why woodworkers don’t use impact drivers

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In “You Shouldn’t Use Impact Drivers for Woodworking… Or Should You?” Scott Walsh dives into the debate surrounding the use of impact drivers in woodworking, challenging common perceptions and offering a nuanced view on the tool’s applicability in the craft.

Scott examines the characteristics and functionalities of both drills and impact drivers, providing insights that help woodworkers make informed decisions based on their specific needs.

Scott begins by highlighting the clutch feature of drills, which prevents overdriving screws by stopping the drill once a set torque is reached.

This feature is crucial for delicate woodworking tasks where precision is key.

However, he contrasts this with the quick-change bit release of impact drivers, which offers convenience and efficiency when switching between different screw types—a frequent necessity in varied woodworking projects.

One of the most notable advantages of impact drivers, as Scott points out, is their ability to prevent bit slippage and screw head stripping.

This is achieved through the impact mechanism that delivers rotational blows, ensuring the bit remains engaged with the screw head under pressure. This feature not only enhances the driving efficiency but also reduces the risk of damaging the workpiece or the fasteners.

Despite these advantages, Scott acknowledges potential drawbacks, such as the noise associated with impact drivers and the risk of over-torquing, which could lead to broken screws if not carefully managed.

He suggests that for many woodworking applications, especially those involving pre-drilled holes and careful assembly, a drill with a properly adjusted clutch might be more appropriate.

However, Scott also presents solutions for mitigating the impact driver’s limitations, such as using models with adjustable speed and torque settings.

This adaptability allows woodworkers to tailor the tool’s performance to the task at hand, combining the precision of a drill with the efficiency and convenience of an impact driver.

In conclusion, Scott’s analysis reveals that the choice between a drill and an impact driver is not straightforward and depends on the specific requirements of each project and the woodworker’s preferences.

He encourages viewers to consider both tools’ strengths and weaknesses, suggesting that having access to both can provide the greatest flexibility and capability in a woodworking shop.

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