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Old 01-10-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
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Recently, I was putting up some shelves and was getting frustrated with my cordless drill - it just didn't have the power to drive the screws into the studs, if I pushed hard it would just cam out, and then it ran out of juice before the job was done. I switched to an old corded drill I had and it just slammed the screws in! BUT, it did not have a variable speed so I couldn't slow the driving down and the screws ended up either not flush with the stud or driven deep into the stud. So for Christmas I asked for Home Depot gift cards and did a little research on power tools.

I read up on impact drivers and tried some out at HD. The one I like the best was the Ridgid. However, I keep having this nagging feeling that I'm really wasting my money and I should have got a cheaper combo kit that came with a drill or a hammer drill. And today, while reattaching a piece of loose siding on my dilapidated garage, my new Ridgid impact driver a) totally stripped out the first screw, and b) ripped the second screw in half.

Oops.

I appreciate good quality tools, but perhaps I have gone too far overboard with this one? Also, I'm having trouble finding hex shaft drill bits.

So my questions are:

1) Should I just be buying better screws?

2) or should I really have bought a lower powered (and cheaper) combo kit that comes with a drill and an impact driver? Something like Makita's cheaper 12v drill driver combo?


I read lots of good things about Makita, but in another current thread on this forum someone mentioned a problem with the batteries "bricking" if you leave them sitting w/out a charge for too long. It is very likely I will not use them for months at a time, so this would be a bad thing for me. Is this a problem with all batteries? Can I just let the batteries sit on the charger?

I realize what a total newbie I am, and I greatly appreciate any advice. Even if it is just a link to a thread that I should have read first. ;-)

Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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I don't think you can go wrong, buying good tools. That said, as a homeowner, you may not need the top of the line pro-grade. With better tools, you not only get durability, but also performance and accuracy. I used to research "the best" whenever I got ready to buy. Now, I figure there are 5-6 brands of "pro-grade" power tools. Within those brands, I can shop for features, feel, etc. I've had good luck with tools from deWalt, Bosch, Porter Cable, Makita and Milwaukee. Not really a fan of Ridgid, tho they do make some innovative stuff. Hitachi has never pushed my buttons, but I've heard they make some good stuff. I don't even bother with B&D, Skil, or Ryobi anymore.

Batteries do become an expense. It's the price of the convenience. And as an occasional user, it seems like they are never charged up when you need them. Except for a well used drill/driver, all my power tools have cords. Picking a brand and sticking with one type of batteries/charger makes sense.

A drill/driver to go with your impact driver would probably be a good purchase. Personally, I'd rather do that than start investing in hex drive drill bits.

Don't foget to register that Ridgid for the lifetime warranty!
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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You got a good driver, just take care of that warranty and you shouldn't have any problems.
Irwin makes some drill bits that has the hex end on them.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintJoan View Post
Recently, I was putting up some shelves and was getting frustrated with my cordless drill - it just didn't have the power to drive the screws into the studs, if I pushed hard it would just cam out, and then it ran out of juice before the job was done. I switched to an old corded drill I had and it just slammed the screws in! BUT, it did not have a variable speed so I couldn't slow the driving down and the screws ended up either not flush with the stud or driven deep into the stud. So for Christmas I asked for Home Depot gift cards and did a little research on power tools.

I read up on impact drivers and tried some out at HD. The one I like the best was the Ridgid. However, I keep having this nagging feeling that I'm really wasting my money and I should have got a cheaper combo kit that came with a drill or a hammer drill. And today, while reattaching a piece of loose siding on my dilapidated garage, my new Ridgid impact driver a) totally stripped out the first screw, and b) ripped the second screw in half.

Oops.

I appreciate good quality tools, but perhaps I have gone too far overboard with this one? Also, I'm having trouble finding hex shaft drill bits.

So my questions are:

1) Should I just be buying better screws?

2) or should I really have bought a lower powered (and cheaper) combo kit that comes with a drill and an impact driver? Something like Makita's cheaper 12v drill driver combo?


I read lots of good things about Makita, but in another current thread on this forum someone mentioned a problem with the batteries "bricking" if you leave them sitting w/out a charge for too long. It is very likely I will not use them for months at a time, so this would be a bad thing for me. Is this a problem with all batteries? Can I just let the batteries sit on the charger?

I realize what a total newbie I am, and I greatly appreciate any advice. Even if it is just a link to a thread that I should have read first. ;-)

Thanks!
Go with the ridgid with a life time warrenty on the tool and battery's. Sound's like you didn't know how to do what you did. Those tool's have a setting so that you don't do what you did. That is what the dial is for . Set it and it will not twist off screw's. You dont or can't find a cheep drill that will just about set the screw and stop. May not have to use the hammer on that screw setting ?? Just the drill with the number setting. With the hammer it will break anything like a screw. the hammer is for drilling in concrete or thick wood not for setting screw's.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by del schisler View Post
Sound's like you didn't know how to do what you did. Those tool's have a setting so that you don't do what you did. That is what the dial is for.
I was using an impact driver, not a hammer drill - there is no dial on my impact driver. That said, I did have to push to get the screw to go in - which it did. But then it just snapped. I think I must have been using crappy screws.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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Predrill the holes first with a drill bit and use ceramic coated decking screws, no more cam out or broken screws.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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hey saint,

the issue your having with your new drill stripping out screws isn't do to the drill, its one of 3 things

1) cheap screws which the square recess for the bit isnt manufactured very well. when this happens the driver bit doesnt fully lock into the screw so it spins and strips out the screw. i find the screws that hd sells are bad like this . i buy stanley brand screws whenever possible, they rarely have this problem

2) the opposite of 1, the driver bit isnt made very well and doesnt match the recess of the screw... thus stripping the screw... dont buy cheap driver bit sets.. the best bits are usually sold at the contractors desk or you can buy a "picquick" screwdriver which has all the common bits and are made to also be used in cordless drill/drivers

3) your holding your drill at the wrong angle which isnt allowing hte bit to properly engage the screw which then strips out the screw.

since this is your first impact driver it takes a few goes to get a feel for how it drives screws. before you go right at your project take a handful of screws and drive them into a peice of scrap wood to get a feel for how the drill drives so you know when to put pressure on it to help it drive and when to let off it
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah, I think you are probably right. I was reaching way down with my drill and kind of irritated at the whole project so I was probably squeezing the trigger too hard. So the bit probably wasn't engaged properly and I ripped it to pieces!

I didn't have any trouble at the store when I was being careful! :-)
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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your right about being careful buying the correct product.

as a pro i typically buy large boxes of fasteners. when it comes to screws some brands are good some are bad.. when im in stores and have a few bucks to burn up ill buy small boxes of screws just to see how they are for when i need to buy 50 lb boxes,, better to experiment with a small amount than to have 50lbs of paper weight
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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So I've decided that my Ridgid impact driver is a perfectly good tool. However, I found this nice deal on Amazon - the 2-pc drill & impact combo from Milwaukee. And I'm tempted to return my Ridgid impact and get the combo instead.

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2691...m_cr_pr_sims_t

Ridgid - impact driver, 1 battery, charger, soft bag - cost me $169 before tax.

Milwaukee combo on amazon - impact, drill, 2 batteries, charger, and hard case for all of it - $200, no tax.

Seems like a lot better deal - BUT, I'm not sure when I'd use a drill vs an impact! ;-P Do I really need both? I thought I could use the impact for every thing if I just picked up some hex shaft drills.

Which, btw, I found some USA made hex shaft drills.

http://www.montanabrandtools.com/Pag...8/default.aspx
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:10 PM   #11
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http://www.cpotools.com/bosch-cordle...efault,sc.html
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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I'm pretty sure a 12v Makita will drive your Ridgid backwards.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:39 PM   #13
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Ridgid is great they some of the best quality tools.......for plumbing. The Ridgid line at home depot is crap think of it as cheap contractor tools, do you get a great warranty yes, but wait until you have to send out your tools all the time and your stuck waiting for a new one. TTI owns them, they also own roybi. If your going to spend a decent amount of money buy dewalt or milwaukee, if their 18v stuff is out of your price range look at the 12v lines. Ask any contractor what is better between Milwaukee dewalt or makita most will say Milwaukee or dewalt and it will end up just like a Chevy vs ford debate.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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regarding the milwaukee set,, i had that set and hated it actually. the clutch on the drill breaks very easily causing it to not go into high speed, the impact has tons of power but is difficult to control the speed which can snap screws very easily. also ever since TTI bought out milwaukee (same company owns rigid) they have had problems with their batteries, the run time life and overall life has been problematic. though they were one of the first two to come out with lith ion, they have had to revamp their batteries almost every year do to trying to fine tune them. dewalt has had similar problems first the 36v, then the 18 nano tech,, then 2nd and 3rd gen nano and most recently the 20 volt

hands down your best bet would be makita, they make one of the best 3 impacts on the market and their batteries last
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