Most tools are helpful to get a particular job done, but as I’m discovering there are going to be a few tools on this journey that revolutionise DIY. My first tool that’s taken DIY to the next level has undoubtedly been the impact driver.
When working with wood, I would use our ageing Makita cordless drill’s screwdriver attachments to drive in screws.
Before I continue, permit me to digress very briefly; I’ve never bought into the use of nail guns, and when I saw in person just how gung-ho builders and DIY enthusiasts are with them, it’s put me off using them. On some level, nail guns are just too easy, and I’ve seen how they split wood, how they miss the mark and the laziness they promote. Sorry nail gun fans.
When we’ve built stuff out of wood over the past year, I’ve first aligned my wood edges, then put in a pilot hole through both pieces and drilled in a decent screw. It’s time consuming, yes, but the quality, strength and neatness has been what we were looking for.
I was using my drill for everything, interchanging between drill bits and screwdriver attachments. It was tedious and not very productive. That all changed earlier this year when I was tasked to build our oak planters.
The oak was thick, hard and robust, and the cordless drill just wasn’t getting the job done. So I headed down to the hardware store and they encouraged me to buy an impact driver. I’ll be honest; I was skeptical, but eventually opted for the Einhell brushless model with a Li-Ion 18V/4.0Ah battery.
This was a watershed moment, and one that changed my DIY, unleashing a new confidence to take on woodworking tasks.
With the impact driver, completing the oak planters was a breeze. Since then, we have finished countless other projects, our best so far being the log store we built to hide the air source heat pump. Every joint has been screwed in using high-quality galvanised screws, and it’s an incredibly robust structure. We’re still very proud of our achievement.
For me, I cannot speak highly enough about impact drivers – if you’ve thought about making things from wood, and prefer to screw things together like I do, I would strongly recommend considering an impact driver.
We opted for the Einhell, because it’s a DIY grade product that’s reasonably priced, and has been a good performer to this point. The battery life has been excellent too – we’ve only recharged our battery once in six months, and we use the impact driver a lot.
You can see the Einhell impact driver briefly in action in our redwood box planters video, and I will be considering making a video review of this model in the weeks ahead.
It’s been a terrific piece of equipment – I’m now mulling over buying a mitres saw, which I suspect may be the next defining DIY tool.