Are Impact Drill Bits Universal?

Are Impact Drill Bits Universal

Yes, impact drill bits can be universal, meaning that they can also fit into any traditional drill driver. 

So, what are impact drill bits? The following two main factors are going to help you understand what impact drill bits are and why these impact drill bits are suitable to use with any traditional driver as follows:

  • Bit size. The expected size of an impact bit is 1/4 inch, which makes it suitable for use with any traditional drill driver on the market.
  • Bit hexagonal shape. All impact drill bits are designed with a hexagonal design. Due to this design, it can fit in any traditional drill driver. Also, impact drill bits are well known for the quick connect design meaning the bits can snap in and out.

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Can Impact Drivers Drive Screws? (Helpful technique)

Yes, the Torx or star drive kit delivers power from the impact driver to the screw without the annoying slipping or loosening of Phillips screws, resulting in a fast, effortless screw drive without cams or loosening of screw heads.

For decades the screw system for all kinds of projects, from cabinets to decks, has been a cordless power drill and Phillips head screws are a great system. But now there’s a better one. This new system consists of three parts: a cordless impact driver, a Torx bit or similar star, and screws with matching heads. The impact driver gives you several times more torque than a cordless drill, using the action of a rotary hammer. 

You can usually buy an impact driver from the same brand as your cordless drill for fifty or a hundred dollars, or you can buy a kit with the drill and the impact screwdriver for a reasonable price. You’ll need three or four different sizes of tips, depending on the size of the screws. A T followed by a number designates the drive torque tips: T10 – T15 – T25

Another convenience of this system is that you can handle huge screws quickly and easily. So, get a new impact driver and some Torx fasteners; I guarantee you will love the combination.

Factors to Know About Impact Driver and Traditional Driver

Now, since my whole life, I have been using a traditional drill driver to make holes and put the screws in until I got an impact drill. 

The problem with the traditional drill driver to put the screws is that if the screws provide too much resistance, it will twist your arm, so there is a clutch in the traditional drill driver to prevent from putting the screws in tight. However, to solve the traditional driver’s problem of twisting your arm, the impact driver was invented. Instead of the tool, just put a constant rotation that if it provided resistance, it would just keep on turning and turn your whole arm.

The impact driver has weights that turn and hit the output shaft to give more torque, but none of the torque goes to your hand. Once I got a three-speed brushless impact driver, I found myself using this tool more and the traditional drill driverless.

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What Is The Difference Between Impact Driver and Drill?

One of the unique features that make the impact drill driver different from traditional drill drivers is the 1/4-inch quick-connect design. 

The impact driver can only take these 1/4-inch shafts and nothing else. On the other hand, a traditional drill driver has an adjustable chuck that can take anything from zero to 1/2-inch in diameter. This makes traditional drill drivers useful for drilling because most drill bits come in multiple different sizes.

What Are The Common Problems of a Traditional Drill?

Another problem with traditional drill drivers is that when you are drilling into sheet metal when the drill reaches the end of it, the drill tends to get stuck in the metal, and that’s what makes your arm twist

As I explained before, an impact driver is ideal not to twist your arm, and if you look at the RPM specifications, the impact driver has more RPM than the traditional drill, so it spins faster. Another important fact is that standard traditional drill bits are not suitable for impact drivers; they are only made for regular drilling and not for impact.

Should You Buy an Impact Driver?

For those that don’t know what an impact driver is, it is a specifically designed drill to drive fasteners like screws and lack bolts screws quickly and with little effort, unlike a standard drill that only applies the rotational force to the impact driver. When needed, the rotational impact force can also create a hammering effect that does the job quickly for nailing screws.

One of the biggest common misconceptions is that the impact driver is always impacting, but it is not true. The impact driver’s load has to cross a certain threshold before the spring and the hammer is activated. For example, while advancing in the countersink and installing a short screw, the impact driver never reaches that threshold.

However, without any pre-drilling or counter-drilling, that same screw driven directly into the wood triggers the driver’s known audible and physical hammering action.

5 Factors to Consider Before Buying an Impact Driver!!

To help you better answer the question of whether it’s worth it or not, let me give you five things to consider.

  1. Unlike a drill with a round chuck that accepts a wide variety of bits, the impact driver, as I mentioned earlier, can only take 1/4-inch hex shank bits. The hex shank provides a quick release and a more secure connection while putting this tool under severe strain. Fortunately, there are many choices of hex shank bits and drivers on the market today.
  2. The impact driver is quite strong, significantly more substantial than a standard drill, and for those beginners who are sensitive to noisy power tools, this may be a concern to you.
  3. When using impact drivers, you can drill holes, but a standard drill is most likely the best option if you need perfectly round and precise holes. If you already have a set of standard drill bits and want to use them in the impact driver, you will have to buy a new set of bits explicitly designed for the impact driver.
  4. In terms of size, the impact driver is noticeably smaller than a standard drill and ultimately more comfortable to handle during certain operations because of its size. You can use some other added benefits in tighter places. It takes up less space to store, especially if you travel with it, and finally, contrary to popular belief, the smaller size produces more energy.
  5. The impact driver provides much higher torque than the driving screws up to three times faster than a standard drill. Still, even with that extra torque, the impact driver does not put any additional stress on your wrists, making them easier to use for more extended periods.

Now that you have all that information, the question remains whether you should buy one and, ultimately, that the decisions are up to you, the value is there, but the time is right for you. 

I recommend all beginning carpenters or DIY enthusiasts to go out and buy an excellent traditional driver first. However, sometimes buying the combo kit that comes with both the drill and the impact driver makes more sense financially, especially if there is a good sale.

And to finalize before buying an impact driver or any other tool, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how much I’m going to use this tool? Can I afford it right now? Do I see myself continuing my learning and doing more projects? Is this going to save me time or make it easier to do tasks, and finally, if this tool will pay for itself?

Often when you do a project, you have to pay for it, or you don’t have to pay someone to do it, which means that you are either making money or saving money and your tools and knowledge are responsible for that.