How to use an Impact Driver: A Simple Guide

Emeka Eregbu

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An impact driver is one of the most used types of power tools on a construction site. With an impact driver, you can easily drive screws through hard materials like wood, metal, and plastic into a surface with ease.

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What Is An Impact Driver?

An impact driver is quite similar to a drill in the sense that it has two rotating parts at the top and bottom, except that instead of having a gearbox in between as with a drill, an electric motor turns directly to drive the impact mechanism up at high speed.

This is the fastest way to drive screws into anything and it will make the job look effortless.

How Does An Impact Driver Work?

How to use an Impact Driver: An impact Driver

A typical impact driver has a motor at the top of the tool and a mechanism that takes power from that motor, makes it rotate at high speed, and delivers it to a small metal rod known as an “impactor”.

The impact mechanism bites into the material you are drilling, then continues moving until it is removed from the material.

The impact mechanism consists of a chuck located at the bottom of the tool which is bolted onto any adapter that has a hex shank.

This allows you to attach a screwdriver bit or drill bit with hard plastic or metal bit to its top half so that once you have drilled through level A in your project, you can use this “harder” bit on level B.

Things to Look For In An Impact Driver

Weight: Most of them are quite heavy, weighing between three and four pounds. If you are going to be using an impact driver for a long time you will definitely appreciate these weights as they can take a lot of strain on your wrists and arms.

Torque: The torque of an impact driver is measured in foot pounds, so you can have a general idea of how hard it would be for you to drive the screws with one.

Chuck Size: The chuck size of an impact driver is the diameter of the bit you can use in its top section.

Ease of Use

They are very easy to use. You turn the trigger at the top and it rotates at high speed, drilling a hole from one surface to another.

Once you have drilled through a surface, you can then insert another accessory into the other end of it which will allow you to continue drilling until you finish your project.

Choosing An Impact Driver

There are a number of things that you should look into when trying to find the best impact driver for you. The first thing is price.

Very few impact drivers are cheap and so it is important that you pick the best one with regards to its quality and durability as well as its price.

You will also have to decide on the brand of impact driver that you want to buy. Most brands will have preset models, but some are better than others and will often have more “extras”.

You should also consider the size you will need. You might want to get one that is rated for both metric and standard screws which are used in most homes and buildings.

Cordless Impact Driver vs. Corded Impact Driver – Which is Better?

There are two main types of impact drivers; corded ones, and cordless ones. They have a few basic differences, which are listed below:

corded vs cordless impact drivers

Corded Impact Drivers: Corded impact drivers are powered by a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet, and can therefore not be used in places that lack power sockets. However, all cordless impact drivers come with their own battery pack so you don’t need to worry about them running out of power if they are not plugged into the electrical supply.

Cordless impact drivers have several advantages over their corded counterparts.

Firstly, they can be used anywhere. You wouldn’t have to worry about losing the cord at all with a cordless power tool.

Secondly, they are easier to transport around since they are portable and you can take them anywhere you want without worrying about the risk of tangling or tripping over the cable wires.

Thirdly, the battery power usually lasts for a long time. Coupled with this is the fact that you don’t need to worry about charging their batteries at all. The only time that you have to worry about their power running out is when you are using them in a place without electricity.

As you can see, the positives of using a cordless impact driver far outweigh the negatives. They are a lot more portable, but they also have many more advantages than their corded counterparts.

How to Use an Impact Driver: A Simple Guide

  • Check the battery level for a cordless impact driver or for a corded impact driver ensure the availability of power.
  • Once that is done, you should also make sure that your impact driver is properly lubricated because it can sometimes cause a little bit of friction and that can damage your tool.
  • After that, you should then check the chuck size to make sure it’s compatible with other accessories that you want to attach. Most impact drivers have a standard chuck size which allows various bits and attachments to be used with them.
  • Next, you should understand the safety features of your impact driver. Some models have overload protection features and over-current protection features that are used to protect the tool from accidentally being damaged if it runs into issues. If your impact driver does not have any of these features, you should make sure that it has something in place that will prevent it from causing any damage to itself.
  • You should also make sure that your impact driver is properly secured so that it doesn’t fall down at the wrong time and hurt you when you least expect it.
  • Once you have ensured that all these things are in place, you should then turn on your impact driver and get to work. It is best to screw the screws manually at first so that you can feel the force of the power tool before you use it. This will help you understand how well it is going to fit into your project and how much force it is going to take. Using impact drivers does take a little bit of practice, but once you get used to using them, they are very easy to use.

What to Look for When Buying an Impact Driver

Next, we will explain what to look for when buying an impact driver. The following are factors you should consider when making your purchase:

It is best to get a cordless impact driver of the same size as the one you want to buy because it will be easier for you to store it and use it in tight places. You may also want to take into consideration the amount of power and speed that a particular model can provide.
The following infographic highlights some of the main features and differences between both types of impact drivers. However there are many other things to consider when looking for the best one for you, so make sure you take your time and research them thoroughly before making your decision.

Is An Impact Driver Worth The Money?

The price of an impact driver is always going to be significantly higher than the cost of a drill, but there are some models which are actually cheaper than drills. This is due to the fact that it has a lot fewer functions and requires fewer parts and components to operate.

However, you have to consider the amount of power that an impact driver can give you. A drill is not going to be able to give you much more torque than the amount given by a screwdriver bit, but an impact driver can give you a lot more power.

So if you are looking for something which will allow you to work on delicate and complicated projects then you will have to pay a lot more for it.

Impact Driver Safety

Impact drivers are generally very safe. However, it is important to remember that they can still cause serious injury if you are distracted or not paying attention to what you are doing.

It is therefore important to make sure that when using an impact driver, you don’t wear loose clothing and you have your glasses on so that nothing can fly into your eyes.

It is also important to remember to grip the handle properly while you are working on your project and make sure you are standing on a firm surface. This will ensure that you can apply as much pressure as possible to get the job done right there and then.

They also have an excellent amount of torque and power. However, it is important to remember that they can still malfunction if you use them incorrectly. That said, they are very simple to use once you get used to their design and the way they work.

If you are in doubt then it is best to do a little bit of research before using it for the first time.


An impact driver is a great power tool for individuals who want something with fewer moving parts and smaller sizes. It is a good fit for jobs that require a lot of torque, and can easily remove old, rusty screws without too much effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the battery capacity mean for an impact driver?
A: It stands for the amount of power an impact driver has. The higher the level, the more powerful it is and the longer it will last when in use. A higher battery capacity will also allow you to use it more often as you won’t have to recharge it every time.

Q: Can I use an impact driver for outdoor work?
A: Yes, they can be used outdoors as long as it is not too windy. You will have to make sure you are not driving too hard as it can then cause a lot of damage to your equipment.

Q: How long do these batteries last?
A: They come with a 1-year warranty and they can last up to 2 years before needing recharging again. It all depends on the specific model that you purchase.

Q: What is the best gift for a DIY enthusiast?
A: An impact driver as a gift is perfect for men and boys who love to do jobs around their home which require a lot of drilling, screwing, and fixing. It is also a rechargeable power tool that can give you less trouble than some other items.

Q: Can I use a different bit in my impact driver?
A: Yes, as long as the screw bit is compatible with the way that your impact driver works. They are generally not the same threading, so you need to make sure that they will fit together.

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