Once You Go Impact, You’ll Never Go Back

A friend of mine is a tool junkie. He has at least one tool for every job. Often he has more than one. This is especially true for cordless drills. He has about fifteen of them and most of them are DeWalt. Many times I would have my drill out, within easy reach, with the right bit in it, and he would still go get his. He never used my drill, or at least never wanted too. He called himself a drill snob and I agreed. My Porter Cable was a fine drill, worked with no problems, and only had recently become weak in the battery department. Why wouldn’t he use my drill? Turns out it wasn’t my drill that he had problems with, he had become used to using his drill and impact driver combo. Apparently, the two together were a deadly combination. His said his drill was good, but the lethal blow was handed out by the impact driver. I blew him off at first. It was just another tool. It was just more money to spend. It was just another trophy for his case.

Then I used it. It was fast, strong and light. I couldn’t believe how well it worked. Here’s the thing – the impact driver doesn’t just drive screws. It kicks their butts and asks for more. It starts out fast, driving the screws at maximum speed until it hits enough resistance. Then the impact kicks in and it beats it home. It does all of this without stripping the head or breaking the screws. The best part is that when you are driving screws from odd angles, especially above your head, it takes about half the force to hold it in place. And did I mention, it doesn’t strip the head. It is unbelievable!

Now, if I don’t have an impact driver with me I find myself thinking, “This is how they used to do it in the olden days.” Sure, it works. You can drive screws with a drill. But once you go impact, you’ll never go back.

Note: I have since used a Bosch, Makita and Hitachi, as well as the DeWalt, and all have worked great. The key seems not to be in the make, but just in the fact that it is an impact driver. If you were to purchase one, I would only recommend to get one that matches the batteries you already have.

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About wunderwoods

Hi! My name is Scott Wunder and I am the owner of WunderWoods Custom Woodworking. We build wine cellars, built-ins and furniture from local woods, here in St. Louis, MO. Recently, I finished a three-year term as the President of the St. Louis Woodworkers Guild, which had me writing a monthly article for our newsletter. I love to write, especially about wood, and found that I still had more to say. Every day I run into something wood related that I realize some of my customers don't know and this seems like a great forum for sharing what I have learned (instead of telling the same story to each person). The main thing to remember is that I try to keep it light and as my wife always reminds people that have just met me, "He is joking."

One response to “Once You Go Impact, You’ll Never Go Back”

  1. Mike Emanuel says :

    Amen! I own the Makita 18V, I purchased it right before I built my deck. Looking back, I could not have imagined driving all of the deck board fasteners with a regular cordless drill. Those screws where stainless and the heads more prone to strip than ordinary steel screws. With the impact I saved myself time and a lot of wasted screws.

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