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  • which impact driver?

    I've been reading posts on impact drivers for about the past hour (lots of info guys - good job!)

    After my previous postings on drill/drivers and deck building it is clear that an impact driver is the superior tool for the job. Now the question is which impact driver?!

    I really like the makita lithium-ion impact driver, but its crazy expensive. Anyone wanna vouch for another one? Also, what about power? Is 14.4v enough power or is it worth the extra weight for the 18v? I will be deck building with it (3 1/2" screws, lag bolts, etc).

  • #2
    Re: which impact driver?

    i owned a ridgid 14.4 before someone "borrowed" it form me and i did 3 decks with it, i can say it will do a fine job for you you just might have to swap batterys once or tiwce though the day. i do now own the makita li ion and well that might do the whole deck in one or two charges
    9/11/01, never forget.

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    • #3
      Re: which impact driver?

      i've got the dewalt 12v and 18v impact drivers, i use the 18 most of the time, but i did a deck with the 12 and have no complaints. the weight of the 12 is the biggest advantage

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      • #4
        Re: which impact driver?

        For inexpensive you can't beat the Ryobi One+ 18V. The tool itself is around $70 bucks. The 1.7aH replacement batteries are way cheaper than everyone elses...$25. Their A/C charger is only $20. They also sell a dual battery, dual slot charger kit for $90, if I recall.

        The tool isn't the lightest but isn't very heavy either...going about 3 and 1/2 pounds.



        http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/mai...reviews01.html

        http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...p?pn=100049838

        more complete review of older 12V model.

        http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/rev...obiBID1211.htm
        Last edited by Disaster; 04-02-2007, 01:02 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: which impact driver?

          If you have any cordless tools check ebay for an impact of that voltage from that make. I picked up the 18V ridgid off ebay with 2 2.5 AH batteries for about $160 CDN, really only wanted the impact but now I have 4 batteries as well.

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          • #6
            Re: which impact driver?

            I would say that 14.4 would be plenty for driving screws when putting down the decking. If you are going to be (on this job or anytime in the future) driving some big lags for the deck framing etc then you may want to consider the 18v or higher. I have the dewalt 14.4 nicad, and it is heavier than the competition but if it is anything like my 14.4 drill/driver it will go and go.

            I was going to wait to pick out a LI powered impact at some point soon, but I found this one on craigslist for a fantastic deal and jumped. I'll be honest, it's heavier than I want it to be sometimes for what I use it for, but I would confidently take it to a deck job. Plenty of power. The battery run time has never been an issue for me. I charge one while using the other and don't find changing batteries enough of an annoyance to validate the huge jump in initial price and of replacement batteries.

            One other thing is that I have yet to talk to someone who has a problem with their impact driver (I know about seven or eight guys who use various brands daily). I think you will find personal preference and cost to be the only things you really need consider in this tool. I don't like the way the makita feels when I use for example, others love it. But I've heard no complaints about the major brands.

            Have fun! It's a wonderful tool and I'm sure you'll be pleased with whatever you choose.
            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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            • #7
              Re: which impact driver?

              It's all about what you want. The best I've seen is the Milwaukee 14volt. But it's expensive. If you're looking for complete homeowner grade I think the Ryiobi makes sense.
              the dog

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              • #8
                Re: which impact driver?

                I've got the Ridgid 14.4 and I love it. Right weight, compact, and more than enough power. I made the mistake of using a magnetic holder so I could quickly swap bits... the 14.4 Impact Driver tore it apart, ripping the hex shaft right out of the magnet collar, on the first try.

                Biggest problem will be finding deck bolts that are strong enough and won't snap off. There's a lot of cheap hardware out there that doesn't meet SAE standards.

                Actually, I rarely use the impact driver for driving screws. Plain and simple there's just too much torque. I prefer using a drill/clutch driver where I can set the clutch to fit the occasion.

                CWS

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                • #9
                  Re: which impact driver?

                  I own both 14.4 and 18 volt impacts. I find that when doing decks, the 14.4 just doesn't last long enough to please me. About an hour or a little less per battery is all I get. The 18 lasts a lot longer and isn't that much heavier.
                  On the other hand, the 14.4 won't break screws, the 18 will and without warning.
                  I also love impacts because my right elbow is shot from years of being twisted by normal drills and impacts don't twist/hurt.

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                  • #10
                    Re: which impact driver?

                    What do you mean a 14.4 volt impact won't break screws? I have a 12 volt and it will break screws. Any of them will break screws if you over do it. It takes a little common sense, that's all...

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                    • #11
                      Re: which impact driver?

                      Originally posted by Newman View Post
                      What do you mean a 14.4 volt impact won't break screws? I have a 12 volt and it will break screws. Any of them will break screws if you over do it. It takes a little common sense, that's all...
                      True, but the more power...the faster it drives...the higher the chance. I like the Panasonic I just got. It has three drive levels. You can definitely notice the difference when you set it to soft. On the higher impact level, it is too easy to snap screw heads.

                      What was said about the magnetic bit holder blowing apart is also true of drivers. There are a lot of cheap drive bits out there that were not designed for impact drivers. You will round them off, and destroy screw heads fast. Spend a bit more money for heads that were designed for impact and they will last a lot longer and you will damage less screwheads.

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