compressed-air drills

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SWMBO wants me to build a small deck. Of course, every new project requires a new tool, right? And my trusty Bosch cordless drill is showing its age a bit, or to be more precise, the batteries are showing their age -- building a deck, I'll definitely drain the batteries in much less time than it takes to recharge them.
So I'm looking at other options, including compressed air drills (e.g. saw one at the Borg this evening for $45 or so). But I got to wondering... almost every cordless drill has a multi-position clutch to prevent overtightening, or sinking screws too deep. Does anybody make an air drill with such a clutch?
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You cannot build a deck with a battery powered drill.
Air drills do not have the torque. (in my experience).
I do have some compressed air screwdrivers, however. (all name brands, used)
If it was up to me, I would use a decent variable speed electric drill, but I would love to sell you a pneumatic screwdriver (straight or gun shaped).
i
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Ignoramus16466 wrote:

Well, you can, but a battery powered impact driver works a lot better.
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Good point I missed in my previous post because I was using a drill and driver for the the deck I just finished. You have to be careful not to bury the screw, but my impact driver is actually easier to control than either my corded or battery drill motors, and is less likely to twist your wrist as you get fatigued. It runs quite a while on a charge too. All of my cordless are 14.4V Makita's
BTW, and MOST IMPORTANT - an impact driver does qualify as a NEW TOOL.
Basic criteria of your OP
RonB
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RonB wrote:

Yes, I just bought an impact driver and that would be my tool of choice. It takes a lot less juice to pound in a screw than with traditional drivers, so the batteries should last a good bit longer. No need to pre-drill either as far as power goes, but I probably still would to minimize splitting.

I haven't used mine yet other than to "test" it out and what really amazed me is I used it on some old, large slotted screws that I had laying around. I tossed most slotted screws I had because power drivers don't work well with them, but these were fairly large, so I kept them. The damned impact driver drove them in with no problem, no cam out like always happens with slotted screws...
I also have an air screw driver that will twist your arm off if you let it, but it is too slow for deck use. It was my favorite screw driver for years, but with the nice small and compact cordless thing-ees of today, the air driver lives in the bottom drawer...
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It's a small deck, only about 140 square feet.

Thanks, that's useful to know.

Yeah, that's Plan B -- I have a good one already (Makita 1/2" VSR corded), but it doesn't have a clutch...
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You can buy a special chuck with a release for screws, but if it were me, I would go buy myself a impact driver. I have a Makita and it will drive a LOT of screws completely through a decking board.
A corded drill is still the best tool for continuous operations.
If you "really" want a clutched corded drill, these folks sell one:
http://www.metabo.us/Product-catalog-handheld-powertools.23980+M54bda9ca94a.0.html
http://www.contractorstoolsupply.com/metabo-710-watt-twospeed-drill-model-be710-p-1907.html
Doug Miller wrote:

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On Sat, 22 May 2010 22:35:34 -0500, Ignoramus16466

Why? I've done it (well, I used a hammer too). A decent cordless drill will easily sink any screw you're likely to use in a deck. An Impactor will do it without stripping the heads. ;-) An extra set of batteries makes things easier, but I did it with two sets of two, with my older 9.6V Makita as the drill and a 14.4V PC to sink the screws.

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wrote:

The 700 sq-ft deck that I couldn't build with a cordless drill* is still looking just fine after 9 years now. Art * 14.4V PC
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wrote:

1. - nonsense RE torque of pneumatic drills - there are more than one type, some are geared, some are not - the high speed ones don't have a lot of torque (and at 30,000 RPM, aren't too good as screwdrivers either), but the ones that are suitably geared down have plenty of torque for drilling in any wood I've encountered..
2. with a simple T, you can have a pneumatic drill and a pneumatic screwdriver
3. pneumatic tools don't get hot when they run, that's a real plus if you are using them a lot
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Iggy, I have at least 8 maybe more air drills and at least that many air screw drivers. Most I have bought surplus from Reliable tools on eBay. It is very necessary to use the air drill that is correct for the job. There are vast speed differences between them, some of which have wrist breaking torque. The biggest risk is to use a drill that is too fast for the job and burning up the bit. In wood, this is not a concern. I really like the air drivers much better than electric. Steve
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I have built many decks with battery operated drills. Two units comes in handy with several fast charge batteries for each.
Oh yeah! Those were the drills with the old ni-cad batteries that were 9V units then.
Torque clutches do **NOT*** set screw depth. Torque sets the torque. When you hit hard wood spots you will be adjusting the torque setting. When you hit soft wood spots you will over sink them. Just get used to the sound of the right screw depth or use a dimpler attachment.
You cannot build a deck with a battery powered drill.
Air drills do not have the torque. (in my experience).
I do have some compressed air screwdrivers, however. (all name brands, used)
If it was up to me, I would use a decent variable speed electric drill, but I would love to sell you a pneumatic screwdriver (straight or gun shaped).
i
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On May 22, 11:35pm, Ignoramus16466 <ignoramus16...@NOSPAM. 16466.invalid> wrote:

I built these with an old 9.6V Makita: http://picasaweb.google.com/KB1DAL/Firewood#5287788504883032706
It will barely drive a #10 x 3" screw without predrilling, but it drills up to 3/8" holes in dry oak nicely, for the lag screws or Timberlocks. I needed a corded Milwaukee only for the 1/2" lags that fasten the cross beams onto the oak log posts.
Last year I helped a contractor with a volunteer deck project. He used an 18V DeWalt to drive the Timberlocks.
jsw
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Yep. I use a lot of oak for framing temporary sheds like in the photos. If I don't predrill the lag screws break off when I remove them later. I salvaged the oak beams from pallets for kitchen counter sheets and use them for rafters. The wood is almost as hard as 1980's Chinese cast iron.
jsw
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wrote:

Just curious, why can't you build a deck with a battery powered drill? I twisted lag bolts in two with my Dewalt 18V XRP but I can't remember if it was with the drill or the impact (the impact is bad about breaking screws if you don't stop on time!).
RogerN
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Roger, my answer to you (and others) was that batteries do not last when the job is to just drive a screw after screw.
Apparently, others' experience may be different, and, if so, I will retract my comment about cordless drills.
i
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On 5/23/10 3:06 PM, Ignoramus32683 wrote:

The newer ones last pretty long. I'm guessing cheap my 18v Ni-Cad B&D's last about 3X as long as my old 12v Dewalts did. The new Lithium Ions probably double that.
But like we've been saying, three batteries and a quick-charger makes it a moot point.
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On Sun, 23 May 2010 15:57:39 -0500, the renowned -MIKE-

If you are not in good physical shape, two batteries might be more than enough. ;-)
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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Batteries, like tires on a car, have to be considered as a consumable. In some cases, the entire drill is a consumable.
Doesn't mean it won't do the job.
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wrote:

OK, that makes sense, maybe that's why I bought 2 drills, 6 batteries and 4 chargers. :-) Too bad my energy level doesn't keep up!
Actually I saw DeWalt had a lot of cordless tools available for their 18V XPR and I bought various sets to have all my cordless tools battery and charger compatible, the 2nd xrp drill came in a kit with 2 batteries, a charger, and an impact driver.
RogerN
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