Best Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are not too common among DIY enthusiasts. Professional contractors that handle different kinds of projects understand the importance of these tools. While cordless drills can be used for driving screws in most instances, there are cases that call for more torque and driving power than they can handle. Some materials are too dense to be handled by normal drills: securing fasteners with them using drills will be extremely difficult and will make it appear like you are not in control. This is where impact drivers come in.

Impact drivers are the most effective tools for driving screws. They are very much like the cordless tools and have hex-shaped driver bit instead of keyless chucks. They can generate up to two times more torque than regular fasteners and are easier to control than non-specialized drills. Using them offers a better and faster way to get the job done. Professional contractors that understand what impact drivers are capable of always regard them as one of the fundamental tools in all levels of construction.

If you really need an impact driver, it is important that you buy a quality one. With so many models on the market, it is a little too difficult to find the right impact driver. They are a little more difficult to compare than most other tools since each brand measures theirs differently. You will need to research deep to identify what you need. To make the experience easier for you, we have done the bulk of the research to find the available best options on the market. We will review 7 top products and provide a guide for intending buyers.

Our Top 7 Picks

If you are really in need of an impact driver, here are seven of the best products to consider right now:

1. Makita XDT12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver

Makita XDT12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver

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This is an incredible impact driver from one of the biggest names in the industry. It is a well-built device that sets new standards in terms of innovation and performance. It is a compact tool that weighs just 3.3 lbs when the battery is added. It also has an ergonomic design that makes it very comfortable to use for extended periods without operator fatigue. It is made with top quality materials and will stand the test of time even when it is used in very uncomfortable situations.

The Makita built-in BL Brushless Motor that is featured in this tool delivers a full 1,550 in-lbs. of Max Torque in the 4th-speed setting. The 4-Speed power selection, of course, is an excellent feature that helps to make this a versatile impact driver. It can be used for quick, easy, and efficient tightening, loosening, and driving bolts, screws, and other fasteners. This package includes the tool alone. You will need to buy battery and charger separately. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty and you will be able to get a replacement or a refund if you are not satisfied with it within 30 days of purchase.

2. DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4″ Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Impact Driver Kit

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This a highly valuable tool from another industry giant that will let you handle even the toughest jobs with ease. In terms of design and performance, there is hardly any tool you can compare with this. It has a super-ergonomic design: compact (5.5″ front to back) and lightweight (2.8 lbs.). It can conveniently fit into tight spaces and can be conveniently worked with for hours without causing the operator fatigue.

The DEWALT DCF885C1 packs so much power into its compact design. It offers as much as 1,400 lbs. of torque. Its no-load speed can be anything from 0 to 2,800 RPM. The initial battery voltage of the device is 20V while nominal voltage is 18V. The device is also equipped for increased visibility thanks to a built-in LED light with 20-seconds delay after trigger release. Included in the package are 1 x DCF885 Impact Driver; 1 x 20V MAX* Battery; and 1 x Fast Charger. It is made with the best materials and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

3. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

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This is a great tool from a great company that have all the important features to help you stay ahead of schedule and deliver excellent job quality. It is a well-designed impact driver: it is compact for easy transport to worksites and can be used in tight areas. It is also lightweight (3.25 lbs.); letting the user work for an extended time without fatigue.

Its High-Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs. of max torque that will let you power through the most stubborn materials. It features a quick-release 1/4″ Hex Chuck that makes transitioning between different sized fasteners an easier process. In the package, you will get 1 x BDCI20C impact driver; 1 x 20V Max Battery; 1 x Charger; and 1 x Screw-driving bit. It comes with 2-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

4. Milwaukee Electric Tool GIDDS2-157188 M18 18V Impact Driver Kit

Milwaukee Electric Tool GIDDS2-157188 M18 18V Impact Driver Kit

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This kit contains one of the very best Impact drivers from industry giant, Milwaukee. Asides from the fact that it is considerably expensive, this is one of the most valuable tool kits you can find on the market. It is a versatile piece of machinery that can be used for so many things; there are even reported case of people using it to change their car tire, though this is not recommended. It is great for home use if you can afford it but is mostly found in commercial job sites where it can handle anything you will throw at it. It is made of high-quality materials and will stand the test of time.

The GIDDS2-157188 M18 18V Impact Drive has a powerful Brushless motor that delivers fast application speed with a range of 200 in-lbs. to 1,600 in-lbs. of torque. It actually features three torque settings through the Proprietary Drive Control Feature, which makes it ideal for different work situations. The no-load speed can be up to 3,600 RPM. Asides from faster application speed, the motor runs cooler and lasts longer. The package comes 1 x M18 Impact Driver; 2 x M18 REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack; Charger; and the Carrying Case. Warranty is not so clear but you can add 4-year protection for a little fraction of the original cost.

5. Bosch IDH182-02 18-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Impact Driver

Bosch IDH182-02 Cordless Impact Driver 18 Volt Lithium Ion Brushless Tool Kit

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This is another valuable tool from a top industry player that you should consider for several reasons. It is a highly rated kit that is also very affordable. The impact driver is well designed and easy to use: it features a small diameter handle for a firm grip and precision. It is very versatile. In fact, it is a Half Wrench, Half Driver tool; allowing you to switch from a 1/4″ quick-change hex to a 1/2″ square drive chuck for sockets.

The powerful Bosch IDH182-02 Cordless Impact Driver delivers excellent impact performance on a consistent basis. It can provide up to 1,650 in-lbs. of torque and 0 – 3,200 impacts per minute. The Bosch’s EC Brushless motor delivers unmatched efficiency and outstanding runtime. Users can also select between 3 driving speeds and torque setting to suit any given task. The package comes with 1 x IDH182-02 Cordless Impact Driver; 2 x 2.0Ah Batteries; 1 x Charger; Double-ended impact bit; 1 x Belt Clip; and 1 x Carrying Case. There is no clear warranty stated but Bosch is a reputable company and their tools are always reliable and durable.

6. PORTER-CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Brushless Cordless Impact Driver

PORTER-CABLE PCCK647LB 20V MAX Brushless Cordless Impact Driver

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This is a powerful tool from an important industry player that can significantly improve the way you work. It provides enough power to work on really tough materials and get the best result. It is ergonomically designed (it is actually 14% shorter in length to previous models and weighs less too), making it easy to use in different work conditions. The fact that all PORTER-CABLE Max System parts work with all the products from the manufacturer means you will not find it hard to get spare parts, even though this is a very reliable power tool.

The PCCK647LB impact driver has a powerful Brushless motor that can deliver 50% more runtime than brushed models. It also delivers 2,700 MAX RPMs and 1,400 in-lbs. of Max Torque, which is perfect for different fastening applications. The package comes with 1 x PCCK647LB Impact driver; 2 x PCC680L 20V MAX* Lithium Ion Batteries; 1 x PCC699L Charger; and 1 x Screw-driving Bit. The package is backed by PORTER-CABLE’s 3-year limited warranty.

7. Ryobi One+ P236 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Impact Driver

Ryobi One+ P236 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Impact Driver

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This is an affordable Impact Driver that performs better than some costlier models. It is well designed to make working with it comfortable and easy; there is a notched mold on the pistol grip that allows the user to hold perfectly and work with improved accuracy even in unfavorable environment. There are some other important features that make this tool wonderful such as the LED lights near the chuck that helps to keep the workspace properly illuminated.

The Ryobi One+ P236 delivers as much as 1,600 in-lbs. of torque, which is exceptional for a device in its category. It can also deliver a speed of 3,200 RPM, which is enough to handle most driving tasks you will encounter around the home. Other important features that may impress you include the auto-load chuck and a magnetic tray that can hold bits and screws. It is part of the One+ family, meaning that all tools in the family are compatible with it. Though it is very affordable, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

How to choose the best impact driver

Just like other important tools in the market, impact drivers come in different types. There are also so many companies launching different brands of the tool regularly. With so many options to choose from, it is always hard to make a decision, especially if you are a first-time buyer. This is the section with the right information you need to make an informed decision.

Factors to consider when choosing an impact driver

Though we have reviewed the best impact drivers you can find on the market right now, it is still very important that you understand the factors that will determine the value of any driver you end up buying. These are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an impact driver:

Your Specific Need

Though impact drivers are generally considered efficient for tough jobs, they belong to different categories. Consider the scope of the work you will likely do with your impact driver and buy one that is strong enough and have the right features to accomplish that.

Weight of the Tool

The weight of the tool is an important parameter when it comes to ease of use. Heavier models are harder to maneuver, which is not what you need. Choose models that are compact and lightweight, yet powerful enough to handle your projects.

Torque

Torque expresses the power of the force that can be generated by the impact driver. It is an important factor as far as performance is concerned. Ensure that the motor of the impact driver you want delivers enough torque to handle the tasks you hope to use it for.

Voltage

Impact drivers normally come in 18V and 12V models. Voltage is an important factor when it comes to the kind of jobs the tool can handle. 12V models are generally most suited for light-duty jobs and are the best for DIY enthusiasts while the 18V models are most suited for daily usage or professional applications. Do not be confused when an impact driver is rated 20V: that might be the maximum voltage but the nominal working voltage will be 18V.

Kit or a Bare Tool

Impact drivers can come as bare tools or in a kit. Bare tools mean you get only the impact driver, which is normal for people that are conversant with the tool. If you are a first-time buyer, it will be better to buy a tool kit that will normally contain at least a battery, charger, and carrying case.

Warranty

Since an impact driver is an important tool you will use for several important tasks, it is important that you buy models that will last. Asides from considering the build quality, look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Between brushed and brushless motors, which is better?

While most impact drivers are great at what they do, the models with brushless motors are generally more efficient. Brushless motors are known to be 80 – 90% efficient while brushed motors are about 70 – 80% efficient.

How do the brushless motors work?

Brushless motors use more complex concepts than the brushed motors; this is the real reason for their improved efficiency. They use little circuit boards to regulate power and can adjust the power released to handle tasks depending on the nature of the task at hand.

What does IPM mean?

IPM stands for impact per minute: it determines the number of time the hammer strikes the drive per minute. If you find it on the specs of tools, you can use it to compare. Generally, the higher the IPM, the better the performance of the impact driver.

What features should I look for in an impact driver?

Some of the most important features to look for in an impact drive include brushless motor, variable speed setting, ergonomic grip, and illumination light. They influence the performance and versatility of the device.

Wrapping up

This article is aimed at helping you identify the right impact driver for your need. We have researched extensively to identify the best models in the market. We have also reviewed the top 7 options and provided links for you to buy them at the best prices. We have also discussed the important things you need to know about these power tools and answer some important questions about them. All products featured here are highly rated by verified buyers and confirmed users. You can buy any with confidence, knowing that they are the very best options on the market right now.

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