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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.
Best Drywall Screw Setter
- Bosch D60498 Drywall Dimpler Screw Setter (Top Pick)
- Dewalt DW2014 Drywall Screw Setter Bit Tip (Best Budget Option)
- Century Drill and Tool 68592 (Best for an Impact Driver)
- Smart-Bit Screw Depth Setting Tool (Great for Multi-Use)
- Magnetic Drywall Screw Setter Bit (Best Set)
What is a Drywall Screw Setter?
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.
Drywall screw setters (also called dimplers) are used mainly by DIYers or professionals doing a quick patch job. Most professional drywall installers use drywall screw guns for faster installation.
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.
Best Drywall Screw Setter Reviews
1. Bosch D60498 Drywall Dimpler Screw Setter (Top Pick)
The Bosch D60498 is our favorite drywall screw setter. Not only is it perfect for beginners, but it’s one of the top choices of professionals.
This dimpler from Bosch is reversible, preset with the perfect depth for drywall screws, and has an automatic clutch that releases, so there’s no tear-out.
- Perfect fixed depth
- Automatic clutch release mechanism
- May not hold up through large projects
Buy The Bosch D60498 Drywall Dimpler Screw Setter On Amazon
2. Dewalt DW2014 Drywall Screw Setter Bit Tip (Best Budget Option)
Whether you’re looking for the best inexpensive dimpler or prefer Dewalt products, you can’t go wrong with the Dewalt screw setter bit tip.
This tip has a fixed depth already set for drywall screws. It’s easy to use, shock-resistant and has a snub-nose. Plus, you can pick up one of these for only a few dollars.
- Set depth for screws
- Very inexpensive
- Easy to use
- Not ideal for an impact driver
- Not magnetic
Buy The Dewalt DW2014 Drywall Screw Setter Bit Tip On Amazon
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.
- Longer, great for tight spots
- Ideal for impact drivers
- Sets screws at the perfect level
- Easy to use
- Not magnetic
Buy The Century Drill and Tool 68592 On Amazon
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.
- Works with start-drive and Phillips-drive bits
- Adjustable depth
- Autostop mechanism
- Comes with four bits
- Cannot be used with an impact driver
Buy The Smart-Bit Screw Depth Setting Tool On Amazon
5. Magnetic Drywall Screw Setter Bit (Best Set)
If you’re doing a large job, having a few screw dimplers on hand is never a bad idea – especially when you can get a 12 pack for so cheap.
This magnetic drywall screw setter bit set from Baker and Bolt comes with 12 pieces. The screw setters have strong magnetic collars and work with drills and impact drivers.
They are already at the ideal depth for drywall screws.
- Set of 12
- Comes with a bit holder case
- Magnetic collars
- Preset depth
- Works for drills and impact drivers
- Some users report screws setting too deeply
Buy The Magnetic Drywall Screw Setter Bit On Amazon
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.