Every tradie, regardless of who they are and how long they have been in the game, has grabbed an impact driver to screw fixings into materials like hardwoods or steel, and given it too much of a squeeze.
The result is either a snapped screw, a burred screw head or a fixing sunk too deep into the material. Even experienced tradies, not just apprentices, know exactly what I’m talking about. The introduction of AEG’s Fusion & Force range of tools and batteries has changed a lot of tradies’ opinions of the brand. It’s time to sit up and take notice of AEG.
It not just the power, of which there’s plenty (280Nm of torque), that makes this such a unique product. It’s the clever way that AEG has harnessed its Fusion brushless motor to deliver maximum power, better driving efficiency and longer run time that contributes to its strengths. Make no mistake, all of these highlights are significant. But what has impressed me the most with this model is the intuitive 6-mode selection panel which offers a wider range of torque control in all applications.
Test#1: The 6-Mode Selection Panel
If ever you’re going to snap a fixing or burr the head of a screw, it’s going to be using a high-torque impact driver. Yes, there have been power settings available on drills and impact drivers before, but they have been a very basic ‘1’, ‘2’, or ‘3’ setting with no other real intelligence or sophistication than offering three levels of power output. The AEG is far more advanced than that, offering six modes designed for a range of materials and purposes. Speed 1 is for refined, detailed work where you want to ease in your fixing to obtain the cleanest and most precise looking fixing. Speed 2 (medium) allows fast screwdriving with medium torque, and Speed 3 (high) – allows faster screwdriving with high torque. The increased torque setting would suit harder materials.
The self-drilling screw mode starts fast then slows down for ultimate control reducing the risk of screw breakage. The two final modes are: ‘Assist’ mode in forward, which reduces screw cam outs and starts slow for better control, then increases speed to complete the fastening quicker with more control; and ‘Assist’ mode in reverse, where a pulse action reduces the risk of further damaging screw heads when removal is needed. After six pulses the tool speed will increase gradually to ensure efficient removal of the damaged screw.
For our tests we drove some large bugles into hardwood without predrilling to see if there was enough power, and also to test out which of the settings would do the best job. Speed setting 3 did come out on top for this test, with the higher torque doing a great job of sinking the screw without predrilling. I then tried a much lighter-gauge screw into the hardwood on the same setting, and the screw snapped. But after dialling down the torque to the speed setting 2 mode with only medium torque, it drove the next screw in perfectly.
So the settings really do work well, and I could see that once you became familiar with the various settings you would pretty much remove accidents like snapped screws and cam outs.
Once you get a feel for the impact driver it’s easy to use the settings.
Test #2: Comfort And Ergonomics
One of the things I’ve become used to with the AEG products in recent times is the great ergonomics, and this driver is no exception. It’s a great balance between the design of the grip/handle/trigger and the soft, yet well-wearing rubbers that make it feel so good in the hand. The 18V Fusion 6-mode impact driver is no exception when it comes to just feeling great. I also like the location of the six-mode panel. It makes sense when you go looking for it, and it’s an easy system to use.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
To be honest, there wasn’t anything I could fault with this unit.
Throughout this test I used both the 6Ah and the 9Ah Force batteries. The driver performed exceptionally well with both. The AEG has a grunty 280Nm of torque, class leading for a compact impact driver. What really made this driver stand out is the 6-mode system, definitely a great addition for a huge amount of trades out there.
For more information visit www.aegpowertools.com.au