Published at Friday, 24 August 2018. Impact Driver. By Tamra Mullins.
Driving lag bolts is where these tools show off their strength. A cordless drill simply does not have the power to set long lags while not killing the batteries. You will still want to drill a pilot hole to prevent the wood from cracking, but luckily you already have the tool for that job, too...
When they first came out years ago, impact drivers were very popular in Japan but it took a while for Americans to realize what a terrific advantage impact drivers have over an electric drill when it comes to driving long screws into wood, especially decking. American companies like Porter Cable caught on to the idea and started competing with impact drivers offered by overseas companies. The idea for impact drivers was born long ago with the inventions of (1) the impact wrench, used in every automotive garage, and (2) the hammer drill used to power masonry bits into concrete and other extremely hard materials.
The technology that allows them to do this is sometimes referred to as "hammer and anvil" meaning that, unlike the simple twisting action of an electric drill, the impact driver literally "pounds" the screwdriver bit around as if being repeatedly being hit by a hammer. This action gives these woodworking tools tremendous power that simply would not be possible if the same screwdriver bit were chucked up in an electric drill with the same size motor and battery. An additional advantage is that there are hex shank drill bits available so that your impact driver can double as a quick-change cordless drill thus becoming one of your most versatile woodworking tools.
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