How do all-in-one Hammer-Drill/Drivers compare with Drill and Impact Driver combo kits?


Dolmetscher007
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I need a new drill and impact driver.  I know that I want cordless, but... and I hate to admit this in public... I have never owned or even used one before. <gasp!>  Things I care about... 

  • Highest build-quality possible: I'll pay more for quality. I'll buy a well built uni-tasker, over a feature-rich piece of plastic any day.
  • Drilling into cinder block and concrete: Rarely need to... <5%. But, I don't want to buy a dedicated "Hammer drill" just for the couple of times I need to drill into my cinder-block garage wall
  • Impact driver  
  • Longest battery life as possible
  • Love Bosch: Once you start buying battery powered tools, it's best to pick a battery 'eco-system' so that you can use the same batteries. So, while I do love Bosch tools, if they have a poor reputation for cordless tools, I'm open to whatever., 

I'm fine with buying an impact driver and cordless drill separately. I've seen, however, a lot of articles lately about, "Hammer-Drill/Drivers." I didn't even know that was a thing. I thought that it was just understood that you buy a drill to drill, and an impact driver to drive screws. The times are always changing, though, so if I can get a super high-quality drill that has a hammer setting, and is also a powerful impact driver... sign me up!  Things I do not care about...

  • I'll only use it in my shop, so I do not care how heavy it is, or any nifty carrying cases. 
  • I don't care how quickly and easily you can change bits etc. Slowly and methodical changing of bits is actually relaxing to me. 
  • I don't care how loud/quiet it is. My neighbors are awesome, and I wear ear protection. 

I would be very grateful to anyone that can point me towards some specific models or even just offer some general things to consider. I love this forum, and I thank all you guys for always giving such great advice!

 

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I have Dewalts for most off of cordless drivers and drills.  I tend to stick with them so that I don't have multiple chargers in the shop.  I also have an older Hilti drill for any concrete work and it's corded.

If I were starting over on drills/drivers today, I'd probably go with Milwaukee.  I think they make a little better product and I hear their customer service is good.

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A couple of things that I'd put high on the list when looking:

  • Brushless units are going to be lighter, perform better, and last longer. They will be slightly more expensive up front, but I think it's worth it.
  • The drill and impact driver sets are relatively inexpensive these days, so unless you're pretty cost sensitive it's definitely the way to go. There's lots of sets that will get you a charger, two batteries, and the two tools. Make sure they don't only have one battery in the set - that would get old really quickly.
  • If you have a preferred brand (Bosch) I don't see any reason why that's an issue. Most of the major power tool brands have a line of decent cordless tools, whether you go Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, or Milwaukee.
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Just going to toss this out there...

The guy who PM sent to set up my table saw is also the local repair guy for this kind of stuff..  He told me that if he were starting over, he'd go with Rigid because they have by far the best warranty.  He also said he sees all of the major manufacturer's tools come through his shop but, doesn't see much Rigid.  

I'll admit, I just wrote them off as big box store junk and never really looked at Rigid.  Maybe they're worth the look?

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There is no such thing as an all in one drill, hammer drill & impact driver. Cordless drills with a hammer function (albeit pretty anemic) are common, but an impact driver is a different beast. Although you can get hex shank drill bits that will work in an impact driver, it's definitely an off label use & a case of using the wrong tool for the job.

There is a new type of impact driver that uses a hydraulic rather than mechanical impact drive that is much quieter. Of course, they're also more money.

As far as brands go, have a look at the whole line to see what they offer. Makita, Dewalt and Milwaukee have extensive lines of cordless construction, shop and yard tools. What you may want to buy down the road will affect your decision. 

Personally, I'm in the Milwaukee universe, but not because they are so much greater than the others.

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Ridgid has a lifetime warranty on batteries if you buy them new and follow their process to get them registered.

I don't think you'll go wrong with Ridgid, Dewalt, Makita, Bosch or Milwaukee. If you don't need the weight, I've heard the Milwaukee 12v are very good. If you want stuff besides the drill/driver make sure whatever brand has it.

I usually look at tool reviews on www.toolguyd.com and any Black Friday sales. 

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The thing that's great about an impact driver is that it will start driving at high speed & then when the going gets tough, it slows down & cranks up the torque via the impact function. Great for building decks & fences.

But they are also very good at setting a screw to just the right level. With use & practice, you get to know just how far the screw drive with each impact & you can obtain some pretty granular control with it. I don't care for the noise they make though.

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Pretty soon, there will be good sales on them.  I don't believe that which brand you choose makes a whole lot of difference.  My first cordless drill was a Makita, bought in 1983.  I'm still using that one, but it doesn't get used much-dedicated to only drilling out rivets on sailboats.

My advice is to choose the brand that you like, and your local retailer seems to push over the other brands.  My Home Depot has a big Makita following, and it works out well for me, since often there are returned items that go cheap, in the Makita system.

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2 hours ago, drzaius said:

The thing that's great about an impact driver is that it will start driving at high speed & then when the going gets tough, it slows down & cranks up the torque via the impact function. Great for building decks & fences.

But they are also very good at setting a screw to just the right level. With use & practice, you get to know just how far the screw drive with each impact & you can obtain some pretty granular control with it. I don't care for the noise they make though.

Yeah, the screws will go in no matter what, without pre-drilling, they are great for construction lumber. Those impact drivers also protect your wrists, they will never kick at you, one can hold them with 2 fingers and they will still do their job.

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3 hours ago, drzaius said:

The thing that's great about an impact driver is that it will start driving at high speed & then when the going gets tough, it slows down & cranks up the torque via the impact function. Great for building decks & fences.

But they are also very good at setting a screw to just the right level. With use & practice, you get to know just how far the screw drive with each impact & you can obtain some pretty granular control with it. I don't care for the noise they make though.

They work great on construction lumber.   And I agree you get a lot more control over driving a screw.   I've also used it with big spade bits because it drills the hole with more control and less wrist breaking than the drill.

But if you're driving a screw into say maple or oak, you'll learn real fast that you didn't pre-drill the countersink deep enough when the head snaps off.    :)    Learned that lesson the hard way.

 

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I have switched to Porter Cable. I was a Makita and Craftsman guy for may years until the batteries started to go bad. When i was looking for a replacement I start looking at the cordless platform  as a whole. Who had the the cordless tools i wanted that used the same batteries & chargers. I chose Porter Cable 20V Max System because they had all of the tool I wanted. I have a drill, impact drive, 18GA nail gun, 16GA nail gun, 18GA narrow crown stapler, random orbital sander, oscillating tool and portable vacuum. i will be adding the jig saw and 4" die grinder at some point. I have 5-6 batteries and 4 chargers so i always have a fresh battery available when i need it.

No matter what bran you buy, I would definitely go with a separate drill and impact driver. It save so munch time if you are pre-drill in and driving screws. 

Jeremy

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Brushless motors are worth the small price bump, for sure. Keeping drill and driver separated is the best way to go, IMO. Outside of that, pick a battery system and stick with it. Consider other tools that can use the same battery..Jigsaws, circular saws, even routers and light duty miter saws, anything that might move enough that the cord is a nuisance. I am honestly quite happy with the Kobalt 24v system I chose.

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I'm probably the only person that prefers to drive screws with a regular drill. I can sense the torque through the handle and snap flimsy screws less often. Think brass screws for hinges. Also those impact drives are noisy AF.

Find a system that has the drill and driver you want but also consider what Ross said above about other tools. Consider if they have a battery powered circular saw or other tools. My battery powered track saw is amazing and when my drill/impact finally dies I'll switch to the same brand as my battery powered track saw. Honestly the brand doesn't matter. I think the top level brands are all well made.

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For a long time, I have enjoyed using a SnapOn ratcheting screwdriver for a lot of hand driving of screws.  Recently, I bought a short Lennox one from Lowes, and like it almost as much as the SnapOn one.  I have always hand driven any hardware screws, including anything from house doors, down in size, or at least finished the last little bit by hand.

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4 hours ago, Immortan D said:

That seems like a great idea. What brand of spade bits do you use? I must try that, I get a lot of recoil when I use spade bits with my regular drill.

Bosch Daredevil. They're very aggressive, the tip is a screw that pulls the bit in.   No way I can use a regular drill with them as they pull in hard until they stall and then you break your wrist, but since they have a hex shank they work great in the impact driver.

 

 

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:27 PM, Minnesota Steve said:

Bosch Daredevil. They're very aggressive, the tip is a screw that pulls the bit in.   No way I can use a regular drill with them as they pull in hard until they stall and then you break your wrist, but since they have a hex shank they work great in the impact driver.

 

 

Thanks. I have the same bits.

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