Power screwdrivers to open service panels

I’ve been using a flat head or other hand tool to open electric panels. This is ok but 'im hoping to speed things up. Obviously I could carry a big power screwdriver/impact to get it done, but then i’d have to A) lug it around or B) take it back to the truck.

My goal:
use a small (hopefully lightweight) power screwdriver that fits in my tool belt but has enough juice to unscrew panels. anyone found success with this?

heres one im considering (powerful enough?)

heres another one im considering (bulkier though)
no cry

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Hi Ryan!
Here’s what I use, I carry it in my back pocket, my flashlight & small screwdriver in the other back pocket.
Can’t go wrong for fifteen bucks.
You can also “lock” it to be used manually :cowboy_hat_face:


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The DeWalt straight gyro is by far the best electric screwdriver I’ve ever used. The straight handle and light weight make it easy to carry. Llithium batteies last a long time and have a lot more power than othe brands I’ve used. I thought that the gyro was going to be a gimmick, but it’s not. It makes it the easiest and most precise scewdriver to control.



I use this one…


Been using this for years now.

I use the Milwaukee M12. The battery pack fits my portable hand vac also, though I may have to look at the Dewalt straight some of you guys are using.

I’ve used the Ryobi that Roy and David pictured and it still works well about 10 years later. I am very happy with it:

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Ryan … I think the question you are really asking is:

Does anybody but me still use a regular screwdriver to open electrical panels.

The answer is NO … As a home inspection trainer and President of our local inspection chapter with over 100 members, everybody I know uses some type of electrical screwdriver to do that. I’ve been using them myself for well over 20 yrs.

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hey thanks for the input guys. sounds like all of these get the job done. that ryobi looks like what i should get…but that dewalt is too sexy

I have a Black & Decker cordless screwdriver my wife bought at Walmart. Works great has lots of torque but I seldom use it.

By the time I find the electrical panel I just use my 12 in 1 Klein screwdriver in my belt pouch.

You’ll probably want to take the last two dead front bolts out by hand anyway (after you’ve loosened them). Prevents dropping bolts down the wall (didn’t save any time that way) or dropping the panel cover.

The real question you should be asking is how many inspectors wear eye protection when opening a panel?


I bought a rechargeable off brand one at Menards for 15 - 20 bucks - been working like a champ for 5+ yrs now. Whenever I shop for tools that I’ll be carrying around every day, I always shop for the lightest.

I were glasses , But use the cover as a shield when opening it.


As you should!

Been doing this 18 years. I use a screwdriver. Works everytime. 3000+ inspections, I havent needed batteries yet. Its 6 screws.


You have been screwing way too long…:smiley:
Time is money …

Haha…so true.

Do the math - 3000 x 30 seconds = 25 additional hours turning screws. And that’s conservative.

Did that include the 6 screws? :slightly_smiling_face:

That’s only 2.5 additional seconds per screw removal or reinstallation for a single six screw panel. Very conservative. Reality is probably much more, especially for the machine threaded screws, nevermind all the other screws you wind up removing in a home inspection.