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Plastic Gears vs Metal Gears on a Cordless Impact Driver

Plastic gears vs. metal gears

Shop for Cordless Impact Drivers

Some cordless impact drivers have plastic gears and others have metal ones. Both types have positives and negatives.

Plastic gears

Blue, black and white different sized plastic gears Plastic gears are usually found on less expensive or lower voltage impact drivers that are designed for lighter DIY work only (e.g. driving smaller screws into softer materials).
Metal ceramic and large screws Compared to metal gears, plastic ones tend to be weaker and may break or become worn more easily if subjected to heavy loads (e.g. if the impact driver is used to drill large holes in metals or ceramics).
Piggy bank with a coin being added However, compared to metal gears, fixing or replacing plastic gears is easier and less expensive.

Metal gears

Different sizes and types of metal gears Metal gears are usually found on semi-professional, higher-voltage impact drivers that are able to drive small and large screws into a variety of materials (e.g. hard and softwoods, plastic, non-ferrous metal etc.)
Gears inside a cordless impact driver Compared to plastic gears, metal ones can withstand the pressure of working with tough materials. A metal gearbox is therefore less prone to wear and breakage compared to a plastic one.
Pile of gold coins However, compared to plastic gears, metal gears require a more expensive and extensive fix if they become damaged or broken.

Please note: If you do require the gears on your cordless impact driver to be repaired or replaced, you should contact the manufacturer.

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