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Cavemen still living without the magic of air power (and I’m one of them) will find a neat workaround in the form of hammer-actuated impact drivers. They’re old-school, clever little devices which turn the force of a hammer blow into torque, and plenty of it. Hit the casing with a metal-faced hammer, and a cam inside gives you a strong twist, exactly like a pneumatic impact wrench.

Though not quite as user-friendly or useful as an impact gun, they can still get stubborn bolts in or out. $25 is pretty cheap considering┬áthat it’s a Craftsman┬áset. Even if you can find a pneumatic impact gun at that price, no one in their right mind would trust it, and these let you skip the compressor, too.

Impact Driver Set [Craftsman]

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15 Responses to Impact-Drive Impact Driver

  1. Dave says:

    The key to these tools is that they work much better on screws than a powered impact driver could ever hope to- the hammer blow pushes the bit into the screw at the same moment the turning force is applied. It’s also better because the force is always ion the direction you want to go, the bit never vibrates backwards and forwards, mashing the screw slots.

    Back when motorcycle engines came with philips-head case screws, you got one of these, or you got out the drill.

    Some folks have trouble using these- they don’t realize you have to turn the driver in the direction you want to go and apply a fair bit of turning force before you hit it with the hammer.

    Dave

  2. Rich says:

    HF electric impact wrench works great, and it’s on sale at least once a month in the $40 range. Combine that with a 20% off coupon from this thread, and its a great deal for when you need it: http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=140104&t=1276399&highlight=harbor

  3. Crashin says:

    Link doesn’t work for me.

  4. These are the only way to get brake disk retaining screws out. My electric and pneumatic impact tools just shear ‘em apart. In addition to pushing the bit into the screw so it doesn’t slip, it also gives it a pretty solid thunk along the axis which helps break rusted stuff free. Not an everyday tool, but the only thing that’ll do the trick sometimes.

  5. KMR says:

    Also useful on stuck set screws and hex drive pipe plugs, where you don’t want to destroy the recessed hex drive with an impact gun.

  6. MR P says:

    if you electric impacts are over kill get a smaller one and use the veritable speed trigger works for me to pull out one way screws all the time

  7. Toolaremia says:

    Dave an patrick austin are right-on about these things. I bought one of these when I was an airless apartment (cave?) dweller. I have electric /and/ air impact drivers now, and I still break this tool out for tough philips-head screws like brake disk retaining screws. Unfortunately, I lost the bit adapter recently… :(

  8. Mr P says:

    re: Toolaremia
    Here is the part you need $3.56
    http://www.mcmaster.com/#7229a44/=2z1tg5

  9. Toolaremia says:

    Mr. P — Thanks and close, but the hex shank on the bits is bigger, they are not standard 1/4″.

  10. MR P says:

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#7229a46/=2z2jra
    there you go you can see all the part on mcmaster page 2760

  11. Toolaremia says:

    Right on, Mr P. Thanks! Toolmonger and fans help me again!

  12. mhig9000 says:

    Is toolmonger running out of ideas or just getting lazy?

    http://toolmonger.com/2009/01/30/craftsman-hand-impact-driver/

    (rotating the photo 90 degrees was a nice try)

  13. KMR says:

    mhig9000: yah… there has been a bunch of recycled content in recent months. I think we’ve seen the “mom’n'pop” hardware store story about four times now since I’ve been viewing Toolmonger.

  14. [...] A hammer actuated impact driver. It is a must have. Spray with penetrating oil, ad use the tool. Impact-Drive Impact Driver | Toolmonger Chris Top Secret Files: [...]

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