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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Since I already own an impact driver (from having built a deck in my mum's back garden), is there any need for an electric screwdriver? I've always assumed that the impacts would ruin plastic housing of electronics etc but since I was considering buying an electric screwdriver I wanted to check and make sure that I couldn't just use the impact driver. There is no option to switch off the impacts, which would have been a neat feature.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Quote:
Can an impact driver be used as an electric screwdriver?



Yes, but without any of the fine control that you might require in some situations.

Many chippies rarely use anything else, I've managed for 50 years without one of the noisy horrible things.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Yes and no..... Most of the more basic impact drivers out there in the market are single speed models which lack the really fine speed/impact control required to handle small screws and more delicate work such as screwing into plastics. There are now some 3- to 6-speed models on the market (e.g the Makita DTD170, etc) which have multiple settings that will allow them to be used to drive screws into fairly delicate materials, but even do they are nowhere neat as controllable as a drill driver. I speak from a number of years experience of using a BTD145 and more recently a DTD170 - both of which are capable of driving those tiny screws which invariably come with door ironmongery (such as kick plates, escutcheons, etc) and invariably seem to be made from a cunning amalgam of soft cheese and stainless steel - and do do without rounding out the Pozidriv slots (provided a reasonable amount of restraint in the speed dept. is exercised). For many tradesmen and most DIYers a combi drill to a drill/driver has to be a better choice

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:00 pm 
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I always feel that anything small, or needing a bit of care is better done with a hand screwdriver.
Different if you have a lot to drive of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:02 pm 
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i never ever use an impact on less than 50mm screws as its so so easy to "strip"the hole
and the noise is not worth any time saved :lol:
i go slow speed on a drill driver set on drill to isolate the clutch and rely on control

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:01 pm 
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big-all wrote:
i never ever use an impact on less than 50mm screws as its so so easy to "strip"the hole
and the noise is not worth any time saved :lol:

That sort of depends on quantity. For example today I've been working on modifying and installing timber slat panels - had to move a double screwed cleat across the backs. That and fit two extra tabs on every panel to allow the fixers to get the panels up onto the ceilings without the need for two extra arms. 20 panels x 7 screws in, 14 screws out, 14 screws back in, 7 screws out then finally 4 extra screws in to add the new placement tabs - so for every panel there are 46 screwing operations x 20 panels = 920 screwing operations. All the screws were 4.0 x 30mm. Doing this with a drill/driver would have taken me about another 20 or 30 minutes over the day at the very least...... So 50mm isn't the minimum for me and for speed and impact has a lot of benefits IMHO, however, not a tool with much finesse and as AyJay says, can be noisy (although TBH the impact didn't cut in that often). I feel that stripping of holes is often down to poor technique/lack of experience - so learning to feather the trigger is a must

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


Last edited by Job and Knock on Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:07 pm 
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I've a fairly high spec drill/driver and it's fast enough and powerful enough to handle 4" 10's no problem.
I've never owned an impact driver,probably won't for the foreseeable future either as I don't think it'd make my life any easier and then there is that noise.....oh it goes right through me!!
It actually makes me angry when I see another joiner putting in drywall screws with an impact driver,it takes ages and the noise is like Chinese water torture!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:43 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
It actually makes me angry when I see another joiner putting in drywall screws with an impact driver,it takes ages and the noise is like Chinese water torture!!

What kind of impact driver are they using? Plasterboard is so soft that it pffers almost no resistance to an impact driver and your screws don't need to be that long
so the impact should hardly be cutting in - metal lath is a bit different and the impact will cut-in quite early on that. A proper high speed (4000rpm+) drywall gun is a better way to go, but not many people think they can justify those, so I suppose the impact driver gets used because folk have them, they are faster than a lot of drill/drivers (something like 2600rpm vs. 1600rpm in many cases) and they are smaller and lighter than an equivalent combi drill - a major factor if you are working on ceilings or in awkward places. Personally I don't want to lug about a heavy combi when a tool at 2/3 the weight will do much the same job (and I'm far from being alone there)

Still doesn't make an impact suitable for delacate stuff, though - and they can't drill most stuff, either

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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