Some bits not suitable for impact driver?


Hey All,
I just got yesterday the Makita 14.4 kit that includes their impact driver (as well as drill/driver, and worklight).
In preparation, I bought a "screwdriver" (first clue?) bit set (40pc.) by Hitachi - but it's all 1/4" hex shank, as I need, so I figured they would work fine. And there was nothing on the packaging about NOT using them w/ impact drivers.
Well, it didn't take long to shatter not one, but two P2 (phillips) bits driving cement board screws into 1/4" cement board/ply subfloor.
They shattered right at the end of the drive, as the head of the screw was nearly flush w/ the backerboard.
My question is: should I be looking for driver bits SPECIFICALLY for impact drivers?
Thanks, Chris
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<snip>

I had three phillips bits break, doing the same thing, with a 12v DeWalt (3/8") drill driver. Sometimes, I think it's just the cheap bits.
There is a reason some of them are 49 cents, and some are $2. My hardware guy has the better ones, if I ask for them.
BTW, congrats on the impact driver. The Bosch I got is wonderful, and I can't imagine the Makita won't serve you well for quite a while. Lots easier on the shoulder and elbow.
Patriarch
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Thanks Patriarch. So, are the good bits you buy branded?? And have you tried any of Bosch's bits? I was thinking that'd be my replacement after I return the Hitachi bits. But then I got to (pessimistically) thinking that these "kits" are probably all coming off the same factory in Taiwan, and just badged at the end of the line....
If you have a brand, that'd be good.
Thanks, Chris
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TheNewGuy wrote:
Apex is a good brand of 1/4" hex screwdriver bits. You'll probably have to get them from an industrial distributor rather than Home Despot, however.
--
--Steve

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If you really use your driver a lot you will find these bits are consumables. That is why they have them in barrels in places that sell to trades. I try to mix up the types I buy so I have the alloy and shape most appropriate for what I am doing. You also quickly discover all "#2" s are not created equal. Some are more "pointy" than others, designed to cam out before you break the screw. There are also a few varieties of "phillips" looking screw heads that have a subtle difference in the angle of the bit. (Suredrive, superdrive etc) I am really becoming a Robertson fan (square drive) but when the bit starts to wear they cam out so I buy them by the bag too.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Based on my experience this past weekend, I'd have to agree w/ you. Though I think my rate of "consumption" is a bit high, but that may have something to do w/ technique. More on that in a bit.
So, I returned the Hitachi set to Lowe's, and then found someone working in the tool area to explain my situation to. Short answer, they didn't have any driver bits that were specifically for impact drivers; even checked in the air tools section, w/ no luck.
Went "next door" to HD. Same thing, went to the tools section and explained the sitch. No, nothing specific, "but if you want the best" - he took me to the Hilti display. He explained that "these bits" (pointing to bits) are use in "these tools" (pointing to high-torque corded drivers; but no impact drivers that I saw...) So, this time I waffled between a set/kit and just a bunch of P2s. I bought the kit. The Hilti lasted longer; drove a couple dozen before one of the bits snapped its tip off. Then the other happened pretty quickly. With this sample size of two, there SEEMED to be a common failure mechanism: in both cases, I think I was attempting to snug down a screw that I hadn't driven fully flush w/ the backer board. So, it was a screw that was nearly fully driven, that I tried to apply torque to and the driver bit snapped. Hm.
OK. Returned the Hilti - interesting side story there. Turns out that HD's return policy is superceded by Hilti's - there is a Hilti rep in-store at HD M-F and they have to approve ALL returns of their products. I, of course, was there on a Saturday, and there seemed to be concern by the girl taking my return that they might not be able to get it approved; ultimately, the store manager (via phone) approved it. The girl helping me expressed some frustration w/ Hilti's policy; I pointed out that as the consumer I didn't see any special notification of a differet return policy for Hilti - nothing was posted; not there at the return desk, and not at the Hilti display. She said they try to put up a sign at the Hilti display noting their special return policy, but the Hilti rep keeps taking it down! Go figure.
Finally, I went w/ the notion they're consumables, and bought a 30-pk of P2s from DeWalt, at 30 cents each. (The Hilti bits were on the order of $2/ea.). Definitely softer v. Hilti/Hitachi; the DeWalts twisted, and only 1 broke outright. I went through 9 in the course of driving 70+ cement board screws. I think part of it is technique: when I would try to time the release of the trigger as the screw began to countersink itself, I was also lifting off the screw; I think this is a problem, as it's possible that an impact is being applied when the driver tip is being lifted partway out of the screw slot. When I made a concerted effort to stay on the screw until the driver completely stopped, the bit lasted much longer.
So, that's my experience. Thanks for all the feedback here.
-Chris
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Yes. Look in the section of a good tool store where they sell air tools. You will find socket and screwdriver bits design for both hand and powered impact tools.
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more to make and buy), they will break and do other bad things. Jim
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Jim (& Robert) - thanks for your replies.
-Chris
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Not true at all. The most expensive bits are the most likely to break
Cheap ones will twist and wear out quickly but they don't break. Snap-On screwdrivers (AKA Snap-offs) are another example. They won't bend and they won't wear out but if you try to pry something with them they break.
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On 23 Sep 2005 09:15:45 -0700, "TheNewGuy"

When bits break it is because they are too hard, That is a good thing if you are driving 1000 drywall screws into white pine 2x4s but not so good if you are driving into something that requires a lot of torque like running screws into oak. For that you want something a little softer. Bosch tips seem on the hard side, DeWalt are tougher but wear out quicker. It seems the ones with a dul finish are hard, the shiny ones are more forgiving but they don't last as long
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so far I have not had any problems with bits from a couple of local stores. they seem to be good and they are not a name brand and they are not junk. my sockets have held up fine to the impact driver too. sometimes name brands are junk in disguise. and full sets can be the worst. Knight-Toolworks http://www.knight-toolworks.com affordable handmade wooden planes
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