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Drill Torque Settings

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  • #19256
    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    One of my cordless hammer drills has 21 selections for the torque collar. I understand the concept of how speed and torque are different, but 21 different settings. How do you choose one over the other? Obviously 7 is different than 17, but why not 6 or 8, or 12 vs 16? (I get overwhelmed with too many options i guess.) Would anyone care to explain? Thanks!

    #19258
    DaveG.
    Pro

    The torque settings are only for tightening screws (not for drilling purposes).

    As far as the tick marks (from 1-21), it is really more of a precision thing, of how exact between loose and tight you want the drill run on the fastener. For some manufacturers, it is a bit more about marketing, that they label more tick marks on each drill. But precision can be helpful, when using tools professionally (lots of types of screws, lots of types of materials, etc.. but the difference from 10 total tick marks to about 20 is just a little finer adjustability. (it has no relevance with the total power of the drill)

    What the reality is, is that it is important to not over tighten certain types of screws (depending on what it is installed in (softer materials drive too deep, can cause harder wood too crack, cracking plastic electrical outlet faceplates, or pull the screw through thin materials that you are trying to fasten. It is important about how tight you want the screw to be before the drill stops itself from over-tightening.

    If you put the bit into the check of the drill and tighten. Set the drill on 1 (the lowest torque setting), and run the drill slowly. If you hold tight on to the chuck (tightening part on the end of the drill), the drill will start somewhat clicking without it turning. Adjust up a few steps to about 5, then try around 10, etc.. and you’ll see it takes more force to hold the chuck and keep it from spinning.

    Think about how hard you are holding the chuck, and imagine that it is a screwdriver in your hand. The amount of force to hold the drill to stop it from spinning is about the same amount of force you would use with a standard screwdriver to tighten the fastener. That should give you an idea what setting to use.

    #19265

    This is a great question Nick, and I typically do not use my time in any other way than the way Dave described in terms of going from 1 to 5 to 10 etc… I suppose if I was going to do 1000 screws the same size that day I would want to get precise, but that simply is not something I do

    John S

    #19273
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Dave did a great job of explaining it. I don’t use the torque settings a lot on my drills and drivers but when I’m installing hardware or setting screws to a precise depth then I do. I’ll usually dial it way down and then use trial and error to get it just right. Better to start on the low side and go up than go too high and ruin the screw. After awhile you get a good sense of what setting works the best for each application and just set it there without the trial and error.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #19291
    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Dave, great explanation, i really appreciate your thorough response to my question. Very helpful. *awards Dave virtual points* 🙂

    #19298
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I think Dave’s post is a great example of a “post of the day” like we’ve been talking about elsewhere. You can certainly tell that he put some time and thought into it and it was a very helpful post.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #19301
    DaveG.
    Pro

    Virtual Points!?!? (any chance it’s double virtual points day?)! Glad to help. Thanks for the kind words guys!

    #19312

    Well done Dave. It’s all about precision option for avoiding over tightening, stripping and breakage.

    ~ Rob at http://www.ConcordCarpenter.com

    #19329

    Do you guys ever get sloppy and fail to adjust the torque settings prior to installing and quickly realize you need to change the settings? hahaha… I do

    John S

    #19365
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Yeah I’ve had that happen before John. Most of the time I end up leaving the drill in the full torque “drill” setting and just use the variable speed and go by feel and sound. I usually only bother with the clutch with very delicate screws on hardware installs.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #19387

    That is pretty much what I do too Dan, but sometimes I forget just how powerful my drill is

    John S

    #19389
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I usually use my 12V pocket driver for driving smaller screws. It only has 80 in lbs of torque so it’s a pretty safe tool to use for delicate screws even if you do have the clutch set a little too high.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #19496
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    ive really never adjusted the torque setting on my drills. if its something really delicate i do it by hand otherwise i use my impact driver

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #19572
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I’ll do the odd screw by hand too Jeff but when I’m installing all the hardware on a kitchen it would take way too long so I find that my pocket driver is great for that. If you over torque hardware screws in melamine then you’re cooked.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #295230
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Start low and work your way up. I’ve got a similar hammer drill and I love the torque options.

    #522795
    Sharyn
    Pro

    Thanks DaveG for your explanation and also all the other guys. I am a widow and learning to do things my hubby did all the time. I knew the dial had something to do with torque, but never knew what setting to put it on. I just cleaned out my AC compressor and found your explanation to be informational! Once again, thanks!

    ~Sharyn

    #522802
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Sharyn

    Welcome in @Sharyn Lots of great info here and great rewards for those that contribute.
    Aloha,,DWB

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #522809
    BeardedCarpenter
    Pro
    Winsted, CT

    I never use the torque settings my drill.

    #522822
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I never use the torque settings my drill.

    Me either…drill are for drilling holes. Impact drivers are for driving screws IMO.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #522826

    I don’t use the torque settings on my drill for driving screws either. Oh, I get the concept, and the theory, it’s just that when I just get it set, the next screw goes into a part of the same piece of wood that is a different density and all the theory goes out the window and all the screws come out at different heights by using it.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

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