Your trusty impact wrench, already known for delivering jaw-dropping torque, has got another trick up its sleeve: it can double as a driver!
In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of using your impact wrench as a driver, complete with safety advice that’ll keep you out of the emergency room.
We’ve got the step-by-step lowdown, along with some handy tips and tricks from the school of hard knocks.
So, whether you’re a seasoned pro with an impressive tool collection or a weekend warrior looking to shake things up, strap in and get ready to transform your impact wrench into a powerhouse of versatility.
How to Use an Impact Wrench as a Driver
Before jumping into the nitty-gritty of using an impact wrench as a driver, let’s ensure we have safety on lock to avoid accidents and injuries.
This is what you should do:
- Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Suit up with gloves, safety goggles, and ear protection to keep yourself safe from debris, sharp edges, and the noise produced by your impact wrench.
- Clearing Work Area: Keep your work area free of clutter, debris, and lose materials to prevent tripping hazards and to give yourself ample space to operate the impact wrench
- Do Proper Maintenance: Make sure the impact wrench is being properly maintained to be sure it will work and not malfunction
Step-by-Step: How to Use an Impact Wrench as a Driver
Now that you’re well-prepared to operate your impact wrench safely, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide for using it as a driver.
I mean, with a little know-how and the right adapter, you’ll be turning that impact wrench into a driver in no time.
Here are the steps:
- Choose the right impact wrench adapter for driver bits: You’ll need an adapter to convert your impact wrench into a driver. Look for a hex-to-square drive adapter that fits your tool, and the driver bit you intend to use
- Attaching the Socket to the Impact Wrench: Secure the adapter onto the impact wrench, and then attach the driver bit to the adapter.
- Positioning the Impact Wrench and Socket: Line up the driver bit with the fastener you’re driving, ensuring that the bit is seated correctly in the fastener head to avoid slippage.
- Pulling the Trigger: Gently squeeze the trigger to start driving the fastener. Gradually increase pressure on the trigger to control the speed of the tool.
Tips for Effective Use
There are some quick tips I learned over the years as to how make the most out of an impact-wrench-turned-driver.
Here they are:
- Starting with a Low Torque Setting: Begin with the lowest torque setting and slowly increase it until the fastener is screwed to avoid overtightening or stripping fasteners.
- Avoiding Using an Impact Wrench as a Torque Wrench: Impact wrenches aren’t designed for precision tightening, so don’t use them as a substitute for a torque wrench. Otherwise, you could end up overtightening or even breaking fasteners, causing damage to your materials, tools, and even risking your safety.
- Choosing the Right Impact Wrench for the Job: Match the power, torque, and size of your impact wrench to the fastener you want to drive with the impact wrench. For instance, if you’re working on heavy-duty applications, you’ll need a more powerful impact wrench with a higher torque output. On the other hand, for lighter tasks like woodworking or assembling furniture, a smaller and less powerful impact wrench will suffice.
Pros of Using Impact Wrench as Driver
There are some sweet advantages that come with unsing an impact wrench as a driver.
For starters, you’ll drive fasteners like a pro with speed and efficiency, making it ideal for those large or complex projects. You’ll be the envy of every DIYer on the block!
And guess what?
With the right adapter, your impact wrench becomes a versatile tool, accommodating a variety of sockets and fasteners without the need of getting a new impact driver.
Plus, you won’t need to flex those muscles too much, because the impact wrench uses percussive force to turn fasteners, meaning minimal effort is required on your part. So go ahead, take a load off and let the tool do the work!
Cons of Using Impact Wrench as Driver
Now, I’m not saying using an impact wrench as a driver is all sunshine and rainbows.
There are some downsides, too.
Given the high torque that impact wrenches have, if you’re not careful, you might overtighten or strip a fastener, potentially causing damage to your materials or tools.
And let’s talk about cost.
Impact wrenches can be pricier than other types of drivers, especially if you’re looking at the high-end models. But hey, sometimes you’ve got to pay for quality, right?
Lastly, these bad boys can be noisy, so make sure you’re wearing ear protection to save those eardrums.
When to Use Impact Wrench as Driver
There are certain occasions when using an impact wrench as a driver is recommended. Let’s discuss them.
So, when should you use your impact wrench as a driver? Let’s break it down:
- You Don’t Want to Carry Two Tools: Imagine lugging around multiple tools on a construction site. Not fun, right? Save space, weight, and effort by combining the functions of your impact wrench and driver. Just make sure you understand the torque settings to avoid damaging screws or materials.
- Your Impact Wrench is Too Weak: Got an older or lower-powered impact wrench that just isn’t cutting it for those rusted or overtightened fasteners? No worries! That weak impact wrench may still have enough oomph to handle driving tasks since they typically require less torque.
- You Don’t Want to Waste Money on a New Impact Driver: Hey, we’re all looking to save a buck! Adapting your impact wrench to an impact driver is a cost-effective approach for the budget-conscious. Just keep in mind that there might be some limitations and potential wear when using your impact wrench as a driver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to use an impact drill as an impact driver?
It’s not really possible to use an impact drill as an impact driver as an impact drill and an impact driver are two distinct tools with unique applications.
While it’s relatively easy to convert an impact wrench into an impact driver with a socket, the same can’t be said for impact drills.
Their key differences, such as rotational force, torque output, and intended use, make them less interchangeable.
Are an impact wrench and impact driver the same tool?
Well, not quite. They might be distant cousins, but they’re definitely not twins.
You see, impact wrenches usually have higher torque output and are larger and heavier than impact drivers. They’re the big, burly tools you’ll find in automotive, construction, and heavy-duty jobs. On the other hand, impact drivers are like the sleek, nimble tools used for lighter tasks and woodworking.
But, these two tools do share some similarities. Both of them use rotational force and sudden bursts of torque to get the job done. And they can be cordless or corded, powered by batteries or electricity. Think of them as part of the same power tool family, but with their own unique roles and characteristics. So, while they might be related, they’re definitely not the same tool.