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Thread: Drill or impact

  1. #1
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    Drill or impact

    For the past seven years Ive always used a little Bosch 12v 1/4 impact driver. It drills holes just fine and it breaks stubborn nuts and bolts free easily.

    One of the things I dont like is its very easy to cross thread screws because the RPMs are quite high. It does have a lower speed that I could use I guess. And the other problem is if I screw or unscrew anything stainless too fast the threads will gall up and then it can be a pain to get that screw out.

    Now Ive gotten pretty good at avoiding these problems over the years but its still something that I need to be cognizant of each time I use it. My question is does a drill, not an impact, avoid these issues? I think it really comes down to slowing the speed of the impact but Im not sure. Drill models always seem spin at a lower RPM than impacts so maybe thats all it is.

    Anyway, which do guys prefer... impact or drill for service work?

  2. #2
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    Drill or impact

    I have the same 12 volt stuff. I carry both impact and drill driver in the truck but the drill driver is the one in my bag. It does have a variable speed trigger plus 2 speeds and a torque clutch. Mine actually has a hammer function too. Thought it would be a good function just cause. Dont think I have used it but a handful of times.

    Really the only time I use my 12v impact is installs.

    Mine came in a kit think I got them about 6-8 years ago also. I think the fl12 flashlight is a must as well. I have 2


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhenergy View Post
    I have the same 12 volt stuff. I carry both impact and drill driver in the truck but the drill driver is the one in my bag. It does have a variable speed trigger plus 2 speeds and a torque clutch. Mine actually has a hammer function too. Thought it would be a good function just cause. Dont think I have used it but a handful of times.

    Really the only time I use my 12v impact is installs.

    Mine came in a kit think I got them about 6-8 years ago also. I think the fl12 flashlight is a must as well. I have 2


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    Thanks for the feedback. When your driver eventually goes and you upgrade to the brushless version you will love it. At least I did when I got the brushless impact.

    And yes, the FL12 is an excellent light. I waited patiently for it to be released in the US and bought it immediately when it came out, $60. It still works fine after all these years of abuse. Recently Lowes was unloading them for cheap. Bought one for $24 and then another at a different Lowes a week later for $14. Best light Ive ever had.


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  4. #4
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    My Makita sub compact 18v impact has loads of torque and also has a screw assist mode that starts slow and speeds up once it senses resistance. Designed to help prevent cross threading.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  5. #5
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    The Milwaukee M12 FUEL impact has 2 speeds...
    The lower is good for sheet metal screws...
    The high will ram a 3" drywall screw into a fence post!

    It is light, yet durable!

    And because it is an ECM motor... the battery lasts longer!
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  6. #6
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    I use the impact for sheet metal screws all the time. You want high speed to drive a point screw easily.

    I prefer the chuck drill best for everyday use but it is heavier and slightly larger so it usually stays in the truck. Unless Im doing a lot of screws I will usually just do them by hand. When I use the impact I am very careful not to cross thread them and when I drive them in it is with a feather finger so it stops before it impacts.

    I have and prefer the Makita 12v mini drill. They last a week or two on a charge for what I do with them. I like them because they are a good balance between light and powerful.

    The company supplies a similar model but Milwaukee brand 12V. That is the one I use on a daily basis because its just easier than getting them to approve a drill replacement if I use mine to the point of failure. The Milwaukees are also good. Have slightly more power with a full battery on a warm day but it it gets down below 50 Deg F then it struggles if you load it up. Im guessing it senses a low voltage event and goes into protection mode shutting itself down. All of them do that. Its annoying... and they are heavier. The Makitas never had that problem but their batteries tend to have an overall shorter lifespan ( not charge capacity but lifespan before it has to be replaced) so maybe that protection mode , as frustrating as it is, can be a good thing.

    Impacts suck at drilling holes in wood, or... well anything really. They excel in driving screws. Chuck drills are best at drilling holes or using anything that requires a chuck jaw. You are asking us to compare apples to oranges. They both serve different purposes. Sure you can use one for the other but you will get better results if you use the right tool for the job.


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  8. #7
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    I got the m12 Milwaukee brushed drill and impact combo with 2 batteries a charger and a bag for 99$ and I love it. The impact has good feel so that I am able to put in sheet metal screws without stripping them out. They are decidedly not powerful but that is why I got them. I wanted an impact that would work for sheet metal screws and it does. The drill is sufficient for a step drill or small drilling jobs. The biggest limitation is chuck size.

    I like to have the m12 for every day carry and keep an 18 for the heavy work.

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  9. #8
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    I have noticed the Bosch "impact" hits harder than the others like dewalt and milwaukee and makita

    So I've always carried my "drill" which has the "Hammer" function for drilling concrete holes as well ... But ... I can creep the screw into sheet metal slow as shit without stripping it. Only downside its heavier to carry

    Those of you with the other brands can probly carry your impacts because they are softer hitting. Whenever I borrow someones Dewalt I think .... dam that things light

    I only bring out the Bosch "impact" for going into wood with a long screw , or putting a blue concrete screw in

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    I have noticed the Bosch "impact" hits harder than the others like dewalt and milwaukee and makita

    So I've always carried my "drill" which has the "Hammer" function for drilling concrete holes as well ... But ... I can creep the screw into sheet metal slow as shit without stripping it. Only downside its heavier to carry

    Those of you with the other brands can probly carry your impacts because they are softer hitting. Whenever I borrow someones Dewalt I think .... dam that things light

    I only bring out the Bosch "impact" for going into wood with a long screw , or putting a blue concrete screw in
    Thats cause Bosch is better.




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  11. #10
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    i have a Dewalt 12v screwdriver so far its been working great
    i use it for remove panel screws when doing mantenace or service
    no need for impact
    i mean i have one in my Van but its a 20 V
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  12. #11
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    Gotta be careful with any impact, you can break the head off a screw very easy..ask me how I know. Also, they can be noisy which is why I switched to my drill to drive sheet metal screws in and take the trap off of Carrier furnaces. Ever break a screw off that holds the trap to the collector box?

  13. #12
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    I've been using Milwaukee Hex Screwdriver for years now. Best of both worlds.

    I dislike impacts. They strip screws out of units. Drives me nuts. Our company actually doesn't let guys use them in the service dept.

    Anyway the hex screwdriver is a shorter than a drill and has a clutch and a quick change head for bits.

    The fuel one is plenty powerful enough and I've got a few 1/4 hex drill bit sets.

    https://www.cpomilwaukee.com/milwauk...ln2402-20.html

  14. #13
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    Any machine screw gets started by hand, and pending length, gets finished that way.

    Not sure why youd use a drill of any kind for some of the applications that are being mentioned. Such as the trap on a furnace.

    I always use an impact for driving sheetmetal screws, or framing type wood work as well.

    You need to have a feel for the tools you use.

    As far as banning an impact from the service department, thats silly. Ban stupidity, or go all the way and ban all power drills, and issue nut drivers, sockets, and egg beater drills, or bit braces. Things will only take 10 times as long.







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