If you’ve never owned an impact driver, trying to find one can be somewhat of a painstaking task. Scouring the internet for reliable reviews, getting others’ opinions, or just browsing Amazon isn’t the best solution.
Keep reading for a convenient buyer’s guide on what makes the best impact drivers. We’ll be presenting our honest opinions on every single entry on the list, so you know you can rely on us.
……Don’t really have the time to scan through this?
Spoiler: Our #1 Pick is the Dewalt 20V Impact Drill. A total beast that performs any outdoor/indoor task flawlessly.
1. DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Impact Driver (B01LBT3AZU)
The Dewalt’s Impact Driver Kit’s ergonomic design enables it to fit into smaller spaces. It’s only 5.55’’ front to back and weighs merely 2.8 lbs. For better visibility, it features an in-built LED light.
Although this looks small and frisky, it packs a huge punch. Plus, it’s a Dewalt product, so you can rest assured, it’s going to deliver what was promised.
Q. Does it feature variable settings?
A. The farther you depress the trigger, the more the impact of the driver. So, if the trigger is pressed lightly, the power will be released slower. If you depress further down, it will release quicker.
Q. Can the charger take a 220v input or is it limited to 110v?
A: It can take a 110V.
Q. Are 20V 4.0Ah batteries compatible with this drill?
A: Yes, all 20V Dewalt batteries will do.
This is one of the best impact drivers in the market within this price range, according to a lot of impact driver users. You could be easy to underestimate its power as the size is surprisingly compact and small, but the tool is a true beast. It’s great for many tasks in the house and can also be used in particular heavy duty construction jobs. The compact size makes it easy to comfortably fit it into small space, while the built-in LED lights facilitate working in almost any lighting.
2. Makita XDT12Z 18V LXT Impact Driver (B01M4HGMXV)
The Makita 18V LXT Impact is one of the faster impact drivers out there and offers an enhance torque compared to its predecessors. Due to the precision fastening applications, no sort of damage is caused to the work surface or screw.
The weight stands at about 3.3 lbs., which is still pretty light. The impact drive produces 1,550 lbs. of torque and features four different speed settings, the max being 3600 RPM.
Q. Can I use 18v Makita batteries with this tool?
A: Yes, you can.
Q. Can it be doubled as a hammer drill?
A: It’s highly recommended not to. There are other drivers designed to function like hammers too. However, this isn’t that kind.
Q. How durable is this?
A. Users reported that even after being dropped several times, from places high as 25 feet, it still works just fine, time and time again.
Q. Where was this made?
A. In Japan.
This compact driver comes in a sleek and small design yet it’s powerful enough, including 4 speed settings. It’s constructed in Japan, which maybe one of the main reasons why it has survived being dropped from higher places. 20-25 feet is not joke for an equipment that intricately packed. Since it’s that sturdy, it’s suitable for construction site use, which basically translates to – it’s very heavy-duty. Producing an incredible amount of torque, the driver is also capable of snapping screw heads without fuss – so make sure to adjust the speed setting. It sits comfortably within the hands and impresses with changeable torque settings.
3. PORTER-CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (B01KBWEBQU)
The PORTER CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Cordless Impact Driver offers 50% more runtime than the previous versions from PORTER-CABLE, and that’s impressive from the first read. The brushless motor saves battery life efficiently. With 1400 lbs. and a 2900 RPM, it boasts more than enough torque for major fastening applications. We appreciate the quick hex change design which allows for fast, one-handed change of drill bits – great for when you’re working by standing on top of a ladder in limited space. It’s super lightweight, coming in at 2.9 lbs. An ergonomic design that’s 14% shorter in comparison to other models makes it easier to hold and grip.
The price of PORTER CABLE products has always attracted customers, and this impact driver can be picked up at a steal.
Q. Can this take off lug nuts?
A. No, at least 300 ft.-lbs. of torque are needed for this purpose.
Q. What accessories are included the driver?
A: You’ll get two batteries as well as a charger.
Q. How long does the LED light provide backup when working?
A. It’ll stay lit for at least 20 seconds before turning off.
Q. Can I use batteries from other brands with this?
A. No, only this specific brand’s batteries work.
This cordless impact driver can be a handy dandy tool to have in the house. But, you can take this to job sites too, thanks to the double batteries included. Although it’s smaller in size and lighting, it’s more than capable of performing powerful tasks. Keep in mind that this driver doesn’t feature any speed settings. It’s not that big a deal unless you’re going for lag, screw-bolt job. If you’re not accustomed to single speed settings, there’s a high chance that you’ll snap the screw head off. Additionally, it gets the job done when you have to drive screws and drill bits. There are two battery inclusions and it will take about 50 minutes to completely charge this from point zero.
4. Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Impact Driver (B017Y7VJPQ)
The Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 is lightweight and functions on a lithium-ion battery. The weight is 2.6 lbs. This model is brushless, although the one similar to it all feature brushes. Unlike the previous entry, the Milwaukee one does include various settings and is perfect for jobs that need a lighter hand as it won’t cause damages to the surface or mess up the jobs you’re doing.
The M18 line has been an iconic release for Milwaukee, helping them become a household name for impact tools. +.
Q. What accessories does this driver come with?
A: There’s no inclusions with this one; no charger, case, or battery. You’ll get the bare tool.
Q. How does the tool attach to the sockets?
A. It does so using a 1/4″ hex drive bit holder.
Q. Will it work on heavier bolts on general vehicles?
A. We’re afraid no. This model was created specifically for construction. If you need one for automobiles, you should look into other models because there really isn’t a dearth of products.
Undoubtedly, this has got to be the best impact driver for that price tag. Well, you can still consider it pricey, but it delivers unbeatable value in the long run. It’s easy to see why more and more tradesmen are opting for this model. There’s consistent stability and drive when driving screws or lags (6’’) into rim joints or decking. The battery will last for approximately four hours without doubt on a single charge. Overall, the Milwaukee receive an A+ on reliability and performance, and the five year limited warranty makes it a safer purchase.
5. Ridgid GEN5X R86035SB 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver (B00Z7BSFY0)
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Ridgid Cordless Impact driver is the excellent battery that lasts quite a while between jobs. As an added bonus, the tool comes with free batteries for life under their Lifetime Service Agreement. On top of that, there’s a battery indicator that displayed the remaining battery.
This is a good pick if your budget is near the lower end.
Q. Are the same batteries useable for every Ridgid tool?
A. Yes, All Ridgid batteries are interchangeable and compatible.
Q. What’s the price?
A. there are different sellers and retailers pricing it differently. However, the price is notably lesser than most other leading companies, and you’ll get free batteries too.
Q. Is this a brushless model?
A. No, it’s a brushed impact driver.
Q. How to tell how much battery left?
A. The battery show shows you that.
The brand Ridgid may not be as prominent as other leading brands, but the products are gaining them a follower base. Many customers agree that these products are just as good as any other brand but at half the price. This driver dominates with speed and torque variations and ergonomic grip handle. If you’re searching for an impact driver that works equally well in construction sites as homes, this is the one!
6. Bosch 25618-02 18-Volt Impact Driver (B0020ML6H2)
If you ever felt frustrated because your impact driver couldn’t reach those tiny spaces and you couldn’t get any work done, then the Bosch 25618-02 will please you. The slim pack battery makes it quite compact and it can easily get into those hard-to-reach places. Enhanced torque prevents stripping off heads of screws. If you need to work in low light environments, you’ll be happy to know that there’s an in-built LED light.
This offers best runtime and control for small to medium duty fastening jobs. Their unique electronic cell protection feature ensures there’s no damage by misuse and the battery is conserved.
Q. What accessories will you receive with the driver?
A. According to the manufacturer website, there’s one belt clip, one contractor bag, a single battery, and 1 charger.
Q. How does this driver perform on metal related tasks?
A. It works splendid when you tap screws through metal yourself.
Q. If the tool isn’t in use, does the battery decrease?
A. No, the battery retains charge while it is not used.
This is a decent product for the price. You can access tight spots and it’s made to resist the wear and tear. We’ve already said how much we love the electronic cell protection features. The features which you’ll get for the price is kind of shocking, but we’re not complaining! In conclusion, this is a top choice for mid-level drivers.
7. Ryobi Cordless 18V P237 Impact Driver (B01M0EX5PW)
Combining the three speed and torque settings, the Ryobi Cordless Impact driver reinstates the reason why they’re called “impact” drivers. The build is solid and features on-board lighting for when you’re working in low light areas. We can say the battery life is decent enough even though it runs on regular Ryobi batteries. It basically achieves what it was bought for.
Be careful to use it only for the functions it was designed for.
Q. Will this driver remove lug nuts?
A. If the lug nuts are too tight, there might be issues, but once they’re a bit loose, it should be smooth sailing.
Q. What is the difference between P236 and the P237?
A. The P237 boasts more torque and 3-speed settings. It also has a power level switch to reduce stripping out screws. Additionally, LED lights and a spring-loaded auto eject chuck are featured.
Q. Is this impact drill versatile?
A. There are variable torque and speed setting, so it’s capable of driving through many boards. However, it can be toned down for lighter jobs.
The price isn’t the best part! Features are there, and it’s the impact driver that will do the task seamlessly. There are bonus features too like the belt clip and LED lighting. However, we couldn’t really get over the unbearably loud noise it produces while working. Some customers said they need to put in earplugs every time when using this driver. There’s a simple solution thought: The quieter version of this driver: The Quiet Strike.
1. Is it Worth Getting an Impact Driver?
An impact driver could be an excellent investment for a DIY or home toolkit. Yes, you will need to do repairs here and there around the house, or you’ll need to secure something in place, and that’s when an impact driver comes in handy. But when comparing the price to the promised value, are impact drivers worth it?
For tougher, larger construction projects and house improvements, an impact driver gets the job done faster and easier, efficiently decreasing the physical strain and providing more robust, stronger attachments.
A drill driver offers an extended range of functionality for smaller, more precise projects, or the typical home improvements and repairs.
To sum it up, a drill driver is an important piece of equipment for every other homeowner. However, if the work isn’t as demanding on complicated, an impact driver may not be the best choice. If you find there needs to be heavier work done in the house, work related to masonry, or notice you are constantly driving screws into stuff, then we would say that an impact driver should be on your buying list by now.
2. What is an Impact Driver Best Used for?
Impact drivers are primarily appreciated for two kinds of tasks:
a. Demanding Jobs
When doing framing, installing cabinets, building heavier furniture, using dimensional lumber, working with masonry, an impact driver fastens and inserts longer screws quicker, and with remarkably lesser physical effort than working with a driver/drill for the same task.
Also, an impact driver has less probability of stripping screw heads, it works quicker, and overall easier on the body.
B. Repetitive Jobs
Repetitive jobs like finishing construction of a deck or hanging drywall, an impact driver are arguably the best tool. It secures screws reliably and significantly faster, but it exerts lesser pressure on the body even though the power delivered is higher. The weight is less than a drill driver, making it convenient to carry or hold these things for longer.
3. Who Makes the Best Impact Driver?
There’s a ton of competition in the market when it comes to impact drivers. Dewalt, Milwaukee, PORTER-CABLE make some of the best impact tools in the industry in general.
But if we had to go with one, it would have to be Dewalt. All their products feature a convenient limited warranty, ranging from one to over five years. The impact drivers by Dewalt are usually bang for the buck, and you’ll feel like they’re worth every penny you’ve spent on them. Dewalt has managed to achieve the perfect balance between performance, longevity, and price with their impact drivers.
4. Are Brushless Impact Drivers Better?
Impact drivers with brushed motors are cheaper, reliable, and offer a high inertia or toque ratio, but they also have a fixed set of disadvantages. The components wear out with time, creating dust. Regular maintenance is required on the brushed ones to keep in functional. You have to clean or replace the brushed from time to time. Brushed motors also possess lower heat distribution capacity because of rotor restrictions, high rotor inertia, reduced maximum speed, and EMI (electromagnetic interference) as a result on arcing on said brush.
Brushless motors have the same operating principle but the overall design varies. The design of the brushless units facilitates reducing internal resistance and ensure better dissipation of heat produced in the stator coils. Since the heat can be distributed more efficiently, the efficiency increases significantly.
In contrast to a brushed motor, the brushless unit’s permanent magnet is positioned above the rotor. The brushed impact drivers do require lesser or now external components to work and are thus better for limiting conditions.
5. Choosing the Best Impact Drivers
We’ve established that brushless motors are better. They’re more expensive than the brushed motors ones, but they live longer and need much less maintenance. They also produce lesser heat, work more efficiently, and are compatible with smart electronics. You could go with a brushed motor, though; it’s not the end of the world. You’ll save some coins and get good performance, but sacrifice on some features.
You can find impact drivers in both 12V and 18V options. If talking about torque, 12V impact drivers typically stand on the same inch-pounds of torque as 18V drills. The 18V one provides many hundreds more inch-pounds. It can be hoped that you’ll be able to do majority of your jobs with a lighter and smaller 12V tool, but for the DIY enthusiasts and pros, 18V will really give them that extra muscle.
C. RPM and Trigger
Impact drivers were created to offer brute force, but you don’t always need every blast of it. So, the recent tools generally feature three RPM ranges. When you really need to stick that screw in place, you’ll set the impact at the highest RPM and apply complete pressure on the trigger for most force.
You could make the choice between a few different brands and they’d all be good enough for the purpose they’re bought. In majority of the cases, you’ll receive what you pay for. We hope we answered some common concerns for you with this impact driver review and you’re now clearer about what you need.