Things to Know Before Buying a Cordless Impact Driver

A cordless impact driver is a widely used tool preferred by both professionals and amateurs. It can be used for simple and complex tasks. Cordless impact drivers drive fasteners with so much power and convenience, greatly reducing the workload for you.

Some models of impact drivers are designed perform general driving tasks while some are designed for specialized tasks such as driving large lag screws.

Before setting out to buy your cordless impact driver, it will be beneficial to know a few things about them before making that decision.

There are several categories of drivers out there, knowing the types will make you select the best type that matches your work.

Cordless Impact Driver

A cordless impact wrench is the most popular in this category among power tool users. These drivers have a high speed for driving fasteners and are very versatile. Impact drivers help you lag screws and large fasteners. These tools are very efficient in driving screws with less chance of stripping the screw. They offer greater control and flexibility.

Cordless Right-Angle Driver

This is a specialized driver that operates just like the typical driver but has a right-angle gearing that powers the chuck at a 900 to the motor shaft. This shortens the distance between the chuck tip and opposite surface of the motor housing making it possible to work in tight spaces with this tool. A favorite tool among electricians, plumbers and DIYers.

Cordless Screwdriver

Cordless screwdrivers are ideal for driving small fasteners; a cheaper and smaller option. They are lightweight and can be used for long periods to drive smaller screws and access tight spaces. They can also be used to “slowly” drill small holes using hexagonal-shank bits.

Comfort

Some tasks that require the use of impact drivers require you to use the tool for extended periods. Select a tool that’s comfortable and balanced in your hand.

Power

In cordless tools, higher voltage equates to more torque. Power ranges from 6v to 36v; however, the higher the voltage, the heavier the driver. A 36v can weigh up to 8 pounds and should only be used when necessary, i.e. when driving large fasteners. For common driving tasks, a 12v driver provides enough power.

Speed

Cordless impact drivers usually have different speed ranges; choose one that suits the work you do. Various models come with option to maintain and adjust the speed under various conditions.

You can preset a driver’s clutch at varying levels of resistance. When the preset level is reached, the tool will not apply more force to the fastener, avoiding stripping and snapping of screws or overdriving. It also protects the tool from overheating.

Battery

The most important part of any driver is its battery because this determines its power and run-time. Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular because of their lightweight and ability to hold charge for longer. Nickel-Cadmium batteries cost less and are provide adequate power too.

A tools charger also plays an important part in its operation. Battery chargers differ in recharge times (between 15 minutes to 3 hours); faster chargers cost more.