Ridgid - R6790 1/4 in. AC Collated Screw Gun (Rating: 4)

I've started renovating the house. This tool might not be used a lot in the shop but for this use it's pretty nice. Lot's of tearing down and lots of new sheetrock going up. Also lots of backerboard and subfloor. I dread all the screws. I came across this rigid (made by Senco) collated screwgun at HD. It is a corded drill that has a mechanism to hold a plastic tape of drywall or flooring screws. They feed up through a slot automatically. The mechanism that feeds them is simple. Put pressure on the end of the drill and it rolls a new screw up into the front of the drill and sets it so that the drill bit will hit it when you pull the trigger.

After you get used to it it is pretty slick. I figure that I can do up to five to ten screws with this compared to one using a drill/driver and setting the screw manually. I found that the first couple of screws, after loading a new tape of 50 screws sometimes balked at lining up. The solution to that is to simply put a little slack in the tape to get it started. Also, it has to be perpendicular to your drilling surface. I've decided to do the corner screws by hand if I need to get them close to the corner as you'd have to tilt the drill a bit which makes it not seat screws well.

A nice feature is that it has an allen wrench to adjust the tip to the length of the screw being used. Marks on the side indicate screw size to set it at. Then there is a wheel dial to adjust the depth of dimple you want the screw set at. With sheetrock this is great. And the depth setting gives consistent dimple sets each time; just right for taping later. The gun is also about double the length of a regular drill. Doing the floors will be a pleasure as I'll just have to bend over and not be on my knees to set screws by hand.

After opening a box of screws and finishing off one room with them I had to go back and tweak about 30 screws out of maybe 400 I'd estimate. If you have all your lines drawn you can do 400 screws at the rate of about 20 a minute. The whole room took under an hour using this tool and doing some screw cleanup afterwards. Along with going over about 30 screws I had about 5 jams where I wasted 5 screws. Not bad considering the considerable time saved. This was just a bedroom. I've got the rest of the house to do over time. The walls and floors will be much easier with this tool. The cost is $99 for the corded version, about $179 for the battery. Reviews online said the battery one ran out of juice after a short time but has a 20 minute charge time. They also said the battery one seemed a little under powered. These comments prompted me to get the 110 volt one. It is plenty fast, not under powered and the cord is 12 feet long. Enough for most rooms with wall sockets. It also comes with phillips and square head bits.

If this thing lasts the house renovation over the next year then for $99 the time/effort saved would have been really worth it even if it's worn out after that time. Screws are available in boxes of 1000 on tapes of 50. They are more expensive but weighing the tedium of putting in thousands of screws against the extra cost is no contest for me.
I did a short video showing it in action.

http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf