Impact drivers stress-tested

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I bought a digital tachometer for exactly that reason and have yet to find a legitimate use for it.

You point it at whirly things and it tells you how whirly it really is. No idea what I’m going to use it for, though.

Finding out how whirly things are and putting a number to that?

Also - vendor shackling due to battery design and lack of common standards is a really annoying thing and in a sane world there’d be a standard. Pisses me off that I have to select a battery type before considering whose tools to buy, or just end up with a slew of different chargers. Most evil are the manufacturers with different batteries for different tools in their ranges. (Stihl, I’m looking at you, though at least the two battery types share a charger, so you get a good mark for that. Unlike some other manufacturers.)

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There are battery converters that allow you to use other brand batteries with your devices. It’s stupid to have to buy something like this, but at least it lets you out of brand jail.


I unwittingly shackled myself to Dewalt a few years ago. I like their tools so far and I do like that I can usually buy just the tool only instead of the tool+battery combo.

I don’t like that they charge such a premium for the brand name and the quality is no where near what it once was.

wrt the impact driver - I use it primarily for driving screws now and very rarely for impact jobs outside of lug nuts. The times that I really needed an impact - like loosening a 250# crankshaft bolt - the bolt just sat there and laughed at me. The only true impact drills are those powered by compressed air.


Yeah - it is stupid, and with my luck the closest I’d get would a converter that converts the battery I don’t want, to the tool whose battery I want. :wink:
(And not sure how available in UK those are - must go look.)

Currently I’m stuck back on ancient Makita 12v batteries and tools and have been avoiding other tools for a while as a result.

I am a fan of Project Farm’s YouTube video’s and thats not always because I am looking to buy something he is testing, its just quality content that can be consumed as an when I want and will nearly always give me something to think about or discuss with other people like me. This is why again and again I think broadcast TV (particularly in the UK) has had it’s day as I can watch this on a big screen TV just the same as any other program and pick the sort of content I want to see.

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I have the 12v Milwaukee version and it is great for (1) driving in long lag screws (in lieu of a hand ratchet) and (2) cracking stuck fasteners, even small ones like Philips-head screws. I bought it to drill holes in concrete, and it turns out I shoulda bought a hammer drill for that.

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I’m still using a DeWalt 14v drill/driver unit that I’ve had for just over 20 years. Every so often, I get new cells installed into the battery pack and it just keeps going.

However, at some point, I’ll need to upgrade and I’ve looked over what’s available these days. Seems these impact drivers are the most ubiquitous. Is that a reasonable replacement for what I have now? Not sure I need all that ‘impact’ action all the time, but does it hurt to have it? Is it overkill?

Tool Box Buzz does very good comparisons - including a test rig they built to measure drilling and boring speed under identical force.

I’m looking at the 1/2" square drive version of this tool, since the old cars I have would appreciate it. But it’s twice as much dollars.

Well, in a word no. You won’t get very far loosening bolts with an Impact (screw) Driver. What you want to use is an Impact Wrench - similar but different tool optimized for loosening bolts, and every bit as effective as an air driven impact, and available in a wide range of sizes and torque performance.

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I still don’t own any battery powered tools because I’m still waiting for the universal tool battery standard. I’ve been waiting like 30 years now. I have no interest in getting shackled to one vendor or needing a dozen different charging stations and having to match battery to tool. I’m also not keen on buying $4 worth of battery, $1 of plastic, and a $1 charge controller for $75 because it’s tied up in patents and only available from the OEM. Fuck that.

However, I mostly work in my little makeshift shop which has ample outlets, so dealing with cords isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

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I have the Harbor Freight version. Comes in handy for quickly removing lug nuts and law mower blades mostly. I’d like to upgrade to something with more power though.

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