All Replies on Impact Driver or no?

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View Odiferous's profile

Impact Driver or no?

by Odiferous
posted 02-14-2013 04:44 AM

31 replies so far

View Bruce Taylor's profile

Bruce Taylor

21 posts in 1967 days

#1 posted 02-14-2013 05:05 AM

Keep an eye on Craig’s List in your area. I’ve had good luck buying used cordless tools there. The huge difference to eBay, of course, is that you look the seller in the eye when you make the deal. You can tell a lot about trustworthyness that way.

-- Captain Bruce, Washington State

View bladedust's profile


206 posts in 2295 days

#2 posted 02-14-2013 05:17 AM

In answer to your question whether you should get an impact…...HELL YES. Got my first one a couple of months ago and I’m pissed at how many screw heads I stripped by just using my Bosch drill and not knowing the value of an impact gun. Stop lamenting and get one, you’ll be glad you did.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2315 days

#3 posted 02-14-2013 05:19 AM

I use my cordless impact driver all the time, so I find it to be a very useful tool in my shop. I’m not going to get into recommending specific brands—everyone has their personal favorites. I will recommend trying to find one with lithium ion batteries (as opposed to NiCad).

-- John, BC, Canada

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2672 days

#4 posted 02-14-2013 05:19 AM

Try these guys for reconditioned tools. I have a Hitachi WH12DMR 12V Cordless Impact Driver which I purchased about four years ago. Needed batteries for it and bought another reconditioned WH12DMR 12V Cordless Impact Driver in the “A” class for $99 which came with case, two batteries, tool and charger and not a scratch on it. Looked like a brand new tool for less than half the cost of a new tool kit. By the way the new batteries priced out at about $55 each best price new, so I got a deal.

Check out Hitachi torque and I think you will find it is among the highest.


-- Respectfully, Paul

View Odiferous's profile


105 posts in 2220 days

#5 posted 02-14-2013 01:18 PM

I know you can get hex-shank drill bits—are these things useful for drilling at all, or is it really not something I’m going to want to do much?

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2277 days

#6 posted 02-14-2013 02:31 PM

I have a super nice brand new Milwaukee that I would HIGHLY recommend. If you are looking for a bargian, this isn’t at close to 200.00. I’m not sure I would ever drill with it. Since it is just a hex lock chuck, I imagine there exists the possibility for a lot of run out.

If you have never used one and are driving screws with a traditional drill/driver, you will kick yourself for not getting one a long time ago. Say goodbye to twisted wrists, stripped out screws, and damaged bits.


View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2953 days

#7 posted 02-14-2013 02:35 PM

Personally I hate the noise that an impact driver makes. Don’t get me wrong they have there uses under the right circumstances. Do you really need an impact driver to install a couple of screws for hinges. I worked for a trim crew awhile back and most of the guys used them for everything. It got real annoying having to listen to that racket all day long.

View ChrisK's profile


1973 posts in 3110 days

#8 posted 02-14-2013 02:39 PM

I love my cheap Ryobi one. I use for pocket hole screws all the time. As soon as the screw starts to tighten it goes to impact mode and you can control the depth to a 1/4 turn of the screw. Its a great way to drive screws. When this one dies, as I expect it to do I will replace it with either a Rigid or Dewalt. I have not used to drive bolts yet. I have tools I usually reach for first, but I should try the small impact gun to see what it will do.

-- Chris K

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2627 days

#9 posted 02-14-2013 02:43 PM

They are not really for drilling per se, they are mainly for turning screws and bolts. Way more torque on these than a drill. A good combo kit that contains both drill and impact is a good thing to have around. Even my little 10.8v impact delivers a wallop. The noise is a bummer though.

View SignWave's profile


440 posts in 3064 days

#10 posted 02-14-2013 02:48 PM

I’ve stripped many phillips head screws with a regular drill (even one with a clutch), yet until recently I had doubts about the need for an impact driver. I recently go a Bosch 12v impact driver and will say that I’m a convert. For driving screws it is definitely worth it. I got a drill/impact combo, and I can use one to drill pilot holes and the other to drive screws, which really saves time not having to switch bits. Or if I’m just driving a lot of screws (e.g. hanging drywall), I can use one while the second battery is charging. With a 30 min recharge time, I’m never without power.

I would be hesitant to buy a cordless drill used, because I’m guessing that the reason that they’d be getting rid of it is that the batteries are failing, and it would be hard to know that by just looking at the tool or with limited use. With the cost of replacement batteries so high, the economy of buying a new one seems to outweigh the risk of having a used tool with dying batteries. Just my humble opinion.

-- Barry,

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3000 days

#11 posted 02-14-2013 03:01 PM

I got the Milwaukee 1/2” drill & 1/4” impact driver combo set a couple years ago.
They use the Lithium Ion 18v, 1500ah batteries and the set came with two.
I love this set, but it was the most expensive battery tool I ever bought at $200.
One warning, that little driver will twist the head right off a 3/8” hex bolt if you push it.
Ridgid has a similar set right now for about $179 and I believe they include the battery in the warranty.

Once you ever use a tool with a Lithium Battery you will never go back to Ni Cad.
A fringe benefit is the Li Ion can sit on a shelf for months and will hardly loose any charge at all.

It’s wise to consider what battery tools you might ever want in the future and after you have a set with batteries then you can add to the set with bare tools at a reduced cost.
But, be careful here, I bought a Milwaukee 18v circular saw thinking I already had the batteries I would need. Not true. the saw requires the bigger XL 3000ah battery which costs $100 by itself.

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 1973 days

#12 posted 02-14-2013 03:11 PM

I bought the Ridgid 18v impact driver/drill combo from home depot for $179 and am extremely happy with them. I had never had an impact before, but I LOVE this tool. I dont think I would ever give it up. They are a loud tool to use, but they are worth the noise. Lots of power and light weight. The impact will twist the heads off of kreg screws pretty easy though.

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3402 days

#13 posted 02-14-2013 03:19 PM

+1 on SignWave – I love my little Bosch combo set. Built a 450 sq-ft deck with that little impact. Wouldn’t trade them for any other.


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3677 days

#14 posted 02-14-2013 03:27 PM

I was in a similar boat to you.

I used to be an low-voltage contractor and used my cordless tools daily. with a constant charge-discharge the batteries would last for years and years. after I stopped working and the batteries just stood there, they all died out – completely (can’t take a charge).

Seeing that I will only have the occasional use for these tools, I sold them all (bare tools) and am just using corded versions (or in my case, manual hand drills for now) that won’t run out of batteries as I do not need the cordless functionality anymore. one thins less to worry about.

If you do want to go cordless, make sure you are getting Li-Ion battery tools. these batteries would have longer life and should maintain their charge even when not used for longer periods of time

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2998 days

#15 posted 02-14-2013 06:39 PM

Stick with a drill driver. An impact driver is great if you’re banging in screws left, right and centre, and in conjunction with a drill, but for what you are looking for I think you’d be better off with a drill driver, or just a new battery or battery rebuild.

View Dwain's profile


538 posts in 3888 days

#16 posted 02-14-2013 06:45 PM

Your question couldn’t come at a better time for me. I just purchase a ryobi pack with a drill and an impact driver for $129.00. My shop revolves around Ryobi batteries so the decision was easy. This last weekend I installed french cleats in my garage. The impact driver and good hard deck screws made it a cinch. I laughed most of the way through it. If I was in your situation, I would refurb the battery for the drill, but get an impact as well. You will be really happy you did when those screws go in 50% faster than with your drill driver.

I am never looking back. Any noise? REALLY?!? You have got to be kidding me. When you get getting twice the amount of work done, who the heck cares about the noice? Get some earmuffs and stop whining.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View MrRon's profile


4800 posts in 3272 days

#17 posted 02-14-2013 06:55 PM

I bought the Bosch 12V impact driver reconditioned from CPO tools. I use it all the time. I can drive 1/4” lag screws, 1-1/2” long effortlessly. Better than a driver’drill.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2118 days

#18 posted 02-14-2013 07:10 PM

I have the 12v dewalt drill and impact combo kit.

I use the impact driver for almost all of my general purpose screw this into that. I did all of my electrical boxes mounting to plywood, attaching conduit to studs, shop lighting, etc… never used the drill once.

I recommend getting a combo kit for 150 and never look back.

View JayT's profile


5679 posts in 2240 days

#19 posted 02-14-2013 07:51 PM

I have several of the Milwaukee M12 tools. A screwdriver bit has never been in my drill since getting the impact. The impact has also not drilled any holes—use the best tool for the job and all that.

If you are only going to have one or the other, a drill/driver is more versatile, but a drill & impact combo kit gives a lot more fuctionality for not much more in price. Unless you are running the tools all the time, a 12 volt system should give you all the power and run time you need. (It’s easy to spend someone else’s money)

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3000 days

#20 posted 02-15-2013 02:54 AM

I have an old B&D Quantum Pro drill/driver with a 12 volt Ni Cad that I bought in 2000 and it still works. So, I can’t say much too bad about it. I did have to replace the battery once in that time, but I got the battery on-line from and That was not too painful. About $29.00 I think.

As I said earlier, the beauty of the Li Ion batteries is they can sit without being used for months and still have a full charge, ready to go.

View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2953 days

#21 posted 02-16-2013 12:58 PM

Dwain, I care about the noise and I’m sure that other people do also. I’m a musician and my hearing is important to me. I know many contractors who can’t hear Sh!!!! any more because they didn’t wear hearing protection. I have and use a pair of Thunder 29’s for hearing protection. They are used for target shooting. If your interpretation of my comment is that I’m whining you’re seriously wrong. I’m just saying that there is a time and a place for certain tools. These same guys “never ever” wear any type of hearing protection. As I said just putting in a couple of screws with an impact driver to me just isn’t necessary.

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2396 days

#22 posted 02-16-2013 01:28 PM

porter cable got one..!!!!!


View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3576 days

#23 posted 02-16-2013 01:57 PM

For me it is the fact the impact provides much less wear on your wrists. It is not going to twist your arm off or anything. It will take some getting used to though. But certainly the impact is the way to go. And yes you still need a drill for boring holes into wood. If I were you, I would look at the 2 gun kits out there.

-- .

View waho6o9's profile


8209 posts in 2606 days

#24 posted 02-16-2013 02:06 PM

I’d contact Hitachi reconditioned tools and explain your situation and
ask about getting their impact as well.

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2325 days

#25 posted 02-16-2013 02:16 PM

I use an impact way more than I thought I ever would, especially for taking things apart that have frozen screws (lawn equipment, tools, bikes). I would look at an Hitachi 14.4 volt impact and buy a complete kit with two batteries (make sure the battery style is compatible with the drill you already have). That way you have the set of tools and don’t need to keep swapping bits for drivers, and you will have 2 fresh batteries and an extra charger.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1977 days

#26 posted 02-16-2013 02:29 PM

I haven’t seen any one bring up the 19.2 craftsmen. the C3 line has every tool I can think of and they all use the same battery weather they a Lion or NiCad. I have been using them for 10+ years. I recently bought a drill / impact LION combo for 99.99 on sale. I have gotten to the point that when I have batteries going bad I buy a new tool cause to bats for 60, or two bats charger and tool few bucks more. also I have bought their bats for as low as 20 each new at the store. no its not a Dewalt but for 1/2 the price its a definite competitor. they do hold up very well even under daily use.

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2394 days

#27 posted 02-16-2013 07:58 PM

I bought the Ridgid twin set a few months back but haven’t used the impact driver for fear of wringing off screw heads. Being an ex heavy equip mechanic I am used to having to bang away at bolts etc and was afraid I would like I said tend to over tighten and break screws. After reading this thread I am thinking I will try the impact driver and see what happens. Might try it on some scrap first to get the hang of it. The only thing I don’t like about the Ridgid kit is it had the small batteries and I didn’t notice before I bought. Thinking I may buy one of the big batteries and use on which ever tool I end up using more. The small batteries werk fine as I only use with the one tool but to use them on two tools I don’t think would werk. No backup battery.

I have a Maketa 12v that I have had for ages. I love it cause it is small and has the angled handle and gets into tight spaces easiely. I have replaced the batteries twice in the years I have had it.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3260 days

#28 posted 02-16-2013 08:13 PM

Last year I bought the Dewalt 12v combo drill/impact driver when it was on sale through CPO. They have worked great for me, the hobbyist. I have driven hundreds of screws with them with no problem.
12v is good enough for me – plenty of power and the batteries last a long time. The combo came with a third battery, which was nice.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2315 days

#29 posted 02-16-2013 08:23 PM

I have the Dewalt 20V 1/4” impact driver, and it has the power. I use it for everything from breaking lug nuts loose on my wife’s SUV, to driving 6” lag bolts into joists, to building my workbench… you get the idea. It’s more noisy than a drill, sure. But it makes certain tasks WAY easier.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Odiferous's profile


105 posts in 2220 days

#30 posted 02-16-2013 11:23 PM

dhazelton: In retrospect, that seems obvious—I can’t believe that didn’t occur to me. I’d be reluctant to drop $100+ on a NiCd driver, but fixing the drill in the process certainly lends merit to that option.

The overwhelming support in favor of getting an impact prompted me to take advantage of the Ridgid deal—$46.06 including tax. That’s a name-brand refurb with a 1 year warranty at a Harbor Freight price. If I still end up feeling like I need a cordless drill, I can get a pack rebuilt, and hopefully that’ll buy me 2-3 years and I can get a new combo kit when I have a better idea of what I need out of the tools.

Thanks for all the guidance. Now if I can just make myself get off of lumberjocks and into the shop…

View Odiferous's profile


105 posts in 2220 days

#31 posted 05-19-2013 01:53 PM

About three months later, and I’m pretty darned happy with my decision. I still haven’t rebuilt the drill’s batteries, but it hasn’t been too bad since I only need it for holes I can’t do on the press.

I’m loving the impact driver. I like the stubbier form factor, I like not having to mess with a chuck, and I especially like having it always ready to drive a screw when I pick it up. To be fair, some of my lack of frustration is probably due to the fact that I’ve almost gotten rid of all of the Phillips drive screws in my shop.

One thing I certainly did not expect, though: I charged this thing as soon as I got it home and haven’t gotten the charger out since.

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