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I have a Hitachi cordless drill:

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You can turn the gray numbered part to switch between, hammer drill, drill and screwdriver mode. The screwdriver mode is numbered up to 22. Can someone explain what the different numbers mean? I haven't really noticed a difference between them.

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Possible duplicate of this DIY blog post: diy.blogoverflow.com/2012/04/clutches-torque-and-you – Niall C. May 9 '12 at 23:26
You haven't noticed any difference between #1 and #22? Your drill is defective or you're drilling marshmallows. – Matthew Sep 4 '12 at 18:13
My hitachi hammer drill lasted 4 hours - good luck! – DMoore Apr 12 '13 at 16:17
up vote 10 down vote accepted

When the drill is used as a screwdriver, the numbers indicate the torque breaking point. Higher numbers mean more torque. By breaking point, I mean the point at which torque is no longer applied.

This feature is useful because you can limit the amount of torque that is applied to prevent screws, or the materials they are inserted in, from being stripped. When the screw is in all the way, you want the torque to stop.

When you use the drill as a drill, as opposed to a screwdriver, you set the number to the infinity, or highest setting.

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