Impact drivers are more popular than ever before, and there’s a good reason why that is. It’s mainly because new and improved brushless motors have made it easier for workmen to add these tools to their tool collections. The brushless motors have allowed these tools to become extremely powerful and do it without the overheating that was once common among older models.
Before purchasing a new driver for building decks or for driving fasteners into stud concrete, however, a DIY enthusiast or workman is going to want to do their homework. After all, there’s a variety of different models in mind. To lessen our reader’s research time, we’ve gone ahead and listed ten of the best impact drivers that are currently available.
Best Impact Drivers – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Porter Cable 20V Max Cordless Driver Kit
One of the first things that workers will notice when they receive this cordless impact driver kit is that it comes with a charger and two batteries. Having two batteries is great because it allows work to be done with one battery while the other one is charging. However, that’s not the only impressive thing about this kit. It also delivers a tremendous amount of torque, so much in fact, that it can easily break fasteners if the user isn’t careful. Although using this tool’s multi-stage trigger takes a little bit of practice to get down, once the user learns how to work it, it works like a charm for a variety of different jobs.
- Comes with charger & two batteries
- Has a lot of torque
- Trigger takes some getting used to using
9Ryobi P235 1/4-Inch One+ 18-Volt Driver
This 18-volt cordless impact driver may not have an LED light like the similar Ryobi 236 model, but it does have a few things going for it. One thing worth mentioning is that bits can be changed by the user with only one hand thanks to this tool’s quick-connect cuff system. This driver also produces up to 1,600 pounds of torque, which is more than enough for all but the toughest of jobs. And because it’s a part of the Ryobi One+ system, it can use the same batteries that other Ryobi tools use, so the DIY enthusiast doesn’t have to keep a ton of different batteries around for their different tools.
- Provides up to 1,600-lbs of torque
- Easy to change bits with one hand
- Doesn’t have an LED Light
8Cambell Hausfeld XT002000 Air Impact Driver
When this air impact wrench is attached to a suitable air compressor, preferably a Cambell Hausfeld air compressor, it’s capable of providing up to 750 foot-pounds of torque. Although that isn’t suitable for heavy-duty industrial jobs, it’s just enough power for most home DIY’ers to work on vehicles or for repairing small engines. It has a durable housing that should allow it to hold up to casual use quite well, and it has a comfort grip that makes it easy to hold and use. This tool also has a 3-speed power regulator that allows the worker to select the right amount of torque for their job.
- Has 750 foot-pounds of torque
- Has 3 different speeds
- Needs to be hooked up to a suitable air compressor
7Black & Decker BDC120C 20-Volt Max Driver
Even though this is one of the most inexpensive impact drivers on this list, it still delivers some pretty good performance for the money. This tool can deliver a nut-busting 1,375 pounds of torque, so it’s suitable for use around the home. Although the battery does seem to wear out a little bit quicker than comparable drivers, it still was good enough to get most jobs done pretty effectively. This tool also features a 1/4-inch hex chuck and comes with a battery, a charger, and a screwdriver bit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any sort of storage bag, so if users want that they’re going to have to buy it separately.
- Provides up to 1,375 pounds of torque
- It’s an inexpensive tool
- Battery life could be better
6Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Driver
With only about 1,000 pounds of torque, this driver might not be the most powerful one on this list, but its price tag makes it one of the more economical ones. For the price, the power and usability of this driver are very good, and although it’s not strong enough for industrial use, it is suitable for DIY work. This driver is also easy-to-use and has an ambidextrous belt clip that allows the user to keep it handy regardless of whether they’re right or left-handed. Additional features found on this model include a powerful 12-volt lithium-ion battery, an LED light, and an onboard battery charge gauge.
- Tool is extremely inexpensive
- Has 1,000 pounds of torque
- It seems noisier than other impact drivers
5Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 18-Volt Driver
Although this driver does have a reasonable starting price, it’s not all that inexpensive once you consider that the battery is sold separately. However, if the user already has a Milwaukee cordless tool in the M18 family of tools, then they may not need to buy a new battery because one of those other tool’s batteries could be used for this one. Despite it not having a battery, this is still a great driver because it has a variable speed trigger, a quick-connect chuck, an LED light below the chuck, and it delivers 1,500 pounds of torque.
- It’s M18 battery compatible
- Provides up to 1,500 pounds of torque
- Is an inexpensive driver
- Battery is sold separately
4Dewalt DCF887B 20-Volt Max XR Driver
Even though this impact driver doesn’t come with a battery, which makes it a little more expensive than comparable models, it still offers a few fantastic features to the home DIY enthusiasts. It’s a well-constructed driver that has a lightweight design, is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and has a well-designed brushless motor. It also features a variable speed trigger with no-load speeds of up to 1,000, up to 2,800 or up to 3,250 pounds of torque. It’s also equipped with 3-LED lights that have a 20-second delay on them, so they don’t immediately stop after the trigger has been released.
- Has LED lights with a 20-second trigger delay
- Has a variable speed trigger
- Driver has a compact design
- Doesn’t come with a charger or battery
3Dewalt DC825B 18-Volt Cordless Driver
This cordless is a great combination of price, versatility, and power, even though it doesn’t come with a charger or a battery. It’s a lightweight model that has an ergonomic grip on it and is designed to easily fit into tight spaces. This driver also has a frameless motor and an all-metal transmission that makes it a durable tool. Other features found on this tool includes up to 1,350 pounds of torque, a variable speed trigger and a soft comfort-grip.
- Designed for use in tight spaces
- Provides 1,330 pounds of torque
- Has an all-metal transmission for durability
- Doesn’t come with a battery or a battery charger
2Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt Driver
There are several things to like about this cordless impact driver. It has an LED light that helps to illuminate the work area, it delivers up to 1,600 pounds of torque, and it’s built out of quality components. Although it’s a bare tool and as such doesn’t come with either a charger or a battery, it’s still a model worth checking out for its power alone. If there’s one complaint we’d have about this model, it’s the fact that it’s a bit more expensive than we would’ve liked. Having said that, it’s still a model that’s capable of getting a variety of jobs done quickly and effortlessly.
- Has 1,600 pounds of torque
- Has a no-load speed of up to 2,500 RPM
- Has an integrated LED light
- It’s built to last
- This driver is a bit expensive
1Makita XDT13T 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Driver Kit
This kit not only contains a powerful Makita impact driver that has variable speed control and a brushless motor that can deliver a maximum torque of 1,500 pounds, but it also comes with several accessories. It comes with a convenient case, two batteries, and a battery charger. The driver features a 1/4-inch hex chuck, dual-LED lights for illuminating work areas, and a rubberized soft grip. And since this tool only weighs about 3.3-pounds, it’s compact design makes it easy to use for any job.
- Delivers 1,500 pounds of torque
- It has variable speed control
- Runs longer on a battery charge than other drivers
- Comes with a complete kit
- Costs more than lesser quality models
More products also worth checking out:
A Guide To Impact Drivers
Anyone reading this guide probably either knows that they want the best impact driver or that they need the best one for the jobs they need to get done. Some people are going to want one of these tools for DIY work and others will need one for professional use. Regardless of what it’s being used for, however, most people are going to agree that they need the best one available. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. We want all of our readers to more easily find the tool that suits them best, so we put together some of the things consumers should consider before they purchase their next impact driver.
Consider The Driver’s Torque
One of the most important considerations for any consumer looking to buy one of these impact drivers is how much torque the model has. As a general rule, the consumer is better off buying a model with as much torque as possible. An impact driver with a lot of torque won’t slow down as much as a lower torque model when screws are being driven through hardwoods or other durable materials. Of course, the higher the torque that an impact driver offers, the higher a price-tag it’s going to have, so the consumer is going to have to weight potential power of the impact driver against its price tag. Some of the best models that we’ve reviewed have at least 1,500-pounds of torque available to the user.
Consider The Tool’s RPMs
Just as is the case with standard drills, RPMs are an important thing for consumers to consider. RPMs, also known as Revolutions-Per-Minute, tells the consumer just how fast they can drill or drive screws with the driver. Higher RPMs doesn’t just tell the consumer the speed of the tool, however. It also helps to reduce the strain placed on the motor. The higher the RPMs found on an impact driver, the less likely its motor is going to overheat during use. Therefore, the consumer should choose a model that has the most RPMs that they can afford. Look for models that have more than 1,500 RPMs of no-load speed for the best results.
Consider A Brushless Motor
It’s also extremely important for the consumer to choose a model with a brushless motor over a conventional motor. That’s because brushless motors produce more power, are less likely to overheat, and last longer than traditional motors. Brushless motors use an outer electromagnet to direct current towards the motor’s core, which is a significant improvement over using carbon brushes for performing the same task. This allows the motor to transfer power precisely using specially designed circuits. This makes these motors extremely efficient and prevents them from discharging their batteries too quickly. Fortunately, impact drivers with brushless motors are becoming the new standard, so it’s pretty easy for anyone to find one.
Consider A Compact Design
One of the biggest mistakes that consumers make when buying a new impact driver is thinking that they have to give up torque to buy a tool that fits into tighter spaces. Although that may have been the case in the past, new impact drivers have more compact designs and are still capable of operating at 18-volts, so consumers shouldn’t feel that they have to choose either power or ease-of-use because it is possible to have both in one tool.
Choose One With An Appropriate Battery
For the benefit of this guide, we’ll assume that most consumers are going to buy a cordless impact driver. If they do, then they should keep a couple of things in mind. One, they should make sure that the tool they’re considering buying isn’t a bare-tool model. Many of the tools sold online are sold as bare-tools, which means that they don’t come with the battery they need to operate. This results in the consumer having to buy the battery separately, which can result in a very steep price increase for the user. Therefore, the consumer should make sure that any model they buy comes with a battery and a battery charger.
The second thing the consumer needs to consider the impact driver’s battery is just how powerful it is. As a general rule, the consumer is probably going to want an 18 to 20-volt impact driver. Remember, the higher the battery voltage, the more power the driver will deliver and the longer it will run before it needs to be recharged.
Other Features Or Accessories Worth Considering
The last thing to consider when choosing a new impact driver is the additional features or accessories that come with it. There is any number of different features that can make using these tools easier to do. For example, some impact drivers have LED lights located directly under the driver’s chuck. This can make the tool easier to use because it illuminates the work area, which is quite handy if the tool is used in low light conditions. Models that have an LED light also sometimes place a 20-second delay on that particular feature. That means that the tool doesn’t immediately shut off the light when the drill has stopped being used. That allows the LED light to be used sort of like an impromptu work light. Some accessories that might come with these drivers include tool bags or cases, hex-shaft accessories and other such products that make the driver easier to use.
One Final Word Before We Go
Of course, all of the above features also have to be contrasted with the price the consumer wants to pay for the impact driver. The more features that a particular tool has, the more likely it’s going to cost more. Therefore, consumers should take the time to weight what they need out of the tool against the tool’s features. If they do that, then it shouldn’t be a problem finding the best impact driver available.