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I just received this 21V 350 in-lb impact drill https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088JYH44C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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The 350 in-lb torque rating seemed kinda decent so honestly I expected better results than I am getting. I am wondering is it

  • "user error" (my first impact drill here)
  • expected limitations of this modest tool?
  • different bit extender needed

The tests I did:

With a two inch thick oak board:

  • drive a screw as deep as I can
  • drill out a 3/8 inch hole with a spade bit

In both cases they just gave up at one inch depth. Bits would come loose and wobble, and no further progress could be made.

As far as tightening/locking the bit: I watched a few youtube's and they talked about higher end dewalt/milwaukee etc that have locking mechanisms. This tool does not have a similar mechanism. Even so the instructions mention

The bit is secure when the chuck makes a ratcheting sound and the sleeve can not be rotated any further".

I did not hear any ratcheting sound even though the fit is tight (before drilling).

Based on a comment I will make the implicit goals here explicit:

"What needs to be done (if possible at all) to achieve"

* two inches of screw fastening in oak
* two inches of 3/8 inch spade boring in oak

The answers may be some combination of:

  • drilling type settings: classic vs impact vs hammer (latter not likely..)
  • speed settings: 1 (low speed higher torque) 2 (high speed lower torque)
  • ratcheting settings: 1 to 25
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  • How do you tighten it? Hold the chuck and run the drill, or hold both bits and twist? If it's not ratcheting, you're either not tightening properly, or the chuck is faulty, I'd say. – SiHa Apr 15 at 16:22
  • The latter: i'm twisting the chuck not running the drill. I'd be happy to learn I'm doing it incorrectly:but would mention they are tight even just on hand tightening. – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 16:25
  • Oak is a pretty hard wood, generally, you'd drill a pilot hole before running a screw through it. Also, there's no guarantee that the spade bit is all that super sharp. Those could both be problems. Also, what do you mean by "they just gave up at one inch depth"? Did the drill stop operating? Were the bits slipping in the chuck? I like the quick-change bits with the flats, but if you're using them in a 3-jaw chuck like this, you need to make sure the jaws are sitting on the flats, not the corners or they'll pop out when the going gets tough. – FreeMan Apr 15 at 16:54
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    It appears that the chuck has a clutch - do you have it on its highest setting? If not, the clutch will slip when the resistance gets too high because that's what it's supposed to do. It should have a "drill" setting that locks out the clutch preventing it from slipping at all. Looking at the pics at Amazon, those spade bits don't look to be the highest quality piece of kit... Also, it claims a "No-load speed 19000-23000rpm" - that's router territory. No drill/driver in it's right mind would ever spin that fast. Either there's a typo with extra zeros, or all their claims are... sketchy... – FreeMan Apr 15 at 16:58
  • "Just gave up" means the bits would come loose and start wobbling. The speed is definitely having an extra zero on it. I have tried both the 1 (more torque) and 2 (more speed/rpm) settings. There does not appear to be a "highest" setting as in some drills but just 1 to 25. I have tried it at all levels but especially the 25. wrt the spade bit: yea it does seem kinda lame. – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 17:04
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I would think that if you've cranked the chuck down as tight as it goes and the bits still slip, especially hex-shank bits with the chuck jaws on the flats of the shanks, then either there's a problem with the drill, or it's just simply not up to the task of drilling through oak.

Oak is a reasonably hard, dense wood (about 1290-1360 on the Janka scale).It is not, by any means, the hardest stuff out there, though, but it's around twice as hard as SPF (about 650-700 on the Janka), so an off-brand, more entry level tool may not be exactly the right one for that job.

Janka scale and definition. No affiliation, just the first place with a nice listing & definition.

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  • Yea Oak is pretty nice thus I thought a good test (pine would seem too easy). I did expect better than what I got. I'll be trying out additional extensions/tips in the coming days: I suspect more can be had from this tool. – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 18:14
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You bought inexpensive equipment and you are getting inexpensive performance .

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  • Yea i'm needing to supplement here. The bits provided in particular are garbage. Let's see what happens with the magnetic 6" extension. – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 20:18
  • That is also my guess. I also got one of those knock off brands and I would qualify it as a disposable toy – Quoc Vu Apr 16 at 6:17
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If the drill bits are slipping and are the round type, maybe use the type made for 'quick attach' which kind of have a bolt looking type end...thats all I could think of...you are saying the drill bit is not holding?

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  • Yea the bits just come loose. Will add some detail above on tightening/locking the bit – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 15:27
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    Welcome to Home Improvement. If you'll take the tour, you'll note that this is a Question & Answer board, not a general discussion forum. As such, we expect answers to the question to be posted in the box labeled "Answer". Since this doesn't seem to answer the question, would you please edit it into an answer? If you'll stick around, you'll quickly earn enough rep to make a comment on someone else's Q or A, which is what this is as it stands. – FreeMan Apr 15 at 16:49
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I was just now able to get a 1/2 inch hole down two inches+ with the spade bit. It was the classic drill setting on highest speed. It required a number of iterations: go down a piece then come back out to let the shavings out and give the bit a chance to cool a moment. Rinse cleanse repeat.

For driving the screw - which the impact driver is better suited - I presently lack the correct bit. A couple of good candidates are arriving by tomorrow and I will update here.

Update The six inch Makita magnetic bit holder arrived and there is no more issues with slippage/bits coming out when fastening the screw. It is still not able to go more than about an inch but trying to screw into Oak without predrilling is probably a tall order in any case.

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  • For driving the screw - which the impact driver is better suited - Actually, when screwing into wood the regular drill mode should be just fine. The impact mode is more for masonry - brick, concrete, etc. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Apr 15 at 20:05
  • @StephenBoesch this appears to be a comment, not an answer ... please delete it if it does not answer your question – jsotola Apr 15 at 22:37
  • @jsotola This is answering the question: ie can the goal be achieved (at least partially) and how can it be achieved ( classical drill for spade and pending for fastener/screw). I will be adding further detail when the additional bit arrives – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 22:56
  • @StephenBoesch if you read your own post, then you will see that there are no actual questions ... only a description of what you are wondering about ... there is nothing about can goal be achieved? or how can goal be achieved? – jsotola Apr 15 at 23:42
  • True that it is not explicitly mentioned. It is implicit and imo not difficult to infer: how to get the two inches of screw fastening and spade bit drilling. – WestCoastProjects Apr 15 at 23:58

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