Is impact driver preferred tool for pocket hole joinery

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Forum topic by Florida Gramps posted 08-24-2018 04:18 PM 1889 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Florida Gramps

18 posts in 1635 days

08-24-2018 04:18 PM

I had problems with overdriving pocket screws in the past…....will using an impact drill solve that problem. I am going to make a large router table cabinet using pocket holes. I watched a Kreg video on u-tube that made this look pretty easy

-- Florida Gramps

11 replies so far

View fivecodys's profile


1562 posts in 2244 days

#1 posted 08-24-2018 04:34 PM

I have over driven screws using both my cordless drill and my Impact driver.
With my cordless drill I can set the clutch (if I remember) to help prevent this from happening.
The impact driver is where I have had to be the most careful.
It seems like this only happens in plywood or MDF in my shop.
Your results may vary.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View bondogaposis's profile


5605 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 08-24-2018 05:12 PM

Yes, setting the clutch on your cordless drill or driver is the best way to prevent overdriving.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View tmasondarnell's profile


119 posts in 2398 days

#3 posted 08-24-2018 05:14 PM

Another vote for using the clutch on your drill to avoid the over driving problem.

View Bill_Steele's profile


636 posts in 2340 days

#4 posted 08-24-2018 05:33 PM

+1 for using the clutch on the drill/driver. It’s relatively easy to overdrive the fastener with the impact driver so that would not be my first choice.

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1832 days

#5 posted 08-24-2018 06:05 PM

Another vote for drill but for other reasons. I have had my driver break off one screw as it was going in.

Also, it has to do with most pocket holes being square head. I can’t stand using them because the bit can get stuck rather good in the head of the screw and hard to take out. An impact driver really makes that worse and is probably one of the causes of that happening. Some may say it’s from a poor quality bit but I only use the better named brand bits for my tools.

I prefer the impact on torx or phillip’s head and a drill with clutch for square head.

View Rich's profile


5147 posts in 1198 days

#6 posted 08-24-2018 06:43 PM

I use the impact driver. A quick wipe on the threads with Screw Lube eliminates the breakage problem. When it’s a situation for potential for over-driving, I use the impact driver until it starts to go into impact mode, then hand tighten the rest of the way.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View maxyedor's profile


31 posts in 933 days

#7 posted 08-24-2018 07:00 PM

Impact drivers generally have more torque than drills do, I switched from my 18v impact to a 12v impact and it helped, switched from the 12v impact to a 12v drill and dialed the clutch back and it’s perfect. In hardwoods I still use an impact, but for soft woods, plywood, MDF etc the little drill is great with no chance of over-driving the screws.

View Ub1chris's profile


133 posts in 1988 days

#8 posted 08-24-2018 07:15 PM

Seems like I’m in the minority. I don’t do pocket screws often but when I do I drive them by hand. Might be slower but I haven’t overdriven one yet.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5522 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 08-25-2018 06:34 AM

I use a Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4in. Hex Impact Driver. My model has 3 digital power setting. I set it one 1 or 2 and have no problems over driving. You still have to keep and eye on it but it works well for me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Robert's profile


3602 posts in 2089 days

#10 posted 08-25-2018 02:50 PM

I have a both 12V and 18V drivers. I like the 12V lightness and compactness. The 18V is just too powerful for pocket screws in my hands.

That said, I use a 12V drill when pocket screwing plywood (which isn’t very often :-).

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View RDan's profile


133 posts in 2932 days

#11 posted 08-25-2018 06:16 PM

The new M12 Impact Fuel 4, has 4 settings and is even smaller than my 2 speed impact. The last Generation Fuel has 2 speeds and I have 2 of those. If I need more torque, I use my M18 Fuel that has 3 settings. Dan

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