One of the more recent additions to the world of handheld power tools is the impact driver, but many have been hesitant to allow this modern wonder to replace their classic, and often beloved and ancient, cordless drill. To clear up some of the differences between them, and advantages and disadvantages to each, let's examine what separates the two similar tools.
Advantages of Impact Drivers
The impact driver is somewhere between a drill and a nail gun in that it uses a driving motion together with a rotational motion to drive screws far more efficiently than a cordless drill. This makes an impact driver able to drive more screws on a single charge, which can cut the duration of a project like building a deck or putting up shelving in half. Another big plus is that due to the type of motion, the sometimes painful twisting motion of a drill is transferred directly to the screw, eliminating the potential for twisting a joint on the job. Also, an impact driver is designed to be lightweight and small enough to fit almost anywhere, especially places where it would be impossible to swing a large hammer or even an unwieldy cordless drill.
Disadvantages of Impact Drivers
The most major disadvantage to a impact driver is that it can only drive screws; if you're looking to bore holes for whatever reason, you're out of luck with an impact driver. Another disadvantage is that the chuck is different than that of a cordless drill, which does not allow it to use a drill bit. However, while there are some impact drivers on the market that do use a chuck that can be used in conjunction with a drill bit, the impact function is often exclusive of the presence of a drill bit. That said, an impact driver along with the old standby cordless drill is a one-two punch that will handle any screw or hole that needs to be driven home in just about any domestic project you can think of.
In short, the impact driver, from places like http://www.bourgetbros.com, is an absolute necessity in your toolbox, but don't throw out your old cordless drill in the process. While an impact driver can drive screws like no other tool on the planet can, it's certainly not a panacea for everything you're going to need on a typical job site. If you drive a lot of screws on a daily basis, an impact driver can pay for itself in only a few days, and, along with your old cordless drill, you'll be able to tackle anything imaginable on the job site.