Trend T50 archive
Wednesday 4 February 2009
Peter Brett finds a lot to love with this handy impact driver
Impact drivers are fun to use and that is for me enough reason to use one where I can. What is more relevant perhaps, is that they are extremely efficient at driving screws without "camming out" and breaking the heads, making removal and replacement of screws easy too. Even into difficult hardwood, it is often possible to start a screw without a pilot hole and drive it fully home with little effort. The secret is the small "impact" action that acts like a hammer as well as the rotary action that drives the screw forward.
Testing and PerformanceI used the Trend Snappy for a variety of jobs including making a bending jig (big screws needed), removing and replacing some decking planks and working on a fascia board a couple of metres from the ground. Its compact size and grippy handle and trigger make it really easy to handle. The light weight of the alloy nose is countered by the flat-bottomed battery pack (it stands on this base quite stably) The trigger action in forward/reverse and lock is commendably slick and the motor has a good whiz of revs to get screws started easily. At first the action is rotational, but as the screw tightens, the impact action clicks in and drives it home effortlessly.
With two battery packs supplied as standard and a one-hour charging time there is no excuse for any downtime, and the 2Ah NiMH battery is powerful as well as having all the other benefits of NiMH technology. Compact size means that working in small spaces is easy , built in LED lights makes the dark, light and the light trade rating is a guarantee of good performance.
The VerdictI loved this little driver, it is a gem. It is clearly a professional tool, but DIYers could get a lot of use out of it too. Combine it with a Trend Snappy Accessory set that includes sockets, bits, augers and drivers and you have a very useful little package that will do hundreds of jobs. The compact hex chuck fits loads of other 6mm accessories too.
The RRP may put some buyers off, but shop around for a good deal.