A power drill is a mainstay tool in any DIY enthusiasts collection and most households will have one. But what is an impact driver and should you purchase one? The following article will answer that first question for you and help you decide on an answer on the second! This guide is written to help you understand the basics and the advantages and disadvantages of both a standard drill and an impact driver drill. Continue reading to see which fits your needs best and whether it is time for an upgrade.
An impact driver (or impact drill) and a cordless drill are some of the most common and recognisable tools on the market, with most workshops and toolboxes containing one or the other. As common as they are, if you’re new to DIY or power tools the differences may not be immediately obvious. This article will help those who are not overly familiar with tools to be able to learn the differences between the two types of drill and consider the benefits of each.
While both the drill and impact driver may look similar, they function very differently. They both also come in corded and cordless models and can run in reverse for the ability to remove screws with ease.
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What is a Drill Driver?
Everyone has seen a drill driver at some point or another in their lives. Over time, the drill has become less frequently corded and moved more towards cordless models all without sacrificing the versatility or durability that the power drill is known for. Over time this streamlining of the drill has resulted in newer, more efficient models being produced.
As anyone who has used a drill can tell you, as effective as they are there will come a time when you are trying to drill into a particularly tough piece of material that the drill will struggle with, which can result in sore wrists and sometimes even worn down screws.
There is however a great deal of flexibility with drills, as you are now able to control the drill at different speeds and most drills these days come with a spindle lock that allows you to switch to different sized drill bits as needed to provide you with a larger variety of screws you can work with.
The drill driver is a classic power tool and is unlikely to disappear from a workman’s collection any time soon.
What is an Impact Driver?
Although very similar in looks, the impact driver is a different tool in its own right, with a more high-end feel and a variety of upgrades available to it.
The fundamentals are of course the same, it enables you to insert a screw into a hole with ease. The benefit of the impact drill however is that when your screw meets mounting resistance from the material you are using, the impact drill is able to apply an increased level of torque. This added power gives you a greater level of control when using the drill and makes angling and directing the screw much easier, making it more comfortable to use and reduces the likelihood of you having to replace stripped screws.
The only real downside to the impact drill is that you never know when the additional torque is going to be applied so if you’re looking for precision, the standard drill driver may be the better choice for you. It is not so much a choice of picking one over the other, but rather using whichever one is more suited to the job you are completing.
The Uses of the Impact Driver and Drill Driver
The biggest difference between the two models we are looking at is the range of different jobs that each tool can complete. The cordless power drill is your best choice for versatility and adaptability and is great for drilling holes of different sizes. The ability to switch out different drill bits for different uses such as grinding wheels and polishing wheels makes it ideal for all manner of home projects. Combine that with its consistent torque level and this tool really is a great all-rounder
The impact drill however is better used for removing screws or driving in screws or fasteners. Rest assured, the impact drill still allows you to drill new holes but you will need to purchase additional drill bits called hex shank drill bits that are specific to the impact drill you are using. These hex shank drill bits are unfortunately not available in all sizes like the drill bits for regular power drills are. This means that should you have a cordless drill around and the material is softer, it is usually advisable to use this instead of an impact drill in this situation.
Impact Drivers and Tek Screws
Impact drivers really come into their own when it comes to driving in longer screws and TEK screws. While TEK screws are a brand in themselves, they have become synonymous with self drilling screws around the globe. Using TEK screws removes the need to drill holes into your material prior to using them, making your work that much faster. The screws do require you to apply some pressure initially which can make your wrists quite sore, especially on larger projects, but it makes the drilling experience itself that much easier.
How Much Force Do You Need to Use?
Considering the information above, you would be forgiven for wondering why it is worth considering the impact drill when it seems like it can only do a smaller percentage of the tasks that a regular power drill can carry out. This is why it is worth pointing out that the impact drill has a far superior rotary power thanks to its internal impact mechanism. As mentioned previously, this means it can provide much more torque when in use and far surpasses that of the regular cordless drill. This means the impact drill is far more powerful, enabling you to drive home more screws and fasteners at a much faster rate.
Should You Use A Brushed or Brushless Motor?
Another factor to consider when looking at a new drill is whether you want one with a brushed or brushless motor. The difference between the two mostly comes down to how much friction is generated and how it is generated. Brushed motors tend to be made of carbon whereas brushless use magnets to generate their power.
Brushes are essential for effective use in brushed motors as they ensure the best transmission of power to the rotor. These components do create fiction however and are prone to wearing down as they are in constant contact.
Because the power generated by brushless motors is created by magnets and not through direct contact, this means that no friction is created thereby producing less heat and also causing less wear on the mechanisms inside the drill motor. Overall, this provides a much better performance.
Because brushless motors require less maintenance the cost of them to purchase is higher, but if you will be getting frequent and extended use from them then it may be worth investing that money into a tool that will stand the test of time. If you only need it for the occasional project, a brushed motor should suit your purposes just fine and will save you money on the initial purchase.
Considering all of the above, you should now be able to understand the similarities and differences between impact drivers and regular drills and the pros and cons of each. It is recommended that for infrequent use you are better off using a cordless power drill but larger or more complex projects would benefit frim the use of an impact drill. Hopefully the above information will now be able to help you make an educates and informed choice.