When it comes to cordless power tools, there is one tool that stands above all others for me.
So much so, that if faced with keeping only one, the choice would be swift and simple.
Yes, I certainly would miss my cordless jigsaw and circular saw. A cordless reciprocating saw is pretty darn useful as well.
And then there is the orbital sander and the legendary cordless drill – two extremely handy tools to own.
But if forced to choose only one, I would give all of those cordless power tools listed above up in a heartbeat for the most useful cordless tool in my toolbox.
My beloved cordless impact driver!
The Impact Driver – The Beast Of Cordless Power Tools!
I will never forget the first time I used a cordless impact driver.
To that point, I, like millions of other weekend warriors, had always used a cordless drill driver. It was decent enough. It was great for driving screws, drilling holes, and tightening or loosening nuts and bolts.
I mean, the cordless power drill certainly beat ol’ knuckle busting hand tools like screwdrivers, hand drills and socket sets.
But then, by accident, I was introduced to the cordless impact driver. And it really was love at first use!
The Aha Moment!
About 10 years back, I was installing new floor boards on our backyard deck. That is when my old trusty 12-volt cordless drill finally gave out.
When I went to our local hardware store, I found the impact driver along side my drill driver.
It actually came in a package deal – with an even more powerful 18-volt battery. I purchased the set, and back home I went to finish the deck project.
After a quick charge of the batteries, I went out on the deck, and of course, grabbed the new drill to get back to work. It was, after all, what I had always used before with a fair amount of success.
To be honest, at the time, I really thought an impact driver was more for nuts and bolts and heavier projects. Not for screwing wood planks onto a deck.
I installed a few boards with the new drill and was actually quite happy with the new 18-volt power. And then something wonderful happened. The drill stopped working.
I obviously had somehow purchased “a bad egg.” Without the time to head back to the store just yet, I grabbed the impact driver to see if it would work.
It was simply amazing. With little effort, I could drive screw after screw easily into the wood. It never stripped a single screw!
Even better, it pulled together warped boards with ease. The power was overwhelming.
And I can honestly say I have never used a cordless drill again to drive screws and bolts since! It has been simply incredible all of our home DIY projects. See : OWG DIY Projects
Why An Impact Driver Works So Well
An impact driver runs like a drill until more force is needed. Instead of the constant gear that is in a drill/driver – the impact driver has a hammer-head that supplies hundreds of little hits instantly to drive in the bolt or screw.
And it does so with much more power and torque.
Torque, in basic terms, is the amount of force applied in a certain amount of distance.
Typical cordless drill/drivers supply around 250 to 300 inch-pounds of torque. A cordless impact driver can deliver from 750 to almost 1500 inch-pounds of torque. The difference is amazing to say the least.
What Does An Impact Driver Do For A DIY’er?
Owning an impact driver means you can effortlessly drive screw after screw into the toughest of materials with little effort. It also means you can install bolts in mere seconds. Product Link : Porter Cable Impact Driver / Drill Set
And when it comes to removing rusty and stubborn bolts and screws without breaking your wrist – the impact driver comes through with flying colors again.
Even 100 year-old hardened oak was no match for our impact driver. It made quick work of creating our over-sized, reclaimed barn-wood table. See : The Barn Table Project
The same can be said for easily installing metal screws into the metal roofing for our roof and ceilings. And driving massive carriage bolts into our reclaimed barn doors.
It has certainly proven it’s worth as the MVP of our cordless power tools!
Happy DIY’ing! Jim and Mary.
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