FIND THE PERFECT IMPACT DRIVERS IN MINUTES
We have reviewed our top 10 choices below and also done in-depth reviews by brands, but if you are in a rush:
Here’s our top choice: DEWALT Brushless Kit (Check Price on Amazon.com)
While a cordless drill comes in handy when doing most types of jobs, an impact driver works best when screwing through heavier and thicker boards. This type of tool provides more torque and more force, which actually drives the screw through that board. The top models will work on other materials like plastic and metal too.
Our top choice is the Brushless Kit from DEWALT (Check Price on Amazon.com) because it features a heavy-duty carrying case, a rechargeable battery that easily snaps into place on the tool and a charger that provides that battery with a full charge in a few hours or less. The tool itself has a lightweight design to reduce fatigue and comes in a compact size that fits anywhere. You can compare this DEWALT model to all the other products on our list.
How to Choose the Perfect One
How Long Does the Battery Last?
Any cordless power tool that you buy will come with a battery that you can recharge in between uses. The life of that battery can range from an hour to several hours or more. Lithium-ion batteries generally last longer than other types.
You may want to look at the downtime of the battery too, which tells you how long it will last when not in use. Some batteries can last for well over a year in between charges and uses.
What is its Torque?
Torque is a measurement of power that lets you know just how much power the tool supplies and provides. A higher amount of torque in the 400 pounds range will finish jobs quicker. Higher torque levels also take some of the stress off the motor and extends the life of the tool.
What Does the Handle Look Like?
The handle on these tools should have an ergonomic design to reduce pressure on your own hand and body as you use it. Many manufacturers now include a grip or sleeve made from rubber or another softer material to keep blisters from popping up on your hands.
How Long Does it Take to Drive a Screw?
Different tools can drive screws at different speeds, but you’ll still want to get an idea of how quickly the tool will do the job. When working with a six-inch screw, you might drive it through a standard two-by-four in 15 seconds or less. It may take longer to drive longer screws through the same board or take more time to drive shorter screws through denser boards.
What is the RPM?
RPM stands for either revolutions or rotations per minute and tells you exactly how many turns the tool makes. A higher rating means that it operates faster. You’ll want to look for those with an RPM of at least 2,000 or more.
What is the Voltage?
Like cordless drills, these tools have a voltage rating that applies to the weight of the tool as well as its usage. Some of the more basic models have a rating of 12 volts or less and are best for lighter and simpler projects. If you need to do more work around the house or on a job site, you’ll want to look for a 24V model.
The voltage of a tool also relates to how much it weighs, which also tells you how comfortably you can use it. Those with a higher voltage rating are usually heavier and can weigh more than four or even five pounds.
Does it Come with a Built-in Light?
Though you may think that you don’t need a built-in light, products that come with this feature are especially helpful for DIY enthusiasts. This light comes on and off with the touch of a button and provides enough light for seeing the smallest of screws in the darkest of conditions.
Top 10 Impact Drivers on the Market
1. DEWALT Brushless Kit
Those who never used one of these tools before will appreciate all the parts and accessories that come with this kit. DEWALT gives you a heavy-duty case that can stand up to the action on a construction site and two batteries that let you keep one charged and ready for use at all times. You also get a charger that charges both batteries quickly.
The compact shape of the tool makes it perfect for using in tighter spaces, and it weighs less to reduce user fatigue too. It comes with three built-in LED lights that turn off on their own when the motor stops. This model also features three speed settings and a precision drive setting.
Three speed settings for different job types
Brushless motor increases the life of the tool
LED lights come on and off with a simple trigger pull
Batteries do not last as long as they should
Adjusting the chuck is difficult
2. Hitachi 18-Volt Combo Kit
Another full kit that you can use at home or work is this set from Hitachi, which comes with a case that has softer sides and enough space for carrying any of the other tools that you need. This set comes with both a drill driver and an impact driver as well as batteries that will provide you with the speed and power that you want until either one dies. You also get an extra drill bit and a battery charger.
Hitachi gives you a two-year warranty on the battery and a lifetime warranty on the tools. The main product in this set provides up to 400 pounds of torque.
Included batteries maintain speed and power as the charge drains
Provides up to 400 pounds of torque per inch
Comes with a lifetime warranty on the tools and a two-year warranty on the batteries
Chuck is loose enough that bits can fall out
Batteries do not hold a charge for very long
3. Porter-Cable 20V Max Tool Kit
This Porter-Cable tool kit comes with two tools as well as a carrying case and other accessories, including two batteries and a charging kit. The main tool in this set produces more than 1,000 pounds of torque and performs up to 2,800 revolutions in a single minute. It comes with a built-in LED light too
As a 20V tool, this product works with other 20V batteries and is compatible with the batteries that come with other Porter-Cable power tools. It has a more compact shape that lets you use it in more spaces too.
Produces up to 2,800 revolutions per minute and more than 1,000 pounds of torque
Comes with a charger kit and two batteries that work in both tools
Includes an LED light to enhance your field of vision
Must use more pressure than normal when pulling the trigger
Feels more lightweight than other models
4. Makita 18V LXT Kit
The four-pole motor found on this model significantly reduces the risk of the motor overheating and increases the revolutions per minute of the tool without affecting the torque produced. It produces more than 1,400 pounds of torque suitable for any type of job. This model also has a variable speed motor that produces a maximum of 2,900 to 3,500 revolutions.
As one of the more lightweight tools on the market, this one weighs less than four pounds with the battery attached, which reduces some of the strain on your hand. It comes with a hard carrying case, an 18V battery and a battery charger.
Four-pole motor provides more torque and increases the revolutions
Features a metal housing to protect the motor
Weighs less than four pounds with the battery added
Requires more pressure and strength when changing bits
May not reach the high torque that you need
5. DEWALT ¼ Inch 18-Volt
If you already have a DEWALT 18-volt battery, this model is great for you because it does not come with a battery or charger but is compatible with those used by other tools. It has a comfort grip on the front for extended holding and squeezing, and an anti-slip material used on that grip keeps your hands from slipping off. This model fits in almost any space because it’s much smaller than others.
Though this product comes with a limited three-year warranty, it also has a money back guarantee that lets you seek a full refund within 90 days. It also has a small light that provides some extra brightness.
Designed to work with all 18-volt DEWALT batteries
Comfort grip covered with an anti-slip material
Includes a limited three-year warranty
Does not come with any extra accessories
Only works on light and medium duty jobs
6. BLACK + DECKER 20 Volt MAX Combo Kit
The powerful motor found in this BLACK + DECKER model produces up to 1,375 pounds of torque per inch and has a maximum rating of 3,000 revolutions per minute. A ¼ inch hex chuck comes out easily for changing the bits, but you may find that the chuck freezes in place when used at a higher speed or setting for too long. It comes with a battery that works with this tool and with the included cordless drill.
Its clutch actually adjusts to let you pick from 11 different positions. This chuck has a built-in light that lets you illuminate the area that you need to see too.
Comes with a cordless drill that uses the same battery
Heck chuck releases quickly for bit changes
Reaches a maximum of 3,000 revolutions per minute
Not capable of heavy-duty use
Chuck can freeze with frequent use
7. Ryobi One+ Cordless
If you’re tired of using a key to change bits, you’ll like this Ryobi model, which lets you swap out bits in seconds without the use of a key. It comes with a tri-beam lighting features that puts three lights on the front to help you see even better and see further. A magnetic tray on the bottom keeps all your bits in place to help you work more efficiently too.
Compatible with all other One+ tools from the manufacturer, this one works with batteries found in other tools, including NiCad and lithium-ion batteries. It also has an slip-proof rubber coating on the front and along the grip.
Rubber grip acts like a slip-proof cover to keep your hands in place
Built-in light provides more lighting from different angles
Chuck accepts and ejects bits easily
May not drill as straight and evenly as you need
Does not produce as much torque as others do
8. Porter-Cable ¼ Inch Hex
Even when working in the hottest of conditions and the highest of temperatures, this Porter-Cable model will work for you. It has a rubber areas all along the front and sides that keep even the slickest of hands from sliding off. As it uses a standard 20V battery, it’s compatible with the batteries used in all other MAX tools from this line.
Though this one does not come with a battery, it does come with a ¼ hex chuck that makes it easier to load and use different bits. It also has a more lightweight design to reduce hand fatigue.
Compatible with other 20V batteries from the MAX line of tools
Has a hex chuck for easy switching of bits
Rubber spaces along the sides keep your hands from slipping
Some screws on the tool itself may loosen with regular use
Does not come with the 20V battery needed
9. Milwaukee Hex
A gauge on the side of this tool shows you exactly how much life the battery has left, which lets you know when it needs charging. It has an ergonomic handle that works well with the nearby trigger to reduce fatigue as you use it, and this model has an LED lights that increases your overall visibility. The handle also uses some slip-proof rubber too.
Located on the back side of the tool is a clip for carrying it on your tool belt. This model has a fastening speed of up to 2,500 revolutions and can produce up to 1,000 pounds of torque at the same time.
Mechanism inside produces up to 1,000 pounds of torque
Ergonomic handle and trigger feels comfortable in your hand
Gauge on the tool shows you the battery life remaining
LED light may remain on permanently with the battery installed
Selector is quite sensitive
10. Craftsman C3
Suitable for use on materials like wood and plastic, the C3 will also work on harder materials like metal. It delivers up to 1,600 pounds of torque per minute and can produce up to 3,500 impacts per minute when used as a driver. The C3 has its own integrated light system that lets you use it with any amount of natural light.
An adjustable RPM rating lets you use a lower amount or up to 2,500 depending on the job at hand. It also comes with a 1/4-inch quick chuck system for faster changing of bits for all types of jobs.
Adjusts quickly to a speed of up to 2,500 revolutions per minute
Integrated LED light comes on and turns off easily
Has an impact per minute rating of up to 3,500
Not suitable for professional use or heavy-duty jobs
Requires the use of a separate battery
Though DEWALT makes other models and there are some great products from other manufacturers, the Brushless Kit that it provides is our top choice. This kit comes with two batteries that let you use the tool with one while charging the other. It also comes with a heavy-duty carrying case with compartments inside for each component.
The brushless motor on the tool itself lasts longer than other types of motors, and it comes with three speed settings. We like the precision drive feature because of the extra control that it gives you. It also has three LED lights that come on within 20 seconds of pulling the trigger.