Screw Gun Problem


I bought a Dewalt 257 about a year ago to fix drywall problems, but the gun never worked well for me. Sometimes the clutch would disengage with a satisfying pop and the screw would be set at the correct depth, other times, the bit would spin in the screwhead, stripping it and leaving it high. I tried a variety of depth settings and techniques, but rarely got the "pop". In the end, I wasted more time with this tool than I would have with a drill.
On the advice of Dewalt customer support, I the tool by one of the support centers yesterday. The technician told me
1) The clutch is not intended to control the depth the screw is set. It exists only to enable the operator to insert screws into the unit more rapidly because it stops spinning.
2) The depth of the screw is solely controlled by the nosepiece; when it encounters the work surface, the operator must release the trigger to stop drilling.
The technician's statements do not match my understanding of how these units are supposed to work. Is the technician correct?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have an old Milwaukee drywall gun with no clutch. The cone on the nose is what you adjust to set the depth of the screw. With practice you can screw up a whole sheet of drywall without ever releasing the trigger. A clutch prevents you from overtigthening or stripping out a screw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The clutch is to prevent stripping from over tightening. It feels the resistance of the material the screw in going into. Take a screw, set the clutch and drive it into a 2 x 4. Then drive it at the same setting into an oak pallet. See the difference? The density of wood varies along the same 2 x 4 and from stick to stick making the clutch less than ideal for depth setting.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<<The clutch is to prevent stripping from over tightening. It feels the resistance of the material the screw in going into.

I just spoke to the manager of the maintenance facility. Conclusions:
1) Torque plays no role in the clutch disengaging. Depth-based only.
2) Depending on how you look at it, both the nosecone AND the clutch determine the depth of the screw. The nosecone prevents the tool from going further into the wall, but the bit keeps driving and eventually the extension disengages the clutch.
3) The requirement to take your finger off the trigger only applies to when the nosecone is removed.
4) Where I'm going wrong is probably not putting enough pressure on the device so that the nosecone puts a dimple into the wall. When I release pressure, the clutch disengages prematurely.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Say what?
You got a piece of very soft pine, and a piece of oak. You take a 3" Robertson deck screw. (I use Robertson because it assumes the square head will stay engaged.)
You set the clutch at four on a scale of one low, ten high.
You mean to tell me that when the drill encounters the progressively greater resistance and the clutch kicks out, that both screws will have been driven to equal depth?
I don't think so, Tim.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<<You mean to tell me that when the drill encounters the progressively greater resistance and the clutch kicks out, that both screws will have been driven to equal depth?

Since the clutch disengages based on the length of extension, and not torque, yes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We must be talking about different clutches, then. I'm talking to the one between the chuck and the motor.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Robertson head on a drywall screw? <snigger>

This thread is about drywall screwguns.

Have you ever used a drywall screwgun? The clutch disengages as the nose of the gun dimples the paper. A torque-based clutch couldn't possibly work because of the differences in stud density.

I know so, Al.
--
Keith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

duh
never mind.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is correct. I just put in 25 pounds of drywall screws using my Dewalt and it did it perfectly 99% of the time. The key indeed is to press *harder* just as the screw nears the wall. Run the screw in at whatever speed you feel comfortable with, and just as the screw nears the end, really press the gun towards the wall. If you ease off, it disengages too soon. This progressive push becomes second nature pretty quickly.
Although I might point out that the nosecone does not need to dimple the wall, you have it set too deep if it does.
--
Dennis


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

yes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He is correct. The drill you have is a tool designed as a drill which also functions as a driver. The clutch is a nice feature which only occurs on cordless drill. It feels the tourqe being applied. When it reaches the set level of tourque then the clutch kicks in.
This will allow you to set some drywall screws perfectly while other not. This is because the underlying board has soft places and hard knots all along it's length. It is still a good tool for drywall work but you have to control the depth of the screw and only use the clutch as a helper. I like to start out at a really low number and then creep it up until it will drive anything. I use the slow speed and drive the screw in with short bursts, setting the depth manually. My 12V Pansonic will snap the head of a drywall screw right off so I use the clutch to prevent that, lol.
There are drills which are used excusively for drywall in both electric and cordless. Any pro I've seen used a corded. They have a sleeve on the front which holds the screw and slides back to a pre-set depth to correctly intall the screw. When the surface of the sleeve hits the surface of the rock it releases the screw. There are also devices which are an attachment to a regular drill which are supposed to do the same thing.
So anyway there is nothing wrong with the drill. If you only have a few screws to drive then you need nothing else. Just slow down a little and set the screw with your eyes and hands.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<<The clutch is a nice feature which only occurs on cordless drill. It feels the tourqe being applied. When it reaches the set level of tourque then the clutch kicks in. >>
According to the service manager, that's not the way this driver works. The clutch disengages with depth, period. They do make some devices that work the way you describe, but I believe he said they were intended for metal. And the add-ons for drills work via torque as well
According to the manager, the service technician was incorrect only when he said that it's up to the operator to drop drilling when the proper depth was reached. That's only true when the nosecone is removed When the nose cone hits the work surface, the bit will extend a little further and the clutch will disengage. He said I probably wasn't pressing firmly enough to get the dimple in the work surface.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The clutch disengages when pressure is released. I.E., the nose cone sets the depth. When the screw is deep enough there is little pressure on the bit because the nose cone has contacted the surface and the clutch releases. They work on any screw you want to drive to a set depth.
Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.