Whether it’s new construction or a remodeling job, one thing is certain. The right tools can make the job a great deal easier. While there are often jobs one can do with a variety of tools, that doesn’t mean some tools aren’t better than others.
One of the places this shows up most often is with drills. A good drill can make a job go so much easier than a weak, low quality drill. But recently, a new kind of drill has come onto the scene. They’re called “impact drivers”, because they use a combination of torque and concussive force to drive screws into place. This combination allows the driver to drive screws into the most dense of wood.
Because of the power available with an impact driver, many people get the idea that they don’t need a drill any longer. After all, they both do essentially the same job. An impact driver just does it more quickly and with more power.
That is not the case!
The Advantages Of Having A Drill As Well As An Impact Driver
First, it’s important to remember how an impact driver works. The combination of torque and concussive force makes for an incredibly powerful tool. One recent study had an impact driver driving 138 3-inch lag screws with only one charge, and that was only an 18 volt driver. That’s an amazing amount, indicating that it can drive a screw quite quickly with quite a bit of force.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly why you need to keep a normal drill around. The simple fact is that not every single screw needs to be driven with that kind of force. In point of fact, some jobs would actually be harmed by the use of such force. Screws could break, wood could splinter, and structure could be compromised.
Power is great, but too much power can be just as bad as not enough. So it’s always good to keep a normal drill around, so that you can save the impact driver for the jobs where you need that kind of power. Fortunately, with a drill and impact driver set, you can have either one at your fingertips as needed.
What To Consider When Choosing A Cordless Drill Combo Set
Because of how useful it is to have both an impact drill and a normal drill, there are a number of brands that offer a drill impact combo. But just like individual power tools, not all combo sets are created equal. So it’s important to know what you should look for when you want to buy one.
First, you’ll want to make sure that both the drill and the driver use the same kind of battery. This should be simple to find, any well-respected power tool company will have battery standardization. But it’s still a thing that should be considered if you’re going to put down good money for an impact combo.
The next thing you should consider is the power. While a powerful 18v driver may be tempting, you should really think about whether or not you need that kind of strength behind your driving. If you do smaller jobs that require a lighter touch, you may want to go 12v. However, if you find yourself doing heavy duty work, such as removing lug nuts or driving 5-inch screws into solid oak, it may be worthwhile to have an 18v. It’s really dependent on what kind of work you do most often.
It’s important to remember that most impact drivers don’t come with a clutch. They go at full power every single time. There are individual impact drivers that come with an integrated clutch, but they’re rarely, if ever, sold as part of a combo. If you happen to luck out and find a combo with such an impact driver, however, then you should certainly consider purchasing it.
Otherwise, the only things you would need to look for are the same things you’d look for in the purchase of any power tool. Get a brand you trust, and make sure you’re getting something solid.
When To Drill And When To Drive
As mentioned earlier, there are times when you need a driver, and there are times when you need a drill. Obviously, the more fragile jobs are going to want a drill. When you’re putting together furniture, or crafting some other bit of woodwork, a drill is a much better choice. After all, there’s no point in leaving obvious looking drill points. However, if you find yourself needing to use a particularly long screw for such a job, then a driver may be appropriate.
A driver also makes an incredibly good tool for when you need to do mechanical work. There are a number of driver heads that can work as wrenches, allowing you to tighten or remove nuts far better than you could with a hand tool.
Lastly, you’d want a driver when you don’t already have a guide hole. There are plenty of times
when you have to make your own hole with thick wood, and a driver works perfectly for that. Drills are often far too weak to manage such a thing, and often times can actually become damaged with the attempt. Having to switch out drill bits can add quite a bit of time to the job. And that’s presuming you have the right size drill bit in the first place.
Essentially, any time you want a heavy duty job, or you want to do the job quickly and you don’t have to worry about the fastening spot looking neat, you want a driver. For lightweight fasteners, or situations where you already have a guide hole, you’d want a drill.
Ultimately, a drill and impact driver combo set can be one of the greatest workshop purchases you make this year. Having access to both a drill and a driver can speed up a number of jobs, helping you get done quicker and with far less stress. So if you’re considering whether you need a drill now that you have a driver, or if you really need a driver since you have a drill, the answer is yes.