Choosing the Correct Power Tools and Accessories Makes Fastening Easy

When it comes to power tool and accessory technology for fastening, if you blink you might miss something. From new cordless tools to specialty bits designed for impact drivers, it can be hard to keep track of the latest innovations in ergonomics, power and design. But a little homework is worth it.

Content Dam Up En Articles Print Volume 21 Issue 9 Product Focus Choosing The Correct Power Tools And Accessories Makes Fastening Easy Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File

Many options are available based on materials, speed and job.

By Mike Iezzi

When it comes to power tool and accessory technology for fastening, if you blink you might miss something. From new cordless tools to specialty bits designed for impact drivers, it can be hard to keep track of the latest innovations in ergonomics, power and design. But a little homework is worth it.

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Consider the Alternatives

Impact drivers, sometimes referred to as fastening drivers, deliver high speed and high torque, 0-2,800 rpm and up to 1,650 in.-lbs. for an 18-volt Lithium-ion model.

The power of these tools helps alleviate the possibility of stripping screws by combining muscle with precision. And impact drivers have the power to drive large diameter bolts because of their hammer-and-anvil design.

Conversely, an 18-volt drill/driver powers a constant 710 in.-lbs. of torque at some 1,700 rotations per minute (RPM) with permanently engaged gears for high-speed hole drilling or driving fasteners. But to deliver direct torque in larger fastening applications, a drill/driver requires the user to brace the tool or use a side-assist handle to prevent it from rotating out of control. But, with impact drivers, the internal mechanics prevent torque from ever reflecting back into the user—or what is commonly known as “torque reaction.” The impact driver traditionally requires less effort to control. And with a long day on the job, less fatigue goes a long way.

One consideration that’s sometimes overlooked in fastening applications is the power and versatility that compact 12V Lithium-ion drill/drivers offer. Weighing some two pounds, these drill/drivers deliver driving performance in a single charge but are small enough to be carried in a tool pouch or pocket.

Bit Tips are Important

Titanium-coated bit tips offer better grip and fewer stripped screws. Bonded to high-quality bits, the coating creates a rough surface that uses millions of microscopic gripping points to hold the screw. As a result, these bits grip better and reduce stripping for increased productivity.

Another consideration regarding power tool accessories is the emergence of impact-rated accessories such as screwdriver bits. Standard accessories don’t have the torque ratings to withstand the demands of high-powered impact drivers. Look for a machined tip that provides a tight fit with the screw head to reduce cam-out, a torsion zone that absorbs the power tool’s torque peaks to reduce stress on the tip, and a hardened core for increased bit strength to reduce the potential for bit fracture.

The best tool manufacturers spend much time visiting jobsites and talking to power tool and accessory users. That feedback, combined with ingenuity and creativity, leads to many of the power tool industry’s most innovative time-saving and money-saving tool solutions.

Hammer Drills and Rotary Hammers

When specialty tools aren’t an option for fastening track or other framing to block or concrete, drilling for anchors with a hammer drill or rotary hammer is the next best solution. But keep in mind the difference: hammer drills are most efficient when drilling into brick/block and light concrete using user-generated pressure to engage the internal impact mechanism. Conversely, the rotary hammer’s impact mechanism is more robust, hitting harder and consistently as soon as the trigger is pulled for the most efficient drilling into precast and other concrete applications. Using the right tool can save time, physical exertion and costs associated with replacing a hammer destroyed by improper use.

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With hammers, the return can be gauged on the drill’s speed and durability. The introduction of a reversible brush plate enables this tool to offer the same level of power in reverse as forward. This enables users to remove bound or jammed bits with ease, saving time and avoiding potential injury. Overall, users can expect better performance and a bigger return on investment.

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In addition, new safety technology provides users with another layer of protection in fastening applications. For example, Bosch KickBack Control is an integrated acceleration sensor that stops the drill’s rotation during bit bind-up situations. This capability helps reduce the risk of user wrist and hand injury.

The company’s SDS-plus anchor drive rotary hammer accessory kit eliminates the need to change back and forth between drill and driving bits, or worse, carrying around two separate power tools: one for drilling and one for driving the anchor or fastener. After drilling a hole, slide the appropriate-size sleeve over the bit and lock it into place; the opposite end accepts a driving bit. Then select the corresponding bit and drive the anchor into place. When complete, slide off the sleeve and proceed to the next hole. One-handed operation saves time and frustration, and, with its own carrying case, the kit easily stores in a tool belt or job box.

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The best tool manufacturers spend time visiting jobsites and talking to power tool and accessory users. That feedback, combined with ingenuity and creativity, leads to many of the power tool industry’s most innovative time-saving and money-saving tool solutions. UP


About the author: Mike Iezzi is product manager, corded products, for Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. He is the product leader for the company’s hammers, screw guns, corded drills, hammer drills, grinders and cutoff machines in North America. Previously, Iezzi served as a product manager for Bosch power tools in Leinfelden, Germany. He also worked in marketing and engineering positions for the company’s automotive systems group at locations in the U.S. Prior to joining Bosch, Iezzi was an electrical engineer for sensor maker Arete Associates in Arlington, Va.

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