Impact Drivers ~ Smart Tools For Smart People
The good news is that if you have a favorite tool maker, they probably have a highly rated tool in the Best Impact Drivers category. Or perhaps it’s just that users are so thrilled with how easy impact drivers make the work that they are giving every tool high ratings, whether it is a small tool like the Bosch PS40-2, a 10.8v impact driving tool, or the “Mac-Daddy” of impact drivers like the Ridgid R8823 24v driver. You will find it difficult (not impossible) to find disgruntled buyers of these work-reducing drivers.
The Best Impact Drivers Are CordlessProfessional construction workers and DIY homeowners are becoming more aware of the benefits of impact drivers as the tools of choice for fastening. Whether you are doing a home project like building a deck or a treehouse or you are in charge of completing a large commercial project, the one tool that puts together rotation, torque, and ease of use is the cordless impact driver. They are faster, more consistent in performance, and easier on the body than any other fastening tool.
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What About Lithium-Ion Batteries?You may have noticed that all the tools listed on this page are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries.
Lithium-Ion batteries are the newest in power source technology. They deliver the power for up to three times as long as Ni-Cad batteries. That is why most of the recommendations on Best Impact Drivers are for tools that use Lithium-Ion rather than NiCad batteries.
If you already own either type of battery, it makes sense to get a tool that uses the kind of batteries you own. That is, unless you are not happy with the performance of the batteries you own, and this is truly the case with many people. Once you experience better power and longer times between charges, you will be dissatisfied with your current setup.
If you purchase a new kit with Lithium-Ion batteries, you can continue to get other tools in the same line for much cheaper prices. Find a manufacturer you like and stick with that manufacturer. With power tools, you will find that Hitachi, Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, and Porter Cable have products in every category that are well made and last a long time. Even though you may pay a little more at the beginning, you will have tools that last a long time and perform well.
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Cordless Impact Drivers For Home or WorkImpact drivers are the smart, well-muscled cousins of the cordless drill. Give one a try and see if you can stop yourself from squealing.
What’s the difference between the two tools?
Most people have a cordless drill at home. It sports a standard chuck that causes internal tynes to tighten around the shaft of the driver bit or drill bit. So far, so good..
More than one speed
Your cordless drill may also have a couple of speeds (you use the slower speed for screwing and the faster speed for drilling).
You might even have an adjustable clutch (a numbered ring just above the chuck) to dial up different degrees of torque. Torque is a delicious subject that we could discuss for hours, but all you really need to know is that you need more torque for drilling or for driving longer screws into tough materials, and less torque for screwing into tender materials like drywall, or when you’re using delicate fasteners (brass for example) that are prone to stripping if your technique is overzealous or sloppy, or both.
Not everyone knows correct screwing technique, so today’s the day. Here’s the one key tip to ensure you never have another painful screwing mishap:Screwing should be conducted in short, rapid pulses rather than one dizzying drive that ends in frustration or misfires.
Depress the trigger of your drill in brief bursts, and use the time between pulses to continually adjust the alignment of the drill so you never get going too fast and the screw starts going crooked and the bit pops out of the screw head and the screw falls over and your bit plunges into the wall. It ends up leaving a mark that invokes the cruel laughter of bystanders and the spackle gods. A cordless impact driver is faster and lighter than a cordless drill, and it performs those little pulses for you at speeds so fast you won’t even detect them. Seriously, you won’t believe the speed.
Try timing yourself as you drive a really long screw into a chunk of lumber. The deeper the screw sinks into the wood, the more resistance you’ll feel as the friction builds up on the shaft of the screw. With a regular drill, the bit may even pop out of the screw head or start chipping if you’re misaligned or not applying enough pressure.
In glorious contrast, when you load the same length of screw into an impact driver, the speed is roughly five times faster than using a regular drill. So the time an impact driver can save you is phenomenal, especially on a big job like building a deck or putting up a lot of shelves.
I had a chance to test Porter Cable’s drill/impact driver pairing, and I really appreciated the difference the impact driver makes in completing tasks faster. And the lithium-ion battery is the most lightweight, powerful technology currently available, plus it doesn’t lose its charge even after being stored for months.
The visible difference between impact drivers and regular drills is that the profile of the impact driver is more compact (and therefore lighter and easier to use).
The other major difference is that the impact driver will only accept bits that have a hex shaft, since the torque they apply would make a regular round-shaft bit spin in the chuck.
You’ll find that as torque increases, especially with longer screws, any impact driver will make a racket compared to a drill. You’ll want to wear headphones to protect your hearing, but that’s a small inconvenience to endure for the gorgeous speed and dexterity of the impact driver.
Choosing cordless impact drivers will also mean that you’ll strip far fewer screw heads and you can drive a 3-1/2″ screw with almost no effort, since the impact driver does all of the work. It’s like having a huge set of pecs and delts, except you never have to go to the gym.
The best part of owning an impact driver is that its supple muscular bravado will bring a huge grin to your face, time after time. You might even want to sleep with it under your pillow for the first month. Don’t worry, that’s normal.