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How to use an impact driver

4 STEPS

An impact driver is an essential fastening tool, much lighter and easier to use than a drill. It’s also compact, making it versatile and handy on any size of job. Impact drivers use both bit rotations and concussive blows to drive fasteners with ease. Learning to use one is as simple as one, two, three.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Step

Choose the correct bit

Impact drivers use impact bits with ¼ inch hex- drive shanks, different from conventional drill and screw bits. Look for one that is a compatible mate with the fastener type and size as the screw you want to fasten.

Step

Know your speed

Impact drivers offer significant power, but not all material require it. The more torque you need, the slower the speed required. You can slow the speed of the tool through finger pressure on the trigger or through a speed selection option, if the driver is equipped with one.

Materials with more give, such as soft wood or drywall, that require less torque will be better served with a faster speed.

If you are doing more heavy-duty, high torque work, such as fastening large screws on deck supports, low speed will make the job easier and faster.

Step

Press the trigger

To operate your impact driver, pull back the quick-release collet and slide in the bit – letting go of the collet once secure. Simply press down on the trigger and the impact driver will keep tightening as long as you’re applying pressure, so it’s best to ease up as your screw is close to becoming flush with the surface to avoid any damage to the material and stripping of the screw head due to over fastening.

Step

Sound

The clicking sound means the tool is working, that the impact mechanism is driving the screw in to the material. Do not allow the tool to click once the bit top of the screw is flush. You may damage the screw or the hole.