Whilst shopping for a cordless drill/driver I was impressed with how
small the cordless impact drivers were and yet deliever about twice
the torque of the larger cordless drill/drivers.
Can impact drivers drill alright? A few on the web talk as if it's
morally wrong to drill with an impact driver, but never cite the
chapter and verse.
Makita makes adapters going from 1/4" hex shank to keyless 3/8 chuck,
so if you want to use your normal round shank drill bits, you can.
I know an impact driver is noisier. That's OK with me. I know an
impact driver can be slower. That's OK with me. Any other
I work with wood, concrete and steel, but 90% of the time it's wood.
No problem using an impact driver to drill holes in wood, but a caution for
using it to drill steel..
Impact drivers only provide the rotary impact when necessary to overcome the
material's resistance. With the Makita impact drivers I use, the driver
essentially functions as a drill (without any impact function) until the bit
is deep into the material or if the bits diameter is enough to provide the
resistance necessary to cause the impact function to kick in. So basically,
when drilling wood, I almost never detect the impact function.
The one caveat I would mention relates to drilling steel. Drill bits are
brittle, by necessity. I can envision the use of an impact driver causing a
larger drill bit to shatter when drilling steel if it were to bind or become
sufficiently stuck that the impact was simply torquing the drill bit. I have
not experienced this, not have I heard it reported, so I may just be overly
Jim Ray, President
McFeely's Square Drive Screws
BTW, Makita has a great promotion out for a 12 or 14.4v impact driver and a
free driver drill of the same voltage. This may make it easier to decide
since you would have both tools!
One thing to pay attention to and I think there is a warning about it in the
manual. DON'T put a 1 inch bit (by itself) in this driver. They get stuck
and are almost impossible to get out. I needed to get into a really tight
corner and forgot this warning. It took me an hour to get the bit out. I
won't do that again!!!
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