*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
Learn about various drill and screw bits that make the impact driver one of the most powerful tools in your tool arsenal.
An impact driver, unlike a basic drill, has the ability to drive screws through some of the most difficult material. With more power or torque and force than a basic drill, an impact driver can drive long screws through various types of material with minimal effort. It is also very compact and able to fit into tight locations.
What Bits to Use with an Impact Driver?
The impact driver, unlike the drill, has a collet versus a keyless chuck. It only accepts 1/4 inch hex-shanked bits. This feature makes the bit easy to install and remove, by simply pushing in on the collet forward to insert or release the bit. So you can not use a round shank bit in an impact driver like you would with a drill. Drill bits can not be used for an impact driver.
What is a drive bit?
A drive bit is what you use to turn a screw with the application of torque. It’s a means of transferring the torque or force needed to drive the screw into the surface. The tip of a driver bit comes in various configurations to fit the plethora of screws that are on the market. Whatever job or screw you are looking for, there is a driver bit to fit it. The driver bit has a hex head that allows it to fit in the collet of an impact driver.
Types of Impact Driver Bits
In today’s market, you have a whole host of bits. You have your traditional driver or screw bits and you have your drill bits. First, let’s discuss bits that are meant for driving screws. Common driver bits are hex, square or Robertson, Phillips, and the star or Torx.
Phillips is one of the most common screw types. It comes in a variety of sizes from #0 to #5. The Makita Impact GOLD #2 Phillips 2 in. Power Bit is designed to last up to 60 times longer than standard insert bits. The Impact GOLD is made specifically for high-torque impact drivers. So it should erode quickly with high use. In terms of Phillips screws, I have found Phillips screws are more likely to strip with too much force.
However, it is still one of the most commonly used types of screws. So I highly recommend having Phillips power bits on hand.
Square or Roberson
The screw head of Square screws are shaped like a square, hence the name Square. Impact bits that fit a square screw have been found to be easier to work with because with the use of a square bit the driving of the screw is more stable. It doesn’t strip as often and can be driven into the material at an angle. This feature is what makes it attractive for screwing in pocket holes. Pocket holes are drilled at an angle to allow boards to attach perpendicularly.
The Makita Impact GOLD #2, 2 in. Square Power Bit is designed specifically for high torque impact drivers. So when driving Square screws the bit flexes to reduce the tip pressure. This increases its durability.
Star or Torx
The Star or Torx screw and driver bit is probably my most favorite screw and bit. I experience fewer stripped screws and the drive power I feel is increased with torx bits. Torx screws have screw heads shapped liked a star. This shape allows increased torque. And like the Phillips and Square it too comes in various sizes.
Makita Impact GOLD T25 Torx Power Bit great for driving screws in heavy-duty fastening applications such as decking, framing and even installing plywood subfloors.
Impact drivers come with a huge variety of bits these days. In the past, you could only find bits that were largely for driving screws. Now, you can find a slew of bits designed for the impact driver for drilling. And the Bosch Multi-Purpose Carbide Drill Bits for Drilling Tile, Masonry, Wood, Metal, and Concrete is one of them. These bits have a multi-grind head and drills through brick, block, tile, fiber cement, wood, plastic, and metal. It can be used in both an impact driver and drill driver.
Recently I’ve been working on outdoor projects. Most notably, installing a pergola. Part of the installation required drilling into the concrete base we made to anchor the structure.
As you can see we burned through 3 standard drilling bits that were supposed to be equipped for handling drilling through concrete before using the Bosch Multi-Purpose Carbide Drill Bits. The strong metal tip combined with the power of the impact driver handled the task of drilling holes into the stone blocks effortlessly.
After extended use, you could see the wear on the bit. However, that not until we were completed done with all 4 posts. The standard bits all failed in the first attempt to drill holes for the anchors.
Can You Replace a Drill with an Impact Driver?
With all the various bits out there for an impact driver, you’re probably asking ‘Can an impact driver replace a drill?’ Well with increased technology and a whole host of new bits out there…the answer is Maybe..for somethings. But not in its entirety. The two still operate differently. A drill is for precision. An impact driver is for force and strength. With increased technology and the growing number of impact bits being introduced on the market…who knows. Only time will tell.
Interested in other tool reviews and recommendations?
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the ProSpective 2018 Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.