Impact tools are used to provide more driving power while driving screws, nuts, and bolts. Air driven impact wrenches are useful in the auto garage or pit row at the car racing. They create a vibrating, impact noise during the action.
With the advent of modern technology, the impact drivers can be replaced with battery tools. In fact, nowadays many NASCAR teams prefer using the DeWalt battery impact wrenches on the race day. It relieves them from the tension of those tedious air hoses.
How Does an Impact Driver Work?
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An impact driver has a unique work process that makes it an important power tool. The Impact wrenches are used to cast the drive mechanism with a highly powerful force, then back up and cast again.
Let’s assume that you want to break a brick wall with your car. To do this, you have to inch up to the wall, touch it, and then apply the gas. But, it will exert a certain amount of force which is may not be enough to break the wall. It depends on the structural strength of the wall.
But, if you get back 10 yards, slam on the gas, and then hit the wall, the speed, and momentum of the car will cause a significant impact on that wall (Caution! This is just an example to illustrate the process and NEVER try this).
The similar thing happens when you compare between a drill machine and impact wrench. A drilling machine works on the previous method (i.e. pulling the car up to the wall and then forcing on the gas). But an impact wrench hit the wall with sufficient speed by going 10 yards back.
So, the impact drivers provide more efficiency than a drill machine due to its improved driving mechanism.
Pros and Cons of an Impact Driver
Nothing is beyond limitations and neither is an impact driver. It has a few drawbacks that can bring you a bit trouble. An impact driver does not contain adjustable chucks like those cordless drills. So, you cannot use your old round bits with the impact driver.
In fact, impact drivers accept a socket and they use hex locking bits including a releasable sleeve on the tip of the drill, or anvil. Drill machines have clutches to separate the bit when a certain amount of resistance is achieved. It does not allow the screws to get drilled too far or stripped.
But, an impact driver does not include any clutch. This is another limitation of impact drivers. Though impact drivers are more efficient and faster, the absence of clutch may lead you to ruin the job if you are not careful while working.
Apart from these few limitations, an impact driver seems to have 100 pros. It is a very efficient tool for the carpenters or woodworkers. When a typical 18V drill machine produces 325 in-lbs. torque, an impact wrench produces nearly 16,00 in-lbs.!
Moreover, it does not consume as much electricity as a drill machine. It just hits as hard as possible, backs up, and then hit again. This is the only mechanism that makes an impact wrench more efficient than some best drills/drivers! It is able to drive long and contain large fasteners that most drill machines do not have.
An impact driver lets you work smoothly without exerting tremendous force due to its high rotational force. As the drill bit and motor cannot be connected on an impact driver, you will not experience high-level of torque while driving the screws.
Eventually, it will cause less fatigue in the wood and also reduce strain on your muscle. It is very useful especially when you need to drive a lot of screws for installing tile backer board, building a deck or screwing down the subfloor.
Moreover, an impact driver does not have much reactionary torque. Reactionary torque twists up your wrist while grabbing the drill machine to drive the screw. If you are a traditional drill machine user, you will understand the significance of this feature.
It lessens the risk of smashing your hand against the stud when cutting a hole. As an impact driver releases all its energy to the drive head instead of your wrist, it prevents the surface from fatigue and the possibility of injury.
The Bottom Line
The impact drivers are the blessing of modern technology and innovation. It is a great product and improved replacement of typical drill machines. Even if an impact driver works under maximum strain, it will not consume so much power like a drill.
Moreover, the lithium ion batteries of the Porter Cable impact drivers recharge very fast within just 30 minutes! So, you do not have to sit idle for a long time. Not only this, they can also hold the extra charge for an extended period of time.
Impact drivers are handier than drills due to its lightweight and small structure. Thus, it reduces the chance of big fatigue on the wooden surface. With the snub-nose design, you can get to the hard-to-reach places. You can use the impact driver using only one hand and it will leave another hand for holding other accessories depending on your project.
To be noted, most appreciated and liked the feature of an Impact driver (DeWalt Model) is a light that produces the beam to allow you work smoothly even in the low light condition.