Most home improvement tasks that can be done with a screw gun can be completed hours or even days faster with a collated screw gun. Hanging drywall, decking, and even fencing can be done in a small fraction of the time it would normally take.
Screw guns are similar to drills, differ by having a “nose” instead of a chuck. The nose (or tip) holds an interchangeable shank bit, typically a #2 phillips, and the nose is adjustable to allow for you to set the desired screw depth. Depth is the most important consideration to properly hang drywall so that you aren’t left with screws protruding which are an eyesore after you’ve painted. Leaving a slight dimple around the screw in the drywall is ideal. (Source)
- Best Collated Screw Gun for Drywall: Milwaukee M18 FUEL Drywall Screw Gun + the Collated Magazine Attachment
- Another Great Option: Makita Autofeed Screwdriver Magazine
- Hanging drywall is perhaps the most popular application for collated screw guns. Professionals wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Best Collated Screw Gun for Fencing: Senco DS332-AC Corded Auto-feed Screwdriver
- Putting up wood fencing pickets/balusters is incredibly fast with a collated screw gun. You will want to use longer screw for this application.
- Best Collated Screw Gun for Decking (and Ceiling Board): Metabo HPT SuperDrive Collated Screwdriver
- For decking, an extension arm makes it so that you don’t have to bend over and makes the job less strenuous. Also, if you’re hanging ceiling board, then an extension arm would be perfect for that job as well.
- Best Collated Screw Gun for Subfloor: Senco DS332-AC Corded Auto-feed Screwdriver
- The DS332 is an all-in-one package that has the auto-feed system and screwdriver built into one unit. It’s affordable and reliable.
Collated screw guns are either regular screw guns with an auto-feed system attached, or are built with the auto-feed system as a single unit. If you already own a screw gun, then there is a chance you can simply purchase an auto-feeder for collated screws for your model. Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll look at some of the most popular models available.
Using a collated screw gun has a learning curve. It may take some time to get used to the auto-feed system. It’s also important to make sure you are using screw sizes recommended by the manufacturer and the right bit.
A Closer Look
Next up, we’re going to look at the collated screw guns we recommended above and some more options available from other manufacturers.
The auto-feed attachments from Makita, Milwaukee, and DeWalt can be attached to several different model screw guns in their catalog, so if you need more or less power there are other options (and price considerations).
Obviously, the advantage to having the removable auto-feed attachment is that you can use the screw gun by itself. Plus if you already happen to own a screw gun there may be a collated screw auto-feed attachment available for it.
Do you already own cordless power tools? Most manufacturers offer a variety of cordless tools that are use cross-compatible batteries. That means you can effectively double (or more!) your battery life for all your cordless power tools by simply buying cordless tools from the same manufacturer. Makita, Craftsman, Milwaukee, and DeWalt have catalogs of 100+ tools that share the same battery types.
Senco DS332-AC Corded Auto-Feed Screwdriver
There are two versions of this collated screw gun from Senco: the DS332-AC which fits up to 3″ screws and the DS232-AC which fits up to 2″ screws. Here we’re going to look at the DS332-AC, which is a more “future-proof” option if you plan on doing a lot of home improvement in the future. Plus, since this is a dedicated collated screw gun, it’s nice to have one that can handle a variety of tasks.
If we had to pick an all-in-one package for most tasks that benefit from a collated screw gun, then this would probably be our favorite. The reliable screw depth adjustment and range of screw sizes it can handle make this a tool worth having.
- Tool-free screw length adjustment for getting just the right screw depth
- Depth-of-drive lock that ensures you get the same countersink with each screw
- Two drive bits, drywall and wood nose piece, and storage bag
- Quick slide button bit change
- Variable speed trigger
- 2500 RPM, high-torque motor
- Works great with Senco 06A125P DuraSpin Number 6 by 1-1/4-Inch Drywall to Wood Collated Screws
What We Like
- All-in-one collated screw gun at a great price,
- Reliable screw depth adjustment
- Some learning curve with getting screws driven just right
Next up, the Milwaukee Collated Screw Gun Set, which is different from the Senco model above as it’s a standard screw gun with an optional collated feed system that attaches to the screw gun. The Milwaukee is a customer favorite, especially if you already own other Milwaukee cordless products since the batteries are often interchangeable.
Milwaukee 2866-20 M18 Drywall Screw Gun with Auto-Feed Attachment
You have the option to purchase the Milwaukee 2866-20 Screw Gun and the attachment separately, or you can buy the combo set. If you already have the gun you can simply purchase the attachment and immediately start using it.
Depending on availability and pricing, the best deal may be one or the other. It’s also important to keep in mind that the combo set we’ve linked to below includes two M18 batteries with the set, which is a huge value.
Is it a good product? The overwhelming consensus is: yes. The Milwaukee Auto-Feed Attachment and Screw Gun combination is one of the most highly-rated options available, especially since it is a detachable accessory instead of a single-use tool. You can still get the reliability and performance of the basic Milwaukee Screw Gun and use the batteries with other Milwaukee products you may own.
- Milwaukee 2866-22 M18 Fuel Drywall Screw Gun XC Kit + Collated Magazine Attachment
- Combo Kit Includes: Drywall Screw Gun (2866-20), (2) M18 5.0 Batteries, Charger, Contractor Bag, Collated Magazine Attachment (49-20-0001)
- Allows for easy adjustment and is compatible with all major brands of screws up to 2″
- Easy screw depth adjustment that is flush to the top of the magazine to reduce accidental actuation
- 18 Volts, Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Tapered Nose Design: Provides closer access to tight corners
- Speed (RPM): 0-4500
- Torque (In/Lb): 124.00
- Bit Holder Size (Inch): 3
What We Like
- Smooth performance from the Auto-Feed Attachment
- Combo Kit batteries are 5.0Ah (Great Deal!)
- Hang an estimated 128 sheets of drywall using both batteries
- Brushless motor
- If you need to handle larger than 2″ screws, then consider one of the other options here
Senco DS440AC Screwdriver Kit
This kit by Senco is comparable to one of the three Makita options we’re going to look at below. The Senco comes with an Auto-Feed system that handles up to 3″ screws, whereas the Makita comes with two Auto-Feed attachments that handle 2″ screws and 3″ screws.
Now, the Senco system works just fine, in fact better than fine, for all common applications including drywall, subfloor, and even decking. The extension rod comes with a built-in grip handle to give you leverage while inserting screws at a distance.
Overall, this set is a great bargain with extremely positive customer reviews and has all the essentials for most tasks that benefit from a collated screw gun. The Auto-feed magazine can handle a nice range of screw sizes between 1″ to 3″, which covers most applications.
One thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re doing deck work, is that you want to have extra bits on hand. Collated screw systems tend to chew through bits even more when doing heavy-duty work such as driving 3″ screws through thick deck material.
- Includes Senco Electric Screwdriver, Bag, Extension Pole, Toe Nail Nose Pieces, Bits
- Model SG4100 Drill; Collated Magazing Model DS320
- 21″ Extension Rod
- Assembled length: 36.5″
- Handles 1″ to 3″ Screws
What We Like
- Versatile screw length range of Auto-Feed Magazine
- Senco SG4100 Drill can handle decking
- Auto-Feed system works well with Senco screws
- Senco collated screws can be expensive
Next, we’re looking at a three options from Makita. The first is a multi-use kit that includes two Quik Drive attachments and an extension arm intended for use with decks, subfloor, sheathing, and even drywall. The second is a combo kit similar to the Milwaukee above. Lastly, Makita has an all-in-one option where the collated magazine is built into the screw gun, like the Senco model we looked at the beginning of this section.
Makita Quik Drive Complete Combo Multi-Use Kit
This combo kit includes two different collated magazine attachments: the Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive PRO300S Decking attachment and the Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive PRO200G2 Drywall attachment.
The drywall attachment is intended for 1″ to 2″ collated screws while the decking attachment can handle between 1-3/4″ to 3″ screws.
PRO300S Screw Compatibility
- Deck-Drive DSV Wood Screw
- Deck-Drive DWP Wood SS Screw
- Deck-Drive DHPD Hardwood Screw
- Trim-head screw: Type-17 point
- Trim-head screw: sharp point
- Bulge-head wood screw
- CBSDQ sheathing-to-CFS screw
- Strong Drive WSNTL Subfloor Screw
- Strong Drive WSV Subfloor Screw
- Deck-Drive DCU Composite Screw
PRO200G2 Screw Compatibility
- DWC drywall screw
- DWHL drywall screw
- DWF drywall-to-CFS screw
- DWFSD drywall-to-CFS screw
Metal roofing, underlayment, stair treads, decking, drywall, subfloor and more are all possible as long as you’ve got the right screws. You can pretty much handle any screw size for most home improvement projects and beyond.
If you are interested in this type of screw gun kit, also consider the Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) SuperDrive system. Depending on current pricing you may find that kit to be more affordable. We’re going to look at that model below.
- Quik Drive PROSDDM35K Complete Combo Multi-Use Kit
- No tools needed to set up or break down tool system
- QDPRO300SG2 attachment for decking
- QDPRO200G2 attachment for drywall
- Extension for stand-up or overhead driving
- Quiver, Tool Case and Makita 3500 RPM Screwgun
- Reversible and replaceable non-skid teeth attachment
What We Like
- Complete kit for any job needing a collated screw gun
- Extension rod is ideal for decks
- Learning curve to use properly (Good for Pros)
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your bits when using any collated screw gun. If you start experiencing issues with driving screws be sure to pay attention to your bit. It’s inevitable that your bit will need to be replaced and with a high volume of screws you definitely should keep an eye on your bit. Keeping backups on hand saves you time and frustration.
Makita XSF03RX2 Compact Cordless Drywall Screwdriver Kit with Autofeed Magazine
With this kit you get a cordless Makita screw gun (XSF03RX2), Autofeed magazine, and two 2.0Ah batteries. This is a great choice if you already have other cordless Makita Tools that are also compatible with these 18V batteries.
Keep in mind this collated screw magazine only fits up to 1-1/4″ screws, which is a bit less than some of the other models we’ve looked at so far. It’s ideal for drywall, metal framing, installing subfloors, backer board, and decking. For example, you can use this screw gun to attach 1/2″ drywall to a 20 ga. steel stud.
Additionally, the batteries recharge in as little as 25 minutes, so you can keep rotating them out for continuous power.
- 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Batteries (2.0 Ah)
- 4,000 RPM
- 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger (DC18RC)
- 3″ Magnetic Bit Holder (784812-6)
- Collated Autofeed Screwdriver Magazine (199145-0)
- Belt Clip (346449-3); #2 Phillips Power Bit; #2 Square Power Bit
- Tool Bag
- Push drive technology – in lock-on mode the motor starts only when the fastener engages for longer run-time and motor noise reduction
What We Like
- Complete cordless set perfect for hanging drywall
- The two included batteries make this a great bargain, especially if you already own Makita cordless tools
- Only handles shorter screws, so somewhat limited in applications beyond drywall
Makita XRF02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Autofeed Screwdriver Kit
The Makita XRF02Z is a cordless all-in-one auto-feed screwdriver kit that is compact and ergonomic with a comfortable trigger grip and underside grip. Given that it’s an all-in-one system there is no extension rod and the auto-feed magazine doesn’t detach.
The screw length range that the magazine can handle is between 1″ to 2-1/8″ screws. That’s a nice range for most applications other than decking and possibly fencing if you’re looking to drive 3″ screws. Drywall? Yep, this is perfect.
Every collated screw gun handles differently, so it’s important to test before starting your job. Adjust your depth appropriately and make sure you’re square with the material you’re fastening. Most frustrations with collated screw guns could be prevented by simply learning the tool and getting comfortable before starting your work.
- Makita-built 4-pole motor delivers superior fastening speed with 4,000 RPM
- Collated screw capacity range: 1″ to 2-1/8″
- Screw guide prevents screw strip tangling and can fold against the auto feed housing for easy storing
- Rugged aluminum dust-proof auto feed housing provides smooth sliding action
- Compact and ergonomic design at only 16-3/4″ long
- Weighs only 5.1 lbs. with battery (Battery not included)
- Built-in belt clip
What We Like
- All-in-one system feels comfortable to use and hold steady
- Excellent for drywall
- Relatively affordable solution, especially if you already own Makita cordless products with compatible batteries
- Ideal for drywall or
Metabo HPT SuperDrive Collated Screwdriver
Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi Power Tools) is a well-known brand that isn’t a newcomer when it comes to power tools. This kit includes the SuperDrive auto-feed magazine and extension rod similar to the Senco and Makita options above.
The SuperDrive system handles between 5/8″ to 3″ screws with diameters from #6 to #12. That’s a great range for many applications from drywall to decking. Also, the power cord is very long at 24.6 ft.
Without a doubt, this collated screw magazine has one of the largest range of compatible screw lengths of all the models we’ve discussed here.
- W6VB3SD2 Collated Screwdriver
- #2 Phillips Bit, #2 Square Bit, #2 LOX Bit, Decking Nose Piece
- 20″ Extension Rod
- Features a no-load speed of 0-2,600 RPM and a max torque of 139.6 in-lbs, ideal for higher torque applications
- Tool-free depth of drive adjustment
- Fastens from 5/8″ to 3″ screws with diameters from #6-#12
- Weighs 7.7 lbs
What We Like
- Broad range of screw sizes can be used with the auto-feed magazine
- A lot of low RPM torque
- Extension can be removed for handling drywall
- Uses a non-standard 7-inch hex bit, instead of the more common 6-inch hex bit
DeWalt 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun
DeWalt is another household name with tons of power tools in their catalog, and notably their large cordless power tool and accessory selection. The bundle we’ve shown here does not come with batteries and only includes the cordless screwdriver and collated magazine attachment.
This is a great option if you’ve got your eye on a system with a detachable collated magazine so that you can use the screw gun for other purposes. If you already have other DeWalt cordless products, then this is a no-brainer since you should be able to use this screw gun with batteries included with other 20V power tools.
With this bundle, you can adjust the screw size, driving depth, and attach or remove the collated magazine all without a tool.
- DeWALT 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun (DCF620B)
- DeWALT Drywall Screw Gun Collated Magazine Accessory (DCF6201)
- DeWALT brushless motor that delivers superior performance and maximum run time
- Cone-Lock(tm) nosecone locks on securely and is easily removed
- LED light for visibility in tight spaces
- Battery & Charger Sold Separately
- Quickly converts to & from an auto-feed collated screw driving system
- Disassembly release button (for occasional blow-out/cleaning)
What We Like
- Extremely positive customer ratings make this one of the best options on our list
- Effortlessly zip through drywall quickly
- Share batteries with other DeWalt cordless products
- A little difficult to use in corners
Ridgid R6791 Drywall and Deck Collated Screwdriver
The Ridgid Collated Screwdriver is a budget all-in-one screw gun capable of driving between 1″ and 3″ screws. It’s especially compact, even more so than the Makita all-in-one. One of the primary complaints with this screw gun is that the included bits are soft and wear out very quickly. The good news is you can simply buy your own bits, which you will have to do for any collated screw gun anyway.
- 6.5 amp motor providing 3, 700 RPM
- Reversible belt clip for ease of use for left and right hand users
- Weighs 6.88 lbs
- Tool-free nose piece – easily and quickly change between 1 in. – 3 in. fastener sizes
- Oversized depth adjustment wheel – for easily countersinking screws at desired setting
What We Like
- Handles drywall fastening with ease, and could even be used for deck work
- Feed system is difficult to use consistently
- Included bits wear out fast