Black & Decker’s new Gyro 4V li-ion cordless screwdriver, model BDCS40G, is not just an ordinary compact driver – it’s a new motion-controlled screwdriver. With this being the first pocketable li-ion driver with gryoscopic controls, I just had to give it a spin.
Although I rarely review Black & Decker products, I’m actually quite fond of the brand. A 12V Firestorm drill/driver served me quite well years back, as did B&D’s first-generation 3.6V li-ion driver (LI3000). The Gyro won’t drive in long lag bolts, but it can handle most common household project fasteners (e.g. #6, #8, #10 wood and machine screws) with ease.
Gyro Screwdriver Design
The Gyro has no trigger and no reverse switch. Instead, you tell it to rotate and in which direction by turning your hand.
At the the rear of the tool, the Gyro-labeled white are is an activation switch. When you hold the screwdriver in your hand, you automatically put a bit of pressure on the switch, activating the screwdriver its gyro sensors.
Once you’re holding the tool, twist it to the right for fastener installation and tightening tasks, or to the left for fastener loosening and removal.
The built-in gyroscope also controls the variable speed, allowing for 0-180 RPM adjustment in about 12-15 steps. This allows you to dial in just the right speed you need – faster for longer fasteners, slower for those that require greater precision or control.
It is worth highlighting that the Gyro works in any direction: upright, horizontal, vertical, upside down, and at every other angle we attempted.
The Gyro is surprisingly comfortable to use. At first I was concerned about how well it would fare in tight spaces, overhead, or when gripped in a way to apply greater pressure, but my worries were unfounded. I was able to use the Gyro comfortably in any way that a traditional pistol-grip driver can be used.
Controlling the Gryo was easier than anticipated. By variable speed I assumed there would be 2, maybe 3 speed settings in the 0-180 RPM range. I counted about 12-15 steps. Users will most usually gravitate towards the slowest 2 speeds or the fastest speed, but it’s nice to know there are intermediate speed options.
The gyroscope direction and speed controls are relative, meaning that you don’t have to hold the driver completely parallel for it to work. Working overhead? Holding the tool sideways? Upside down? At diagonals? No problem.
Torque levels are what you would expect for a 4V “Max” lithium-ion screwdriver. Black & Decker rates the peak torque at being 35 in-lbs, which is more than enough for general household use and minor repairs.
The 4V lithium ion battery is non-removable and it is said that the battery can remain charged for up to 18-months. It takes a couple of hours to charge, so be sure to plug it in overnight ahead of a project.
Black & Decker’s Gyro is a well-thought-out cordless driver. The gyroscopic feature might seem like a gimmick, but it works exactly as advertised and with no first-generation hiccups.
For about $40 – about the same as Black & Decker’s previous-generation screwdrivers – you get a compact and lightweight cordless screwdriver for light to medium duty DIY tasks.
Pop the driver in a kitchen drawer or toolbox and it will hold charge for over a year. It also has an LED worklight, but show me a modern drill or driver that doesn’t.
Overall the Gyro is a neat household screwdriver, one I am comfortable recommending. It comes with two 1-inch insert bits and a small wall charger. Charging time is a couple of hours, with Black & Decker recommending users leaving it to charge overnight.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
MSRP is $40, Amazon’s price has been as low as $29.
Thank you to Black & Decker for providing the review sample unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for benchmark and comparison purposes.
Does it work when not oriented horizontally? I feel like this wasn’t well thought out, like Tiger Woods ’13 Kinect motion controls.
Absolutely. It works upside down, diagonally, vertically, and every angle in between.
If the screw is too tight, does the chuck lock so that you can manually loosen it. Does it interfere with the gyro trigger? How long does battery last? How long to fully charge it? Thanks!
I misplaced the manual so I cannot check if it’s recommended to use the screwdriver manually, but you can definitely use it manually to some extent. There doesn’t seem to be a lock from what I can tell and the short handle won’t give you a lot of manual leverage. But it should be doable on occasion.
Battery life is about 2-hours and I’ll check about the recharge time.
Thanks Stuey. BTW, this page has a promo video in Japanese http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/16/black-and-decker-screwdriver-senses-motion/
Highly recommend this tool it works great dependable all around must have! A++
Hello, actually, I was looking for a review on the Gyro. Actually I thought this was actually a good actually review with actually only one complaint. Actually, its not a big actually deal but actually I found the use of actually in every statement, actually very annoying actually. I actually fast forwarded to the end and it actually didn’t get actually any better.
David Actually, whoops, I mean David Allen
Sorry. I don’t read from a script. I also suffer from “from brain to mouth” syndrome. Might get better with time, might not.
Great little screw driver, even a mother could love. I got one for myself and liked it so much, I got another for my 83 year old mother. She loves it, and she’s not the most mechanically inclined, but it’s great tool for the kitchen tool drawer. Great for those jobs when getting out the case and dealing with a full size drill is not worth it but a little to much wear on the wrist for a manual screwdriver.
It really shines in the car, removing trim and interior parts when installing extra wiring, switches or lights. Also great when working on electronics like amps or guitars. This is the tool in the middle that gets it done with minimum tool time. Just grab it and start to work. Do yourself a favor. Throw one in you glove box, desk drawer or on the work bench.
No regrets, 73 Dave.
Good lord man,dont spam the page with jibberish.
Sorry not impressed. Maybe it doesn’t like left-handers but doesn’t respond as directed.
It doesn’t hold a charge and lugs
Instead of doing the job. If it wasn’t a gift I would have pitched it a long
Time ago. Spare us from tool that want to second guess us.
Had one for 3 years or so. Worked great until all of a sudden it only does one speed and direction, fast and counter clockwise. A thump might get it to work properly or a sec but soon it’s messed up again. Teardown found nothing. Its a paperweight now!
So…what do you do when it needs a new battery? It says “non-replaceable.” I bought 5 of them after I had luck with the first. It needs a charge only a couple times a year! I kept two and gave 3 as gifts. I saw the price drop from $50 then $25 then less than $10. I guess it was due to returns. The battery unplugs. Why can’t I get new batteries from B&D?
I don’t know. Have you contacted Black & Decker to see what they can do for you? Maybe they can replace the battery for you.
Is there a https://www.batteriesplus.com/ near you? They might be able to replace the battery for you. It certainly won’t hurt to ask.
On their website, it says: Have a unique, older model with a nonexistent battery solution? Not a problem. Batteries Plus Bulbs specializes in rebuilding older model power tool batteries right in our stores.