still down with impact drivers

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Forum topic by squazo posted 10-15-2018 04:00 AM 1023 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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173 posts in 2421 days

10-15-2018 04:00 AM

I was using my impact driver the other day as I often do, and I was listening to the radio when my favorite song came on so I decided to use a drill instead. much to my surprise it was not any harder to drive a 4 inch deck screw than with the impact driver. Now for some reason I remember when impact drivers came out It was like the best thing ever. What up?

18 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


5438 posts in 2163 days

#1 posted 10-15-2018 12:57 PM

I used to see a lot of Youtubers use impact drivers so decided to get one myself. I hate it and don’t see any reason to have one for what I do. I decided it was just a bunch of hype. I suppose that for construction work they might have their place but even then, most drill’s can drive screws just fine, especially since most of the construction screws are designed to sort of cut their own holes these days.

I saw a new tool tear down a while back where in the youtuber’s opinion, the impact mechanism just didn’t have much oomph so was a waste of money. Maybe newer impact drivers are just made more cheaply?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Redoak49's profile


4743 posts in 2764 days

#2 posted 10-15-2018 01:01 PM

I love my impact driver and use it mainly with 2×4 type construction.

If find it much easier on my hands and wrists .

View Tony1212's profile


434 posts in 2510 days

#3 posted 10-15-2018 01:30 PM

Are both tools cordless? My cordless drill will not drive a screw anywhere near as fast as my cordless impact driver. But my old, corded drill will.

Of course it could just be that my cordless drill sucks. It does most of what I need, but if I need a forstner bit sized hole, I reach for my corded drill.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View squazo's profile


173 posts in 2421 days

#4 posted 10-15-2018 01:48 PM

they are both 18 volt Milwaukee roughly 2 year old tools. I am going to start driving more screws with the drill and maybe shift back to using the drill. This is my second impact driver, after 4 years of good use my first burnt out, also a 18 volt Milwaukee and I just had to get another.

View HokieKen's profile


14069 posts in 1914 days

#5 posted 10-15-2018 02:06 PM

I love my impact driver. I have PC driver and drill. The drill is newer and 20V vs 18V for my impact driver. The driver is lighter and the impact action definitely has a noticable effect on driving screws. I’m sure there is variation depending on make/model/etc. That being said, I could live without the impact driver if I had to.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3341 posts in 4213 days

#6 posted 10-15-2018 02:27 PM

I’ve had a bosch set, driver and drill, for about 6 years now. I use my impact driver all the time. It’s lighter, and shorter. Being short makes it easier to drive screws. Keeping the pivot point closer to the unit makes things more stable when starting screws. Also, when the screw gets deeper the hammering effect makes it drive better. You’ll notice it particularly if you’re using phillips screws. They often won’t slip when the driving gets hard. (BTW… i’ve all but abandoned phillips heads).
A couple of minor points: I like the quick, pull open and closed to replace a driver bit. Sometimes I’m using two or three different sized screws at a time. They often have different sized bits. And, if I’m drilling and screwing alternating, then I don’t have to change back and forth if only using a drill for both.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View YesHaveSome's profile


176 posts in 1034 days

#7 posted 10-15-2018 02:32 PM

The impact driver is one of my favorite tools. Blows my drill out of the water in regards to screws. Could all be in my head though I guess.

-- But where does the meat go?

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1265 days

#8 posted 10-15-2018 02:40 PM

I use my impact driver far more than my drill, even considering the number of holes I have to drill. I find it much easier to use, and if I’m screwing something into the wall, the chatter is great feed back that you’re on the stud.

View xeddog's profile


303 posts in 3783 days

#9 posted 10-15-2018 02:53 PM

I use both, but the impact driver is mostly for larger screws and rough work. The drill is for smaller screws and work where the torque setting is important to keep from over-driving.


View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1592 days

#10 posted 10-15-2018 03:02 PM

I just finished screwing down about 250 square feet of hardi board in preparation for a ceramic floor installation. We used Hitachi impact and drill drivers for this job. The impact driver was about twice as fast. I also did a 5/4 deck board replacement job a few weeks ago and the difference was even more obvious. I also use my impact driver for mechanical work. The impact driver will loosen and remove rusted on nuts that a battery operated drill driver wouldn’t budge. I guess you could say I strongly disagree with the original assessment.

View squazo's profile


173 posts in 2421 days

#11 posted 10-15-2018 03:27 PM

craftsman on the lake you bring up good points about the quick change, and it being shorter. I use #2 square drives, I hate phillips. I even special order square drive drywall screws when I am doing drywall.

ArtMann good point about loosening rusted mechanical stuff.

View bilyo's profile


1112 posts in 1878 days

#12 posted 10-15-2018 03:48 PM

I have had a 12v set (drill and impact driver) for many years and love them. The impact feature makes up for the lower torque of a 12v system and I find there is very little that the impact driver won’t run a screw into. I have learned, however, that the impact feature is too much for small screws. For those I will use the drill and adjust its clutch to keep from stripping them out or twisting them off. Each tool has its purpose and place. The 12v system is smaller and lighter and gets the job done for me. However, I don’t build decks or similar all day every day where an 18v or larger system would be better.

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2734 days

#13 posted 10-15-2018 04:29 PM

I completed a new mahogany deck last summer. For years a drill was all I used and never had a complaint. Screws have improved, they start easier and cause less splitting than they used to.

Where the impact driver made a different, was with the larger Simpson hex-head screws. Those take a bit more work. The lighter compact style of the driver is also better.

Plus, with the mahogany, I had to pre-drill every deck board. So a drill and driver combo was convenient.

I do like the light touch offered by the drill over the driver. One can overdrive pretty easily.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Jared_S's profile


351 posts in 735 days

#14 posted 10-15-2018 07:31 PM

I currently have 5 different milwaukee impacts (mostly fuel) there is no way I’d use a drill for anything other than drilling holes or mixing thinset.

View MrRon's profile


5913 posts in 4019 days

#15 posted 10-15-2018 08:07 PM

Ever since cordless drills came out, I’ve used them for driving screws. I still use a cordless drill even though I now have an impact driver. I have used my impact driver to drive 3/8” lag bolts, something the cordless drill won’t do well.

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