A few weeks ago, someone over at the Garage Journal forum asked about whether you can drill with an impact driver. The discussion then turned towards how much play there is in a 1/4″ hex chuck.
The short answer is that you can use hex-shank drill bits in an impact driver. But should you? Before I answer that, I must insist that you only use impact-rated drill bits in an impact driver. If you use regular bits and encounter enough resistance to engage the impact mechanism, there’s a high risk of potentially hazardous bit failure.
So should you drill holes with an impact driver? Well, it depends on how precise your hole needs to be. For rough construction needs, such as boring a hole to pass wires through, then it should be fine to go ahead with the impact driver. But if precise hole placement, size, and roundness are crucial, then stick with a drill and regular drill bits.
It is worth pointing out that you can generally only find general purpose bits with 1/4″ hex shanks. Thus far I haven’t seen numbered or lettered bits with hex shanks, or specialty bits such as brad point or cobalt bits. That should also tell you something.
Do you have a different opinion? Please share it with us in a comment!