Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh is all guns blazing with SENCO.
SENCO is already a very well-established brand, starting life in a basement in 1935 and since going on to another level, with distribution across the world. SENCO’s sole focus is on developing nailers, staplers and screw systems. I admire brands that concentrate on making one thing great as opposed to many things that are okay. They are usually the experts with a passion, who are dedicated to getting it right, so I was curious to see if they really had nailed it with their new Auto Feed Screwdrivers.
First up was SENCO’s DS525-18v High Speed 55mm Cordless Auto-feed Screwdriver. These are also known as collated screw guns and are particularly useful for speeding up repetitive screw driving jobs. With this one being 5,000 RPM High Speed it’s perfect for dry lining applications. I’ve been installing tapered plasterboard to the underside of a roof, which is approximately 5m in height, and the adjustable and reversible belt hook also came in handy whilst on top of the scaffolding. Fire boards are denser than standard plasterboard making them much heavier, so there’s always an urgency to drive the screws into the plasterboard, so that you can finally breath again. It’s safe to say that I was blown away with its screwing performance.
Surprisingly, the neck of the tool isn’t as long as some other drywall screwdrivers, making it feel more like a normal drill driver. Inserting the screws into the screwdriver is a piece of cake, as you just feed the strip into the slide body until the screw is aligned with the bit. Depending on what size screws you are using, the nosepiece should be set accordingly. This can be done quickly from the tool-less nosepiece adjustment pin. The measurements are engraved onto the nose piece and are even infilled in white, preventing any potential future problems usually associated with fading over time.
When screwing into plasterboard it’s important that the screw heads just pierce the paper, so consistency is imperative. I’ve never seen such a sophisticated adjustment setting on a tool for this. The depth of the countersink can be finely adjusted from a thumbwheel which locks into place ensuring it doesn’t move whilst in use. It also has a depth indicator, which is unusual but perfect for when having to change the settings frequently when it comes to screwing into different materials.
On the odd occasion it is possible for the screw not to sit flush – for example, if the user is rushing and not driving the screw into the material fully before releasing the drill. For this, I’ve seen people carrying a normal drill driver to screw any protruding screws. However, there is no need to carry any additional tools with this SENCO because it has a detachable auto-feed system locking collar that can be taken off. Then, with the variable speed trigger, it allows you to either take the screw in or completely out by changing to the reverse setting.
I can assure you that you won’t be taking any screws out that have been screwed in the wrong place because the nose design allows better sight, making for more accurate screw placement. Another reason for taking the collar off is when it comes to changing the bits. The two bits that are provided are the Phillips and a square head. The Phillips bit is mostly used for drywall screws and the square head bit is ideal for SENCO’s wood screws, which eliminate a camming out effect. For faster application, or when it comes to continuous screwing, SENCO have added a trigger lock to save you time, whilst saving your finger from any repetitive strain injuries.
If you find yourself needing a drill for more woodwork applications such as decking, of fencing then SENCO also has that covered with its Heavy Duty DS522-18v. This one has all the same features but runs at 2,500 RPM with the option to run it at 1,600 RPM with the press of a button. This means, when it comes to screwing into tougher material such as wood and metal, it can be slowed down, which gives you a high torque.
Both drills have, as you’d expect, brushless motors. The batteries that come with the drills are lithium-ion 18V 3AH, which are more than sufficient and also have the bonus battery indicator button.
These SENCO Automatic Screw Drivers are the best I’ve tested to date. I remember the days when I used to drive the screws in individually, leaving my fingers filled with metal splinters, and also dropping many on the floor, so its thumbs up for both of these tools!
For further information on Senco’s automatic screwdrivers visit https://www.senco.com/
Tibby Singh – www.TibbySingh.com