Can I use an impact driver for screws?

An impact driver is used to drive metal objects into hard materials such as wood or plastic. An impact driver consists of two parts: a rotating head attached to a handle and an end cap which holds the bit in place while driving it into the material. The most common type of impact drivers are those with a ball bearing (also called a worm gear) for turning. Other types include screwdrivers with a hexagonal bore and others with a straight-tipped tip.

The purpose of an impact driver is to break up the object being driven into so that it does not damage other objects or cause injury. Impact drivers are typically used for drilling holes in solid materials such as steel, aluminum, concrete, brick and many others. They may also be used to drive nails through drywall and similar materials.

Impact Drivers For Screws

A good quality impact driver will have a high torque rating. A torque rating indicates the amount of force required to turn the bit at its maximum speed. Torque ratings are usually expressed in Newtons (N), pounds per square inch (psi) or inches-per-minute (in/min).

When choosing an impact driver, make sure it has a high torque rating and is rated for your application.

Impact Driver Bits

There are several different types of impact driver bits available today. Some of them have a flat face and some have a pointed tip. A pointy bit will make it easier to drive the bit into the surface without gouging out any deeper than necessary.

A flat-faced bit will usually cut into the material faster but may leave marks behind if they hit something else in your work area.

Now you have an understanding of what an impact driver is, now you need to know when it is appropriate to use one. There are many things that an impact driver can be used for, but here are some of the more common ones.

Impact drivers can be used in a wide range of materials, such as hardwoods, softwoods, particle board and plywood. They can also be used on softer materials like drywall and plaster. If you need to drive in short screws, then they can also be used for that purpose.

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Just remember if you are using it in a situation that may splinter the wood, like plywood for instance, then you will need to use a screw that has a flat-head rather than a standard slotted one.

You will also find that an impact driver can be used in more than just a straight line motion. They are able to use a ratchet mechanism to help in screwing and unscrewing tasks. This can be used in situations where you need to repeatedly tighten or loosen a bolt.

The regular hammer action when using an impact driver is not usually enough to damage most types of screws, but sometimes they will strip if used too much in the wrong direction. If this happens, you can usually save the screw by removing it with pliers or another tool and then trying again.

These are just some of the many uses for an impact driver. They are very versatile tools and they can save you a lot of time when working on projects around the house or in other situations where fastening might be required.

Buying an Impact Driver

If you are in the market for an impact driver, there are several things to consider. One of the most important things to know is what kind of batteries it requires. There are many different types of tools that require different types of power sources and it is important to make sure that you get one that uses a power source that you already have or are willing to buy.

A lot of power tools, like drills and impact drivers use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries nowadays. While these types of batteries generally hold a charge for a lot longer than older nickel-cadmium (NiCd) or nickel-hydrogen (NiHd) types, they are more expensive and can’t be thrown in the trash when they lose their ability to hold a charge. They must be recycled when they no longer work.

Another thing you will need to think about is how many amps your battery provides. You can usually find this on the battery itself. It will tell you something like “12V-1.3A”.

These numbers split up into their respective meanings are: The voltage of the battery (12V), the current of the battery (1.3A), and the Amp-Hours of the battery (20). This means that the battery provides 12 volts of power, 1.3 amps of current, and can provide up to 20 hours of energy.

Amp-hours is a measurement of how much power a battery can store and is represented with the letter “H” followed by a number. The higher this number is, the more energy it has, thus providing more power to your impact driver, and allowing it to work longer before it needs to be recharged or replaced.

Safety Tips

Because impact drivers are so powerful, it is very important that you take all the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and others around you. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when working.

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It is also a good idea to wear ear protection as well. This is especially true if you are working in an enclosed space where sound can reverberate off the walls and amplify it to deafening levels.

Another thing you can do to protect yourself and others around you is wear a dust mask. Since impact drivers can kick up a lot of dust or debris, particularly when drilling into concrete or asphalt, wearing a mask will help keep debris out of your lungs.

Make sure that you have a firm grip on the drill at all times. Since they sometimes tend to “wanderer” off course if you aren’t holding them straight.

Since impact drivers are very versatile, you can use them for many different types of projects. However, before attempting to use it for a project that you aren’t completely familiar with, make sure to read any and all instructions that come with the drill or any accessories. As with any other power tool, if you don’t know how to use it correctly or safely, don’t do it at all!

Finally, always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. While many power tools come with built-in safety features such as safety switches that won’t allow them to operate if they aren’t attached to something, they aren’t foolproof. Most of the time you will need to manually put the impact driver bit into a drill and it is very easy to accidentally activate the trigger when doing this, thus causing an accident.

Wearing safety goggles eliminates any chance of this happening.

As with any power tool, always observe safety first.

Common Questions

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask me about impact drivers. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, drop me an e-mail and I’ll add it with your name!

How do I know if an impact driver is good?

If it’s made by a reputable brand such as Ryobi, Milwaukee, or Makita then you should be fine. You can always do some research on the web to see what customers are saying about it.

What size of impact driver do I need?

This is going to depend on the specific job that you need to do. If you aren’t sure what size to get, then I would recommend that you look at the specifications of the project you’re working on and see what size bolt or screw you need to drive. Then just buy an impact driver that can accommodate those specifications.

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Can I use an impact driver to drill holes?

Yes, many impact drivers can be used to drill holes! They are really good for this actually. Now, they aren’t as good as a regular drill for this purpose, but they do a decent job overall.

They tend to work best with softer materials such as wood or light plastics.

I broke a few of the tips on my impact driver, can I get new ones?

Most likely you can! Just contact the company that makes your impact driver and ask them if they have replacement parts available. Since impact drivers tend to be a more specialized tool, many companies these days make replacement parts for them.

I can’t afford to buy an impact driver right now. Is there any way I can rent or borrow one?

You could always ask a friend if you can borrow theirs, but if all your friends already have theirs then you might have to spend a little money and buy one. However, if you are unsure of if you need one or not, then I would suggest that you don’t spend the money right away and wait a while before making the decision. A good rule of thumb is if you find yourself using a regular screwdriver several times a week, then it might be a good investment to buy an impact driver.

Can I use an impact drill to drive screws?

Yes, but this is not where they truly shine. They are designed to put their fastening power into one quick burst, so screwdriving is a bit of a slow process as far as they’re concerned. It’s perfectly capable of doing the job, but you’ll get much better results using a traditional drill/driver for this purpose and using the impact driver for its intended use.

Do I need to oil my impact driver? If so, how and how often?

Since the impact mechanism is made up of lots of small metal pieces, it is very important that you oil it on occasion to keep it running smoothly. Most models will come with detailed instructions on the type of oil to use and how to apply it. But in general most people find that applying a drop or two of oil onto the hammer area every month or so is sufficient.

It’s also a good idea to wipe off any excess oil that may have come out after applying.

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What are the most common accidents with impact drivers?

Since an impact driver has the ability to produce a lot of torque in a relatively small package, it is all too easy for the operator to lose control of it when things get slippery. When this happens and fingers or hands are placed in the path of the bit, the result is almost always serious injury.

Wear safety glasses and gloves and be very cautious about where you are aiming the impact driver.

Is it okay to leave an impact driver on its work surface when not in use?

Just like any cordless tool with a battery, storing an impact driver on its work surface can result in a lot of undesirable effects. A rechargeable battery will slowly lose its charge while sitting unused and this will eventually cause it to no longer hold a charge at all. If the battery is left in the charger for extended periods of time it can lead to overheating and explosion.

It is best to fully charge the battery until it is full and then remove it from the charger. If the impact driver isn’t going to see any action for a while, the battery can be removed entirely to prolong its life.

Is it normal for an impact driver to produce a lot of heat when in use?

Yes, especially if you are using the tool continuously for an extended period of time. Most impact drivers are designed to work without a problem in these conditions, but if you begin to notice a significant rise in temperature then it is possible that the tool will malfunction or even catch on fire. Pause and let the tool rest if you notice this happening.

How do I take care of my impact driver?

Most manufacturers will recommend that you apply a drop of oil to the hammer mechanism every month or so in order to keep it running smoothly. It is also a good idea to wipe off any excess oil that may come out after an application.

In addition to this, it is always good practice to wear safety glasses and gloves whenever operating the tool. This is a must whenever operating any power tool.

You should also avoid using the tool in wet or moist conditions as this could lead to shock or electrocution. It is also best to avoid working in cramped areas where your limbs may become entangled if the tool does start to slip.

What are the different types of impact drivers and which one is right for me?

The type of impact driver you need really depends on the types of jobs you plan on using it for. There are three main types of drivers and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages so you should choose the one that best fits your needs.

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1. Standard

A standard impact driver is a great all-purpose tool that can be used in just about any situation. They are the best choice for those who don’t have a specific need for one type of tool over another.

2. Drill and Driver Combination

If you are looking for a tool that can handle both drilling and driving tasks with equal aplomb then a drill and driver combination might be the right choice for you. These tools often come with extra features not found on other types of impact drivers such as adjustable torque settings, variable speeds, battery gauges, and even belt clips.

3. Right-Angle

Right-angle impact drivers are designed to get into those hard-to reach spaces and can prove very useful in tight spots. The head of the driver is perpendicular to the length of the tool so that it can fit into all sorts of small areas.

A good right angle impact driver can reach screws in hard to access areas

These types of drivers are often used for…well…driving screws in tight spots.

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