Impact drivers drive screws?

Yes indeedy....
I couldn't figger out the functional diff between the drill/driver and the impact driver I bought http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202945283/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId053&langId=-1&keyword=makita+cordless+combo&storeId051 and was initially going to query the groups on this, but then I found http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/video/testing-cordless-impact-drivers.aspx
an inneresting review of a variety of drivers (and shows how an impact driver works, via the internals, fascinating), which indeed states that these impact drivers are specifically for driving tough, deep screws. I was initially thinking, Dayum, this impact driver seems awfully small to remove the lug nuts of my car..... <doh> Just in case others have shared my conunudrum.... :) :)
The above HD Makita set ($99, 12V drill/drive+impact driver, charger, two batts, in a bullshit alum "camera case", like Aire Jordans) is cheaper than other stuff, and the power of the driver seems substantially less than the similarly sized Milwaukee drill driver (also 12V, also made in Chiner) that my buddy has, as we were able to do a side-by-side comparison.
And the makita battery doesn't last nearly as long. But, those small milwaukee batts are $70 all by themselves -- holy shit -- but seem to last forever. So actually, I couldn't say f'sure whether the raw power of the makita was less, or that the battery had just gotten comparitively weaker by that point -- but, which is sort of six-one/half-dozen, from a practical use pov.
Still, the Makita set is neat, useful, relatively cheap. Note that these drivers are much smaller than the big-battery style, but really handy, and did well on some substantial-sized projects. . Even the above reviewer comments on size/convenience. I'm almost done with my outside home-moaning projects (boucou fencing, gates, etc), but if I were to do it again, I'd buy like 3 sets of those makitas (6 drivers altogether), just to have the right driver bit, drill, etc always handy -- helpful in the heat of home-moaning battle and confusion.
Note that altho impact drivers always seem to be chuckless (that spring hex ditty), that drill/drivers also can be chuckless with that same spring/hex ditty. Fortunately the makita drill/driver was chucked, altho if you catch one of the HD demo videos on this makita set, the drill-driver is not chucked.... weird.... but this could be a different set, as I think they mentioned 10.8V, and this set is jalternately listed as "12 V" or "10.8-12 V max"..
Plus, these impact drivers *sound* really cool, seem to amp up home-moaning testosterone a bit.... which would proly be a really big plus for Trader4 et al.
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On 10/13/2012 12:44 PM, Existential Angst wrote:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202945283/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId053&langId=-1&keyword=makita+cordless+combo&storeId051
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/video/testing-cordless-impact-drivers.aspx
I have the 18v versions ... use them daily and charge 'em once a month whether they need it or not:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053&R 2614509&catEntryId 2614509
AAMOF, drilled 16 3/16" holes through 1" square steel stock with the drill day before yesterday, after drilling 24 of the same size hole through 3/4" bar stock ... kept thinking I'd need to go back to the shop and grab a tailed drill, but the little Makita 18v drill never faltered, is still going strong this morning ... and still hasn't been charged.
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Aren't the chargers "smart", where you can just leave the batts in? Would also be nice if you could just set the tool itself on the charger, for charging.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053&R 2614509&catEntryId 2614509

Well, yer in a whole 'nother ballbark with that set: much bigger batts (and higher voltage), and a hammer drill -- over $300.... nice tho, more for the prof'l than the home-moaner, f'sure.
The bitty milwaukee drill/driver (with the $70 12V batt) claims to be able to drive 300 3" screws on a charge.... didn't give the size of the pilot hole, tho.... LOL
fyi, the small milwaukee also comes in a hammer-drill!! Really neat, in such a compact tool.
All in all, I don't think most people could find much fault with any of these tools -- altho clearly the bigger/heavier tools would fare much better on real jobsites/shops than the smaller home-moaner stuff. That review link showed an inneresting ergonomic feature, where with the big batts (like what you have), they can be reversed, for either getting in tighter, or shifting the balance of the tool.
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http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202945283/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId053&langId=-1&keyword=makita+cordless+combo&storeId051
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/video/testing-cordless-impact-drivers.aspx
Assuming that the drill/driver and impact driver both have the same motor, the impact feature is actually "kinder" to the motor, using the physics of momentum, rather than plain ole I^2 x R or EI, etc. Sorta like the diff between pounding a nail with a small hammer, and trying to shove it in with yer foot....
But, if the designers are aware of this, and then chintzed on the motor itself, then there's proly no advantage ito tool longevity. But the two drivers in this makita set do look identical, from the motor housing pov, and use the same batt, so it may very well be that if from an economuy-of-scale pov, they used the same motor, so the impact driver for driving would be the proper-er way to go.
But for light stuff, and stuff needing the clutch, the drill/driver would be better, and proly faster.
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