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Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

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  • #16
    Re: Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

    Tom,
    I have experienced this driving longer (2-3") screws through very dense materials such as MDF or oak, into pine or poplar. using a countersink first eliminates the problem. If your impact driver is working fine in materials other than the composite, I doubt it is defective. Sometimes the material is too dense for the driver to countersink the screw with power alone.

    I have four impacts, (Makita, Bosch, Ryobi, and Ridgid). They have all experienced this at one time or another. Most times, a little more pressure and letting the impact work a bit longer will countersink the screw even in very dense woods. But with composite decking, maybe not since that stuff is so dense.

    Ern

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    • #17
      Re: Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

      I will try the shorter bits (good ones) this morning. I did break the ACR Phillips II end on one longer bit last night, BUT ..... it had also been used a lot driving longer deck screws.
      Some of yesterday's attempts were #9, 2-inch coated (Gray) grabbers so I would not have thought that they would twist enough to be a factor.. The few 3" composite screws (dual thread) went in nicely so the coating and threads clearly play a role.
      If pilot drilling is important, I'm sure glad to have two tools to avoid switching bits!
      Thank-you for helpful comments.
      Tom B

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      • #18
        Re: Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

        Hex Shank Bit is clearly best. Pilot hole definitely produces best result but PITA! Composite is 'funny' stuff .... not so hard or dense in some respects, but changes characteristics when heated ... gets flexible, sticky? Don't really know what happens when it cools around a long screw, but one might assume that it contracts and 'grabs' the screw more than wood.
        Best performance is when screw starts smoothly in pilot hole, steady drive proceeds until almost flush, then impactor takes over and it's easy to watch the screw turn slowly and react to proper depth (quick brake too).
        Fresh Max 2.5 batt seemed to help performance vs entry level Ni-Cad. Maybe a couple of charges will make some difference?

        I like these tools used together and feel much better today re. finishing the deck trim work with them. The promotional tool deal is a huge issue for me since I would be somewhat hesitant to spend ~$200. for an Impact'r when I have a second (corded) drill for pilot holes. Ridgid's MaxSelect 'add-on' for $119. seems pretty attractive though.
        I don't feel yesterday was a 'false alarm', but my work today really benefitted from your many comments and suggestions.

        Thanks and regards,
        Tom B

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        • #19
          Re: Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

          Originally posted by doubtingtom View Post
          Hex Shank Bit is clearly best. Pilot hole definitely produces best result but PITA! Composite is 'funny' stuff .... not so hard or dense in some respects, but changes characteristics when heated ... gets flexible, sticky? Don't really know what happens when it cools around a long screw, but one might assume that it contracts and 'grabs' the screw more than wood.
          Best performance is when screw starts smoothly in pilot hole, steady drive proceeds until almost flush, then impactor takes over and it's easy to watch the screw turn slowly and react to proper depth (quick brake too).
          Fresh Max 2.5 batt seemed to help performance vs entry level Ni-Cad. Maybe a couple of charges will make some difference?

          I like these tools used together and feel much better today re. finishing the deck trim work with them. The promotional tool deal is a huge issue for me since I would be somewhat hesitant to spend ~$200. for an Impact'r when I have a second (corded) drill for pilot holes. Ridgid's MaxSelect 'add-on' for $119. seems pretty attractive though.
          I don't feel yesterday was a 'false alarm', but my work today really benefitted from your many comments and suggestions.

          Thanks and regards,
          Tom B
          It is always good to ask questions like this though you might have found more experts in the woodworking section.

          I like having several drills around when doing a big job. One for drilling, one for countersinks, one for driving. This makes the job so much easier.

          Like I said, I don't have experience working with those new composite decking materials. Sounds like you are starting to get a feel for it relative to "real" wood.

          I have learned a few things about driving screws.

          1. It is usually a good idea to drill a countersink hole in all but the softest woods. This reduces the stress on the screw head, leaves a cleaner finish and greatly lowers the risk of splitting the wood.

          2. If a screw is very hard to drive a larger hole is probably called for. I find this generally more effective, and less messy and time consuming than lubricating them.

          3. Good quality screws are worth it. Nothing ruins a job like having heads strip or pop off.

          4. A good quality driver bit is essential...especialy with impacts. Cheap bits round off and slip...destroying heads.

          Good luck

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          • #20
            Re: Not so impressed with the new Impact Driver

            Originally posted by doubtingtom View Post
            Yep! ... my inexperience is showing.
            LOL! Looks like it was MY inexperience showing. Well I learned something new from my fellow members again. If I ever face this problem in the future I'll know better than to take my impact driver to be repaired! Thanks fellas!
            Last edited by woodenstickers; 11-05-2007, 04:38 PM. Reason: speling
            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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