One of the hardest parts of drywall installation is getting the screws set at the perfect depth. If you don’t get them deep enough, they’ll protrude, and if you set the depth too far, it will rip the sheetrock’s paper face.
While drywall screw guns are helpful with depth setting, a screw setter is an excellent alternative for DIYers.
Screw setters are easy to use and inexpensive. Here’s a look at the best options on the market today.
Drywall screw setters are hex shank drill bits compatible with power tools like impact drivers and standard-sized drill chucks. Most drywall screw setters are Phillips bits with a cone-stopping mechanism that prevents screws from going in too deep.
Some drywall screw setters have fixed depths, while others are variable. While variable screw setters have some advantages, like reversibility, they’re more complicated to use and loosen over time.
Top Qualities to Look for in a Drywall Screw Setter
You’ll find screw setters in various lengths, with the longer ones ideal for impact drivers and the short screw setters for cordless drills.
There are benefits to both types. The longer dimplers can help you screw into tight places, but the shorters provide a more accurate depth.
Adjustable vs Fixed
Screw setters come in adjustable or fixed depths. The adjustable depth screw setters are a little more expensive but a great option if you want complete control.
The downside is that the more you use the dimpler, the more likely it will come loose, which is a big issue in the middle of a project.
Fixed screw setters are incredibly cheap. So, if you’re doing a big job, you can buy a multi-pack and swap them out if one begins one to wear down.
Screw setters with clutch release will prevent you from setting the screw too deep and stripping it. While it’s relatively easy to tell when you’ve hit the sheetrock’s paper with your screw setter’s cone, clutch release can provide you extra peace of mind.
Magnetic vs Non-Magnetic
If you’ve done any project that requires you to set multiple screws, you know how frustrating and time-consuming dropping screws on the floor is.
Luckily, if this is one of your pet peeves, you can find screw setters with strong magnetic grips. This isn’t a standard feature among all dimplers, though, so if it’s important to you, check the product’s details before purchase.
3. Century Drill and Tool 68592 (Best for an Impact Driver)
If you’re using an impact driver or are after a longer dimpler for corners and ceilings, the Century Drill and Tool 68592 is a good option.
This screw setter is two inches long, which can help you get screws into hard-to-reach areas. Unfortunately, it’s not magnetic, but some users report that it doesn’t need to be since it holds screws so well.
4. Smart-Bit Screw Depth Setting Tool (Great for Multi-Use)
If you’re looking for something that will work with decking and drywall, try the Smart-Bit screw setting tool. This works with both star-drive and Phillips drive bits.
The Smart-Bit has an adjustable depth that you can switch out based on the project you’re completing. It also has an auto-stop mechanism that disengages whenever you meet the proper depth, making it ideal for drywall.
If you’re looking for the best drywall screw setter, try one of these five options. The best choice for beginners doing DIY projects is the Bosch dimpler, for its ease of use.
If you’re using an impact driver instead of a drill, try the screw setter from Century Drill and Tool or the set of 12 from Baker and Bolt. Any of these choices can help you get your screws set at the perfect depth and make your drywall job go a little more smoothly.