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August 2007
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Tools of Our Lives - The Screwgun

One of the most valuable and adaptable single purpose tools in the home remodeler’s arsenal is the Screwgun.
A Screwgun is a fixed/variable screwdriver with a depth adjustment and a clutch. Primarily developed for drywall hangers, because of the adjustablility and clutch to stop the screw when the correct depth is achieved, it has moved into the mainstream and is one of the most valuable tools you can own.

This is a photo of a Variable Speed Reversible Screwgun. This is a Dewalt DW255. I have had this one for a couple of years and it works great. Below I will list the features.

At the front end or nose is the magnetic bit holder. It uses ‘standard’ bits that you pick up at the tool store you buy the gun from. (Standard is a misnomer in that bits for driving Drywall Screws need to be harder, because Drywall Screws are make from much harder material than standard wood screws)Check the package! They cost a little more, but they will last longer, reduce cam out, and do the job better, which at the end of the day is the point.

Most come standard with a #2 Phillips bit. You can get a variety of different bits for screwing applications, from Phillips, Hex, Spline, Torx, and even flat.

The Depth Adjustment is the next thing in line and is extremely important especially in screwing drywall. What the depth adjustment does is act in concert with the clutch in the body of the gun to stop the screwgun spinning when you reach the proper depth, giving you a secure tight screw attachment.

Drywall is a softer material than you think despite how well it makes walls. The paper on the face of the sheet performs a large part of the attachment duty. You need to be able to drive the screws below the face of the sheet, so taping and mudding makes the screws invisible, yet not so deep that you tear the paper. Here is the USG Drywall Guide PDF Pg. 12, is where they talk about screwing off.

It is a fine adjustment. Practice on scrap and once you have it you are ready to rock. That is what the reverse setting on the gun is for:)

Commercial guns come in fixed speeds, 2500 for wood 4000 for steel. This is a variable speed gun with a very good trigger. You can get real good at screwing things after just a bit of practice. Besides Drywall, you can screw down sheathing, decking, screw stuff together, and unscrew stuff,(yah like you never make misteaks)

The trigger lock allows you to have the gun running while you screw off a lot of things.
You can get one here: DeWalt DW255 6 Amp Drywall ScrewdriverThis is a professional grade tool. Less than a hundred bucks, and worth every cent!

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