An impact driver is a tool which can deliver a strong rotational force and forward thrust when struck on the back with a hammer. Impact drivers offer very high-torque operations. It normally accepts bits with a ¼-inch hex shank. The reason behind its popularity is its weight. It is lightweight in nature and will do many of the same functions of a cordless drill driver. Impact drivers are far better than cordless drills in many ways. It is usually used by the mechanics to loosen frozen screws. Nowadays, the homeowners are using it for several DIY (Do It Yourself) projects.
Now, let us see the difference between impact drivers and hammer drills to understand it even better. The first and foremost difference between them is the type of force used. Hammer drills use a hammering action to exert force when necessary. This kind of action provides the fundamental penetration needed to drive the fastener through a hard material. Hammer drills are commonly used to drive bolts into concrete, masonry, heavy metal, brick, etc.
On the other hand, there are certain things you need to know about impact drivers such as an impact driver uses rotational force to drive a screw and saves its quick power when it feels any kind of resistance. Impact drivers work fine for long screws when working with wooden materials. It can handle large bolts and screws more conveniently than our traditional compact drills. It can add 2x or 3x more torque compared to a regular drill. So, if you are working on a DIY project where it requires to build a pergola, an impact driver is the option to select.
Now, if we look at the dark side, unlike the regular drill, an impact driver is nothing without the variable speed. So, if you are looking for precision, impact driver will not be a suitable option. Sometimes, impact drivers face issues while drilling into brick.
Now let us discuss whether you need an impact driver or not. If you are to drill holes and drive medium-sized screws, a regular drill will do it. However, if you want to do some DIY projects like building a deck or installing a plywood subfloor, then an impact driver is a must. It will cut down the work hours significantly and give you the satisfaction of driving large screws into the wood with a few seconds.
Nowadays, there are a number of impact drivers available in the market. Sometimes, it is difficult to choose the right one for your task. Most of the impact drivers are battery powered and they usually come in three battery sizes- 12v, 18v and 20v. Higher voltage means more power and more torque. You know 18, 20 is just a numbers game, but you will find differences between 12v and 20v. More power is good if you have to drive many large fasteners. Moreover, higher voltage requires higher batteries and that will be heavier in nature. So, you have to be careful while using these heavier ones as they can be slipped out of our belt.
In short, I believe this beginner’s guide to impact drivers will help you to start your DIY projects today.