Daily Archive: November 17, 2016

No More Nails – Impact Drivers In The New Age

There was a time, and for a long time, when being a carpenter meant putting things together with nails. Nails and nail aprons almost defined the trade. That is, in many cases, no longer true. The rise of the cordless drill and the ubiquity of new styles of wood screws has come to mean that being a carpenter is often less about pounding nails than it is about driving screws.

Though they are much more expensive, screws have some definite advantages when it comes to assembling things. The most obvious is that they make it much easier and less destructive to correct a mistake if you have made one. It is often the case that pulling nails from a piece of wood, depending on their orientation, can do quite a bit of damage to that wood. Sometimes to the extent that re-nailing it can be a suspect operation.

lath and plasterPerhaps the best thing about using screws as fastener comes in remodeling. When you are doing surgical work as you sometimes have to do when you are making changes, the advantage of using a screw is that it is much easier to position a new member where you want it and have it stay there as you fasten it. Often in places where it might be difficult to swing a hammer.

It can be hard, when you have access to only fasten something from one side, to put it there and keep it there. Nailing is an inherently vicious operation. When you are pounding a nail into something, you are applying repeated pressure against the member you are nailing. It’s natural reaction is to move away from the blows. Add to that the fact that as you drive the nail home at an angle it wants to draw the wood with it. All of this militates against being able to position the board effectively and to keep it there, so that it is where you want it, and so that it doesn’t spread damage to any members that are already in place.

For example, pushing a new stud to far into an existing sheetrocked wall and having it create nail pops on the other side that might require time consuming and expensive repair.

And since any carpenter in the new age will necessarily need to be able to quickly and efficiently use screws as a fastener method, the cordless drill and especially the cordless impact drill driver combo kit are a godsend. The impact driver is the first choice when it comes to driving screws. It is less bulky than the cordless drill which is a definite benefit when it comes to working in tight spaces, and when driving screws eight hours a day where small weight differences can add up to large fatigue deficits.

The impact driver has two other distinct advantages. It drives screws much faster than a drill motor can. And the nature of the impacting operation means that it drives the screws with much less likelihood of stripping them out and with a lot less recoil, or torque. Not having to fight a tool spinning back against your hand is another reason that an impact driver is much less fatiguing to use than a drill, especially a high torque battery operated drill.

The drill driver combo kit is a cost effective way to buy these two essential tools. They work well in tandem, especially if you need to pre-drill. They are a matched set which usually means they will come with two interchangeable batteries and a charger. In the days of the lithium ion battery, this means that you will always have a battery available, and if you don’t you can put an acceptable charge into one while you have ¬†quick cup of coffee.