Since impact drivers are so useful, a good impact driver should be on top of your must-haves when you are building up your toolkit. When it comes to driving long fasteners into hard material such as walls and concrete blocks, impact drivers are the handiest tools for both professionals and hobbyists.
Yes, this can also be done with regular drills, but impact drivers are much better at this job as they provide more torque as compared to regular drills. Impact drivers provide better torque than even the best of the range combi drills.
They can also eliminate half sunk screws and rounded off heads. Undoubtedly, they make the job much simpler and easier.
The sole purpose of the motor in an impact driver is to generate the largest amount of torque that can be produced, in the smallest area. Impact drivers also help produce the vibrations and decrease the impact on your wrist.
In addition to protecting your wrist, impact drivers also get the job done much faster. As compared to traditional drill machines, impact drivers work at a much quicker speed and can driver screws and long fasteners much faster.
While working with drill machines you are required to drill pilot holes in the material you are working on, whereas using an impact driver does not require you to drill pilot holes.
Now that we know that impact drivers are very useful and pretty efficient at their job, it is also important to know that for the best outcome you need the best impact driver.
Like all other power tools, the market is saturated with different models and brands of impact drivers. It’s not easy to choose one from such a huge variety. There are a couple of things you need to consider and compare before you purchase an impact driver.
This guide will provide you all the information you might need to find the best impact driver and will help you choose the best impact driver by reviewing the 10 best impact drivers.
Impact Drivers Buying Guide:
Before we buy a car or a house, we look at its features. Each possible car or house has its own different features,which allow us to decide whether or not they should be bought. Same is the case with each model or brand of impact driver you might find in the market. They have different features that make some of them better than the others.
Most people are not aware of what features should impact drivers offer and what advantages these features may bring. To make things easier for you, we have listed down the most important features of impact drivers that you should look into before you decide to purchase one.
12V vs. 18V vs. 20V Impact Drivers
Choosing between an 12V, 18V and 20V impact drivers can be a little confusing. Keeping in mind that both are convenient tools, different professionals have differing conclusions on what to purchase first. However, understanding the different characteristics of each tools and what separates them from the others should make the choice much easier for you.
12V Impact Driver
12V impact drivers are usually small in size and are generally less expensive than 18V and 20V drivers. Hence, if you are shopping on a budget, this is the better option for you. These drivers are also much easier to utilize if you are working in a space that is tight and you don’t have much room for maneuvering the tool.
If you need to use your impact driver mostly in small rooms, crawlspaces or attics, the 12V impact driver is a better alternative to the 18V ones. The 12V drivers probably won’t have as much torque and power as the 18V/20V impact drivers, however they do drive with enough power for most of your installations/carpentry works and other lightweight house jobs.
Pros of 12 V impact drivers:
- Lightweight and compact
- Take less space in toolbox
- Work well in tight spaces
- Are more affordable
Cons of 12 V impact drivers:
- Provide less power and torque
- Are not suitable for heavy duty tasks
18 V impact drivers:
As mentioned above 18V and 20V impact drivers usually have the same capabilities. As compared to 12V impact drivers, 18V models generate much more power and pack more torque as well. These impact drivers are the best option if you require to do heavy duty jobs using impact drivers on daily basis.
Since these models are much heavier and bigger in size, handling them can be a little difficult and might require more effort as compared to 12V models. Since 18V models have batteries that last much longer by storing more energy, they can be also used continuously for an extended period of time.
However, since the battery life is longer, it also takes longer for 18/20V batteries to charge. 18/20V impact drivers are much more expensive than 12V impact drivers.
Pros of 18 V impact drivers:
- Have a better battery life
- Provide more torque and power=
Cons of 18 V impact drivers:
- Are more expensive
- Are larger and heavier, hence comfort of use is reduced
Cordless Impact Drivers vs Corded Impact Drivers:
People often prefer cordless, battery powered impact drivers to corded impact drivers. Since cordless impact drivers are not wired, you can easily move around with it. Whereas, corded impact drivers don’t allow you to move as your impact driver is constantly connected to the power source. This slows down your work and makes it a little more difficult as well.
Cordless drivers have made work much easier. Let’s see how cordless impact drivers differ from the corded ones.
If you are giving the money to buy an impact driver of quality, you should always buy one that is equipped with a brushless motor. Impact drivers that come with brushless motors can be a little on the costly side but if you are a professional and use your impact driver frequently, then the long service life will benefit you in the long run.
Brushless motors are known to run efficiently and extensively expand the working time of a cordless impact driver. Brushless motors also do not tend to heat up quickly as they generate less heat; hence, there is a less risk of burn outs. There are a lot of technological features that are available to brushless motors exclusively.
These exclusive features allow the engine and battery to jive together to upgrade execution and avoid heating up of the drivers that have them.
Some Key Features of Impact Drivers:
- Built-in LED light on cordless and corded motors are used to illuminate the target area so you see more clearly while working on fasteners and bolts. This makes work much easier in dark places and areas that are out of reach.
- The force exerted on the fastener by an impact driver can be fine-tuned through electronic clutches or adjustable clutches. This feature makes your job much easier if you are working on smaller woodwork such as wooden windows and wooden cabinets.
- Changing chuck bits is made much easier by fast release and keyless chucks features. This helps increase your productively as well.
- When working with impact drivers that vibrate a lot, vibration protection is an important feature that helps reduce the level of vibration being produced. However, in most cases the impact driver will still vibrate a little.
- The shock that the tool transfers to the hand of the user that is using the impact driver can be eased a little by special ergonomic designs. To avoid repetitive stress on the hand, or excessive hand fatigue you can look for impact drivers that come with rubberized pistol grips and a well-balanced design. This feature can be very useful for jobs in which you are required to drive hundreds of fasteners. You can switch action from reversing to driving and vice versa through easy-to-use toggle switches.
- Rather than expediting the torque at max RPM as soon as you start using the impact driver, it is better that you give some time to the motor to rev up itself. An impact diver with soft start revs up the engine. Impact drivers that start at a low torque and increase gradually will last you much longer and are safer to use as well.
- It is possible to press the activate button on your impact driver accidently while your tool is in the tool bag. To avoid such cases and the useless drainage of battery, many impact drivers feature switch locks and neutral switches.
- To avoid the chuck spinning right away, impact drivers feature brake functions. Since professional and experienced users are driving in fasteners constantly, this feature can be very useful to them. Almost all of the new models of impact drivers come with some kind of brake integrated into them.
- If your job requires you to climb ladders along with the impact driver, belt hooks can come in very handy. Not all impact drivers come with belt hooks but the ones that do are of extra benefit.
- You can keep an eye on the level of fuel you have in your impact driver through the charge gauges on cordless models. It is much better to have gauges on the battery packs instead of the tool itself as you can keep a check on the charge status even if it is not connected to the impact driver.
- Some impact drivers come with carry bags. These are very useful as it is not easy to carry around heavy impact drivers in your hands if you don’t have a tool kit.
Reviews of 10 Best Impact Drivers:
The market is saturated with various impact drivers that come in different shapes, sizes, models and colors. No doubt this makes it harder for the buyer to choose among such a large variety. To make it easier for you, after a lot of research, we have picked out the top 10 best impact drivers out of the thousands of models and brands offered in the market.
Below mentioned are detailed reviews and the pros and cons of our best picks.
|Dewalt||2.2 pounds||Lithium Ion||5.8 x 6.7 x 4.1"||Battery|
|Ryobi||2.7 pounds||Lithium Ion||12 x 3 x 9"||Battery|
|Dewaltdc||2 pounds||Lithium Ion||8 x 3 x 5.9"||Battery|
|Milwaukee||2.3 pounds||Lithium Ion||7 x 1.8 x 6.5"||Battery|
|Porter||1 pounds||Lithium Ion||12.8 x 4.2 x 11.2"||Battery|
|Hitachi||7.4 pounds||Lithium Ion||15.1 x 11.4 x 4.2"||Battery|
|Black+Decker||16.09 pounds||Lithium Ion||17.5 x 8.5 x 11.2"||Electric|
|Hammerhead||5.55 pounds||Lithium Ion||2.4 x 3.8 x 10.5"||DC|
|Dewalt18V||1.1 Kg||Lithium Ion||14.1 x 7.8 x 23.6 cm||Battery|
|Makita||0.3 ounces||Automated||0.6 x 5.4 x 4.2 in||Manual|
DEWALT DC825B – Best 18 Volt Impact Driver
This impact portable driver is one of the best options as compared to other drillers since it is ranked as number one in accordance to the durability.
The machine delivers about 1330 in/lb of torque at about 2400 rpm and 2700 rpm, this frequency makes it as one of the most powerful drillers and makes it eligible to perform heavy duty tasks such as driving fasteners into metal, concrete or wood.
Moreover, this driller comes with a variable speed trigger which helps you in controlling the speed and also the frequency, this allows the user to have a control on the desirable drilling power. This trigger is responsive which makes it easier for the user to handle.
The other plus point is that it is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry as compared to other drillers, its accessory change can be done easily as it comes with replaceable brushes and if the brushes get damaged you can replace them with the new ones.
It has an anti-slip ergonomic grip which makes it safe to use. The fact that it is made up of magnesium and metal, makes it durable since it won’t corrode like many of the machinery does.
However, the machine runs over Nickel cadmium batteries whereas most machines work on Lithium ion batteries.
This has an effect on the memory discharge and if the user doesn’t take care good care of the machine, then the driller’s uptime will eventually be reduced.
Moreover, the machine’s batteries are quite expensive, as it operates on DEWALT’s XPR 18 volt battery which costs about $ 150 to $175. This is higher than the price of the machine itself, as the machine costs only up to $ 100.
The buyer might feel deceived by the price of the machine when he gets to know the price of the batteries.
Though the Dewalt DC825B is a very efficient impact driver, it still has a few negative points that you should be aware of. Let’s looks at the pros and cons of this model.
- It has a high-quality performance
- It is very lightweight and durable
- It is equipped with a longer battery life
- It comes with excellent purchase protection
- Comes with brushes
- It has an expensive battery
- It has an expensive charger
RYOBI P236 – Best Impact Driver On The Market
If you are searching for an impact driver that has a strong build, is affordable, has great features and a powerful battery then we would suggest you to have a look at RYOBI P236 ONE PLUS.
This impact machine is of a much lower cost as compared to the driller above. It also uses Lithium ion batteries which are better and cheaper. Despite of its lower cost, it still has a superior torque than the DEWALT.
However, the reason that it cannot be considered as the better of the two, is because of its lesser durability.
It has moving internal parts which means that there would be more wastage. However, it does have some important features such as LED light, magnetic holder and screw holder.
Changing the bits has also been made very easy by this machine.
Overall this model has really good ergonomic design. The handles it comes with are neither too big for comfort, nor too small. Hence, the provide you with a good grip.
A notched rubber mold is present on the handles of the impact driver which ensures a firm and comfortable grip.
Moreover, it has 3-year limited warranty which is a huge plus point, since if the machinery is damaged it can be repaired within this time.
RYOBI P236 is a very suitable option for the individuals who have not used a drill machine before or the people who might need to use a drill machine intermittently but not frequently.
One of the downsides of this model is that it does not have any switch control for adjusting the power or the speed.
In order to control the power and the speed of the tool then you need to adjust the way you press the trigger.
This can be a little difficult to handle for the beginners but once you get a hold of it, it makes handling the machine easier.
The RYOBI P236 ONE PLUS has some pretty good features but at the same time, it does have some negative points that you should look into before you consider buying this model. Below mentioned are the pros and cons of this model.
- Cheap batteries
- Great features
- It is cheap
- Amazing purchase protection
- It is not durable
- Is not appropriate for everyday use
DEWALT DCF887B – Best Impact Driver To Remove Lug Nuts
Up next on our list we have another Dewalt DCF88878 and this model can easily be regarded as one of the best models that Dewalt provides. It delivers an excellent torque because this drill has a 3-speed operation.
For light operations you can utilize this machine on its first level of speed that operates at 240 in/lb.
Heavier duty tasks can be accomplished by the second level of speed that is 1500in/lb. And if the speed still doesn’t satisfy your purposes, then you can choose to turn up the speed till 1825in/lb.
This tool can also be utilized as a drill cum driver since the first speed offers a low torque.
Hence, you can use the same tool instead of buying a separate drill and driver. If you don’t already own a drill, this would be an indirect advantage for you.
The model is equipped with a brushless motor, a LED illumination light, a one handed loading system, a belt hook and a compact lightweight design.
One of the best additions to this impact driver is the brushless motor. The internal body of the machine consists of a very few moving parts, this makes the machine all the more durable.
This model runs on a 20V Lithium ion battery unlike the other Dewalt model that runs on 18V. Hence, you can get the battery charger and the battery of this model at a cheaper price comparatively but on its own, it is still pricey.
Li-ion battery packs are not likely to cause any self-discharge and memory issues which means a consistent uptime provided by the battery as well.
Moreover, this model comes with a 3-year warranty, a 90 days money back guarantee and a year of full service.
If you are looking for an impact driver that is durable, powerful and can do the job of a drill alongside a driver, then you should consider buying DEWALT DCF887B. You get the benefit of two machines from one!
As we can see from the features mentioned above, the DEWALT DCF887B is a very good model among impact drive, but like everything else this model also has some negative points that you should be aware of. These pros and cons are mentioned below.
- It has a compact and lightweight design
- It is durable
- It gives a powerful performance
- It comes with a 3 -ear warranty
- It also features led lights for illumination
- As compared to other models, this one is a bit noisy
- It is a bit on the pricey side
Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 – Best Impact Driver 1/2
Moving away from the powerful 18 and 20-Volt impact drivers, let’s have a look at 12 V drivers as well. Power is sacrificed in this category for impact drivers for portability.
For example, as compared to the DC825B the M12 is around 50 percent more compact.
The M12 is an affordable model. On the purchase of the M12 Impact Driver Kit, you get the M12 impact driver, a charger, and a convey case, a charger and a 12-Volt Li-particle battery.
Generally affordable impact drivers hold back on providing a good warranty time but not this one. The M12 accompanies a 5-year warranty.
As far as the performance of this model is concerned, this model works at a no-load speed of 2500 rpm. 3300 impacts per minute are produced at this speed at a 1000in/lb torque.
Along these lines, this machine compensates for its low generation of torque by expanding the quantity of impact every minute.
Because of this, the M12 performs superior to other drivers in its class.
As compared to other batteries this tool delivers 80 percent more runtime because it is powered by the REDLITHIUM™ battery. This model also includes a fuel gauge on board that keeps you up updated with the remaining runtime.
Moreover, the model comes with other expected feature such as a tool belt, ergonomic grip and a one hand accessory change.
Hence, if you are someone who uses impact drivers for light weight jobs and want an impact driver that is cost effective, light, compact and powerful then the M12 might be a good choice for you.
However, if you want an impact driver for heavy duty tasks and jobs then you might not be satisfied with this model.
Though the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 is among our top picks, it does not mean it does not have any negative points. Let’s look at the pros and the cons of this model.
- It is extremely economical
- Exceptional purchase protection
- It has a good performance
- It has a long battery life
- It has great portability
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use
PORTER-CABLE – Best Budget Impact Driver UK
We all want an impact driver that is powerful and budget friendly at the same time. Both of these qualities can be found in the porter cable PCCK640LB. The porter cable PCCK640LB is an impact driver kit that includes a charger, two 1.5 Ah battery packs and a 20 V impact driver.
Since, speed is one of the most important factors of an impact driver, let’s talk about the speed that this driver offers. It runs at a maximum speed of 2900 rpm, which is a pretty good speed for an impact driver.
At 3100 impacts per minute this model generated a torque of 1495 in/lb. At the price this model offers you a good deal.
The machine has all the common features such as an easy load chuck, a variable speed trigger, battery charge indicator and an LED illumination light. However, this is not something that is very noteworthy as all the impact drivers come with these features.
Overall, the model is equipped with all the features one may expect an impact driver to have.
One of the features that might be a little off putting to the customers is the heavy weight of the machine. The machine has a heavy weight because of its large and cumbersome motor.
The durability and the efficiency of the machine is average because its internal body has a lot of moving parts.
A warranty of 1 year is offered by the portable cable for this machine. If you are on a budget and want to buy an impact driver that is powerful but has an average performance, then you may consider buying the Porter Cable PCCK640LB.
The PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB is a good impact driver as compared to many others but there are a few negative points that we think you should be aware of. These are mentioned below.
- It is very budget friendly
- It is a powerful model
- Battery and charger included
- It comes with good features
- Poor purchase protection
- The size and the weight of machine is large and heavy
Hitachi WH18DGL – Best Impact Driver For Woodworking
While searching for impact drivers we tend for look for a machine that has an impressively powerful output, helps you get the job done quickly and work with the sturdiest materials easily.
If you are looking for such an impact driver, then the Hitachi WH18DGL 18-Volt Cordless might be a suitable choice for you. This machine generates up to a maximum of 1280 inch/lb of torque and since it features a cordless design you can easily driver fasteners into the tightest corners and spaces.
The variable speed control allows you to choose a speed output of up to 2,400 rounds per minute and 3,200 blows per minute.
For each job you will be able to tailor the power output, this helps you find the most suitable speed according to the job you are performing using it.
Despite the Hitachi WH18DGL 18-Volt Cordless being a powerful device, it is a small and manageable machine.
This is very beneficial to the user as not everyone is capable of handling heavy machines.
The machine weighs around 3 pounds and is easy to work with. You can work for prolonged hours without getting tired or fatiguing your arm.
You can switch between fastener sizes through the quick-change chuck that switches out ¼ inch hex bits without any difficulty.
Now that we have looked at most of the features of Hitachi WH18DGL 18-Volt Cordless, let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of the model.
- Weighing only 9 pounds; it is lightweight
- It can reach speeds of up to 3,200 blows per minute
- Can generate up to 1,280 inch/lbs of maximum torque
- No torque clutch included
- No fuel gauge
- Fragile forward and reverse switch
- Does not come with a belt hook
BLACK + DECKER – Best Impact Driver For Lug Nuts
The BLACK + DECKER 20 Volt MAX Combo Kit features a powerful motor that has a maximum rating of 3000 revolutions per minute and generates up to 1375 lb/inch of torque.
For changing the bits, you can use the ¼inch hex chuck that comes out easily, however at times the chuck may freeze in place when used at a setting or a high speed for a long time.
The model comes with a cordless drill and a battery that works with this machine. The clutch of the model can be adjusted so you may pick from 11 different positions. The chuck also features an inbuilt illuminator that helps light up the area that you need to see.
If you are looking for an impact driver that is good for lightweight jobs, then this kit might be a good option for you.
Let’s look at the pros and the cons of this model.
- Heck chuck releases quickly for bit changes
- Reaches a maximum of 3,000 revolutions per minute
- Comes with a cordless drill that uses the same battery
- Not capable of heavy-duty use
- Chuck can freeze with frequent use.
HAMMERHEAD – Best Impact Driver For Working On Cars
One of the most unique impact driver to make it to our list is undoubtedly the HAMMERHEAD HCID120-30 12V. Among the best features of this model is its super small size.
It generates a torque of 700 lb/inch. Though the torque generated by this model is quite less as compared to the torque generated by the rest of the models listed in our picks, it is still a very efficient small machine that is great for some uses.
The machine can easily be utilized in tight and small areas because of its super small size.
You won’t have to worry about hitting on anything. The model features an integrated 12 V battery that can be charged using a 120v outlet. The variable speed control allows you to choose the speed of your choice.
Hence you can work at different speeds depending on the material you are working on.
Tough as an impact driver, the model is a good catch and well worth the price, but it is not good as an auto-hammer.
It’s better that you invest in a compact hammer rather than using the one that this model offers.
As compared to other picks in the list, this model is the smallest and generates the lowest torque, but it is also extremely useful as not all impact drivers can be used in small tight areas.
If you are mostly required to use impact drivers in such areas, then you should consider getting this one.
Now that we are aware of most of the features that this model has to offer, let’s also take a quick look at its pros and cons.
- It is Small size
- It is lightweight
- It comes with a 30 piece bit set
- It has an integrated battery
- Auto-hammer feature really isn’t all that great
- Low torque compared to most impact drivers
DeWalt 18V – Best Impact Driver For Contractor
Another good addition among our picks is the DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver. This model is as stable as it looks from its appearance. The construct of the machine ensures the right channeling of the power generated by the machine.
The machine provides you a maximum torque of 165Nm. At such a high torque you can tackle most tasks with ease. Both reverse and forwards functions are provided to you through this impact driver.
This model is easy to use and offers a friendly interface and adjustable features, so you can adjust the settings to the ones you prefer to work with.
It gives you complete charge of what you want to do and how you want to utilize the machine. Those who haven’t used an impact driver before might find it difficult to use an impact driver.
However, if you are seasoned user you might know very well that it is necessary to have adjustable settings. The model also features LED lights that illuminate dark areas, so you can clearly see where and what you are working on in a small, enclosed space.
This model also comes with a 1 year warranty, and overall this machine is a good pick as it is durable, powerful and offers you multiple settings.
If you are looking for an good impact driver, then this model is a good choice.
Though the DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver is a good option among many of the impact drivers available in the market, it still has a few negative points that should be considered well before purchasing.
- Utilizes Lithium-Ion technology batteries which make it efficient
- Constructed to form a light weight structure for easy mobility and accessibility into tight corners.
- For ease of use, it comes with an ergonomic design and Led light to facilitate better visibility
- Comes with adjustable speed settings
- For easy bit change, this model comes with a keyless chuck and lock mechanisms to ensure they stay in place
- Comes with 14 torque control settings to give you easy drilling
- It is a bit on the pricey side
- It is a little heavy as compared to many other models
MAKITA LXDT06 – Best Impact Driver For Home Handyman
If you are searching for an impact driver that delivers a lot of torque but does not weigh heavy enough to cause you fatigue, you should consider the MAKITA LXDT06 (BRUSHLESS) LXT LITHIUM ION 3-SPEED.
It also features a fuel gauge that keeps you notified about the total power that is left in your battery. The body of this machine is made of sturdy and high-quality materials; hence this model is very durable as well.
You can easily adjust the speed of the machine with its 3 adjustable speed setting and automatic mode, hence you don’t have to worry about working on tough and heavy-duty jobs with too less power and working on lightweight tasks with a very heavy power.
The automatic mode of this model is also very effective, it allows you to start working at a high speed and reduces to a medium speed as the work reaches a certain load.
Overall, this model is very lightweight and efficient and if you are looking for an impact driver that is easy to work with then the 18 V MAKITA LXDT06 is a good choice for you.
Like all the other impact drivers mentioned in our list, let’s finish up by taking a look at the pros and cons of this model.
- It has a good build quality
- The tool has rubberized protective coatings
- Has an excellent battery life
- Comes with multi torque settings
- Is a little on the pricey side
Impact driver are tools that are most likely to be used in workshops. Driving and drilling jobs can be very hectic at times, but good impact driver almost always make the job much easier.
It is important that you choose an impact driver that has a sturdy body and has a strong build overall because tools like impact divers are likely to undergo damage from time to time.
This damage can be reduced if your impact driver can withstand damages and blows. It is recommended that you invest in a good impact driver once, instead of paying for the repair of the machine every now and then.
Good impact drivers are also most likely to last a long time, hence they need to be a long-term investment.
Whether you are an DIYer or a professional, by considering and buying an impact driver that has a reliable motor, torque and RMP you should get a machine that will make your projects much easier and will help you finish your tasks much faster.
It is also better to go for brands that are well knows such as Milwaukee, DeWalt and Black + Decker. The impact drivers of these brand are more likely to be constructed from high quality materials.
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