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 1369 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Florida Gramps

16 posts in 1449 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


1437 posts in 2059 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.

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

View bondogaposis's profile


5457 posts in 2774 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


113 posts in 2212 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


525 posts in 2154 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


1452 posts in 1646 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


4583 posts in 1012 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.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View maxyedor's profile


24 posts in 747 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


132 posts in 1803 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


5317 posts in 2732 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


3441 posts in 1903 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


103 posts in 2746 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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