We started with battery life. The small battery can’t be expected to compete with a full-sized driver, but we did want to find out what it would do against a few 3” wood screws. To give you an idea of how it compares to other rigs in its class, we put it up against the Black & Decker SmartDriver and the Skil iXO2.
On a full battery charge, the iXO2 will only drive ten 3” wood screws, while the SmartDriver will drive eighteen. This isn’t necessarily bad — these are palm drivers, after all, and not really built for driving screws all day long. By comparison the Dremel Driver is a monster, driving a whopping 45 screws. Obviously its battery capacity is better than the others. So now let’s talk torque.
The Dremel instruction manual actually discusses that the driver is geared for low RPM, and they point out that the low gearing also means high torque, so this had better be good. Out of our four “big screws” the iXO2 only partially drives even the smallest one, and the same goes for the SmartDriver. Again, this isn’t actually bad for a rig so small, and these drivers weren’t designed for big torque.
Yet again, the Dremel is impressive for its size — the smallest screw, which the others couldn’t quite manage, the Dremel drove in completely, and it drove the next largest screw partway.
The Dremel even holds its own against a compact driver like the Bosch PS20, though the removable/swappable battery puts the compact driver in a totally different niche. But just looking at numbers, the PS20 drives 85 of the 3” wood screws on a charge, and in the torque test it drives the second smallest screw partway — it also costs a great deal more than the Dremel Driver, which is priced very much like the other palm drivers.
Read on for our conclusions on the Dremel Driver.