I know there exist special 'screw guns' which are used to install drywall sheets and ensure that the sheets won't be crushed when driving screws.

Do there exist special attachments which are installed in drill/drivers that basically guarantee that screws won't run deeper?

  • Have you tried using a hammer and nails? Its not an answer, but perhaps the more traditional tool may suit you better. Note - use the hammer on nails, not screws. – Criggie Mar 5 at 9:01

Yes. Look for a Drywall Screw Setter Bit Tip. They work well.

enter image description here

  • Yep. These come quite close to the functionality of an actual screw gun. They're almost a necessity to keep from over-driving drywall screws. Once you punch through the paper there's very little holding strength left. – isherwood Mar 3 at 22:56
  • I've had questionable luck working with these. I find that they break easily and may not even get the screwhead flush, let alone minimally countersunk. They are a good idea, but all too often don't perform as expected. – computercarguy Mar 4 at 17:25
  • I have a similar one but it has a collar that can be pulled off and new tip installed to replace the one that inevitably gets worn. - lowes.com/pd/… – Alaska Man Mar 4 at 17:44
  • Holding the drill straight for prolonged periods of time was most important and hard part in my case. Otherwise this bit works really well. I'd get a light drill or impact driver, less weight means screwing straight for longer. – anm767 Mar 4 at 20:35
  • @AlaskaMan That's why I don't like these - they automatically pull the bit out of the screw head, making it inevitable that both bit and screw head suffer unnecessary damage. If the user has enough control over the driver to prevent that damage, then they have enough control to not need this device. – Mike Brockington Mar 5 at 13:04

I always just set the slip clutch value on my drill to a really low setting when using it for drywall. If it starts to slip before the screw is set to the proper depth, I'll give it another "click" or 2.

Most decent quality drills produced these days have a clutch, but some don't. If yours has one, give it a try. clutch

You still need to be a little bit mindful of speed as you set the fasteners. Trying to go at max RPM's can give enough momentum to punch through the paper even on the lower settings.

  • 1
    A proper bit is worth it if you're doing enough drywall. The slip clutch isn't perfect because no two studs are the same. Either you set it conservatively and then progressively ratchet it tighter when you run into firmer boards or knots where the screws don't sink enough, or you set it more aggressively and then you still need to be careful that you don't overdrive in softer studs... so, on paper this seems like a nice solution, but because building materials have enough variability in them it doesn't really work that well in practice. – J... Mar 4 at 14:36
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    @J... This has worked pretty well for me in practice many times. If you need to hang a ton of drywall (perhaps you've gutted your house) or if you find yourself doing this very often (ex: because you're a drywaller or a painter) then yeah, the specialized bit will let you go as fast as possible without any need to adjust. For most DIY work it's really not necessary to buy a specialized attachment. – Z4-tier Mar 4 at 16:29
  • Yeah, I mean, it works - I've done whole rooms and ceilings with just a philips bit like this, but it's kind of fussy and you have to pay attention. For people who are looking for a no-brainer solution this still requires some cognitive effort and frequent manual adjustment is all. – J... Mar 4 at 16:41
  • How to use a slip clutch should be taught much more than it is for people buying power drills. Gets you all the way there almost every time. Actually every time considering you're almost certainly going to be spackling after putting up drywall... – TylerH Mar 5 at 19:42

Drywall Screw Setter Bit Tip, with internal clutch.

enter image description here

The small ones don't have a clutch, so they just make the driver cam out of the screw. These do, so the driver just stops turning when correct depth is reached.

Pros: pretty accurate, and doesn't wear the Phillips tip because it doesn't cam out. This is nice, because a pristine Phillips tip really helps doing a clean job. Especially with steel studs, a worn tip doesn't hold the screw that well so it sometimes goes sideways and shreds the drywall.

Cons: you need a screwdriver in your pocket as an accessory in case you want to unscrew or adjust a screw...

Also check that the clutch tip has a magnet in it to hold the screw.

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    Glad someone mentioned these. Loads better than the clutch-less variety mentioned above. – Tom Wright Mar 5 at 13:28
  • This is probably the best solution for a clutch-less drill. But if your drill does have a clutch, combining the other 2 answers (fixed driver + adjusting the clutch to a lower setting) fixes the one "con" you listed (of course, anyone doing drywall should have a screw driver in their pocket anyway) – Z4-tier Mar 5 at 18:13

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