Do I need an Impact Driver?

Ever asked yourself…do I really need an impact driver?

Pretty simple one this… Yes! Stop Reading, go get one!

Okay, for those of you that want a bit more information so you can justify it to the missus I’ll break it down for you.
Why buy an impact driver?

The vast majority of you reading will own a combi or a drill driver and I can almost guarantee that you use it mainly for driving more than drilling! If you’re drilling all day into tough materials then chances are you’ll own an SDS Hammer Drill. After all an SDS is a specialist drill built to deal with jobs far tougher than a combi drill is. Well that’s exactly the same for an impact driver when it comes to screw driving; because its a specialist!

Dewalt DCF885

An impact driver is designed solely for screwdriving and is damn good at it; this is highlighted by the fact that impact drivers have a ¼” Hex Shank, which is deliberately engineered for ‘screw driver bits’ whereas a drill has a ‘chuck’ that will accept all sorts of different sizes and shape of bits.

Drill vs Impact Driver

Impact Driver Brands

An impact driver has a completely bespoke motor designed with the sole purpose of generating the most amount of torque (driving power) possible in the smallest space hence the compact design when compared to a drill driver. The ingenious motor has two internal pistons that spin around when the driver is engaged and smack against each other (a bit like holding a nut with a spanner and hitting the end of it as hard as you can with a hammer). It is this action that generates the high levels of torque and the minimal impact on your wrist. I will soon write a blog article that explains how an impact driver works –  Watch this space!

It’s not only better at protecting your wrist than a drill but also it’s much quicker. Those in the trade know that half of the battle is speed and an impact driver can drive screws far quicker than a traditional drill driver. Something else to consider is if you’re working on certain materials with a combi  you’ll often need to drill pilot holes before screwing. Prior to the invent of the impact driver you’d have to continually change your drill bit to a screwdriver bit and back again. With an impact driver that isn’t necessary as the ‘impact’ action of the driver makes that initial push into the timber meaning that you don’t even need a pilot hole! Simple and Fast!

Compare combi drill and impact driver

I think the best way of telling you the importance of having an impact driver in your cordless kit is to show you what it can do so watch this video where I pop my ITS TV hat on and do a pretty straight forward demo of an impact driver taking on both a light duty and heavy duty combi drill.

So is an impact driver worth it?

Absolutely! There’s no doubt about it, if you’re in a trade that requires a sizeable amount of screwdriving then it’ll be a god send to you! An impact driver will drive a 150mm screw roughly 3 times quicker than a normal drill driver or combi will and in doing so you’ll barely feel any pressure on your wrist.

Makita Impact Driver

To Sum things up Impact Drivers offer:

          – Specialist screwdriver designed solely for that purpose
          – Up to 3x faster screw driving than a traditional combi drill
          – Minimal pressure on your hand and wrist
          – Compact design and lightweight
          – Most Cordless power tools brands have a model
          – Can join a cordless power tool kit / family

I do know that some of you will have concerns but believe me; given the time you’ll save using one you will make your money back after just one or two jobs, and in the long term you’ll do far less damage to your hand or wrist. Furthermore given the prices of modern combi drills then it really isn’t much more of an expense to ‘upgrade’ to a 2 piece kit. Take the heavy duty Makita DHP458 drill, if you were to buy that with a case, charger and 2x batteries then you could add an 18V impact driver and get a 2 piece kit for around £60 more! Its a no brainer.

I hope that’s been helpful and gives you a better way of explaining your reasons for wanting to add an impact driver to your power tool collection.

If you have any questions on Impact drivers please leave a comment below and I will get back to you! – Please share this article by using the social buttons.

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