As I planned and prepared for the construction of a deck on the bayou behind my shop a few summers ago I made a decision that I have benefitted from time and time again since, I bought an impact driver. The project would require hundreds of screws to be driven and the thought of pre-drilling hundreds of holes only to have to go back and install fasteners in them afterwards was absurd to me. Cue the Ryobi impact driver.
An impact driver differs from a drill in that it has more torque as well as a hammering action that allows screws and lag bolts to be driven into thick, dense material. These features also eliminate the need to pre-drill holes when installing screws and fasteners. Impact drivers are not recommended for precision work such as furniture or cabinet making, but are excellent for general construction applications due to the time saved by eliminating pilot holes without splitting the lumber. I have driven thousands of fasteners from 1/2″ wood screws to large diameter 7″ lag bolts with my impact and it continues to pound and twist hardware into wood with ease. Project life is definitely sweeter with an impact driver in the tool box.
Although I now consider the impact driver to be a necessity in my tool arsenal, it does not eliminate the need for a conventional drill. As previously mentioned a conventional multi-speed drill works best for precision jobs and fine woodworking. I personally own and frequently use both. When shopping for any cordless tools I would recommend giving the Ryobi 18v line of tools strong consideration. I became a Ryobi tool owner due to the affordability of the products and ended up becoming a Ryobi tool lover. Compared to many other tool brands they are fairly inexpensive and the line offers a wide variety of tools that are compatible with the same batteries. From high-powered spotlights to portable air compressors and angle grinders to leaf blowers, I have yet to be let down by a single Ryobi tool.
Check out the links for pricing and customer reviews on the Ryobi 18v drill and impact driver.
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