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Buyer guide to impact drivers

An impact driver or electric screwdriver is vital equipment for your toolbox, enabling you to unscrew and screw as needed with complete ease. The impact drivers are perfect for DIY projects like laying a deck, assembling furniture, and putting up a shed or fence. You can also use them for small tasks such as tightening fittings and fixtures as well as hanging hooks. The following are some of the factors you should consider when buying an impact driver.

Torque

In many countries, torque is typically listed in Nm (Newton meters). The higher the value, the more turning force the machine will be able to generate, and it’s usually the first requirement enthusiasts’ check to ascertain the capabilities of an electric screwdriver. However, it’s worth noting that the torque measurements stated by the manufacturers do not translate at all times as precisely to real-world functioning as you may expect. Nevertheless, this specification will give you a good indication of the capabilities of the machine.

Voltage

Despite the market offering a few corded impact drivers, most of them are cordless machines. The common ones are either, 18v, 12v or 10.8v. The machines with lower voltages are more compact and are easy to carry without adding extra weight, but their low power can be a great limitation, and they cannot match the base strength of their larger counterparts.

Brushless Motors

Nowadays, it is common to get any cordless tool with brushless motors. While they are more costly to implement than the brushed motors, the benefit of this type is that it is more energy efficient. With a cordless tool that means more run-time for each battery charge, enabling you to work for a more extended period of having to swap out or recharge batteries. It also means you can work with lighter, smaller and cheaper batteries instead of using high capacity alternatives.

Speed

The operation speed is one of the main benefits of a good impact driver. There are typically two stated speeds: the impact rate which can be quoted in IPM (impacts per minute) or BPM (blows per minute), and the no-load speed usually stated in RPM (rotations per minute). Both these aspects are crucial regarding how quickly you can drive in screws; the greater the speed, the faster you will finish your work. Most, if not all, the impact drivers available on the market today have different speed triggers which allow you to start screws using optimum control and reduce the speed during the last several turns to make sure you do not sink the screws below the surfaces of the softer woods.

Multiple Modes

An impact driver is suitable for driving big screws, but it has not historically been famous for its finesse and precision. Without any clutch, it’s easy to overdrive small or more delicate clasps, which can also get shattered by the great impact mechanism.

When you are looking for a suitable impact driver, you should consider the various factors discussed in this article. The other important thing you should remember is the purpose for which you need to purchase the impact driver and where you intend to use it. Once you understand the particular purpose, you will then know the impact driver you should buy.