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Question about power too use

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  • Question about power too use

    I am buying my first house. I have a friend who recommended a tool kit to buy. In this kit it has a hammer drill and an impact driver along with other stuff. My question is what is an impact driver and how is that different from an impact wrench? What can an impact driver do that a hammer drill can not. What would I ever use an impact driver for? Any other information about impact drivers would be great.

  • #2
    Re: Question about power too use

    Welcome to the forum.
    Love Boulder, our head office is there
    The impact driver is the best tool in the kit.
    It is light and has more than twice the power to drive screws than the drill
    Works on the same principal as the wrench but is shaped like a drill.
    The impact can be used with screw bits, hex shank drill bits, sockets and others. You know how when using a drill and the screw gets tight before driven home it tends to start skipping and strips the screw head? Well with the impact driver this rarely happens, the screw is driven by a series of pulses(impacts) so between each pulse there is no drive so the bit stays put firmly in the screw head, with a drill the bit tends to climb out of the screw head and when it slips it strips the head.

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    • #3
      Re: Question about power too use

      An impact driver is basically exactly the same thing as an impacet wrench but for smaller duty work. Works great for driving almost any type of screw. You'll find it will substitute the drill for virtually all driving work and is easily going to be the most useful tool in the kit.

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      • #4
        Re: Question about power too use

        Put simple you'll use the hammer drill to make holes and the impact driver for driving in and removing screws. You can get "nut setters" which are like a nut driver for use with hex head screws and hex nuts. These come in very handy. If you do buy any please do yourself a favor and be sure they are the magnetic type. Please see picture below.

        I must say that I really do not recommend using an impact driver with hex shank drill bits for drilling holes. You can do it, but that's not what they are intended for.

        UPDATE: Welcome to the forum, bigal.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Woussko; 09-14-2008, 09:48 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Question about power too use

          I have both the Ridgid 14.4 Drill/Drive and the 14.4 Impact wrench. They are about three or four years old by now, as I recall.

          Personally, I thought I'd be using the Impact Driver a lot more than I do. But, the simple fact is that the tool is simply too powerful for most of the work that I've been challenged with on my house rennovation. Perhaps when I build a new deck next year it will be more practical.

          The drill/driver does an excellent job for just about everything I've needed to do. I've used the impact drive on only a couple of occasions and it proved that it was just too much power. First instance was using it to assemble some steel shelving. I put a bolt and nut in the wrong position and the impact driver just about welded the nut in place... worked so well that I couldn't take it apart and had to cut the bolt to remove it and then put a new bolt where it should have gone to begin with. (Had the bolt had a hex head, I probably could have held it with a wrench, but otherwise, the impact was just to powerful.)

          The second instance was to remove some bolts on the deck rail of my current home. Deck is over 20 years old and I needed to replace one weathered rail. Tried using one of those magnetic holders that my friend Wousko mentioned. Well, I didn't have one rated for an impact wrench and this little 14.4 Impact wrench literally tore it apart.

          So if you do feel you're going to need an impact driver... make sure you have driver bits and holders that are rated for it!

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: Question about power too use

            There is a learning curve when it comes to using most tools and the impact driver is no different. Early on I snapped the heads off screws and shattered my fair share of phillips bits. Now I know to take it slow and when the screw appears seated I stop, no need to ge fast and overdo it. I use my with hex head screwsas welll as lags,simply amazing! Real handy with an adapter so you can use 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" sockets. Very handy tool once you know the applications and precautions.

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            • #7
              Re: Question about power too use

              CWSmith brings up a very good safety issue. Be careful using any tool bit or accessory with an impacting tool. They need to be special alloy steel and properly tempered to withstand impacting.

              HINT: When using tools of any kind please, please were safety glasses and if there's a good chance of flying chips or a tool that may bust and fly, add a full face shield. We only get one set if eyes for life. We really must do our best to protect them.

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              • #8
                Re: Question about power too use

                Originally posted by bigal View Post
                I am buying my first house. I have a friend who recommended a tool kit to buy. In this kit it has a hammer drill and an impact driver along with other stuff. My question is what is an impact driver and how is that different from an impact wrench? What can an impact driver do that a hammer drill can not. What would I ever use an impact driver for? Any other information about impact drivers would be great.
                This post points out a fairly common misconception about the purpose of a hammer drill. In the hammer drill "setting" the only purpose is for drilling in concrete, stone or granite or like materials. The "hammer" is a very rapid pounding driving the drill bit toward the material being drilled. Many people seem to think a hammer drill will help the drill move more efficiently through wood or steel. That is not the case. A hammer drill will not provide any improvement through those materials.
                For most DIYers I recommend against a hammer drill for an all purpose drill. They are usually 2-3 pounds heavier than a drill with the same power without the hammer feature. For most people the need for hammer drill is so seldom that they are paying a large penalty in weight, balance and general utility of the drill. Even for professionals a drill that has the Hammer function is a poor tradeoff. We have a couple because they came in a set such as the Ridgid 24V LI. We bought them for the power of a 24V drill and would have much prefered the drill without the hammer feature at a savings of a couple of pounds, however alas, the 24V drill is only available with a hammer feature. For occasional drilling in concrete a standard drill will suffice. For serious work we use a single purpose hammer drill which is far superior to the general purpose drill that includes a "hammer feature".
                Hope I haven't made this to confusing....Ray

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                • #9
                  Re: Question about power too use

                  A hammer drill has a more complex mechanism than a straight drill <aka> drill/driver. With the cordless models there seems to be way too many problems. I like to follow the keep it simple rule. For any serious drilling in concrete or hard stone you really want a rotary hammer drill which is far and beyond what a hammer drill is. Because of cost, normally a DIY type would rent rather than purchase this tool.

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