I was nearly tempted to get one of the impact screwdrivers as
mentioned here a while back but I couldn't really see a need and
wasn't sure how / when I would use it?
It also looked like it was a hex drive and so limiting what sort of
things you could drive with it (compared with a chuck)?
At the market yesterday I picked up a set of hex drive to square drive
adaptors (1/4, 3/8 and 1/2") with the thought of using them in my
Stanley Fat Max cordless impact drill (on speed one) as a form of
electric nut runner (mainly for removing machine screws / nuts) and I
wondered what the RW difference would be between that and the impact
Cheers, T i m
Every time you stick a screw in basically. (also leaves you drill free
to have a drill in it without continuous bit swapping)
Yup, although if you really want drill bits with hex shank you can get
Max torque on the drill will be significantly lower. Many 18V drills top
out at about 60Nm, and 18V ID will do north of 150Nm (although for
comparison a full on cordless impact wrench will usually do several
times that). Also the rotational impact action can be better at freeing
stuck fastenings than continuous torque.
So, I've used an electric screwdriver (the good Bosch one) and it was
'good', but for me, only for those repetitive jobs where control
wasn't an issue (especially running slotted brass screws into a brass
But even with a clutch and on 'rough and ready jobs', you would get
some screw heads buried in the timber and others not deep enough to
create their own countersink?
For undoing loads of cross-head screws I can see how they could be of
use (I've used my drill driver for that many times).
What would you suggest would be the typical 'perfect example' of a job
for such a driver?
Cheers, T i m
Not a problem with a Makita impact driver IME. Because the control is
*far better* than with a standard drill driver. Even if you do go too
far you can back out one "click" which won't matter assuming you have
multiple screws. OK if you were doing really fancy cabinet work with
brass screws in hardwood you might want to finish off with a hand
screwdriver, especially if using slotted screws where the slots all need
That's the only sort of place where I would use slotted screws, BTW.
I have, admittedly mostly cheap ones ... you know, where the drill bit
turns in the hex under any real load ... ;-(
I appreciate you said 'many' but I would have to say my Fat Max
probably deals out as much torque as I can handle (or it feels like it
when I've disabled the clutch and a 1/2" bit snags in something)?
I wonder if I was conflating an electric screwdriver with an electric
impact wrench / rattle gun?
I have a 12V rattle gun that is less of a rattle and more of a
clunk-clunk-clunk and I think the only time I used it (a tight wheel
nut) it didn't do any more than I could with the spider brace.
The only time I might use an electric drill / driver on any fastener
is when doing loads when speed is more important that finish or
tightening torque, like assembling a wooden shed. Eg, On anything
'important' I much prefer the feel and control of a manual screwdriver
(or spanner etc).
Do you use an electric driver on your furniture builds OOI John?
Cheers, T i m
I only have a brace of Makitas, but the impact driver is *much* more
controllable than the drill (I hardly ever use the clutch on the drill,
though). The impact driver must be ten times faster than a manual
I use mine on everything except electronics (and still use it on washing
machines, vacuums, etc).
I do but generally only to minimise the risk of it doing something I
wouldn't with a manual screwdriver?
Understood ... but what if time isn't an issue?
Ok, and what is yours OOI (make / model)?
My mate uses one on laptops all the time, but then he's running a PC
shop where time is important.
I could see the value if you were a very busy person and / or time is
the issue but how many screws are there in a vacuum and does the bit
on reach all the screws? I'm not suggesting that it's isn't able to
meet all those, just checking if it does? ;-)
I used my drill driver as a driver the other day for screwing decking
type planks onto the top of an 'outdoor bench' using ss turbo screws
... because there were loads of screws, the holes were already
countersunk, the wood consistently soft and the clutch able to drive
most screws home but without overdoing them. I still had to finish a
off few by hand because they had hit denser timber and I didn't want
to have to adjust the clutch just for them.
I can't see how you can have both speed (like with a drill) and
control, especially without the use of a clutch.
My Stanley Fat Max, on speed one and with the clutch disabled can go
as slow as I want with as much torque as I want to the point where it
would easily shear most screws off (or break my wrist). ;-(
I can see the value of something like my old Bosch electric
screwdriver as whilst it wasn't exactly fast it had reasonable torque
(considering) and because you held it like an ordinary screwdriver,
would fit anywhere an ordinary screwdriver would fit and because of
the auto-locking function to the drive, you could 'finish off' a screw
manually if you wanted (to get the tension 'just right').
I have used my mates electric (corded to it's own adjustable PSU) to
*undo* laptop screws but not do them up (fear of cross threading or
over-tightening and ripping the insert out of the plastic).
Cheers, T i m
I find clutches are a mixed blessing when trying to set screws to
consistent depth etc. In reality even if the clutch is good and offers
accurate repeatability, its rare that the material you are screwing into
does. So some finessing after the fact is still likely.
With an ID you can develop a "feel" for it and depth setting. I know for
example that if I want plenty of yield to not over drive something I can
use less speed (fewer impacts/min) but also hold the body of the driver
"looser" to allow the impact to kick the tool body a bit more if the
screw reaches its end stop.
Because there is a lot of travel on the trigger for a small change in
The obsolete Makita with the 14.4 NiCad, in my case. Same charger as my
18v drill driver. Batteries from both work on the DAB site radio too.
Charger will also do NiMH. I have some tagged NiMH sub D's to upgrade
worn out packs when I get round to it.
50 mm bits reach most things. Occasionally you will get one which is
more deeply recessed and needs an ordinary screwdriver.
Often not so many screws on a vacuum but you might have ten on the back
of a washing machine including the lid.
Ideal job for impact driver.
There's no point explaining any more. You just need to borrow one and
see for yourself. The control system is really smart. It just is.
Pretty much if you compare like with like...
I mean my 18V combi drill has more torque than my tiny 7.2V ID
screwdriver, but that's not really an appropriate comparison.
That is one of the areas where an ID is much better - because the torque
is delivered in short impulses, you get far less reaction at the
drill... much of it is dissipated accelerating the inertia of the tool
body, rather than twisting your wrist. That is why its much easier to
use an ID at arms length than a drill - you don't need to get your
weight behind it in the same way.
"Electric screwdriver" can include anything from the 2.8V B&D
screwdriver up really - at the low end they turn and can spin screws in
and out but usually lack the oomph to do the final tightening. You move
on up through drill/drivers of varies sizes to some that have fairly
The hand held ID:
Is a different device altogether - and is like a smaller electric
derivation of a pneumatic impact wrench.
You can get significant toque on a manual brace etc - although somewhat
more physical effort. I would have thought that a 12V ID is probably a
bit small for wheel nuts... although they are popular with scaffolders.
I use powered screw driving for *everything* unless I am forced to do it
some other way! These days I will reach for one of my IDs in preference
to a normal drill/driver in most of those cases.
I have a small 10.8V Makita ID that I use more on furniture and lighter
fixings (although it will happily drive a 2.5" 12 gauge screw into a
wall plug if you want it to). Mainly because its very small and light.
Easy to get into tight places and reach screws that would be difficult
by hand (inside cabinets etc).
When building stuff, then my 18V ID is my preference since it will lob
in 2" twinthread screws without a pilot, with next to zero effort or
fatigue on me.
Bought my lad a pair of these when he was supplementing his income by
helping a builder friend. He reckoned the drill driver wasn't far off my
18v NiCad for "oomph".
I'm still amazed how well my old Mak ID is working with 14.4 NiCads.
I've replaced a couple of the packs with unbranded third party clones
and the performance and life is indistinguishable from genuine.
Ah, so the focus really is on 'impact' as opposed to 'driver'?
<snip> >> I wonder if I was conflating an electric screwdriver with an electric
That is my experience of them (but not with my Fat Max drill etc).
Sorry, are you saying the link is to what you are saying has become
your go-to against a manual screwdriver as it seems to confirm
everything I thought might be the case against them V a good cordless
drill, plus some I hadn't considered (like the noise levels)? ;-(
This one wouldn't be as it requires an external 12V battery. ;-)
Ok, that latter statement sounds like an advantage (over a pistol grip
drill), like my old Bosch electric screwdriver. ;-)
Like my drill (has, 200 times in one session). I can see I'll have to
get an ID, just to see what the buzz is all about (and possibly some
earplugs for my Tinnitus). ;-)
Can you recommend a VFM one ... one that I can afford to leave in a
draw if it doesn't turn out to be a boon for me? Was the recent Lidl
one a good deal?
Cheers, T i m
It drives screws in a different way to a normal driver... Bit like the
difference between puling on a spanner, and tapping it round with a hammer.
Big DDs have plenty of torque (my latest 18V Mak has something in excess
of 90Nm - plus a big FOff side handle to save twisting your wrist off if
you plan to use all of it). That's the same amount of torque as my 10.8V
ID - however the latter does not need a side handle or the wrists of
Hercules to sue safely.
The link shows a picture of my older 18V ID - I tend to use that (or its
replacement) and the 10.8V ones for most things. Manual screwdrivers are
occasionally handy for taking apart computers etc, but most other stuff
I do with the ID.
Ah, yup the kind of thing designed to sit in the boot waiting to free a
wheel nut after clipping its leads onto the car battery.
This is my one:
I got it in a twin pack with a small Combi drill, which is much the same
size - but a little longer with the chuck on it. You can get a sense of
scale from the picture of that in my hand:
They are not so loud locally (not as bad as a hammer drill say) - but
the noise does travel more through the fabric of a building.
Don't know - not seen the Lidl one. If you already have a set of
something reasonable with battery and charger, then it is quite cheap to
by a decent one "body only" and use your existing batts and charger.
To be fair, before I got my first one, I was sceptical as to whether it
would prove better than my combi drill. Having got used to it, I very
rarely use a drill from screw driving... (plasterboard screws with a
shrouded bit being about the only time the DD is better - quieter and
you want the thing to "cam out" when the screw gets tight!)
Have an ancient B&D screwdriver, has a gear box between motor and bit
drive and gives plenty of torque. The trade off is that it doesn't
spin things in or out particulary fast. It's still quicker and easier
than a manual screwdriver. As the gear box locks when not driven by
the motor it also makes for a very powerful, by virtue of the large
grip, manual screwdriver as well.
Don't use the ordinary drill/driver to drive screws. The control of
speed and torque is far too tricky. Give it enough "go" to get a fast
drive, when the screw gets tight the torque shoots up as the motor is
stalled and the bit chews the screw head or cams out and bounces
across the work...
Can you get a linear screwdriver style impact drivers or are they all
pistol grip type things?
On Mon, 20 Aug 2018 09:20:54 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"
Same with my old Bosch driver, considering how old / basic it is.
True, but if you aren't doing stuff for a living ... ?
Agreed. I *can* see the advantages / benefits to a straight electric
Agreed, although I'm not sure that feature applies to all electric
screwdrivers (especially 'in those days')?
Again, I think that can be very much down to the quality / power /
design of the drill. O=I have driven many screws with my Fat Max to
the point where I have been questioning why anyone would want anything
different? Maybe those here who are advocates of the ID haven't
actually used such a DD?
Yup and exactly what I don't get with my drill. I squeeze the trigger
and the drill starts of at about 1 rev per second and will carry on at
that speed till the screw is buried deep in the wood?
I have the drill here and if I put the chuck on 22 (of 22) and squeeze
the trigger I can't hold it back with my hand when it's turning very
slowly. Put it on 10 and the chuck 'hammers' and still going so slowly
that you could easily count the rotations.
Maybe not all cordless drill drivers are created equal?
I think you can get some that can be both.
Cheers, T i m
Rotational speed independant of the torque required to drive the
Rotational speed dependant only or trigger position?
Only enough torque delivered to maintain the rotational speed up to a
I think mine uses some form of PWM as speed control as it produces a
fixed frequency whine at low speeds.
They certainly aren't, as I say my drill/driver is very tricky to
use. It's OK for bashing screws in if your not overly bothered about
the heads getting chewed, it caming out and the bit damaging the work
or over driving the head into the work.
What make/model is your Fat Max?
Speed controllers vary - some will deliver decent torque at low revs,
other less so. The modern brushless tools are probably best in that
respect since they try to deliver constant rotational speed under a
On Tue, 21 Aug 2018 16:41:41 +0100, John Rumm
Judging by some of the responses here, they must vary quite a bit!
Also, how much they appear to vary could be down to the latent power /
torque of the device in general. eg, if they are 'pretty torquy, then
the speed controller can be more linear.
If you hold the chuck firmly with you hand and just slowly squeeze the
trigger, I suggest most people would be forced to let go of it (for
fear of taking skin off their hands) and when they do it would still
only be doing a few RPM.
Mostly the cheaper offerings from what I've experienced so far. Even
the DD daughter brought from Lidl (along with a circular and jig saw)
works pretty well but isn't a patch on this FatMax.
I've not tried any brushless anything yet. 
Cheers, T i m
 A couple of mates fancied racing RC Electric cars and went out and
spent quite a bit getting set up from scratch. I dragged out all my
old stuff (NiMH, brushed motor) and we turned up at the local club
(where I was a bit of a point of amusement because of all my old
Mates had written their cars off within the first couple of heats and
I ended up 3rd in the main final (much to everyone's surprise,
especially me!). ;-)
On Tue, 21 Aug 2018 14:58:30 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"
And mine is a breeze. ;-)
I can use mine in that mode if I run it on speed II, set the clutch to
OFF and just pull the trigger right in. Anything else means it's
pretty controllable to half a turn of a screw?
It's a Stanley that I think is a re-badged DeWalt (or they are part of
the same group now etc ). It's also quite heavy to a level that
surprised most who are familiar with more basic power tools when they
first pick it up.
Even when on SII and the clutch off and holding the keyless chuck
firmly, gently squeezing the trigger allows you to determine just how
much skin you want to pull off your hand. ;-(
Cheers, T i m
 <checks> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeWalt
"DeWalt (trademarked as D?WALT) is an American worldwide brand of
power tools and hand tools for the construction, manufacturing and
woodworking industries. DeWalt is a trade name of Black & Decker
(U.S.) Inc., a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker."
Before this Stanley DD I previously had a DeWalt and would say it was
nearly as good (but not as powerful). The only real reason I stopped
using it was the batteries died.
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