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Review: Convert your 1/2-inch square anvil impact wrench to 1/4-inch hex drive

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Dewalt half inch impact wrench adapters

As a homeowner, you may not have the demand for so many individual specific tools, and that’s where the many power tool accessories may help dial in your tool needs and reduce large tool storage.

In my case, I prefer using a drill driver as much as possible for inserting screws and have long ago abandoned my ¼” impact driver. I feel impact tools make a lot of annoying noise, so I avoid using them until a job truly requires their performance benefit.

But, I tend to do a fair amount of maintenance on our cars and a cordless impact wrench belongs in my tool collection, which, combined with one of these adapters, also serves as an impact driver for those building projects involving difficult fasteners.

What exactly are these adapters for?

Quickly convert a ½” square impact driver to a ¼” hex power bit driver to hammer in those difficult fasteners.

Lessen the need and storage for a dedicated ¼” impact driver that may not fulfill the needs for majority of your home builder projects.

Dewalt half inch impact wrench adapters

What’s a power bit (aka ball detent)?

A metal ball inside the quick change chuck securely engages the deep groove at the end of the shank when the bit is installed.

The collar on the quick change chuck needs to be moved forward or backward to release the locking effect on the shank.

Phillips Power Groove Bit

DeWALT Rapid Load (DW2298)

Dewalt Impact Wrench Adapter

Specifications:

  • Total Length: 2.04 inches
  • Weight: .2 lbs
  • Torque rating: 2000 in. lbs.
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide

This adapter doesn’t use a typical ball lock for the ¼-inch hex power bit shank. Instead a heavy wire locks the bit which allows 2mm of back and forth travel when bit is inserted. This is normal on ¼-inch Impact Drivers too.

The DeWalt rapid load adapter has very smooth bit insertion, and bit removal can be done one-handed.

**A DeWalt customer sales rep told us this item is now discontinued and no longer listed on the DeWalt website. However, this adapter is still available for purchase online from tool distributors.

Bit Insert: Push Bit In Auto Locks
Bit Removal: Slide Collar Back and Hold Remove Bit

Milwaukee Shockwave (48-03-4410)

Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Wrench Adapter

Specifications:

  • Length = 1.85 inches
  • Weight = .21 lbs
  • Torque rating = n/a
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide

We only completed a handful of fastener tests before the Milwaukee Shockwave (48-03-4410) locking mechanism failed.

Bits were both difficult to install and remove, again may be associated with the faulty locking mechanism. Zero movement of a bit when inserted.

Unsure if the negatives we encountered are standard, or unique to the adapter we tested.

**No additional products were purchased for further testing.

Bit Insert: Slide Collar Back and Hold Insert Bit Release Collar to Lock
Bit Removal: Slide Collar Back and Hold Remove Bit

Testing Discoveries

If losing the compact design of an impact driver is important, you may want to reconsider. An impact wrench already has a disadvantage with protrusion of the square anvil. Add an adapter, and you have an average of 1.6″ (40mm) longer, compared to an impact driver.

**Tool lengths will vary between manufacturers.

1/4" Hex Impact Wrench Adapters

A few adapter complaints I’ve read:

Complaint – The ¼” hex quick-load mechanism is too deep, and therefore hard for short driver bits to be removed.

My Response – The proper bits to use have a deep groove, so the locking mechanism works securely. e.g. Milwaukee 2″ Power Bit, opposed to using a shorter Milwaukee Insert Bit.


Complaint – Adapter is difficult to remove from impact tool compared to normal sockets.

My Response – For safety, impact sockets are designed in a way where you have to depress the spring-loaded lock pin, for both attaching and removing. A screwdriver, torx, etc. will work to depress the ball spring. Standard sockets don’t have the thru hole and just pressure fit, so they can slide on/off with greater ease.


Complaint – There is excessive wobble from the adapters on the ½” anvil connection.

My Response – This issue is true, and appears to be an engineering mistake. (i) The picture below shows how any of my IR (Ingersoll Rand) impact sockets are designed with a flat seat. (ii) Both Dewalt and Milwaukee (right) seem to have copied a standard sockets seat with a tapered design, which allows the adapters to sit further back on the ½” anvil. Instead of a proper fit like IR, where the locking pin pushes tight against the back wall of the pinhole, and allows zero movement, the pin sits more forward or center of the thru hole and allows 1-2mm of loose travel.

**The wobble only exists in static mode and has no effect on driving a fastener once pressure is applied.

Impact Socket Locking Mechanism

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Power Tools

Review: Quickly convert your drill to a 1/4-Inch quick change chuck power bit holder

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1/4-inch quick change drill adapter

Having multiple drills and drivers isn’t always needed, can take up unwarranted space and adds to overall cost. But having the right drill accessories will cost less, take up less space, yet create a very convenient multi drill and driver in one. A quick change bit adapter is one of those useful accessories that fits right into your existing drill chuck and allows fast changing of power bits.

The listed adapters are not to be confused with quick change extensions, which have a ¼-inch male hex shank and vary in length.

What exactly are these adapters for?

The brands listed offer dedicated quick change power bit adapters that easily convert your ⅜-inch or ½-inch power and cordless drills to accept ¼-inch hex power bits.

This gives you the same flexibility and work efficiency of a ¼-inch drill driver without buying another drill.

1/4-inch Quick Change Drill Adapter

What’s a power bit (aka ball detent)?

A metal ball inside the quick change chuck securely engages the deep groove at the end of the shank when the bit is installed.

The collar on the quick change chuck needs to be moved forward or backward to release the locking effect on the shank.

Phillips Power Groove Bit

Insty-Bit Insty-Lok

Insty-Bit 80138 quick change bit holder

Specifications:

  • Total Length: 2.28″
  • Head Length: 1.25″
  • Head Diameter: .95″
  • Shaft Diameter: 11/32″
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide
  • Made in USA

**NOT Impact Rated

I keep the Insty-Bit Insty-Lok (80138) in my personal tool collection. The tolerances are just right in keeping a bit held securely, while the operation of bit insertion and removal is super smooth and effortless.

Combine the well machined design with 100% metal parts; in my view Insty-Bit is providing all that a user can ask for in assuring a top quality drill accessory.

Bit Insert: Push bit in Auto locks
Bit Removal: Slide collar forward to unlock and eject bit Remove bit

Snappy Industrial Quick Change

Snappy 40011 quick change bit holder

Specifications:

  • Total Length: 2.2″
  • Head Length: .9″
  • Head Diameter: .92″
  • Shaft Diameter: 11/32″
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide
  • Made in USA

**NOT Impact Rated

A very, very close second to the Insty-Bit is the Snappy Industrial Quick Change Chuck (40011), which is also made from 100% metal parts. The products seem very similar in many ways, and I’d be happy with either.

This tool has silky smooth bit insertion and removal.

Snappy says “Our namesake is the “snap” that’s heard when a drill bit, driver bit or other tool is pushed into our patented quick change chuck.” This is true, there’s a definitive sound to let you now the power bit is locked in.

Bit Insert: Push bit in Auto locks
Bit Removal: Slide collar back and hold Remove bit


All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Power Tools

Comparing the Milwaukee and DeWALT right angle adapters

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Milwaukee vs. DeWALT Right Angle Hex Adapters

When you do enough DIY home improvement projects, there is a likely chance that a right angle drill and driver will be needed in low clearance situations.

Our benchmark right angle driver, the Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver, may not serve everyones needs. Instead of investing in a much more expensive right angle drill, which also requires larger storage space, look to these compact right angle adapters as a great accessory for your regular drill or ¼-inch hex screwdriver. Plus they’re much smaller than a full-size drill and driver; allowing access into confined spaces even a right angle power drill and drivers cant fit.

A Few Key Points

  • There is no locking mechanism that allows these adapters to be used on their own. The free spinning ¼” hex input shaft must be turned by another tool.
  • Both hands are required. One hand on the adapter to hold it firmly to the fastener…and the other hand on the drill driver or screwdriver; contrary to what some of the manufacturer images may show with just a single hand.
  • A common 1″ insert bit provides the lowest clearance with these right angle adapters, but they can also be used with longer power bits for various projects. Check each products rpm and torque ratings for bit and task compatibility.

To use these adapters for drilling, Insty Bit and Montana Brand make some convenient hex shank drill sets.

Milwaukee Offset Adapter

Milwaukee Right Angle Drive Adapter 48-32-2100 Milwaukee Right Angle Drive Adapter 48-32-2100 thumb adjustment Milwaukee Drive Adapter 48-32-2100 Low Clearance Head Milwaukee Drive Adapter 48-32-2100 for Tight Spaces
Milwaukee Right Angle Drive Adapter 48-32-2100

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 5.435″
  • Head Width: 1.15″
  • Offset Angle: 105°
  • Weight: .43 lbs.
  • Material: Die Cast
  • Maximum RPM: 400
  • Maximum Torque: 100 in-lbs.
  • Bit Holder Type: Magnetic

Speaking with a long time tool store owner I know, the Milwaukee offset drive adapter (48-32-2100) is the “original” right angle hex adapter.

Milwaukee says, “Use the power and speed of your Cordless Screwdriver to fasten or remove screws in light applications up to 400 RPM.”

Thumb Flange Adjustment: Slide flange down Rotate handle to the desired position and set of notches Push back up

Pros

  • Thumb flange goes around the adapter 360-degrees and allows 12 positions for best thumb placement.
  • Strong magnet securely holds bit.
  • Low width clearance head: 1.15″ without bit and 1.4″ with common 1″ insert bit.
  • Notched head allows another thumb placement.

Cons

  • Low rpm and torque rating.
  • Short body easily allows the lower part of your hand to make contact with the hex drive as it’s turning.

Milwaukee Right Angle Adapter

Milwaukee Right Angle Drive Adapter 49-22-8510

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 6.2″
  • Head Width: 2″
  • Offset Angle: 90°
  • Weight: .9 lbs.
  • Material: Steel & Cast
  • Maximum RPM: 1750
  • Maximum Torque: 235 in-lbs.
  • Bit Holder Type: Magnetic & Locking

The Milwaukee Right Angle Attachment (49-22-8510) is a big step up from their 48-32-2100 model. With twice the weight of the other adapters in this list, the heavy-duty construction makes you feel confident in your purchase and the tools ability to perform.

Handle Angle Adjustment: Loosen handle Lift handle up or down to the desired position and set of notches Tighten handle

Pros

  • Durable all metal housing and steel gears.
  • Quick release lock and magnetic bit holder.
  • 2.75″ long grab bar adjusts up and down as well as 360-degrees.
  • Online reviews rave about it’s impact durability, even though Milwaukee mentions no suggestion of impact readiness.

Cons

  • Cost is substantially more than all other right angle attachments.
  • With the widest head and protrusion of the quick lock bit mechanism (another .5″), this is the least compact adapter to fit into the smallest places.

DeWALT Right Angle (DWARA50)

DeWALT DWARA50 Right Angle Attachment DeWALT DWARA50 Right Angle Attachment used for HVAC DeWALT DWARA50 Right Angle Attachment for Cabinet Use
DeWALT DWARA50 Right Angle Attachment

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 5.95″
  • Head Width: 1.25″
  • Offset Angle: 90°
  • Weight: .39 lbs.
  • Material: Plastic & Metal
  • Maximum RPM: 3000
  • Maximum Torque: N/A
  • Bit Holder Type: Magnetic

DeWALT offers their DWARA50 right angle attachment as an entry model into the right angle attachment market.

1″ Insert Bit Removal: The DeWALT packaging shows the use of a pliers to grab hold of short bits for removal, but the magnet is so weak, I find using just my fingers an easy solution.

Pros

  • If you like the DeWALT brand, you have an attractive and useful accessory to add to your tool collection.
  • The plastic body and head combination provide a large area for comfortable hand grip and placement.

Cons

  • Weakest magnetic hold of all models listed.

DeWALT Right Angle (DWARA100)

DeWALT DWARA100 Right Angle Drill Attachment DeWALT DWARA100 Right Angle Adapter Ring Magnet Holds Screws DeWALT DWARA100 Narrow Stud Use DeWALT DWARA100 Bit Removal
DeWALT DWARA100 Right Angle Drill Attachment

Specifications:

  • Overall Length: 5.96″
  • Head Width: 1.4″
  • Offset Angle: 90°
  • Weight: .38 lbs.
  • Material: Plastic & Metal
  • Maximum RPM: 3000
  • Maximum Torque: N/A
  • Bit Holder Type: Magnetic Ring

DeWALT classifies their DWARA100 right angle attachment as impact ready.

What’s the main difference between the DWARA50 and DWARA100 models? A response from DeWALT says, “The DWARA100 is just a heavier duty version of the right angle attachment plus the addition of the magnet.” But, unlike the very noticeable difference in weight and build quality between the two Milwaukee models, the DWARA100 is actually slightly lighter than the DWARA50 model.

1″ Insert Bit Removal: Locate another fastener bit or drill bit shank Push through the access hole in the backside of the tool head to release short bits

Pros

  • Impact ready
  • Ring magnet securely holds bits, and when 1″ insert bits are used, the magnet is also close enough to the fastener to securely hold it as well.

Cons

  • Some reviews question the long term durability for impact use.

Exact Scale Size Comparison

Milwaukee vs. DeWALT Right Angle Hex Adapters

Milwaukee vs. DeWALT Right Angle Hex Adapters

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Power Tools

Review: Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver

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Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver many uses

The Bosch 12V MAX I-Drive has been my preferred driver for many years when working on light-duty projects. The low rpms, low torque, and 7 position clutch makes the driver very easy to control, while avoiding to over-drive a fastener.

If you intend to do: extensive framing, major deck work, or hard material drilling, you will have to consider another tool for your budget. Otherwise, for both homeowners and professionals alike wanting a very user-friendly tool, this driver will meet your demands.

There’s a lot to like!

Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver review

Controlled power. Rotating head. Lightweight. The MAX I-Driver’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to driver in the garage or home. Quickly remove automotive covers and panels. Assembling that new piece of furniture will take a a fraction of the time compared to a manual driver. When there’s maintenance, upgrades, and light-duty construction to perform involving a fastener, your I-Driver will be sure to deliver a needed helping hand.

  • Compact – 11 ½” with head positioned inline with body. Head is only 3 ⅝” wide when positioned at 90-degree.
  • 90-Degree articulating head – Rotates and locks into five positions for increased versatility.
  • Driver and drill – ¼” quick change hex locking chuck that can be used for driver bits and hex based drill bits.
  • Reliable – For personal home use, this drill should hopefully last you many years, as it has for me.
  • Cost-effective – With the many jobs that can be achieved, cost is easily justified.

**For drilling purposes. Brands like Snappy or Insty Bit make ¼” hex base bits that can be bought in convenient sets with storage cases.

Battery
12v
Lithium Ion
Torque
80
in lbs.
No Load
0-600
RPM
Weighs
2.4lbs.
w/ battery

Take on small jobs of all kinds

Bosch states their I-Driver “drives 100 x 3 in. screws per battery charge”. When using common #10 – 3″ long framing screws, we found this statement to be true enough. Results will vary based on overall life of battery and materials used.

Need to drill a few holes? Using a ¼” wood bit; I was able to drill drill several dozen 3″ deep holes in dry pine. Smaller diameter drill bits will allow even more use per battery charge.

**Dry and soft lumber is key to the capabilities listed. Wet wood or hardwood of any kind highlights the low torque (80 in. lbs.) immediately, and will have you looking for a more powerful driver.

Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver many uses

Model Purchase
Bosch PS10-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Driver (Kit)
Bosch PS10BN 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Driver (Bare Tool)

Great for many tasks, but not all

Limited by low torque and rpms. The I-Driver will fail to deliver when attempting heavy-duty projects that require a tool with much more oomph. Hit a knot in the wood and the I-Driver will be stopped dead in it’s tracks. Even a small ⅜” spade bit will quickly be halted. You’re limited to ¼” and smaller drill bits. Use a Bosch corded drill or hammer drill for continuous heavy-duty work.

The aforementioned were done using the most extreme uses for a drill driver of this type. There are dozens of much lighter duty projects where the I-Driver shines regularly, and all those many light-duty projects are what this tool should be considered for.

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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