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itguy08 01-15-2011 08:52 PM

Impact Driver - Why?
Just curious as to what's the deal with impact drivers for screws? I'm curious as it seems like just about everyone has many of them and I'm curious as to when and why you would use them....

Just did some sheetrock in one of our rooms in the basement and the good 'ole drill/driver worked great and I had no issues with stripping screws or holding it or anything like that. I don't use any fancy stuff, just a plain old 19.2V Craftsman on low speed. Even when I built my workbench, it was 2 1/2" deck screws and had no issues (I did predrill to eliminate splitting the 2x4s).

I would get driving lag screws as I could see where doing that day in and day out would give huge fatigue but for regular old screws, I don't see the point.

So, what am I missing as everyone seems to use the impact drivers for all screws....

DrHicks 01-15-2011 10:15 PM

An Impact Driver basically adds another dimension. A downward jolt in addition to the turn. Not necessary in all applications, but wonderful when you need it.

In some ways it's a little like a hammer drill. I've drilled holes in concrete with my good ole DeWALT 18v drill. But holy cow, throw that same bit in a hammer drill and it's like cutting through butter.

itguy08 01-16-2011 03:59 AM

That makes sense on the downward force. That would definitely make things easier and lead to less rounding of Philips screws.

Thanks - I may have to add an impact driver to my list of tools! :)

Tom Struble 01-16-2011 08:14 AM

impact does not provide a downward jolt like a hammer drill:no:

Clutchcargo 01-16-2011 08:18 AM

63 Attachment(s)
An impact driver is much easier on your wrist than a regular drill.

Tom Struble 01-16-2011 08:20 AM

:thumbsup:they make driving almost any screw effortless

WirelessG 01-16-2011 10:21 AM

The impact part comes from a sudden (and repeated) run up on the torque. It's similar to pounding on a wrench that's engaged on a nut.

I've only ever used an impact (air) on lags. However, I just bought a Makita and I'll try it out. I know a lot of people swear by the impact over a regular drill for driving screws.

tpolk 01-16-2011 10:27 AM

I have found that in reverse i get less stripping of heads and some that are partially stripped come right out

STL B. 01-16-2011 08:28 PM

I never saw the use in a driver because I owned a drill/driver......till I used them I have used a makita 10.something and a dewalt 18V and they were both screw runnin son of guns. The makita would run 3" screws all day and the dewalt would pull 3" screws thru a stack of 2x4's and not even bog down or could buckle door hinges if your not careful. I just got a bosch and havent put it to the test yet but I expect it to work as well as any other driver I have used.......great. If you don't do much screwin a drill works fine but if have a project planed that calls for lots of screws(deck,kitchen remodel) a impact driver is worth it's price.

packer_rich 01-16-2011 08:37 PM

I use it when fastening cabinets together. When you use a driver/drill you can get a gap between the 2 cabinets. Usually I would back the screw out and then run it in again. The impact driver pulls everything together the first time. Also cuts down on stripping screws.

beerdog 01-16-2011 08:38 PM

Just buy one and try it on the next few projects. You will never put it down. They are awesome. That is why soo many people have them. The MAkita's are nice.

DrHicks 01-16-2011 08:42 PM


Originally Posted by tomstruble (Post 571309)
impact does not provide a downward jolt like a hammer drill:no:

? :confused1:

jbfan 01-16-2011 09:58 PM

Bought one when I built my deck a few years ago.
I wonder how I ever got along without it.
It drives screw much quicker than a driver and less impact.
Look at the latest issue of Family Handyman for a very good article and comparissons of each brand.

Tom Struble 01-16-2011 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by DrHicks (Post 571863)
? :confused1:

impacts drivers only provide impact to turn,they do not impact down like a hammer drill

nap 01-16-2011 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by tomstruble (Post 571963)
impacts drivers only provide impact to turn,they do not impact down like a hammer drill

agreed. It is a rotational impact, not a hammering impact.

It is like an impact gun a mechanic would use to remove bolts, only a lot smaller. The hammering allows a much greater amount of torque to be applied to the fastener even though it is only one "whack" at a time.

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