Archives for September2012

Impact Drivers vs Regular Drills

Impact Drivers vs Regular Drills

Back in the day, I utilized my trusty 18-Volt DeWalt XRP drill for most of my jobs that involved driving screws, into wood, metal, or even concrete. Then I discovered the impact driver, and haven’t really looked back. Although both of the tools are relatively good at driving screws into various materials, each tool has its unique set of abilities. When discussing impact drivers and drills, I will be specifically looking at the cordless models.

Main differences between an Impact Driver and Regular Drill

As an example, let’s say we want to drive many two inch #8 size screws into a 2×4. A cordless drill will deliver consistent torque when driving in the screw, no matter how deep the screw has been driven into the 2×4. In order to consistently drive in many screws into a piece of wood, you will have to apply force upon the drill so that the drill bit doesn’t slip, and strip the screw head. If you’re driving many screws, all day long, an impact driver may be the better choice.

Driving Many Screws? Use An Impact Driver

So driving a large amount of screws into wood for example, is a much better job for an impact driver. Once the impact driver meets resistance from the screw as a result of being driven into the wood, it will apply torque in the form of rapid high impact blows. So near the end of the drilling cycle, the impact driver will make hammer drill like noise when driving in the screw.

There are several advantages of this process. First, the impact blows help drive in the screw into the wood. The second advantage is that the drill bit, has a much smaller chance of stripping, because the screw is being driven by a combination of rotation plus blows. There is also a lesser chance of the screw head being stripped, because of this stop and go action.

Impact Drivers have more Torque

Impact Drivers typically have two to three times the amount of torque of a regular drill. This torque is mainly seen at the latter stages of the driving process, where the blowing action of the impact driver is much more evident. For example, if we look at the DeWalt Model DC725KA Cordless Hammer Drill which has 410 UWO (Unit Watts Out) – translates into approximately 450 in-lbs torque. Compare that to the DeWalt DC825 which has 1,330 in-lbs of torque, we can see that the impact driver has significantly more driving power.

Driving Tapcons? Use an Impact Driver …

Impact drivers are great for driving in tapcon concrete screws into brick or concrete, especially when using a nutsetter. It would be actually very difficult to achieve that task using a regular drill. Though, you will need to use the drill in order to create a pilot hole for the tapcon screw, so that’s why any serious professional should have both tools in his toolbox.

What the Impact Driver Can Do

  • Impact drivers are typically smaller than regular drills, so they’re good for tight spaces
  • Virtually any kind of screw driving application.
  • Great at driving Tapcon hex heads into masonry
  • Can be also used to apply nuts to bolts – ie; Automotive Tire Work

What the Impact Driver Can’t Do

  • Impact drivers have typically one speed setting. On most impact drivers, you can however control the speed by pressing the trigger at various rates. However, most drills have superior speed settings.
  • Impact drivers are not hammer drills. So if you want to drill a pilot hole into concrete or other masonry such as brick, you will have to use a drill with a hammer action, or even better yet, a rotary hammer drill.

In Conclusion

The Impact Driver is a must have in your tool arsenal. If you have been using a regular cordless drill for driving screws, you would probably have had a much easier time in driving those screws using an impact driver. Recently power tool manufacturers have introduced portable impact drivers which are much smaller than traditional impact drivers, yet provide a greater amount of torque than a traditional drill, showing that the evolution of the impact driver continues, and will continue into the future!

Quick Review: DeWalt DC9096-2 18-Volt XRP 2.4 Amp Hour NiCad Pod-Style Battery (2 Pack)

DeWalt XRP Batteries - 2 Pack DC9096-2

DeWalt XRP Batteries – 2 Pack DC9096-2

The DC9096-2 Are Best For:

This tool is suitable for DIY use This tool is suitable for PRO use

Our Rating: 4.5/5

    

Overview

This is the classic 18-Volt DeWalt 2 pack XRP battery set (DeWalt DC9096-2), which can power not only DeWalt XRP tools, but all standard 18-Volt DeWalt tools. The XRP battery (single is model DC9096) is a larger and higher capacity than DeWalt’s standard 18-Volt model. It offers about 40% more run time than the standard battery, however, this additional runtime requires the battery to be larger in size. The dimensions of the battery are about 7”x3.5”x7” (LxWxH) and the weight is about 2.6lbs. The capacity is rated at 2200 mAh. The two-pack typically offers a better value than than buying a single battery.

Runtime

Battery runtime will depend on what tool you’re using. Certain tools require less power, hence will have longer operating times. For example, an 18-Volt impact driver will draw much less power than an 18-Volt portable circular saw.  Cutting, drilling, or driving materials of different sizes, width and gauge will also be a factor affecting runtime. If you’re a contractor that is using the battery day in day out, expect to replace the battery after two years due to heavy usage. Over time, the batteries capacity will also begin to decrease, but this normal for almost any type of battery.

Tough, But Heavy Battery

The hard plastic exterior provides tough protection for the battery’s NiCad cells. The batteries are tough enough to survive drops from 6-foot ladders, without damaging the plastic exterior. This is a high capacity battery, and unfortunately higher capacity means bigger size, which in turn leads to a heavier battery.

What’s included in the box?

  • Two 18-Volt DeWalt DC9096-2 XRP batteries

Positives

  • High Capacity
  • Tough Construction

Negatives

  • Heavy

Specifications

  • Voltage: 18V
  • Features: High Capacity Battery, 40% More run-time than standard batteries
  • Battery Dimensions  7”x3.5”x7” (LxWxH)
  • Weight  2.6lbs (Per Battery)
  • Warranty: 90 Day Money Back, 2 Year Free Service Contract,3 Year Limited

Welcome to the Power Tools Insider Blog!

We have launched Power Tools Insider, and along with it, our blog where we hope to write the latest information on new and upcoming power tool products, insider news, as well as write posts on DIY renovation tips.  We will be providing insights on many known brands, such as DeWalt, Ridgid, Milwaukee,  Bosch, Ryobi, Makita, Hitachi as well as some lesser recognized brands that offer a good value for the DIY consumer as well as contractor! Our website will not be limited exclusively to power tools, as we will also review power tool accessories such as drill bits, and  other related products. Bookmark this page, share it via social media, and check back often.

Quick Review: DeWalt DC725KA 18-Volt Cordless Compact Hammer Drill/Driver

DEWALT DC725KA 18-Volt Cordless Compact Hammer Drill/Driver

DeWalt DC725KA 18-Volt Cordless Compact Hammer Drill/Driver

The DC725KA is Best For:

This tool is suitable for DIY use This tool is suitable for PRO use

Our Rating: 4.5/5

    

Overview

The DeWalt DC725KA 18-Volt cordless compact hammer drill/driver is one of DeWalt’s most popular cordless battery powered drill products. This drill/driver is basically shares many of the characteristics of drills that are in DeWalt’s more powerful XRP line of products, except  in a much smaller form factor. At nearly 5 pounds, it’s lighter than the XRP units, however after long usage during the day your hands could feel a bit fatigued.

Drill Features

The two NiCad batteries that come with this drill are the smaller 18 volt batteries that have a lower capacity than the ones that come in the XRP set. Yes, NiCad batteries are the “old” technology, and newer Lithium ones are available – that being said, these NiCad batteries will still give you very good run time, one of their main downsides is weight. The unit features a very high performing 410 watt unit motor, and can handle a variety of applications such as drilling into wood, metal or concrete with the hammer drill feature. The drill can be set for two speeds – 0 to 500 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) and 0 to 1700 RPM for a variety of applications. When you chance those settings, the hammer drill BPM (Beats Per Minute) automatically adjusts to 0 to 8500 BPM, and 0 to 29000 BPM. The 17 clutch settings allow you to adjust the level of resistance when driving in a screw. The 1/2″ (13mm) all metal chuck is solidly built and replaceable, like most other DeWalt cordless drills.

Hammer drill, but no side handle included

The ergonomic grip is comfortable, however, we were disappointed that it did not come with a side handle, which is very beneficial especially when using the unit as a hammer drill. The LED provides enough light to make work easier in dark places, however, it is not a replacement for a larger lighting unit.

DC725, DC725B or DC725KA?

Confused? They’re all the same drills. The DeWalt DC725 is the base drill model. If you’re buying just the tool, it will be listed as the DC725B (Bare). The DC725KA means that the drill comes as a kit, with a 18V XRP battery, and a charger.

Conclusions

This is a solid drill for everyday use, for DIY’s as well as contractors. DeWalt makes some of the finest drills available, and this unit is a very affordable option especially when compared to the newer Lithium drills.

What’s included in the box?

Drill, Two NiCad batteries, Charger, Carrying Case

Positives

  • Compact size,  good for small spaces
  • High performance, powerful frameless motor

Negatives

  • Compact NiCad batteries offer lower capacity
  • No side handle for additional control when using the unit as a hammer drill

 DeWalt DC725KA Specifications & Warranty

  • Voltage: 18V
  • Max Power:  410UWO
  • # of Speed Settings:  2
  • Max RPM: 0-500/0-1700
  • Max BPM:  0-8,500/0-29,000
  • Clutch Settings:  17
  • Chuck Size:  1/2″
  • Chuck Type:  Metal, single sleeve
  • Tool Weight:  4.9lbs
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee / 1 Year Free Service Contract /3 Year Limited Warranty