What Do You Use An Impact Driver For? [Detailed Explanation]

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Impact drivers are specially designed power tools to drive fasteners. And for a woodworker who deals with a lot of wood screws regularly, impact drivers can be extremely useful.

With that said, if you are wondering what do you use an impact driver for this is your place to learn. Because that’s what I will discuss in full detail today. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

What Is an Impact Driver?

An impact driver is designed to drive screws faster in a precise way. Being comparatively higher torque tools, they increase the force by applying a series of impacts. The force an impact driver creates is rotational and helps the screw to increase spin. But, the slots will not be dislodged here.

Many confuse an impact driver with a hammer drill. Although both of the tools look similar, there are some differences which I will discuss later. Typically, impact drivers are equipped with quick-release shanks and all ¼ inch hex driver bits will easily fit this tool. Due to their internal mechanisms, you’ll get more torque and comparatively quicker bursts.

What Do You Use an Impact Driver for?

There is no denying that impact drivers have some similarities with regular drills. But, both of the tools are meant to serve different purposes. When we talk about drilling holes occasionally and working on medium-sized screws, a regular drill would be good enough. But, when it comes to working with many wood screws, you should think about an impact driver instead.

For instance, if you are up to building a deck, setting up a plywood subfloor, or even making a treehouse, an impact driver will save a significant amount of your time and effort. You can easily drive large screws in the wood within a short amount of time.

As impact drivers produce hi-torque along with a high level of impact force, driving screws gets easier and super-fast. Besides driving screws quickly and cleanly, it takes good care of the screw head at the same time.

In addition, you can use an impact driver when you need to perform any dismantling jobs. If you ever dealt with a structure that has been gone through a long moisture exposure, you know rust is obvious. In that case, when you use a normal driver dismantling gets tougher. But, with an impact driver, you can zip apart that same structure spending less than half the time and effort.

In a nutshell, impact drivers can be used to serve the following purposes.

  • To drill self-threading screws
  • To loosen any over-torqued screw
  • To drill into hard and tough surfaces
  • To drill into any rusted metal surfaces

When Not to Use an Impact Driver?

By now, you are most probably aware of the fact that impact drivers are all about variable speeds. So, if you set the priority for precision, it may not be your ultimate solution. In other words, impact drivers are best when you need to accomplish some hi-torque jobs. For less demanding projects (that require low-torque force) you should not use an impact driver. Rather a regular drill will be pretty much perfect for that kind of job.

Besides, if you are up to doing drill work on hard materials, an impact driver should not be a great option. In that case, a quality hammer drill will help you out and you can easily drill into a hard surface like brick or concrete.

Can I Use an Impact Driver as A Drill?

You can use an impact driver for drilling but, you should only do it if there is no regular drill available at hand. An impact driver is pretty much a good option for some specific drilling purposes. Therefore, it is a wise decision to search for a drill to get the job done before switching to an impact driver. Because every power tool is made for its specific purposes.

While standard drills are specially designed for drilling, impact drivers come in handy when you need to drive fasteners. Another notable thing is you will only find general-purpose bits in local shops. Because not every bit will fit a 1/4th hex shank you will face some limitations to use an impact driver as a drill.

You should also keep in mind that general bits will never stand up to the high level of torque that an impact driver would produce. So, technically you will not go further with an impact driver when it comes to drilling something. Another notable issue is the perfection of the holes.

In a general sense, a standard drill is capable to drill more precisely compared to an impact driver. So, when precision is not a priority, you can use an impact driver to make the holes. Besides, an impact driver will also be helpful for you if you need to drill into a dense material. But, when you talk about precise holes with perfect placement, a standard drill is a better choice.

With that said, if you have a situation where you don’t have a standard drill and need to perform some quick drills, impact drivers can give you an instant solution.

Final Words

Woodworking is an art, but with the right tool, you can shape your imagination. There is no doubt that impact driver is quite a powerful tool. Whether you are a woodworker or love to do work by yourself, this tool will help you in your projects. I hope by now you know what do you use an impact driver for and where you should not use it.


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