Can an Impact Driver Be Used for Drywall Jobs?

Installing drywall is a quick and easy way to complete interior remodeling projects. The 4 feet by 8 feet, paper-covered gypsum drywall board is relatively easy to handle, simple to cut and finishes to a perfectly smooth paintable surface. However, the key to creating the perfectly smooth finished drywall starts with flawlessly fastening the drywall to the wall studs. With the abundant number of cordless drills in the market, drywall installers need to pick the right tool for the job.

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Impact drivers are not properly designed to install drywall wallboard well.

Impact Driver Operation

An impact driver is designed to create high levels of torque. The gearing in the tools deliver a virtually unstoppable rotational force to the drill bit, or drill driver attachment. For applications such as loosening rusty fasteners on automobiles, this tool is essential. The cordless impact driver is also perfect for driving lag bolts into treated lumber when building the foundation for a deck on the back of a home.

Drywall Screwgun Operation

A drywall screw gun is designed to operate at high speeds rather than high torque. The uniquely designed tip on the drywall screwgun disengages the screw gun's motor from the tip when the drywall screw reaches the proper installation depth. Drywall screws encounter very little resistance as they are screwed into the wall studs. Therefore, an impact driver is designed to perform the task of driving fasteners much differently than a drywall screwgun.

Perfect Drywall Installation

A perfect drywall installation requires that the drywall fasteners are driven to a preset depth, and then stop. The bugle head screws are driven into the surface of the drywall so that the screw head is just below the paper surface of the drywall, but does not penetrate or tear the paper. The drywall screws which are drilled to deeply create problems during the taping in finishing procedure. Drywall screws installed at an angle, or are not driven deeply enough, create similar problems for drywall finishers.

Conclusion

A cordless impact driver and a drywall screw gun are designed for distinctly different purposes. The high-speed drywall screw gun quickly drills screws and sets the head at a perfect depth. A cordless impact driver rotates much more slowly, and is designed to drive screws through highly resistant material. A cordless impact driver is balanced so the user can apply high torque and high force to the tip of the tool while in use. While this tool would drive drywall screws and hang sheetrock, the tool would slow down the installation process and would likely create problems for the drywall finishers.