Impact Drivers – User Advice, Please?

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  #1  
Old 05-09-05, 07:14 AM
MrToad
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Question Impact Drivers – User Advice, Please?

Hello, All,

I found a previous post on Impact Drivers (for screws and bolts), but may I ask for more input from experienced users of these tools? (I’ve been asking a lot at home repair stores, but no one there has ever used one, and they typically confuse impact drivers with masonry impact drills or with pneumatic wrenches at the auto repair.)

OVERKILL? – Do Impact Drivers deliver way too much torque for anything but larger screws and bolts? For example, would the impact driver be applicable for building a backyard cedar wooden fence, or for building a backyard deck. I plan to use screws instead of nails for these two projects. Will I just break the screws?

VOLTAGE? – Because I have an 18 Volt Cordless DeWalt Drill, I'm thinking of getting an 18 Volt DeWalt DW056K-2 (same batteries). Will the 18 Volt tool deliver too much torque, compared with a 12 Volt?

Thank you in advance for your advice,

Robt.
 
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Old 05-09-05, 09:55 AM
mango man's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
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heres a vidio on them

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuild...ges/hvt029.asp

Torque is the whole point , I cant imagine too much in a driver if thats a concern then maybe the drill is adaqute for your screw driving needs
 
  #3  
Old 05-09-05, 10:17 AM
IBM5081's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Makita 14.4V impact driver with two 2.6 Ah batteries and charger. Use it every month building wood ramps. The charger does keep ahead of the rate of use, so no waiting for the other battery to finish charging.
I did try a Hitachi 12V unit with lower capacity batteries and was not able to drive as many screws before the battery gave out.

Overkill - Only in hardwood will it break screws, since the head won't submerge into the wood. There is NO clutch on this tool, so just release the trigger. It is also very light and requires less pressure to keep the bit engaged in the screw head. It's not like it's going to run away from you.
No, it's not overkill. Now if you were to get the 24V version to merely drive 3" screws, that might be considered overkill (and overweight as well).

Here's the experience:
1- get the screw started in the wood so that it is pulling itself in
2- for soft wood like cedar with little resistance, the initial driving will be similar to an ordinary drill at about 1200 rpm and QUIET
3- once the screw is partially sunken the resistance to penetration increases and the hammering action begins - it will sound like a baby impact wrench. The hammering ONLY occurs under sufficient load, so you cannot just spin the drill and hear it.
4- the rate of penetration slows down a bit since the screw is advancing with every blow rather than continuously
5- it is quite easy to watch the screw head approach the wood surface with complete control, stop when it looks right
6- remember that there is no clutch, so it's not like a drill driver that slips with a buzzing sound - it's not like a screwgun that disengages when the nose hits the wood surface

Pros: lightweight, compact, less pressure required to keep it engaged, less tiring to use
Cons: noisy, there are other tools that are faster at sinking screws but work the user a bit more as well

I have also used a corded decking screwgun at 2500 rpm with a depth clutch for the projects mentioned and I have a 4000 rpm drywall screwgun that would work as well, but there is less control. The screw sinks completely in about 1-2 seconds at those rates. If the depth is set too deep, the head will snap off before you can prevent it.

At every ramp job I do now, the impact driver gets coveted by whoever gets an opportunity to use it.
 
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Old 05-11-05, 06:36 AM
MrToad
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Thanks for the great info and the video link!

I will give an impact driver a try, since i'm kinda hoping the reduced torque delivery to the arm will likewise reduce aggravating my tennis elbow/ tendonitis thing. The driver is pricey, but cheaper than doctors.

Robt.
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-05, 06:45 PM
mdesciscio
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You wont go back to a regular driver. the milwuaukee series is the best out there. Next is Makita.

Originally Posted by MrToad
Thanks for the great info and the video link!

I will give an impact driver a try, since i'm kinda hoping the reduced torque delivery to the arm will likewise reduce aggravating my tennis elbow/ tendonitis thing. The driver is pricey, but cheaper than doctors.

Robt.
 
  #6  
Old 05-16-05, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Posts: 76
I've read lately (taunton press) that the Hitachi line is received vary favourably. I was thinking of picking one up. Anyone have experience with their impact drivers?
 
  #7  
Old 05-16-05, 08:52 AM
IBM5081's Avatar
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I returned the Hitachi 12V in order to get a Makita 14.4V since the batteries did not drive enough screws on one charge for my purposes. The 2.6 Ah batteries made the difference.
My friend got the Hitachi 12V on sale at Lowe's and it works OK for him.
 
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