Impact drivers are one of those tools that once you use it, you can never do without out. Impact driver is not to be confused with a drill driver as they look very similar. Impact driver is a specialist power tool that is designed to fasten and unfasten (screw and unscrew) as fast and efficiently as possible without much effort from you.
What are some of the things you can use an impact driver for?
- Building flat pack furniture
- Putting up shelves
- Screwing directly into timer
- Directly screwing into thin metal sheets
- Screwing together decking
- Screwing directly into masonry with the right screws
- Fastening and unfastening bolts and nuts
- Fastening and unfastening various types of screws
Essentially an impact driver can do any task that requires fastening and unfastening.
Why should you use an impact driver over a cordless drill or screwdriver?
At this point you may be thinking, I already have a cordless drill or cordless screwdriver, why should I bother with an impact driver.
The first reason why an impact driver is better at fastening and unfastening, is that it produces massive amounts of torque. Average impact driver can produce anywhere from 100Nm-220NM of torque, a cordless drill produces around 20Nm-60Nm of torque, and cordless electric screwdrivers produce around 2Nm-11Nm.
Why is torque important?
Torque id the amount of power behind the RPM, if you have high RPM and low torque, the chuck will spin fast, as soon as it experiences any resistance it will struggle to drive the screw in. High torque ensures that if the chuck experiences resistance, it continues to to drive the screw all the way in.
High torque allows you to better tighten screws, and better at loosening tight stubborn screws.
Another stand out feature on an impact driver is its impacts per minute. Both cordless drill and cordless electric screwdriver lack this feature. Why is this feature so important for fastening and unfastening?
First, lets explain how this feature works.
Imagine you are trying to loosen a bolt with a wrench, and it just wont budge. You grab a hammer and start hitting the end of the wrench until it starts to loosen, the hammer adds more force (torque).
This is what an impact driver does. It has an internal mechanism that hits the rotational part of the impact driver mechanism, in some drivers, it hits the rotational part up to 50 times a second. This is what produces the massive amounts of torque that helps loosen or tighten stubborn screws.
The impacts per minute is what separates an impact driver from a cordless drill, and cordless electric screwdriver.
Do You Need an Impact Driver?
If you are planning to do a lot of fastening and unfastening, then I would say yes. For example, if you have to unfasten a lot of screws, an impact driver will be the most efficient tool to do this with, as more concentration will be required with a cordless drill or electric screwdriver.
Choosing an impact Driver?
When it comes to buying an impact driver the main specs you need to take into consideration are Impacts Per Minute, RPM and torque. Obviously the higher the better. For general home use, even budget spec impact drivers will be good enough for most jobs.
If you are buying an impact driver as a tradesman, its best to buy from brands such as Makita and DeWalt as they are made for tradesmen, and their power tools are very high quality. Not only are their tools high quality, but you can interchange batteries between different cordless tools within their brand.
You also need to take into consideration the size of the unit. If you plan to use it in tight confined spaces, look for a compact impact driver. Battery size, batteries come in various Ah, usually 2Ah, 3Ah, 4Ah and 5Ah, if you need longer run time, get the biggest battery you can.
- How to Operate an Impact Driver
- How to Does an Impact Driver Work
- How to Use Impact Driver to Remove Screws
- How to Use Impact Driver as a Drill