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Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

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  • Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

    I need to drive a lot of screws into very hard southern yellow pine. Those need to be predrilled.

    Most of it would be driver downward (deck) but a lot of it upward (ceiling).

    Right now I have a 18v drill from the R9682 combo kit. It works OK, I use a rapid change bit holder, drill the hole, change to the driver bit, drive in the screw. Problem sometimes due to the hardness of the wood, in an overhead situation without much leverage standing on a ladder, I had trouble driving the 2-1/2" screw all the way in.

    Would an impact driver be a better option? I would prefer not to use the drill to predrill, then swap to the impact driver to drive screws, just not very convenient on a ladder to be swapping two tools.

    Which one is better, drill/drive with the drill or drill/drive with an impact driver?

    I currently do not have an impact driver, however, Home Depot is doing a free battery deal with some of the tools, and I am thinking of getting the
    RIDGID 18-Volt X4 Impact Driver Kit with Free X4 Compact Lith-Ion Battery

    for $169 I get the included batteries and one extra free battery, figured this would give me a total of five batteries with my other two Ridgid tools.


  • #2
    Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

    In my opinion, the impact works great for driving long screws. Couldn't tell you what's best, but an impact driver cuts time almost in half.


    • #3
      Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

      Can I use the impact drive to predrill the hole? Or I have to use the drill to do this?


      • #4
        Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

        They can be used to drill holes, but it's not exactly efficient. On a ladder, your set up is probably the best.


        • #5
          Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

          I cannot imagine driving screws without an impact driver, nuff said there.

          Pre drilling with an impact is not as efficient as with a drill. Too much pressure will stall the spinning action of the impact and make it impact while turning, which slows the process way down. Will it work, yes. Also you need a special adapter that I have not seen in stores for ages to use normal non speed load bits, (speed load to chuck) or keep stocking the speed load bits that will chuck up to the impact. I have one of them ryobi/craftsman/stanley speed load bits that are double ended, countersink/drill bit on one end, and #2 screw tip on the other. It gets the job done, but I usually have separate drill and impact for most jobs to avoid switching around the bits.
          We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!


          • #6
            Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

            I too would prefer to use two tools, one for drilling and one for driving screws, but on an overhead application on a ladder this is not practical, so I probably have to choose the least of the two evils, using drills for both or using an impact driver for both.

            Does the X4 impact driver have a switch (like a hammer drill does) to turn off the "impacting"?

            I read a bunch of negative feedbacks on the X4 impact driver with the LED lights, it sounds like a widespread problem.


            • #7
              Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

              Nope, it will impact all of the time. However, I would say the x4 is awesome, and the LEDs are just a few people getting duds. If you follow through the lsa right away, you'll find that you'll use your x4 almost every time


              • #8
                Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

                Get yourself a couple of belt mounted drill holsters and using two tools on a ladder becomes very easy.
                DRILL HOLSTERS
                I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


                • #9
                  Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

                  Listen to Badger Dave get a drill holster etc.

                  It's a lot safer to use the two tools especially when on a ladder.

                  Use the drill to drill the hole and counter sink...
                  Holster the drill and use the impact driver to install the screw....
                  repeat as needed......

                  changing bits on an impact driver on a ladder will require two hands
                  and the possibility of dropping the driver bit and or drill bit is very likely.

                  Also get a magnetic ring [jack-rabbit or see McFeely's] for the impact driver bit to help hold the screw
                  or use square head [Robertson] screws Be sure to use the appropriate impact driver bit!
                  If you use "cheap bits" it's possible for them to jam in the impact driver and you'll
                  be back asking "how do I remove a stuck bit in my impact driver?!!"

                  go to the jackrabbit site.. their " mag ring " is $9.99 made in USA and excellent!
                  go to Mcfeely's site... WWW.Mcfeely' their " tip mag " is $10.40 and not that great
                  and has failed and fits poorly

                  McFeely's carries an excellent selection of impact driver rated bits..I also think DeWalt and
                  Milwaukee are also offering impact driver specific bits.

                  using the two tools may seem awkward but you will get into a rhythm and you will
                  become quite efficient.

                  Cactus Man
                  Last edited by cactusman; 04-05-2012, 04:57 PM. Reason: added mag ring websites


                  • #10
                    Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

                    Originally posted by Highlife View Post
                    Nope, it will impact all of the time.....
                    It will free spin until it sees a load, then it will impact. Most times a small drill bit won't load the tool up enough to make it rattle, but with larger bits it's going to impact irregardless of pressure exerted.
                    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!


                    • #11
                      Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

                      Ah, guess I haven't used light loads with mine yet. I have only used my x4 on building a deck so not much light use there. Usually the 12v impact is the first thing out of my bag, that thing works like a charm for me.


                      • #12
                        Re: Impact or Dill Driver or Both?

                        Two tools is my vote too. The reversible bits are not too good in my opinion

                        the ridgid driver you are looking at comes with a belt hook.