Before understanding impact drivers, it is necessary to understand drills and their function. Driven fasteners into materials is the primary function of drills. This can be achieved by rotating the motor with your hand and applying pressure. It’s pretty simple. Suppose the material is denser and more difficult to drill into? When digging, can it happen to hit a knot or hard place? Is it possible to have too much drag on a long faster? Although adding pressure might seem like a good idea, it is not always the best. This causes the motor to be overloaded, bogging it down and possibly damaging it.
An impact driver is a tool that provides a complete and sudden rotation and forwards thrust when struck with a hammer. The device is often used by mechanics to loosen larger screws (bolts) and nuts that have become corrupted or over-torqued. It is also possible to reverse the direction of rotation if the screws need to be tightened with greater torque than a screwdriver is capable of providing.
With its two-pronged approach, an impact driver precisely tackles these types of challenges. To drive fasteners through more rigid materials, impact drivers use motors that generate greater torque than drills. Impact drivers use an impact action to go buckles through the material. A power drill is more precise and powerful, but an impact driver is less powerful. Despite that, the design resulted in an instrument that landed somewhere in the middle of all three.
What are the types of Impact Drivers?
It is easy to think all impact drivers are alike in an industry dominated by cordless impact drivers. Despite the convenience of battery-powered impact drivers, this is not the only option. Take a look at the difference types of impact drivers available.
1. The Corded
The availability of corded impact drivers can be hard to find, but they exist. These devices are not battery-powered but instead plug directly into a power outlet. Obviously, the advantage is that a spare battery is available at all times and you don’t have to charge the battery. Compact designs have the disadvantage of reducing efficiency. Working in tight spaces is difficult due to the long power cord and having to fumble with it.
2. The Wireless
The most common impact driver type is cordless or battery-powered. Whether plugged into the car or any other item in the garage, the cords do not snag. Cordless technology isn’t the same for all devices, though. Generally, you can choose from two different sizes and various levels of power across the other lines. There are compact designs available for you if you don’t like the traditional layout. Compact versions are less powerful, but they’re great for workspaces with claustrophobia.
3. The Pneumatic
A pneumatic impact screwdriver is a tool that is extremely rare in today’s world powered by electricity. These models have all the features of impact drivers, but are driven by air pressure rather than electricity. They are lighter and more powerful because of that genetic alteration, but that also means you must use an air compressor to do work.
4. The Manual
Manual impact drivers are not power tools, but they deserve mention. To make rotational force, you attach a bit to the driver’s nose and strike the tool’s rear. Using an ax and hammer is like using a hammer and chisel at the most basic level. The types mentioned above can handle more significant, more complicated tasks better, but these are great for releasing extremely stubborn hardware because they create a tremendous amount of force. If you lose all your batteries, it’s always good to have a backup manually.
How does an impact driver work?
Impact drivers create incredible amounts of power, but the mechanism behind these helpful tools is relatively simple. A motor provides the rotational force, which is very similar to that of a drill. There’s no room for the anvil and hammer, so it’s smaller.
The output shaft is like that of a drill. Rather than driving a hammer and anvil, this machine uses a spring to do so before the output shaft reaches the chuck. Once the spring is loaded enough, the hammer becomes as forceful as a drill, and the anvil acts like a drill bit. Once enough resistance is provided by the fastener, the magic happens.
When the spring is under load, the hammer can come off the anvil and separate from the anvil. It spins freely until the anvil is struck again, then snaps back into position. The impact action is caused by the collision between the hammer and the anvil. In turn, that impact provides the force that drives the fastener into place. In this way, a wrench is struck with a hammer on a much smaller scale than a hammer.
What are the benefits of Impact Drivers?
Convenient and compact: The impact driver is a user-friendly handheld power tool that combines ease of use with the comfort of use. They’re usually not more than two pounds in weight and are easy to carry. A driver can be taken anywhere in a carrying case, toolbox, or even a backpack.
Strong torque: Besides offering the highest torque and rotational force, impact drivers are made to drive fasteners like screws more efficiently and effectively than drills. Impact drivers are convenient for removing stubborn fasteners since they have plenty of torque.
Fast and efficient: A screwdriver with an impact motor is quick and convenient to drive a screw in place. Using the tool, even large screws can be operated quickly (with a greater rotational force and a short burst). This is more efficient than drilling.
More excellent stability: When drilling bits slip and spin, it can make your job more challenging, but impact drivers are usually more stable. Even at increased speeds, drivers retain better engagement with screw heads, preventing slipping or spinning.
Pricing of Impact Drivers
- Under $50: If you’re on a tight budget, you can still find a few high-powered impact drivers for under $50. Cordless models and battery swappable options are available, but there isn’t an overwhelming selection.
- $50 to $100: The more impact drivers you find in this range, the larger the selection will be. It’s all within $50 to $100, including corded, cordless, mid-range, and high-end models.
- $100 and up: If you’re looking for the highest quality impact drivers, you can expect to pay at least $100. Price ranges in this range include higher-quality and specialized products and handheld power tool systems that can be charged by removable batteries.
If you are dealing with long fasteners or tricky materials, impact drivers are intended to replace drills. A quick-change collet can be used to attach multiple types of bits when need be. A drill is less powerful than an impact driver.
Normally, no. Even though technological advances may allow exceptions to the rules, impact drivers typically cannot remove lug nuts.
Impact wrenches should not be used for drilling holes or tightening nuts and bolts when precision is required. There are circumstances in which impact drivers can replace drills, but the impact, increased power, and clean fit and finish aren’t well known.