywall with it.) Is it supposed to have less torque for some reason? Does it drive screws part of the way through a sheet of drywall and then stall out so the screw head is recessed?

Ken Fitzgerald
03-11-2010, 12:44 AM

I have the Dewalt you describe. The main advantage is being able to repeatedly and accurately without too much concentration or effort be able to drive a screw to a preset depth. I have used regular drills to do it but I found the Dewalt much easier to do it accurately and repeatedly.

Myself...I guess I'm old fashion...I prefer corded drills to cordless. It seems that the batteries on my cordless fail too often. I don't mind using extension cords.

Andrew Minear
03-11-2010, 6:16 AM
If you drive a drywall screw through the top layer of paper...it has gone too deep. The drywall screw gun can be set to just dimple the screw into the paper so the first coat of mud will bury it.


Mike Cutler
03-11-2010, 8:36 AM
A "True" drywall gun has a barrel that collapses around the screw and sets the screw head to a pre set uniform depth. The barrel also holds the drwall screw, so that you don't have to.
They're actually pretty nice to have to set a bunch of drywall screws, especially ceilings.

Jason Roehl
03-11-2010, 8:20 PM
A true drywall screw gun can also be locked on and has release clutches so that when you hit the prescribed depth it either forces the bit out of the screw with a spring pre-load, or it disengages a clutch so that the bit stops spinning. Keeping the RPMs up means more production. You can drive screws as fast as your hand can manipulate them onto the bit. Even faster are the strip-fed screw guns. A friend of mine had a strip-fed gun that an experienced drywaller thought he could keep up with. He gave up after he had put in only 2 screws and my friend had about 10 in...

Bill Cunningham
03-11-2010, 9:44 PM
I bought a little attachment for a electric drill that does the same thing as my drywall gun.. It also has a magnet inside that holds the screw, and it only drives it as deep as just below paper flush without damaging the paper.. I bought the drywall gun after I bought this attachment, and quite frankly the attachment works every bit as well as the gun, and it was under 20 bucks..

Jim Mattheiss
03-12-2010, 9:56 PM
You can tell the difference with your ears.

They are doing some renovation where I'm working and the rockers were in last week. One guy runing the screw gun and all you hear is


as he's driving the screws home, one every 4-5 seconds. This is loading it manually. I can't imagine how quick it would go with a feeder. . .

I use a dimpler on my drill as I don't do production work. Other times I neander it and use NAILS.