Drill Clutch, Use them or lose Them?????? #1: Drill Clutch, Use Them or Lose Them?????

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Blog entry by Tony Z posted 12-12-2009 09:21 PM 9674 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Drill Clutch, Use them or lose Them?????? series Part 2: The results are in! »

Here’s a quick poll for everyone. Almost all cordless drills now come equipped with a clutch with up to 20+ settings. Does anyone out there use them???? I keep mine set on the most powerfull setting, or on my drills, the setting with the picture of the drill bit. If I need some finesse, in driving a screw for example, I just take my time and feather the trigger. What are your thoughts? I will post the results after I get enough responses. Please answer with the following answers:

A. Need More Powwa!! – Never use the clutch settings.

B. Only wooden drywall screws? – Sometimes use the clutch settings.

C. I need more settings!!!!- Always use the clutch settings.

-- Tony, Ohio

25 comments so far

View captkerk's profile


169 posts in 3269 days

#1 posted 12-12-2009 09:24 PM

B- I sometimes use them.

When driving a lot of screws (like decking) I’ll use the clutch to make it quicker to get consistent results.

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3478 days

#2 posted 12-12-2009 09:48 PM

B – I use them on small short screws that might strip out.

View Ampeater's profile


440 posts in 3775 days

#3 posted 12-12-2009 10:07 PM

I can see where “wooden drywall screws” would be a problem. I always use steel drywall screws since they are much harder to break. LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

C – I always use the clutch. Have you ever tried to drive one of those drywall screws into MDF. With the clutch set to MAX, you might as well use a drill bit instead of a screw as it will quickly strip out.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."



56 posts in 3136 days

#4 posted 12-12-2009 11:04 PM

B only some of the time, small stuff.

-- A day without sawdust is like a day without sunshine

View Garyb6's profile


306 posts in 3658 days

#5 posted 12-12-2009 11:09 PM

B – Sometimes use them. Usually AFTER I drive a screw too deep.

-- Garyb6, “True simplicity does not reveal the tremendous effort it requires.” - Somerset Maugham

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3428 days

#6 posted 12-13-2009 01:20 AM


View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2795 posts in 3466 days

#7 posted 12-13-2009 01:26 AM

And for drilling. If I’m not using a drill press I usually get my drill that plugs in.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#8 posted 12-13-2009 01:44 AM

I almost never use the clutch. When I have used the cluth invariably the screw won’t be set deep enough and I have to back it out and give it more torque.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ROY53's profile


77 posts in 3206 days

#9 posted 12-13-2009 02:53 AM

Never. Haven’t used a drill to put in a screw since I got my impact driver.

-- Roy L, Arizona

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 3654 days

#10 posted 12-13-2009 03:09 AM


This is my favorite cordless drill, so I guess I would have to say A….

-- Steve-o

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3136 days

#11 posted 12-13-2009 03:13 AM

I usually just set it to maximum now, like Scott I always seemed to set the clutch too low and have to do it over.

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3227 days

#12 posted 12-13-2009 03:19 AM

B but I usually don’t switch over until I after I should have.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3384 days

#13 posted 12-13-2009 05:45 AM

its all about control.


You develop a feel of when to stop within the first two screws of a certain wood type. I even use ful power when applying sheetrock!. It’s all about gun control and how well you handle yours.

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3914 days

#14 posted 12-13-2009 07:14 AM

A- Very rarely use the clutch.

Oh and STEVEO you brace is turning backwards.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4153 days

#15 posted 12-13-2009 08:28 AM

Almost always use the clutch settings when I’m driving screws.

And I’m also going to get the Festool depth-triggered clutch shortly, for driving drywall screws, because though the regular clutch makes for consistency when all the material is the same density, the drywall doesn’t slow down the head as much as wood does.

Besides, in the low-speed setting, I know from painful experience that my drill will sprain my wrist if whatever I’m driving grabs hard.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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