6 Safety Tips for Using an Impact Driver
An impact driver is a handy tool for professionals in the automotive and construction industry as well as for many DIY projects. An impact driver is very useful and can help make any construction or mechanical work a lot easier. There are several different types of impact drivers that can be used based on the nature of work you need to use it for. For example a heavy-duty pneumatic impact driver used by mechanics is more powerful than a corded or cordless electric impact driver used by a carpenter for wood related projects. Power tools such as an impact driver should be used with caution to avoid any injury. Below are some important safety tips you should keep in mind while using an impact driver.
1. Know your Impact Drivers
You should be familiar with the different types of impact drivers. There are several different types of impact drivers each designed for specific types of jobs. You should know the difference between these drivers and use the appropriate impact drivers for the kind of job you need it for. You should start with assessing your project and making a decision as to which impact driver is the correct one to use. The different types of impact drivers are:
Manual Impact Driver
The Manual Impact Driver is unique in terms of its physical appearance. It differs the most in looks as compared to its counterparts. It has a grooved shaft that fits into an outer sleeve. The shape of the manual impact driver is curved as such as to facilitate the rotation of a screwdriver when hammered.
To use a Manual Impact Driver you must attach the screwdriver into the open end of the impact driver. Next you must take the impact driver and insert the screwdriver end into the screw. Once you are in position you must take a hammer and drive it onto the Impact Driver. The force will cause the inner shaft of the driver to rotate clockwise. The power exerted by this action results in the screw being rotated at a faster rate than that of a manual screwdriver. This manual device has now been replaced in construction by a powered impact driver.
Electric Impact Driver
Electric Impact Drivers are most commonly used for construction jobs as well as for any repairs you may need to do at home. There are two types of Electric Impact Drivers. A traditional corded model and the more modern cordless model that is more commonly used today. Both corded and cordless Electric Impact Drivers are similar in functionality as they both use electricity to power the motor of the Electric Impact Driver. The two functions of the Electric Impact Driver is to rotate the screw or bolt. The internal motor of the Driver powers a geared shaft that gyrates the bolt or screw in place. The other function is to hammer the shaft giving it more power to screw on a bolt. Cordless models have essentially replaced the older corded version of this machine as technology improves. Some older corded versions while being extremely strong also lack the feature to hammer the shaft to exert more pressure.
The Electric Driver is similar to a Manual Impact Driver in terms of design. They both have shafts on the inside of the drive however; the one found in the electric driver is smaller in diameter.
These Drivers come with various different power levels such as 12, 18 and 20 volts. Since they are commonly used in construction, it is a handy tool to have in every toolbox. Popular manufacturing brands of the Electric Impact Driver include DeWalt, Porter-Cable and Makita.
Pneumatic Impact Wrenches
Pneumatic Impact Wrenches are used for more industrial and high-powered jobs. This tool uses pneumatic energy also known as highly compressed air. This device is most commonly used by mechanics in garages or tire dealerships. In contrast to the Impact Drivers mentioned above, a Pneumatic Impact Wrench is used to remove nuts and bolts. It is also used in jobs that require steel construction as well as more advanced and construction jobs.
The Pneumatic Impact Wrench requires add-ons for its use. It is supplemented with gears such as an air compressor and a hose. A Pneumatic Impact Wrench may also be useful for people who are automobile enthusiasts or for any makeshift mechanics as it makes working on automobiles a lot easier.
2. Read the Instructions
An instruction manual contains all useful information about the driver. As a rule of the thumb you should always read the instruction manual before operating any type of machinery. An instruction manual contains guidelines that can make using the driver more easily. Basic instructions such as how to use a driver can be found in the manual such as how to switch a driver on and off, reversing the driver and in some cases how to charge the battery should the driver be a cordless one. The manual also contains essential information that will help you handle the machine safely. Most manuals have safety guidelines that warn you against unsafe use. The manual also contains vital information regarding replacement parts and part numbers should something require changing. It is strongly advised that you should read the instruction manual before using the impact driver for the first time.
3. Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
With the use of any power tool you should always exercise a level of caution. Power tools have the ability to inflict serious damage if they are misused or improperly handled. Thus, it is important that you wear appropriate attire that can safeguard you from such mishaps. Examples of personal protection apparel include safety goggles, face shields, gloves, protective headgear and leather aprons. While the degree of caution exercised may vary from the type of job you are doing, many mechanics choose to adorn all of the above. It is advised to always wear eye protection. Different types of gloves are also available depending on the nature of the job. Auto mechanic gloves are multipurpose and are often used to auto related work as well as construction work. Headgear should always be used if the work being done is above your head. You should take special care specially while using a pneumatic driver, as they are extremely powerful.
4. Ensure the Work Site is Safe
Appropriate safety measures should be taken while using an impact driver. Before using the impact driver you should always make sure that the work site is clean and organized. Messy and chaotic work sites can often lead to an accident. While using an impact driver with a cord you should always make sure that all electric cords are organized and detangled. Always be aware of people around you and avoid having anyone stand behind you. Safe distance should be maintained while using a pneumatic impact driver. Make sure the hose accompanied with the pneumatic driver is not curled or twisted. You should also make sure that nothing impairs your visibility thus, there should always be good lighting while using the impact driver.
5. Always Work Safely
While safety attire and a safe working site are important, you also have to be mindful of your body and its movements. While using an impact driver you should always make sure that you never overextend yourself. Over extending yourself can cause you to lose your balance and can cause serious injury. Always make sure both your feet are securely placed on the ground with your weight distributed evenly. This rule also applies if you are standing on a ladder. Always make sure you use both hands and have a firm grip on the driver while using it.
6. Care for Your Impact Driver
A well-taken care of machine is always safer to use than one that has mangled and exposed wires or faulty batteries. Like all tools you have to take care of your impact driver in order for it to work to the best of its capabilities. Always make sure your impact driver is clean and well oiled. For corded impact drivers always make sure that the cord is in pristine shape and is not damaged. Check the plug to make sure it isn’t loose. For cordless impact drivers always make sure your battery is charged and the battery compartment is clean and dry. Lastly for pneumatic drivers make sure the hose and air compressor are in good condition in addition to keeping it clean. For better information on how to take care of your impact driver always consult your user manual.
In conclusion you should be thoroughly aware of the ins and outs of the impact driver before use. You should know what an impact driver is, what its uses are and which type of impact driver best suits your needs. In order to use an impact driver safely you should always read the user manual, wear protective gear, be clean and organized and take appropriate care of your machine. By taking the steps above you can safeguard yourself from any potential hazards.
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