Driver vs Hammer vs Impact

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I wanted to reopen the issue with some of the newer drills on the market, and pose some specific questions.

I did not want to make this a poll because I think this topic should be more of a discussion than a yes or no answer.

I'd like us to take some time to compare and contrast a "Driver" (or "Screwgun") with a Hammer Driver and Impact driver. We are talking specifically about cordless models here, and trying not to break down into brand and battery voltage bickering.

A little background definition to make sure we are all on the same page. My understanding of the three are as follows, I'm sure some of this is wrong, so please correct, and mods feel free to edit this with accurate information.

  1. Driver ("Screwgun")
  2. Your traditional tool for driving a screw.
  3. Cheaper.
  4. Lighter Duty.
  5. Most likely lighter.
  6. Most likely less power consumption.

  1. Hammer Driver
  2. Heavy duty.
  3. Used for driving screws into stone or other "brittle" (but strong) material.
  4. This physically pushes forward the drill bit, smashing it's way through concrete etc.
  5. Likely heavier, costs, more, more breakable parts, etc.
  6. Often has setting for "No Hammer" and "Hammer".

  1. Impact Driver
  2. More expensive than standard driver.
  3. Claim to fame is that the "forward impact" motion, similar to the Hammer Driver, instead forces a sharp turn "around 90º. This causes the Impact Driver to deliver more foot pounds of torque than it's competition.
  4. The other benefit of this driver is that it is traditionally smaller than a standard driver.
  5. Doesn't strip screws.

So I have been working along side a guy who recently picked up the Makita Li-Ion impact driver. He loves it. I know little on the subject, but it seems like the impact driver is the way to go. I have been considering buying some sort of driver, so that is my current plan.
 

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I would not get an impact driver for screwing, it will end up driving you up a wall. They are great to have around for bolting up stuff, but get a nice stander screw gun first that way you can at least drill something.
 

soundlight

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What you want is a Drill/Driver. Nothing with hammer or impact in the name. Just a standard Drill/Driver. With batteries going where they are, make sure you get one with Lithium Ion Batteries. [/url="http://www.makita.com/"]Makita[/url] and Dewalt both make good models, with Makita showing great promise in the Li-Ion Battery area. Skil also makes decent drill/drivers, while not as reliable as Makita or Dewalt. Same thing goes for Black and Decker. Work for just about everything, but higher chance of failure. And Ryobi also falls in to the same category.

However, my all-time favorite cordless drill/driver has to be the Fein HandyMaster ABS14 that I used one summer. Smoothest drill ever. Kept its charge forever. Everyone wanted to get it over the Dewalts that made up the rest of the drill collection.
 

DarSax

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We used nothing but impact drivers for screwing in high school, and I think most of the screwing is done with impact drivers in college, too. What's wrong with them? Powerful enough, small frame, easier to get screws through tough wood. If you need a drill, either have a cordless one, or a corded one on the semi-rare occasions when they're needed :eek:
 

derekleffew

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I think it mostly depends on one's individual screwing style. Personally, I love a big gun, but I find dealing with it for long periods makes my arm tired. If you're putting a long, large diameter one into a tight hole, you may need the extra force required of an impact tool. I find a lot of lubrication helps also. Over time, each develops his own style and preferences. Practice, practice, practice.
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
Wow... that didn't even answer the question.

Oh well, I probably don't need a screwgun now anyways... :cry:
 

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Sometimes it's best to do things manually. In my youth, I achieved the desired results, many times, just me and my Yankee.
Ya... then he moved to vegas so he work with a professional at getting the desired results....
 
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gafftapegreenia

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Oh gawd.......
 

gafftaper

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Wow... ANYWAY...

Charc just get yourself a good cordless drill/driver... preferably LI-Ion. Make sure it has a speed switch of some sort to take your from drill to driver mode... the cheaper ones don't and you'll hate them for it. Hammer and Impact drills are much more specialized tools in my opinion. You should have them but I prefer mine to be corded. My feeling is if you need a tool for difficult materials and high torque situations it makes no sense to be trying to get that extra power out of a battery. When it comes to Impact it makes far more sense to use a pneumatic tool. So buy the Hammer/Impact tool when you need it later... right now all you need is something for a good quick screw. :oops:
 

Charc

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Wow... ANYWAY...
Charc just get yourself a good cordless drill/driver... preferably LI-Ion. Make sure it has a speed switch of some sort to take your from drill to driver mode... the cheaper ones don't and you'll hate them for it. Hammer and Impact drills are much more specialized tools in my opinion. You should have them but I prefer mine to be corded. My feeling is if you need a tool for difficult materials and high torque situations it makes no sense to be trying to get that extra power out of a battery. When it comes to Impact it makes far more sense to use a pneumatic tool. So buy the Hammer/Impact tool when you need it later... right now all you need is something for a good quick screw. :oops:
Have [-]her[/-], I mean one. That is to say, a B&D 12V. :rolleyes: I'm not sure I can find the charger. It's really crappy. My parents got it for small jobs around the house.
 

gafftapegreenia

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Have [-]her[/-], I mean one. That is to say, a B&D 12V. :rolleyes: I'm not sure I can find the charger. It's really crappy. My parents got it for small jobs around the house.
Hmm even closer to Charc's relationship status.....


I think this thread currently reigns supreme on the list of CB's threads containing suggestive euphemisms.

I still have my vendetta against B&D's. Charc, just get yourself a nice 12v DeWalt. Don't let its smaller size fool you, it's plenty powerful. The thing is a mighty beast when it comes to screwing. It pwn's 18v B&D's and Ryobi's.
 
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Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I wish I had $$$$... :(

I'd love to copy Pie's success, but with a full LED rig. LED seems right for these sorts of applications. Hell, even some MINspots. I figure the time when I'd be doing this, if at all, (4 or so years) the price of higher quality LEDs and LED fixtures will have gone down, making the startup cost more economically viable, with increasing output.

Back on topic, I think I probably should hold off on the screwgun. Especially because I spent some good dough today. (ER-20 Earplugs, 'cause I was curious as to how the "turning the volume down" earplugs sounded, and a lightspeed wrench. The TD at the regional theatre gave me a free shackle, so I had my carabiner attachment, so I was all set for picking it up at Philadelphia Theatrical Supply on the way back to the train.)
 

pudgeo2

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It's my understanding that Hammerdrills are more for Drilling than screwing. It makes drilling into concrete or any form of rock go a lot quicker.
 

gafftapegreenia

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A hammer drill is essentially a rotating chisel. My grandfather, a man in his 70's, was once describing to me the procedure used to hang mirrors on concrete when he worked for a glass company in the late 40's. In order to do so, one would take a star shaped chisel, place it on the point one wished to make a hole, hit it with a hammer, turn it slightly, hit it again, turn it, and continue to process till the hole was made. Then, with the hole made, one would pack it with lead wool which provided a base for a screw to grip. See, aren't you glad we have hammer drills?
 

DarSax

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Lead wool, warmer than real wool and less scratchy than steel wool since the 20's.
 

derekleffew

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Lead wool, warmer than real wool and less scratchy than steel wool since the 20's.
Yes, but lead sheep are way more heavier and not as strong as steel sheep. And when you dip the steel sheep, they get rusty.