With so many makes and models of drywall screw guns on the market, as well as workarounds and alternatives for the DIY-er, it’s might be hard to determine which is the best screw gun for drywall.
Whether you a veteran contractor looking to upgrade your tools, or just want your next drywall project done quicker and more accurately, these are the best screw guns on the market based on ease of use, durability, and power.
There are substitutes for a screw gun, but if you want an effortless, perfect screw sink, you want a quality screw gun. The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun comes in at #1.
It is a contractor-level tool – lightweight, ergonomic, and very well-reviewed.
DEWALT makes a huge line of cordless tools, so if you’re already invested, you might not have to buy an extra battery.
It’s powerful enough for multiple applications, and you should be able to keep it humming for a long time.
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Drywall Screwguns In This Review
What Makes a Good Drywall Screw Gun?
The reason you’re looking at drywall screw guns vs. drills, impact drivers, or non-dedicated screwdrivers, is time-saving and precision.
Hanging drywall is a huge task and gets exhausting very quickly, especially if you’re using a sub-par tool or a modified electric drill.
A drywall screw gun is a specialty tool designed for drywall installation to drive screws to a specific depth, over and over and over.
If you’re hanging drywall, you are putting in thousands of drywall screws, and doing it quickly and accurately is important.
You can find less well known brands, and alternatives to the drywall screw guns listed.
A budget drywall screw gun might seem like a good idea if you’re just doing patch jobs or a single project, but you are probably better off buying a cheap dimpler to attach to your electric drill.
A low-end drywall gun is going to cause problems with poor depth setting and drifting.
The time you think you’ll save with a dedicated tool will be lost.
A dimpler is a cost-effective way to turn your drill into a useful tool for drywall installation.
It’s not going to be nearly as fast as having a drywall screw gun and is really only for very small jobs around the house.
If you’ve got a big project, you are going to get tired very fast with just a dimpler.
What you’re really looking for in a quality drywall screw gun is battery life, torque, warranty, and any extras, like a carrying case or auto feeder you might need.
Big projects call for big tools. If you’re ready to get a screw driver JUST for drywall installation, spend a little more, get a lot more in terms of accuracy and time saving.
These drywall screw guns are all suitable for hanging on wood studs. Consider your project – there’s a tool for you.
Best Drywall Screw Gun Reviews
Milwaukee 2866-20 M18 FUEL Drywall Screw Gun
- POWERSTATE Brushless Motor: Delivers 4,500 RPM's to provide faster than corded productivity
- Auto Start Mode: The tool trigger can stay locked on without the motor running. Once the screw comes in contact with the drywall, the motor automatically starts, resulting in less noise between screws and 3x longer run time.
- M18 REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery pack: Delivers 64 sheets per charge and the CP2.0 delivers 27 sheets per charge
This is a great, easy-to-use tool for drywall.
It’s got a brushless motor and hits 4,500 RPM – close to what you’ll get with a corded drywall screw gun, and it’s Auto Start feature means you just press, and it’s only 2.5 pounds (without battery), which is very light for a battery-powered tool.
This Milwaukee is a great tool, especially if you’ve already got other tools from the M18 FUEL line If not, the major drawback is that you’ll have to buy the battery and charger separately, which significantly raises the price.
It will also accept an optional collater attachment, but again that’s a separate cost.
Not the cheapest tool to invest in, but if you’re looking for something that does a great job, is easy to maneuver, and will last, this may be worth the price tag.
It also comes with a manufacturer 5-year limited warranty – the best warranty on the list.
- Brushless motor
- Uses M18 line batteries: 5.0Ah battery (64 sheets per charge) OR 2.0Ah (27 sheets per charge)
- 4,500 RPM
- Belt Clip Included
- Auto Start
- LED light
- Accepts Collater Attachment
- 5 year warranty
DEWALT DW255 6.0 Amp Drywall Screwdriver
- Drywall screw gun has a depth-sensitive, "set and forget" nosepiece for consistent fastener depth
- DEWALT drywall screw gun has two-finger trigger for increased comfort and ease of use
- The drywall gun has 5,300 RPM high speed motor for production drywall hanging
This is an all-around great drywall screw gun. It is corded, but that means you don’t have to worry about losing time, or power when it’s time to change or recharge the battery.
At a max of 5,300 RPM, it’s a powerful screw gun. It’s going to last you longer than some of the cheaper, cordless versions, and heat-treated gears mean it will stand up to a lot of use.
It’s also made in America, if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for, and comes with a three-year warranty.
This corded DEWALT isn’t going to break the bank, either. It’s one of the cheapest on the list.
If you don’t mind a cord or some extra noise, especially if you’re hanging drywall yourself, where there’s no danger of tons of crisscrossing cords and tons of noisy equipment, this is a great, dedicated tool.
- 0-5,300 RPM
- 2.9 lbs
- Depth-sensitive nosepiece
- 3 year warranty
Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Brushless Drywall Screwgun
- Brushless motor provides corded performance with cordless convenience
- Adjustable and removable nose cone for increased accuracy
- Variable speed trigger with lock-on feature: 0-4, 4700 RPM
Ryobi has brought us another specialty tool, priced for a DIY-er, it’s a decent drywall gun for the price point, and if you’re a handyman looking to up your drywall game at a good value, the Ryobi is a solid choice, especially if you’re dead set on a cordless drywall screw gun.
Coming in significantly cheaper than the other cordless on the list (about 50% less than the most expensive on the list), Ryobi delivers on RPM (4,700 max) and if you’ve got any of the other RYOBI ONE+ line of tools, you might not have to purchase the batteries (again, this does raise the price substantially).
It comes with a belt clip and isn’t terribly heavy. It’s part of the RYOBI ONE+ System of cordless tools.
The Ryobi seems to have difficulty driving anything approaching a 2″ screw though, and without a magnetic tip it can get frustrating fast.
This model is best when it’s used on drywall, with 1 1/4 inch drywall screws. It does not accept a collator attachment.
- 0-4700 RPM
- Brushless Motor
- LED Light
- Includes PR2 Bit and Belt Clip
- Adjustable and Removable Nose Cone
- 2.59 lbs
- 3 Year Warranty
Makita XSF03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Drywall Screwdriver
- BL Motor delivers 0-4,000 RPM to handle a variety of drywall and framing applications
- Push Drive Technology - in lock-on mode the motor starts only when the fastener is engaged for a quieter work environment and to save battery power
- The BL Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
This cordless Makita is another great choice. It boasts an impressive runtime, with a battery display on the base.
The LED light is also on the base, which some users find casts less shadow than the models with lights near the chuck. It’s another brushless, so it’s quiet, and lock-on mode keeps the motor off until you engage the fastener, the depth setting makes it versatile and easy to use and it’s very accurate when it comes to setting screw depth just so in drywall.
It’s a durable, lightweight and powerful tool, that you will spend more for.
The runtime on this model is impressive, and if you have to buy an entire kit with the battery and charger, it’s a cheaper option than the DEWALT or Milwaukee bare tool plus battery and charger.
This is definitely a contractor’s tool, but if you’re serious about drywall, it will give you professional-level results.
- 0-4,000 RPM
- Brushless Motor
- Push Drive Technology
- 3 lbs (3.8 with battery)
- Uses Makita 18V LXT 5.0Ah Battery (2,325 screws per charge)
- Optional Collated Autofeed Screwdriver Magazine
- 3 Year Warranty
Makita FS6200 6 Amp Drywall Screwdriver
- Powerful 6.0 AMP motor with 0-6,000 RPM to handle the most challenging applications
- Less weight (only 3.0 lbs.) with precision balance for ultimate user comfort
- Built-in L.E.D. light illuminates the work area for greater productivity in low-light applications
A solidly built tool. If you’re ready to get to work, this corded screw gun by Makita is attractive because there’s no charging, no spending twice as much for the whole kit, and you just get more power and versatility with a corded version that can reach 6,000 RPM.
Set your screw depth and get to work – It will get your project done fast. It’s also one of the lightest in class, at just 3 pounds.
There are some complaints floating around that occasionally consumers will come across a lemon, and the nose piece will be loose, but that seems to be an anomaly in these screw guns.
It’s not enough to NOT invest in this drill, just something to be aware of. The Makita should drive screws easily and evenly.
- 0-6,000 RPM
- Lock-on Button
- Adjustable Depth Locator + Sure-Lock
- LED light
- Steel-reinforced Belt Clip
- 2.9 lbs
- 1 Year Warranty
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun
- Drywall screw gun has greater speed than DW272 corded screwgun with up to 4,400 RPM
- DEWALT built brushless motor is made for efficient performance and runtime of DEWALT drywall screw gun
- Nosecone of the drywall gun locks on securely and is easily removed while maintaining consistent screw depth
Light, efficient, ergonomic and easy to use. This is a premium tool, and top pick. DEWALT has a huge line of cordless tools that use the same batteries, so you might already have a big impatice for investing in this drywall screw gun, if you have any other cordless from the DEWALT line.
It’s a powerful screwdriver, at 4,400 RPM, and with no cord to drag around, it makes quick work of any drywall project. It even has an optional auto-feed attachment, if that’s what you’re looking for.
It is not the cheapest drywall screw gun you’ll find, but it’s worth the price tag if you want a really professional tool and a huge time saver.
The brushless motor should keep your work area as quiet as you could hope using a power tool, and it has a variable speed trigger or you can lock-on and the battery should last up to half a day of consistent use.
If you end up buying the whole kit, it could just be the beginning of your DEWALT collection – they, by in large, make great quality tool all-around.
- 0-4,400 RPM
- Brushless Motor
- Accepts Collated Magazine Attachment
- LED light
- Adjustable Nosecone
- 2.7 lbs
- 3 Year Warranty
All of these drywall screw guns will do a great job for the very narrow application of drywall installation, once you get a feel for how they work.
They all allow you to simply set a depth and every screw should be planted at that same depth.
Whether you want to go with a cordless or corded screw gun is a matter of personal preference. Some contractors swear by only using a corded model, but long cords and taped up extension cords can be cumbersome and are a potential trip hazard at a site.
You will get more bang for your buck with a corded version, though in corners they aren’t as easy to maneuver as cordless.
Pay attention to the length of the cord on the model you choose – some brands offer the same screw gun with different length cords. For getting around quickly and safely, the cordless versions are much more convenient.
The drywall screw guns on this list are designed to zip in drywall screws to wood or metal frames lightning fast. A regular screw gun won’t give you the same RPM of a dedicated drywall screw gun, which means slower going.
Maybe you don’t need 6,500 RPM, but you might feel significantly bogged down with anything under 2,500. Not to mention if you’re using a cordless screw gun you won’t get as many sheets-per-charge.
Many cordless screw guns now employ a brushless motor – something you won’t get with a corded screwdriver. Brushless motors will run cooler, and significantly cut down on noise.
The clutch engages when you exert force on the tip and runs quietly when disengaged. If you’re working with a big crew, it’s something to keep in mind.
What kind of extras do you need? It goes without saying, if you have a favorite brand, and have already invested in a line of cordless tools, it’s a big money saver to stick to a cordless drywall screw gun that accepts the same battery.
Some screw gun kits come with an auto-feed attachment, and some models don’t accept one at all.
Do you need a carrying case? Is a belt clip a must? Do you need an auto feeder? Different brands offer different accessories with the tool versus a kit, and some full kits are more expensive than others.
All of the models listed feature variable speed adjustment. On cheaper models, you might just get one trigger speed. It saves on manufacturing costs, but makes backing out screws harder and is generally harder on the tool.
Having a soft start can also help preserve the motor.
The best of these drywall screw guns can be used on different materials. If you’re only hanging drywall on wood studs, you can get away with lower RPM.
If you’re working with metal, you’ll want something that can put out 4,000 RPM and up.
Decide what you’re using your drywall screw gun for, and choose accordingly. Maybe you’re a weekend DIY-er, maybe you’re just putting up a shed. Maybe you’re upgrading your professional tools or switching from corded to cordless.
Are you willing to practice a bit to get a hang of how your tool works? There’s a model for every kind of handyman.
How much do drywall screw guns cost?
At the very low end, you can get a drywall screw gun for around $50. For a top name brand corded, it’s easy to find one below $100 (like the Dewalt dw255 and the Makita FS4200 and FS6200). When you start looking at good cordless models, the kits (battery and charger included) can get close to $300. Renting is also an option if you want a professional look and ease without buying yourself a whole new tool.
What is the difference between a screw gun vs. a drill?
A drywall screw gun is a specialized tool A normal drill has a variable speed trigger, and you put different bits in the chuck. A screw gun can have a variable speed trigger, but has a nosecone instead of a chuck that stops the tool from driving when the correct depth is reached. A drill (or impact driver) is more versatile, but you can’t use an auto feeder like you can with many drywall screw guns. You also won’t get the push-to-drive feature with a drill or by using a drill plus a dimpler.
Can I use a drywall screw gun for non-drywall projects?
A drywall screw gun is made for one thing – zipping drywall screws into drywall lightning fast. They generally don’t have a lot of torque, and you’re better off using an impact drill for driving screws into anything besides drywall.
Somthing delicate like installing cabinet hardware is also not a good application for a drywall screw gun. It’s a dedicated tool, that’s not cheap, so you do not want to risk burning it out on projects it’s not designed for.
Do I need a collated screw gun?
This is a matter of preference. A collater attachment can feed in drywall screws as fast as you can drive them. Using collated screws will be quicker and easier, but collated screws can be 2-3 times as expensive as loose screws. You will also pay extra for the attachment.
Can I use a drill as a screw gun?
Yes. Plenty of handy-people use a dimpler on an electric drill. A sheetrock dimpler will only set you back 5-15 bucks. A bonus to the simpler is that it’s easy to back screw out with – something not every drywall screw gun can handle easily. A dimpler installs onto your drill and simply stops you from driving past the set depth. It can be used for installing drywall, but it will be slow, and you’ll have to keep pulling the trigger. Possible, but not ideal for a big project.
Can I use nails to hang drywall?
Yes, but does anyone still use ONLY nails to secure drywall? Probably not, and there’s a good reason why. Screws are more discreet than nails, and are much less likely to rip the paper, or leave a crack or big indent.
Related: The best caulk for drywall cracks.
Driving screws with a screw gun is SO MUCH faster, and you need fewer screws. A drywall screw holds up to 350 percent more than a nail, and nails can’t be used to attach drywall to metal framing. So, the short answer is yes (some contractors first secure sheets of drywall with nails) but you’re in for a huge headache.
How do I know drywall screws are at the correct depth?
Drywall screws should penetrate 5/8 to 3/4 inches. Too shallow and you’ll hear a ‘click’ if you run your knife over the drywall, and too deep your screw can tear the drywall paper and get buried in the gypsum. At this point, the screw is not securing the drywall to the frame, you’ll have to drive another screw alongside it, and cover the failed screw with mud. Of course, the big advantage of a drywall screw gun is that once you figure out the correct depth, it’s just set it and forget it.
Corded or cordless screw gun?
As we’ve covered – there are advantages and disadvantages to both. A corded drill is convenient, but you will pay more. Significantly more if you have to buy the battery and charger. A corded screw gun delivers on RPM for almost half the price. A cordless screw gun might also get slower as the battery runs down, and eventually, you won’t have the same charge as a brand new battery. Cordless is good if your main concern is convenience.
Is it hard to learn to use a drywall screw gun?
There is a significant learning curve to each model. Even if you’ve used a certain drywall screw gun, you’ll have to get a feel for how to hold and engage a different model. You see a lot of people claiming cordless screw guns are easier on the novice, and are easier to manuever. Still, Drywall screw guns are for big projects – if you aren’t going to be driving tons of screws, learning how to use a drywall screw gun, and practicing might not be much of a time or money saver. However, there are tons of great videos and resources if you’re willing to give it a try!