new impact driver dissapointing

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Old 06-02-05, 07:22 PM
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new impact driver dissapointing

I just bought a 14.4 volt makita impact driver and am dissapointed. I got it for it's supposed superior ability to drive screws without as much work as a drill but its slow and slips as bad as a drill if not worse. Am i doing something wrong? It's got plenty of power but it just wont seem to grip a screw, especially square drive and I am using a brand new bit. Whats the benefit of these things supposed to be anyway?
 
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Old 06-03-05, 05:39 AM
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I have the same Makita 14.4V impact driver (or the immediately prior model). I'm going to agree with you that it is somewhat slower than a comparable drill. Compared to a screwgun (2800 rpm) or a corded drill (2500 rpm), it may take a few seconds longer to sink the same screw. With a newly charged battery and the driver NOT hammering, the screw will drive just about as quickly. Once the hammering starts, the rate of progress will be reduced, which will not happen on a screwgun or regular drill. When even the hammering rate slows down, the battery is approaching recharge time. So; if speed is what I need, I would reach for one of my screwguns (2800 or 4000 rpm), especially if it's just plywood I'm going through.

As far as slippage goes, especially with a square-drive bit and good screwheads, the primary reason for slippage is that the bit is not lined up with the shaft of the screw. It does not matter what kind of drill motor is used; impact/non-impact, corded/cordless, 850 rpm or 4000 rpm. The statement "...slips as bad as a drill" tells me that slippage occurred before the impact driver was purchased. The impact driver won't fix the problem, but it should not make it any worse than it already was.
Here are some things that can be done to eliminate slippage:
1. Use a longer bit than the little stubby ones that are 1/2" long. The next longer size are about 1.5-2" long. It will allow you to see when the bit and screw are not lined up.
2. Drive screws in bursts. Don't just hold the trigger down continuously. Also, get off the trigger when you hear the bit slipping.
3. Practice driving screws with 3" or longer screws. Back them out and drive the same screw in another place. The additional length makes them easier to hold and misalignment is more apparent.
4. With the impact driver, reduce the force on the tool. Keep just enough pressure on the tool to avoid popping the bit out of the screwhead; let the tool do the work. Concentrate on bit-screw alignment.
5. Expect the screw to drive a little slower.
6. Do all drilling of all holes with a regular drill, then drive all screws with the impact driver. Don't switch tools for every screw. Each tool has a different feel and requires a different amount of pressure for it to work properly. The impact driver must be learned.
 
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Old 06-03-05, 10:51 AM
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I'd love to have one of those. I saw a friend drive in PHILLIPS head tapcons into cement with his and I was really jealous. I always use hex head tapcons because of the slip factor.
 
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Old 06-03-05, 06:26 PM
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An impact wrench was designed for use on nuts and bolts and I find the recent adaptation to driving screws quite interesting.
I would have to say that for an average person's use this is a tool that would be mis-applied if it was being purchased to drive screws.

I believe that you can't really beat the power of a 14 volt or higher, name brand drill that has a two speed selector for turning in any screw the average person will come across.
I've twisted the head off a #10 x 3" screw with my 12 volt Makita.
 
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Old 06-03-05, 08:20 PM
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Greg,
You are quite correct. The average person will not spend around $200 for a tool to drive screws. The impact driver will either twist off the screwhead in hard wood or continue to countersink it in soft wood.
These tools are more typically used to assemble and disassemble metal-skinned buildings where the sheet metal is attached using self-tapping screws with rubber grommet seals under the head.
The difference between a drill-driver and an impact-driver is what happens at stall or in tough wood with a long screw. The drill-driver will put quite a bit of counter-torque back into the wrist of the hand that is holding it. The impact-driver will simply begin hammering.
I am seeing more and more brands of impact drivers in the local home centers while 9 months ago, only one brand was present if the tool was available at all.
Makita is now GIVING a free drill-driver with every impact-driver and one set of batteries that fit both. I see impact drivers becoming more popular, whether they are the best tool for the job or not.
 
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Old 06-11-05, 10:01 AM
mdesciscio
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Originally Posted by butterfingers
I just bought a 14.4 volt makita impact driver and am dissapointed. I got it for it's supposed superior ability to drive screws without as much work as a drill but its slow and slips as bad as a drill if not worse. Am i doing something wrong? It's got plenty of power but it just wont seem to grip a screw, especially square drive and I am using a brand new bit. Whats the benefit of these things supposed to be anyway?
If you have the Ni-mh batteries. They take 8-10 charges until they are at full capacity.

Impact drivers do have superior screwing capabilities. It takes 8 seconds for them to reach full tourqe. Makita, milwaukee, bosch, dewalt-black and decker
After about 10 charges your battery should be at full capacity and you should notice a difference. If its not cripping a screw try a different bit I had the same problem. Took me about 3 brands finally I got the Magna Hardened bits. Spent like $8.00 for a pack of 10 but it was well worth it.

The benifits are that they take the torque of a drill away from your wrist. If you are working on a ladder or sinking screws for a long time there will be a big difference.
 
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