The feud between a drill and an impact driver is an age-old one. Both an impact driver and a drill are significant for woodworking. But, the dispute is because it is difficult to say which comes first or which is more important. This article is not a comparison between the two. In simple words, an impact driver is a top-notch fastening tool. It is mainly used for fastening tools.
The impact driver has more rotational power than a drill. If we compare it to a drill, it is way faster. At the same time, it is convenient to use. Impact drivers are versatile. Usually, you need a particular type of drill for a specific job. When it comes to impact drivers, any impact driver works well for any sized job. If you do not know how to operate an impact drill, don’t worry. It is much easier than decoding a drill.
In our last articles, we have focused on drills, drill-safety, and manual impact drivers. In this article, we will focus on how to use an impact driver. For your reference, we will recommend a few top impact drivers. Lastly, we will give you a brief description of the things you will need.
How To Use An Impact Driver – Steps By Step Guide
Total Time: 45 Mins
Step 1: Get The Right Driver
Every power tool has subtypes. Even an impact driver has a few subtypes. There are manual impact drives and powered impact drives. Manual impact drives further have two subtypes. These are air impact drive and electric impact drive. In our previous article, we provided a detailed description of a manual driver. In this article, we will focus on the impact of drivers in general. The very first step is to purchase a quality impact driver.
In the section below, we have recommended the top three impact drivers. You can pick anyone according to your budget and accommodation. Always keep in mind to buy only reputed products from a good brand. The additional accessories of an impact driver are the bits and fasteners.
Step 2: Pick The Right Drill Bit
This plays an essential role in drilling. In our previous articles, we have much emphasized the importance of bits. It would be best if you chose the appropriate drill bit. Impact drivers usually make use of drill bits that are one-fourth inch. These have a hex-drive shank. These bits are different from bits needed for drills and screws. This also means making sure that the bit of sound quality. A cheap drill bit can be very brittle.
It can tear-off during the drilling. When it comes to drills, you can use the regular bit for any wood. Bits made from high-speed steel or carbon can also be used on most metals. These are good quality but slightly expensive. When working with delicate materials, use the highest quality bits. Materials like tiles, glass, and porcelain need high maintenance.
These are carbides or diamond-tipped bits. Check the authenticity of these while purchasing them. Along with the material, the size of the bit is important too.
Step 3: Purchase Or Wear Safety Gear
An impact driver is less prone to injuries. But, we don’t want to compromise on safety. You need elaborate safety gear. A good safety kit is a need, not a want. Even if you are working with any other tool instead of a driver, you should buy a safety kit. Safety goggles: You have to protect your eyes from any debris and unexpected strikes. Wear eye protection to reduce the risk of serious injury from flying debris. Special eye protection gear is available online. These are not only specific for an impact drill. Safety Google can be used while working with multiple tools. Drivers require close supervision, primarily for high-duty projects. There are high chances that you might injure your eyes.
Safety gloves are used to guard your hands against a hammer blow. These gloves are not regular thin gloves. These are thick gloves designed to protect from tools impact. Make sure you do not proceed unless you have the essential safety gear. Noise-canceling headphones: Exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss. So, wear ear protection when impact drilling. The sound can be loud. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. A regular impact drill radiates decibels in high amounts. This is enough to cause hearing disorders if used for a prolonged period. Sometimes, it is so bad that the sound of an impact driver rings in your ears for days. These are bad signs.
To prevent this, make sure you invest in a pair of good noise-canceling headphones. Test these out at a store before purchasing it. A respirator: We are sure you have an abundant supply of face masks at home now. This is important not only to protect you from COVID-19 but to protect your lungs. Make sure to wear a dust mask if the operation involves a lot of dust. A regular mask will only be useful for a short period. If you use a power tool often, wear a respirator. This protects you against lung diseases.
Step 4: Check Your Speed
Check your speed: Just like drills, impact drivers do not need much force. Although an impact driver radiates a lot of energy, you might not always require it. This depends on your workpiece. The harder the material, you should use a slower speed. Always remember to give breaks while using the driver.
Similarly, soft materials like drywall, plaster, and softwood need a faster speed. These usually require less pressure, so it is accompanied with high speed. As we said, drivers are versatile. Therefore the previous examples were only about small or home projects. If you are working on high-powered projects, a slower speed will be better. These are projects like fastening the nuts of an automobile. A large project means that you have to be extra careful. There are no do-overs if anything goes wrong. Therefore the safest thing is to use the drive at a slow speed. It helps you supervise your work accurately.
Step 5: Push The Trigger
Operation of an impact driver is very easy. Whether it is corded or cordless. To start the impact driver, you have to hold back the instant-release collet. Once you have pulled it back to its maximum capacity, insert the drill bit. As you enter the drill, leave the collet or the clutch. Check if the bit is securely attached after leaving the bit. Now, to check if the drive is assembled correctly, conduct a test run. Hold it away from your body and turn the power on. Watch it spin in the air for a few seconds.
Do not touch the drill-bit of the drive. If the drill bit moves or looks loose, reattach it immediately. This means that the bit is brittle, or it means that you missed something in the previous step. If you notice that the bit is slightly bent or whimsical, discard it right away. Don’t force it to work. It will cause a dent in the material or break. If the test run is a success, press down on the trigger. Keep it facing the material. Once it is held down, the longer you apply pressure, the driver will tighten.
Step 6: Soundcheck
Soundcheck: This probably sounds like the coolest step. Before a good concert, every artist needs a soundcheck. Woodworkers are no less than artists. Even handiwork requires a soundcheck. Professional workers will know that if a power tool sounds right, it works well. Once you finish attachments and checking everything, start the drive. If you hear a short click, it indicates that the tool is working. The right-click means that the impact driver is doing its job appropriately. The tool should not click while it is working. This might indicate some defects and damages the screw.
Like we said, working with an impact driver is relatively easy. The steps to assemble the bits and chuck are usually the same for all power tools. Once that is done, conduct the test run and sound check. If everything is right, you can use the drive.
Top Two Impact Drivers
Impact drivers are straightforward to find. Impact drivers do not need exclusive selection. It is safe to order them online. You can get it directly from the parent-site or from amazon.com. Here are the top three impact drivers but you can also checkout these alternative Dewalt driver:
1. Makita Cordless Impact Driver
- BL Brushless Motor delivers 1,500 in.lbs. of Max Torque
- Variable speed (0-3,400 RPM & 0-3,600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
- The BL Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer...
Makita tools are both durable and fashionable. See the tool, and you will know how sleek it looks. It has a maximum fastening torque. The whole set comes with five items. Two of these are batteries. In case you work in dark spaces, Makita has your back. They have special soft light LEDs in the kit. It is accompanied by two lithium-ion cells. The battery life is twenty-four hours, and it comes with batteries included. It is one of the best sellers and is, therefore, number one on our list. The price ranges from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7500. Do not worry if it seems too expensive; we have other options for you.
2. Bosch GDR 120 LI Cordless Impact Driver
- Torque, Max(Hard Screw Driving Applications) 30 Nm
- Torque, Max(Soft Screw Driving Applications) 13 Nm
- Noload Speed (1St Gear/2Nd Gear) 0 380 Or 1300 Rpm
Bosch is a well-known brand for impact drivers. Just like Makita, the design is stylish and compact. The Bosch kit is a four-item piece. It comes with a charger, a carrying case, and a 1.5 lithium-ion battery. The soft-grip handle is one of the top features. It is specifically designed to accommodate all sized hands. The target users of this tool are mechanics, plumbers, electricians. You can also use it for your DIY projects. It is highly optimized for tightening nuts and screwdriver, in metal and wood. It is also useful for drilling into sheet metal. The price ranges from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000. Amazon has frequent sales, so it will be helpful to purchase it during the sale season.
1. Should I get a drill or an impact driver?
It is good to have both, but if you need to pick just one, buy an impact driver. An impact driver is faster and more convenient. If you are a beginner, the impact drill will be dangerous. A drill comes with many health hazards. If you are looking for basic housework, get an impact driver. The right impact driver is better than a drill.
2. What is the difference between the drill and the impact driver?
While most features may feel the same, there are slight differences. The main one is the power, safety, and convenience. An impact driver is one step ahead of a drill in all these fields. Impact drivers are more compact and quicker. They have faster rotational speed. A drill is heavier. It can easily fall under high-powered tools because of the intense impact.
3. Should I buy an impact driver with or without batteries?
This depends solely on your needs and preference. If you read the steps, there are more precautions to be taken with battery impact drivers. You have to keep many things in mind while using these. Battery impact drivers are the powered form. With an optimal battery, this impact driver will be easy to use. Therefore if you are a beginner, a non-battery operated impact driver will be best for you.
Our site has covered nearly everything regarding drivers. Our previous articles focused on manual impact drives and safety tips. This article is an overview of all impact drivers. If we compare, the manual impact driver is more challenging to set up and assemble. The bottom line is that an impact driver will always be better than a drill. It is best to have both, but our preference will always be an impact driver.