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  1. #1
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    Default Best size drill and impact driver for use in the shop

    I've got an 18v Makita drill driver and impact driver set. They are awesome and have made doing some heavier jobs around the house a breeze (particularly building the front fence!). But they are beasts. The drill is definitely overkill for all the work I do in the shop. The impact driver will literally kill anything I use it for in the shop it is so powerful (and I don't have the required finesse to control the torque using the trigger).

    It's a bit of a shame as the impact sits idle a lot. I've seen some videos on youtube where people are using what appear to be smaller, less powerful impact drivers in the shop and they are not punching the screw through the whole workpiece! Eg the Wood Knight uses a little red one, which I think is a Milwaukee 12v, but not sure.

    When I bought the Makitas, I thought I was being smart by getting ones powerful enough to do everything. But in reality, 95% of their use is for much smaller, delicate jobs in the shop. I'm now looking at some of these little 12v Bosch or Milwaukee models that are much lighter and easier to handle, and I'm imagining more pleasurable to use for that 95% of my work in the shop.

    Any thoughts or recommendations?

    Related question is whether an impact driver is of any use if working with softer woods? Or is it simply better to stick with a regular drill to avoid stripping the timber?

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  3. #2
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    Nov 2021
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    Default

    Just use an old school electric screwdriver with torque settings (no real need for impact), I have a couple of Panasonic.

  4. #3
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    Am I missing something? If you donít need impact and canít control the torque why not put the driver bit into your drill and adjust the clutch so you donít drive through your material.

    cheers,
    again apologies if I am reading your post incorrect.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrongwayfirst View Post
    Am I missing something? If you don’t need impact and can’t control the torque why not put the driver bit into your drill and adjust the clutch so you don’t drive through your material.

    cheers,
    again apologies if I am reading your post incorrect.
    No worries

    That's exactly what I do now. But that means the impact sits idle in the corner, which seems a waste. And the drill, while perfectly capable, is heavy and bulky. It also means I lose the convenience of having one for drilling and one for driving (in instances where I'm going along drilling holes and putting screws in at the same time).

    I'd prefer to have smaller, lighter weight tools for drilling and driving screws. So whether that's two smaller drills, or a smaller drill and impact, I'm not sure.

    But, I've already got the makitas. So don't want to trade for something smaller without asking for some input from other that might already use the smaller versions and can comment on whether it's worth it or makes no difference.

    To the question of having an impact driver at all - again, interested to hear what others use in the shop?

  6. #5
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    Melbourne
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    i bought into the ryobi line - and have one of their impacts - on setting 1 its really controllable and gives results i am happy with - for a complete amateur.
    on 2/3 its got more grunt, but it gets overheated if used aggressively for any length of time. did a big deck with it as a working bee and it needed multiple rests - the guy with the dewalt didnt stop once.
    sounds like you really just want something that is going to be a screwdriver though rather than an impact.... which is a different tool

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangfire View Post
    i bought into the ryobi line - and have one of their impacts - on setting 1 its really controllable and gives results i am happy with - for a complete amateur.
    on 2/3 its got more grunt, but it gets overheated if used aggressively for any length of time. did a big deck with it as a working bee and it needed multiple rests - the guy with the dewalt didnt stop once.
    sounds like you really just want something that is going to be a screwdriver though rather than an impact.... which is a different tool
    Yep perhaps impact isnít the best choice for in the shed. But it has its uses elsewhere so Iíd prefer to not be without one entirely. What model of impact is your ryobi?

  8. #7
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    Been a while since I looked at the reviews, but i seem to remember Hitachi/Metabo featuring well for comfort and a go-to tool when you didn't need brute force and ignorance.

    I've got a festool TID18 which is silly money ($549 for the driver) with their newer 4.1AH battery, but it's become my driver of choice for most things around the shop/house. The agricultural dewalt comes out for wooden retaining walls, treated pine stairs etc.

  9. #8
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    I agree that the 18V behemoths with their 5+Ahr batteries are pretty unwieldy for working on small stuff.

    I have 4 cordless 18V Makitas but to reduce weight I usually use 3 and 4V, instead of 5 or 6V, batteries,
    I cannot recall the last time I hd to swap out batteries mid job.

    On my electronics bench I have a 10V Bosch that is 15+ years old. It weighs just under 1kg and has a range of very soft clutch settings that are much better for use of metal machine screws into plastic etc. I finding hard to believe out lasted this long. When it dies I will be looking at replacing it with a 12V Makita brushless which supposedly weighs 1kg with a 4Ah battery but I will probably get a 2 or 1.5A battery instead.

  10. #9
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    I bought one of those Bosch electric screwdrivers as I needed something that can get in close to the side and it has adjustable torque. However you can also use the drill as a screwdriver as they have adjustable torque and don't have the impact function.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  11. #10
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    I have one of those 3.6v Bosch IXO screwdrivers, purchased from Bunnings about 15 years ago. Amazing torque, but only for around the house.

    My go to is a 10.6v Festool C12 (in the USA it is rated 12v), and this is perfect for the workshop for basic drilling and driving. I purchased this about 8 years ago to replace/supplement a 25 year old Panasonic 12v, which is still going strong.

    My powerhouse drill/driver is an 18v Festool PDC 18/4. This is used with two 3.1ah batteries to keep the weight down - makes a significant difference.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  12. #11
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    Hi L. Maybe a dumb question but do you have any electronic controls on your impact driver? My Makita has a series of lights, buttons etc that are used to change driving modes to suit the needs of the material. I only ask because I have worked with a few people who "dont need the instructions" and haven't ever used the various settings.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by addyau View Post
    I bought one of those Bosch electric screwdrivers as I needed something that can get in close to the side and it has adjustable torque. However you can also use the drill as a screwdriver as they have adjustable torque and don't have the impact function.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    How does it perform for your average job in the shop? Enough torque?

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi L. Maybe a dumb question but do you have any electronic controls on your impact driver? My Makita has a series of lights, buttons etc that are used to change driving modes to suit the needs of the material. I only ask because I have worked with a few people who "dont need the instructions" and haven't ever used the various settings.
    \

    My Hilti SID 4 Impact Driver has 3 impact settings, the bigger the screw, the more impact required.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi L. Maybe a dumb question but do you have any electronic controls on your impact driver? My Makita has a series of lights, buttons etc that are used to change driving modes to suit the needs of the material. I only ask because I have worked with a few people who "dont need the instructions" and haven't ever used the various settings.
    No that’s a good question because I also double checked as some impacts seem to have speed settings and some don’t. Mind does not unfortunately. It’s the Makita DTD153Z. I thinks it’s made for framers and as I said, it’s awesome for stuff like building a fence. But too hard to control the variable trigger for more delicate stuff.

  16. #15
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    I have:
    18v Protool PDC 18/4 (same as Derek's brute before they rebadged to Festool). This is a fantastic high speed drill, and I use this for all sorts of things in the shed, basically for holes >6mm, and certainly Forstners
    18v Makita BHP454 drill, now dedicated to a thicknesser raising/lowering device and rarely used for anything else. It's an "ok" drill
    18v Makita BTD144 Impact driver (3 settings, usually used on 1 or 2). Absolute ripper of a driver. Puts screws in so tight the the now defuct Festool TDi 15 couldn't get them out. It's a brute that can be so easily tamed and controlled for finer work.
    10.8v DeWalt DCD710-XE drill (two of these) which are in constant use for smaller holes, and low strength driving with clutch
    10.8v DeWalt DCF815-XE Impact driver which is used less than the Makita BTD144, but still used regularly. Phillips #2 or Sq #1 is usually the resident bit.
    5v (?) Taurus super cheap low power, low speed, low quality just for moving my Drill Press travelling table back and forth.

    Changing drill bits constantly is irritating! I often have a countersink bit, a 3mm drill, and a 4mm drill on the go for a job on the bench.

    The lighter weight and compact size of the 10.8/12v gear is excellent. DeWalt, Makita are good, but I'm sure there are plenty of others. Milwaukee felt a little less solid, but I've never used one in anger.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

    COLT DRILLS GROUP BUY
    Jan-Feb 2019 Click to send me an email

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