When it comes to DIY, it makes sense to have as many power tools at your disposal as possible. You may be working with a variety of nails and screws, and you’re going to need plenty of back-ups to make the most of your home projects. When it comes to especially long screws, you may need a cordless impact driver to help you push that final bit into a particularly stubborn piece of wood.
Best Impact Driver (December 2019)
But what exactly does an impact driver do? Surely a simple electric or hammer drill should do the trick for most screw jobs? Not always. In fact, there are many occasions where you’re going to need an extra bit of force to get that last little bit of metal sunk into place. You may need an impact driver, and not even know it.
Best Runner-Up: Still A Good Option
Impact Drivers: A Buyer’s Guide For 2019
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what you need to know when shopping for an impact driver for the first time. What’s more, we’ll also take a look at some of the most common queries people ask when buying them, both online and on the high street.
Why Buy an Impact Driver?
It’s tempting to think that your trusty old drill or hammer will do enough for you. However, in some cases, you’re going to need a little bit more oomph behind you to finish the job. Impact drills differ from basic tools in terms of the torque and RPM they offer.
This means that it has enough torque to carefully guide troublesome screws into tough material, while never overdoing it on the speed. In fact, it’s too much speed which can lead to screws getting ruined or rebuffed with standard drill sets.
Impact drills could save you a lot of time and hassle. Traditional drills are only really capable of doing so much. Impact systems are designed to finish off long or complex screw jobs which would otherwise take hours of painstaking adjustment through general means and with everyday power tools.
It may not seem like an essential piece of kit, but you only have to ask people who have used them to understand the clear difference it could make to your projects.
Impact Driver Types
As with all power tools, impact drivers can be split into different types depending on your needs. Generally, you’ll be able to choose between corded and cordless models. But what are the benefits and drawbacks of either?
Corded drivers, on the whole, are preferred by people who want to make a minimal investment. They may not be seen as the most popular, but they can pack a lot of power. Therefore, it’s not advised you count them out entirely. The obvious drawbacks are, of course, that they can be restricting and that they are often a lot heavier.
Cordless drivers, meanwhile, are much lighter and are much more flexible. You’ll be able to get into tighter spots, and you’ll also be able to transport your tool with you with greater ease. There’s also no chance of you getting tangled up in awkward wires or cables. That alone should be enough to convince you.
However, cordless models can be more expensive, and if you are unlikely to be needing an impact driver for many different jobs, it may not be worth shelling out too much. What’s more, some corded drivers may actually be more powerful. Take a look around and see what experienced users have to say.
Features to Look Out For
As always, power tools will differ from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, there’s going to be a few features and factors you might want to keep your eye out for.
Some drivers are fitted with quick release technology or keyless chucks. This means that you can easily switch out bits and chucks without getting bogged down in the process.
This may sound simple, but how easy is it to tell that your driver has plenty of juice left? Cordless models will only offer you so much power off the charge. Some models don’t have any kind of indicator, which could leave you in a tight spot. Even if it’s just a simple LED, power indication can make all the difference.
The best impact drivers are specially designed to protect you when you are working. You aren’t always going to get great shock absorbency from more affordable models on the market. Things to look for include rubber grips, which can really make all the difference. Check the design of a driver before you buy. Where possible, ask to have a feel of it before you go to the checkout.
Braking and Reversing
More advanced impact drivers will give you total control over where and what your tool does. If you need to reverse a screw, for example, you may simply need to flick a switch. Braking can be useful for more experienced users so that you can be more economical about the chucks and bits you use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether or not you’ve shopped for an impact driver before, it’s worth consulting some common queries before buying.
I Don’t Do Much DIY. Do I Need a Driver?
Maybe not. Impact drivers can be very useful for people who undertake regular projects. They are seen as a serious investment for professionals. If you’re literally taking on one or two jobs a year, at most, it may be worth reconsidering.
How Much Should I Pay for an Impact Driver?
This is going to depend on the functionality and capability you require. The more you pay, the more advanced your technology will be. You will probably expect to pay as little as £40-£50 for the most basic systems, but more advanced models and full kits will demand over £100 from you. Choose wisely!
Impact drivers could be the ticket you need to deal with awkward screws and everyday DIY nightmares. Take a look at what people are saying, and weigh up whether you think it’s a worthy investment for your cause.