impact driver

mabeldingeldine_gwOctober 28, 2012

My old drill driver just bit the dust. I need a new driver and am intrigued by the impact drivers. My current project is replacing the floor in my bath -- 2 layers of plywood over the old plank subfloor. Is this the right tool for this kind of project? I sure sounds great!

I'll need a new drill, too. Should I look for a combo set? I'm leaning toward Bosch or Hitachi. My old 14.4 driver was a Hitachi and it was terrific. Mid-range is probably adequate for my projects, as I'm just a DIYer with an old house. I would appreciate your thoughts and recomendations.

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Will you use it more than just a couple times/year? If yes, treat yourself to quality. I made the mistake of buying a Ryobi kit and forever wished I had that $100 bucks back (or whatever it was) to apply to something better.

Next, among he good names (Dewalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Makita and others), see how they fit in your hand. For what it's worth, I have a large hand and recall Bosch being too big. Makita is great, but my hand didn't quite fit the tool and I thought I'd end forever with a blister above my thumb... Anyway, find something comfortable.

Next, think about the tool packages. Last year I bought an 18volt Milwaukee kit and I got their "hackzall" (one handed sawzall). That is one darned useful tool that I couldn't have imagined when I first got it. That kit also came with a hammerdrill and impact. Both nice tools. (BTW, a light on the drill is a must-have.)

Buy good tools.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:11PM
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You might be interested to know that Milwaukee is owned by the same parent company as Ryobi (Tool Techtronics Industries out of Hong Kong). TTI also makes AEG tools, Hoover and Dirt Devil vacs, and Homelite outdoor tools.

DeWalt is, of course, owned by B&D (who also owns Porter-Cable and Delta).

To the OP:

Impact drivers excel at driving screws. While probably overkill for a few screws in a bath, it's certainly a good excuse for a new tool. I'd love the new Makita LXDT08 but it's probably more tool than I can justify in terms of expense. I'm thinking about Hitachi as well; they've had a history of excellent "value".

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Go for the twin-pack kit. Drill, and impact driver. I don't have an impact driver yet, but my drill is also a hammer drill, which is great - no cord needed when you're outside etc.

If you're not going to use it a lot, you may find li-ion a good idea, because you can top up the batteries without a 'memory effect' you find in ni-cad batteries.

That way, if you haven't used them for a couple of months you can just top them up when you need them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:05AM
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I've been working on my 200 year old home for years, and also completely remodeled my daughter's home. I've gone through three impact drivers in that time, and couldn't work without one. It's the one tool I must have. My current model is a DeWalt 20 volt. I bought the impact driver/drill combo kit. It was only about 40 bucks more than buying the impact driver alone. Highly recommended.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Thanks so much for all the feedback. I will check out the hand grip fit for sure, and the weight. One reason I loved my old Hitachi drill was the size/weight was just right for me, especially compared to my DH's larger and heavier DeWalt. I laid the decking on our new deck 7 years ago with that Hitachi.

I will aim for the Bosch/DeWalt/Milwaulke/PC level and pick the best fit/price. I will also look at the Li-Ion batteries, as they will probably work for my project style, which requires saving up between projects! I love my old house but sometimes.... Many thanks!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:14AM
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I guess I did bypass the OP's question.

I wasn't aware of the Ryobi-Milwaukee link. Still, those two certainly are aimed at a different market segment. (I'm just speaking of the Ni-Cad 18volt tools at this time.) The Ryobi 18v cordless circ. saw and recipr. saws are particularly underwhelming.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Floors and drywall screws need to be set based on driven depth, not torque.

An impact driver is overkill for floors, and likely to overdrive the screws.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 11:00AM
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The blue Makita 18v Drill/driver set is one of my most treasured and reliable tools. Used daily. It is however really spendy. I was somehow able to obtain it almost 3 years ago at the Borg for $199. The normal price is $329 or some such insane amount. Never again seen it on sale for anything under $289.
Beware the white-bodied Makita stuff, it has plastic gears, I'm told.

Here is a link that might be useful: Makita set

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:50PM
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I came home tonight with the last combo set at the blue box, a Bosh 12 volt set. The drill driver is similar in size to the impact driver. It makes it lighter in weight. I was hoping for 14, but no dice. I do think the Bosh handle is a little big, but I will give it a try. The sales guy told me I could return it after use if I needed to. I looked at the Makita, PC, Hitachi and DeWalts but could not find a combo set that worked for me. The 18 volt drills are too heavy for me to use for an extended time. Thanks for all the help

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Well, weight's certainly an issue. My Dewalt is one of the heaviest around, it's been good exercise but it's tiring. If you struggle with the heavier units, then weight's important.

I have a Bosch that's 8 years old or so...great speed control and decent power.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:19PM
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