How to Use an Impact Screwdriver

Written by nicole fotheringham
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How to Use an Impact Screwdriver
Dislodge rusty or stripped screws with the aid of an impact screwdriver. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Rusted or stripped screws can pose a problem to the DIY enthusiast and accomplished craftsman alike. When a screwdriver or wrench are not doing the trick, the impact screwdriver is the tool for you. Essentially, the impact screwdriver consists of two weights separated by a spring. The bottom weight has a screwdriver head that you insert into what is left of the screw. When the top weight is struck with a hammer, it compresses the spring which turns a ramp and the bottom weight turns the screw. The added force gives the screwdriver the torque it needs to dislodge even the hardiest of screws.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Select the bit that best suits your screw. Impact screwdrivers can also be used to remove lugs and bolts and come with bits that will suit these different kinds of fasteners.

  2. 2

    Attach the appropriate bit to the impact screwdriver and fit the bit over the screw head. Set the screwdriver to turn the screw to the left or to the right. Ensure that the bit is securely fitted before proceeding.

  3. 3

    Hit the top of the impact screwdriver with a hammer. The momentum generated will turn the screw or bolt. Continue to hammer the screwdriver until the screw has been loosened enough to remove by hand.

Tips and warnings

  • An impact screwdriver should cost about £9 as of 2011. If you have bought a cheaper model, you may find that the spring is relatively stiff. You can remedy this by removing the spring and shortening it by no more than 25 per cent.

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