One of four Tapcon installation kits from Irwin, this one contains 9 pieces and can be used with the most common size concrete screws.
David Frane One of four Tapcon installation kits from Irwin, this one contains 9 pieces and can be used with the most common size concrete screws.
The one-piece masonry drill bits fit impact drivers and three-jaw chucks. Here one is shown in an impact driver.
David Frane The one-piece masonry drill bits fit impact drivers and three-jaw chucks. Here one is shown in an impact driver.
After drilling a hole the tradesman snaps the drive sleeve over the drill bit.
David Frane After drilling a hole the tradesman snaps the drive sleeve over the drill bit.
The drive sleeve holds the driving bit used to drive the concrete screw.
David Frane The drive sleeve holds the driving bit used to drive the concrete screw.

Irwin recently introduced an impact rated drill/drive set for Tapcon and Tapcon-like concrete screws (Tapcon is an ITW brand). Concrete screws have been around since the late 1970’s, as has the unique drill/drive system designed to install them. The system consists of a special masonry bit (or bit holder) that fits in the chuck of a drill or impact driver and a hollow sleeve that fits over the bit and holds Phillips, hex, or other types of drive bits. With this system, the tradesman is able to use the same power tool to drill and drive masonry screws without the need to swap bits in and out of the chuck.

It works like this:

  • Drill a hole with the masonry bit.
  • Snap the hollow sleeve containing the drive bit over the masonry bit.
  • Drive the screw with the drive bit.
  • Remove the sleeve and repeat.

I’ve installed concrete screws with and without a specialized bit and sleeve, and it’s faster with. What’s different about Irwin’s system is it’s designed to stand up to the stress of being used with an impact tool, though it can also be used with drills and hammer drills.

Irwin sells the specialized drill bits, drive bits, and driving sleeve individually and in 4-, 7-, and 9-piece kits. They sent me a 9-piece kit, which includes everything you need for the most common size concrete screws: short and long 3/16” and 5/32” single-piece drill bits, a drive sleeve, two hex drive bits, and two Phillips drive bits—all rated for use in impact drivers. The accessories come in a sturdy plastic case with a metal hinge pin.

This is a good kit for installing concrete screws, though I much prefer using it with a hammer drill/driver. You can use it with an impact driver but impact tools do not drill as fast in concrete. I put the 3/16” bits in a hammer drill/driver and impact driver and timed how long it took to make 1 1/2” deep holes in concrete pavers. On average, it took about 14 seconds per hole with the hammer drill/driver and 21 seconds with the impact driver—and I had to push hard on the impact driver to get it to drill that fast.

Irwin 9-Piece Tapcon Installation Kit (1881131)
Includes: plastic case, 5/32” x 4” drill bit, 5/32" x 5" drill bit, 1/4" nut driver, #2 Phillips 2" power bit, install sleeve, drill bit 3/16" x 4", drill bit 3/16" x 5", 5/16" nut driver, #3 Phillips 2" power bit.
Web price: $40-45
Country of origin: China