Should you buy a Senco automatic feeder drill ?
For a professional contractor who does drywall for a living, this type of tool makes sense to buy.
As a DIYer, should you buy a Senco Auto-Feed Screwdriver ?
First off, this tool kit is helpful for saving time and can help you with one hand installations.
When driving screws, you need to hold the sheetrock in place with one hand while. Overhead this is quite a challenge. Even with the lift I rented, it just made life a lot easier.
While installing sheetrock to a wall, I found this tool handy because I was able to throw a few screws in to set the board in place. When I did my kitchen, I had to raise the walls up a few inches because I was down to the bare subfloor and an 8’ sheet needed to be raised up.
Buying a Senco DuraSpin DS202-14
I bought the Senco DuraSpin DS202-14V a while ago when the Ni-Cad battery was the only cordless option. It is a not as heavy as you would expect for a Ni-Cad battery tool. The weight and balance are ok for with the 14.4v battery installed. The only thing I had to get use to was the strip of screws dangling around.
There seems to be a number of complaints on the battery life of the Ni-Cads. The set did come with 2 batteries and a charger. I found that I was able to get enough time out of a battery before switching to the one in the charger. I was also not working at break neck speed as I do not do this for a living.
If you are concerned with battery life, just go for the corded version.
The auto feed mechanism is pretty simple to set up. Once you have the settings dialed in it is pretty smooth. Just go through a few pieces of scrap to get the depth right.
I did have problems with the bit sitting right and had one bit that constantly fell out. This seems to be something that is bit by bit (horrible pun), because after that initial bit, I was able to set it correctly. I basically smashed it in (not while it was in the gun) and it just stuck within the little white piece.
For the screws, I have always used the Senco Duraspin screw sets. Whether they were drywall or wood collated screws, I found them easy to load and consistent. They are solid screws and the left over buckets I still have are nice to keep spare screws in an organized thread. Get a simple Phillips head or #2 square bit and you can use these for other projects.
Occasionally, you will have a screw that just will not drive or will not get flush mounted. I usually found I was hitting a knot in the stud or an area that was just too tough to drill into. You can go back around and either pull the screw or hit it with a regular drill and bit. I use this Dewalt flush mount bit that I love as it sets the screw perfectly. Great bit to have in the tool box. I have a number of these Bosch square bits around as well.
If you are using this tool for wood, I would lean towards a corded model. I used this while installing plywood to the kitchen floor and there was more resistance with drilling. It didn’t have the driving power to get them all the way in and embed them properly into the plywood.
So something to consider if you plan to use this type of tool for a floor or deck. I considered the drive extension, but opted out as I figured I could just suck it up on my hands and knees for the kitchen floor.
Senco now has an 18v DuraSpin gun which pretty much has the same design and features as my DS202.
I think Senco makes a good product here primarily for drywall. If you are planning on redoing a room or some attic space, it is a good tool for the investment.
The way I figure it, it will easily cover the cost of having someone to install drywall for your project. Also, you can resell it when you are done or loan it out to family and friends. Ten years and counting later, the battery still can hold a charge which I found surprising.
Thanks for reading,