The truth about an impact driver

Why you should never use an impact driver for self-drilling screws, and what tools you must use instead.

An impact driver may sound like a great tool for self-drilling screw installation. After all, anything that’s designed to help with the repetitive tasks of drilling screws, professing to allow you to do your work with greater ease, certainly seems like a tool you need to invest in.

However, with self-drilling screws, an impact driver is quite the opposite of efficient. Instead, using an impact driver tool with self-drilling screws can lead to significant drilling problems that jeopardise your warranty.

At Elite Fasteners, our fasteners and fixings industry expertise help us to explain why impact driver tools are a cause for concern, and what tools you should use instead for self-drilling screws.

What is an impact driver tool?

An impact driver is designed for long-deck screws or carriage bolts. It’s ideal when you need to fasten a high number of these into wooden posts efficiently. It’s also intended for driving screws into metal studs or fastening concrete screw anchors into block walls.

The tool is not intended for use for drilling, nor is it designed to replace a tool you currently use. Rather, it’s a supplementary piece of equipment to support you with specific projects.

Why is an impact driver tool a problem for self-drilling screws?

Simply put, you must never use an impact driver tool with self-drilling screws. There are a number of reasons for this, each important and vital to know as a responsible contractor. Here are some of the primary problems you’ll find with an impact driver:

• Drilling failures due to the repetitive drill action
• Damage to the fastener’s protective coating
• Stripping the self-drilling screw’s moulded head
• Reduction in fastener pull-out performance.

If you use an impact driver tool for self-drilling screws, you risk losing your warranty, harming your products and damaging your reputation.

What should you do instead?

Even though an impact driver is the wrong tool to use with self-drilling screws, there are other tools and methods you can use for safe and efficient self-drilling screw installation. Instead, use a 110v or battery-powered screw gun. With the correct sockets and drive bits in place, you’ll find it to be a secure way to install self-drilling screws at the pace and accuracy you require.

The ideal installation speed for roofing and cladding fasteners is 1,200 – 2,200 RPM. The exact speed depends on different factors individual to your substrate, such as yield hardness and strength.

At Elite Fasteners, we’re proud to offer our years of fasteners and fixings expertise to support your individual project needs. If you’re unsure which product is right for you, or have a question about the best methods of installation, you’ll find a range of advice on our website. This includes our Technical Downloads page, where you can find free, easy to access information about products and systems, including an impact driver tool information sheet.

You can also take a look here to find out more about the range and types of self-drilling screws we have in stock for a variety of project needs.

To find out more, email a member of our team or give us a call on 01922 61 22 11. You can also check in and follow us on LinkedIn to find out what we’ve been up to and which new products we’ve introduced to our range.