Best Impact Drivers

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 7, 2017
Do you know which tool can easily drive long screws into hardwood and loosen over-torqued nuts or bolts? We do! It is an impact driver. Having reviewed 5 best models, we hope you'll find the one you need. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Battery
RPM / BPM
Torque
Chuck capacity
Batteries included
Extras
Length
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The tool offers three speed modes allowing you to force drill bits in different types of surface with ease. LED light is present making it easy and more comfortable to work in poorly-lit conditions. 

CONS

Batteries and a charger aren't included in the purchase.

OUR VERDICT

This impact driver will be a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful tool to handle any surface material with minimum effort. Adjustable speed settings make it easy to accomplish tasks with higher accuracy and precision. 

detailed parameters
Battery

20V

RPM / BPM

0-1,000 / 2,800 / 3,250 - 0,3800

Torque

Not specified

Chuck capacity

1/4"

Batteries included

Not included

Extras

Belt Hook, LED Light

Length

5.3" 

Weight

2 lbs

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Thanks to the 4-pole motor design with 4 brushes, the Makita XDT111 impact driver is capable of delivering up to 26% more RPM without the decrease in maximum torques.

CONS

The backlight is a bit dim. 

OUR VERDICT

What you're getting is a perfectly balanced device that is capable of providing enough firepower despite its modest dimensions. Thanks to the Star Protection technology, your impact driver isn't going to over-discharge, overheat or overload.

detailed parameters
Battery

3.0 Ah, 18V

RPM / BPM

0-2,900/ 0-3,500

Torque

1460 in-lbs

Chuck capacity

1/4"

Batteries included

1

Extras

Belt Hook, LED Light

Length

5.4"

Weight

3.3 lbs

Warranty

3 years

PROS
The magnet on the driver's top allows on-board storage of a drill bit or a screwdriver bit.
CONS
The tool is pretty heavy.
OUR VERDICT
Black & Decker BDCI20C combines a high performance, essential functions, and reasonable price, so we can call it a real workhorse. A high impact rate allows this driver to perform the most complex tasks.
detailed parameters
Battery
20V, 1.5Ah
RPM / BPM
0-3000 / 0-3900
Torque
1375 in-lbs
Chuck capacity
1/4"
Batteries included
1
Extras
Compact and lightweight, High performance transmission, Screw driving bit included, LED Light
Length
7.9"
Weight
3.6 lbs
Warranty
2 years
PROS
The battery fuel gauge will keep you informed of the remaining charge, so the tool won't be discharged completely.
CONS
The battery runs out of charge quite fast.
OUR VERDICT
Porter Cable has upheld its reputation by making a cool impact driver with a high torque and very handy design. The tool will be superb for home touch-ups and larger construction projects.
detailed parameters
Battery
20V, 1.5Ah
RPM / BPM
0-2900 / 0-3100
Torque
1495 in-lbs
Chuck capacity
1/4"
Batteries included
2
Extras
Variable-Speed Trigger, LED Light, Easy load chuck, Belt hook included, Two magnetic bit tip holders, Battery indicator
Length
6.2"
Weight
3.2 lbs
Warranty
3 years
PROS
The special battery design allows using the tool in the most hard-to-reach places.
CONS
The torque this impact driver delivers is rather low.
OUR VERDICT
We can strongly vouch for this impact driver before any homemaker. If you are searching for a lightweight and one-hand-operable tool, Bosch PS41-2A is right what you need!
detailed parameters
Battery
12V, 2Ah
RPM / BPM
0-2600 / 0-3100
Torque
930 in-lbs
Chuck capacity
1/4"
Batteries included
2
Extras
Small size, Light weight, Powerful hammer-and-anvil system, Spring-loaded impact mechanism, LED Light
Length
5.4"
Weight
2.13 lbs
Warranty
1 year

What Is an Impact Driver?

How often did you fail to drive long screws into hardwood or loosen rusty nuts with your power screwdriver? Needless to say, such tools are helpless for drilling holes in brick walls. These challenging tasks can be easily handled with impact drivers. These tools look like conventional power screwdrivers but they have an impact mechanism inside that generates short and frequent strokes. These strokes boost the torque and prevent the gear from stopping under resistance. This way, an impact driver can help you twist screws in hardwood, unscrew them, and drill brick or panel walls with one hand.

Now, as you understand why impact drivers are used, we recommend you to look through 5 best tools available on the market.

We also advise considering cordless drills for drilling applications and torque wrenches for handling bolted connections.

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Best Impact Drivers

What Features to Compare

Performance

When you choose an impact driver, first of all, you need to consider the torque that makes a tool so powerful. The torque rate determines how long screws can be driven and the hardness of material to be screwed. In general, the torque depends on the battery voltage and a higher voltage ensures a higher torque rate. Next, consider the number of blows per minute (BPM) a tool makes. Some impact drivers can deliver up to 4000 BPM, and the higher this rate is, the better and easier an impact driver can tighten and loosen a fastener. Finally, don’t forget about the number of revolutions per minute (RPM). The larger the RPM rate is, the faster the job will be done. We should also note that when you use an impact driver to force a screw into softwood, the tool initially works in a normal mode, but its impact mechanism comes into play as soon as the gear faces resistance, and delivers a lot of force to overcome it.

Battery

A battery ensures a portability of an impact driver and affects its power as well. The models with batteries up to 12V deliver a smaller torque than the tools powered by 18-20V batteries. The battery capacity (Ah) shows the running time, so you should know how long you are going to use a tool. If you need an impact driver for occasional construction or assembly works, a model up to 1.5 Ah is enough, while a driver of 2Ah and higher is better for a frequent application. In any case, a medium-capacity battery can be used along with another one. Once one of them runs out of charge, install another battery and continue using the tool. By the way, some impact drivers come with 2 batteries, which means there's no need to buy an additional one. Also, any impact driver package includes a charger and the charging time varies from 30 min to 4 h depending on a charger and battery specs.

Usability

Since impact drivers are handheld tools, their weight and size should be comfortable for users. A battery takes nearly half impact driver’s weight, and sometimes even more. The higher the battery capacity is, the heavier it is, so you should determine how long you are going to use an impact driver. Moreover, we recommend paying attention to additional features of an impact driver. For example, a built-in worklight will be useful, while a reverse function is a true must-have for such tools. A set of drill or screwdriver bits included in the package will also come in handy. As for the tool’s handling, we advise you to use earmuffs as some impact drivers are quite noisy and can cause discomfort.

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DEWALT DCF887B

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

The idea of taking matters into your own two hands whenever some kind of an issue arises at your home is a bit of a lost art when it comes to the current generation. We grew up in an era of rapid mechanization and automation and, thanks to the incredible advances in the world of technology, most of us never had to deal with the kind of manual labor that was seen as mundane and normal only a generation or two before ours. Some of those problems were allocated for machinery to handle it on its own or erased altogether while others were more often than not assigned to specific professionals. Very few of us do our framing or build our furniture ourselves instead of hiring a carpenter. Not a whole lot of folks handle the issues of leaky pipes or broken valves themselves rather than calling a plumber. And, of course, whenever some kind of problem with cables and wires arises, the majority of people are going to employ the services of an electrician sooner than dealing with those problems on their own.

Don't get us wrong, we're not the ones to knock down the importance of a skilled tradesman when it comes to some of the more complicated matters, but a rather decent share of those issues in question could've been easily handled by a person with virtually no prior experience in the field and with just the right tool. One of those issues is often the case of a loose bolt or a nut that was corrosively frozen or over-torqued and a bit too much for a regular drill to handle. Most people would just give up if their driver is not up to par and call a professional, even though all you need in a situation like that is a decent impact driver and a pair of hands. So the next time you face this kind of problem and feel like giving your local mechanic a call, how about you grab the DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless and deal with it yourself?

Review of DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless

A Mode for Every Issue

The DEWALT DCF887B is a brushless, 3-speed impact driver. This piece of equipment features 1825 inch-pounds of maximum torque. It can rotate up to 3250 times per minute and can deliver up to 3800 impacts per minute. The three speeds located on the transmission are optimized for application versatility. The first one enables greater control for lighter applications. The speed is ideal for dealing with cabinets and screws. The second one is called Normal Impacting Mode. It has a maximum of 2800 RPM and 1500 inch-lbs of torque. It is the perfect solution for issues such as tightening down a larger automotive bolt. The last one is called High-Speed Impacting Mode and features a maximum of 3200 RPM and 1825 inch-pounds of torque.

DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless in the use

Punches Above Its Weight

The device measures at 3 x 8 x 5.9 inches and weighs slightly over 2 pounds making it a rather compact and lightweight solution for your household problems. The tool has 3 bright LED lights that come on whenever the trigger is pressed and stay on for about 20 seconds after it is released. It comes with a belt hook and a quick release chuck. The company offers a 3-year limited warranty, one year of free service and 90 days of money back guarantee. The batteries and a charger aren't included in the package but that is a very small price to pay for the amount of help and versatility such a handy and multifunctional device is willing to offer you.

Detailed review of DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


DEWALT DCF887B
DEWALT DCF887B
 

Makita XDT111

Expand Your Arsenal

Statistically speaking, you may not happen to own the largest of homes, but even the most modest of households is capable of producing a variety of issues that require some manual labor to solve them. Of course, you can always employ the services of a skilled tradesman of whatever field of expertise is necessary in order to fix your problem, but where is the fun in that? Anyone that has ever solved some physical complication with his own two hands can attest that there are very few feelings that could rival the one you experience after successfully mending even the most common of household problems. The kind of adrenaline rush you generally get right after it is a sensation not dissimilar to solving a puzzle and having a fruitful workout all at the same time.

The only problem is that, due to the aforementioned variety of the problems that could arise over time, you may end up needing a similar amount of tools and instruments in order to deal with them. Of course, most households happen to include a wrench, a screwdriver, and a drill into their arsenal. But from time to time, the usual set of tools may not be enough, especially if you're dealing with a case of a particularly large screw being too loose or over-torqued. That kind of situation generally requires a not-so-delicate touch of an impact driver. The Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit would be a perfect choice for anyone looking to increase the "firepower" of his arsenal of household tools.

Review of Makita XDT111 Cordless Impact Driver Kit

More Poles is Always Better

The Makita XDT111 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver employs a revolutionary technology that features a 4-pole motor of their own design with 4-brushes that provide up to 26% more RPM with interchangeable speed (0-2,900 RPM and 0-3,500 IPM) and is capable of cranking up to 1460 inch-pounds of maximum torque. The model has been built using only the best raw materials with the steel of the highest quality, not to mention an unparalleled heat-hardening technique for maximum fastening and driving power. It also features a rather convenient one-touch 1/4 inch hex chuck for quick bit changes. The device comes equipped with Star Protection, a communication technology created by Makita between the tool and a battery that protects against overload, overheating and over-discharge.

Makita XDT111 Cordless Impact Driver Kit in the use

Charge It Up

With only 5.4 inches in length and less than 4 pounds of weight (including the battery), this model features a neat and ergonomic design that is going to prevent users from straining and exhausting themselves before the job is done. The grip is made of rubber in order to provide some additional comfort for the owner of the device. The built-in LED lights are going to prove an invaluable addition when working in dark spaces and closed quarters with close to no natural lighting. It also has a new fan design and ventilating windows for improved cooling performance under load. And in case you still weren't sold on this impact driver, it is also important to mention that the Makita’s 18V Lithium-Ion batteries boast one of the fastest charge times on the market allowing you to spend more time working and less time charging.

Detailed review of Makita XDT111 Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Makita XDT111
Makita XDT111
 

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

This Tool Can Handle Anything!

The next tool on our shortlist is a model manufactured by Black & Decker. This company was founded in 1910 by two workers of Rowland Telegraph Co. Black & Decker's prominent breakthrough was the invention of the first electric drill in 1917 and since then the company has developed some of the world's best tools. In 2010, Black & Decker was merged with Stanley that resulted in the establishment of Stanley Black & Decker. Today, this company has numerous subsidiaries including well-known Black & Decker, DeWALT, Porter-Cable, and Delta Machinery. We picked BDCI20C impact driver equipped with a 20V battery. The maximum torque of the tool reaches 1375 in-lbs. The motor is capable of delivering 3000 RPM and 3900 BPM! This performance staggered us and we would like to tell you that some users used this impact driver to assemble wooden fences. So, the picture is pretty clear - the higher each parameter is, the more efficient and faster an impact driver works!

Review of BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium

Your Bits Will Never Be Lost

In terms of appearance, this impact driver looks quite similar to other models but we still revealed some distinctive features, both positive and negative. Let's start with the positive ones. We liked the magnet located in a special groove on top of the tool. What is more, when you unbox the tool, you'll find a screwdriver bit held by the magnet. So, you'll have an opportunity to keep your bits in place. As for the drawbacks, we'd like to note the absence of a belt hook, so you'll have to put the driver on a table or simply on the floor. However, this isn't a problem at all. Once you take the tool in your hand, you'll feel the convenience of the rubber-coated handle that provides a firm grip even during the most difficult tasks. When you need to drill a hole in a dim place, the LED light will go on once the trigger is pressed, and off when the trigger is released. The delivery package includes the tool, the charger, and the battery. We'd like to note that the battery capacity is 1.5 Ah. Yet, you can also buy a 4 Аh battery separately and use an additional source of power.

Generally, this is a high-performance and fairly priced impact driver that can serve as a workhorse.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium in the use

More Products to Consider

A high-capacity battery pack will provide a longer runtime of your impact driver. Whatever you need to drill, a set of titanium-coated drill bits will always come in handy.

Detailed review of BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C
BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C
 

PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB

Torque Is All You Need

Any review of impact drivers can't be informative enough without a tool manufactured by Porter-Cable. The company started from the production of lathes and polishing machines in the beginning of the past century. Today, the company is a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker. We picked the Porter-Cable PCCK640LB impact driver equipped with a powerful electric motor and the 20V battery. Judging by these components, we dare claim that the manufacturer succeeded to get the most out of them, delivering the torque of 1495 in-lbs! Nevertheless, RPM and BPM rates are rather high, amounting to 2900 and 3200 respectively. In general, this impact driver will be able to drill a 2х4'' hole in wood, stone, and even concrete.

Review of PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB 20-volt Lithium Ion Kit

How Much Charge Remains?

As usual, having checked the specs of the tool, we moved on to the tool's appearance. First of all, we spotted the metal hook, so you won't have to seek the place for the tool; you can simply hang it on your belt and use it whenever you need to. The impact driver has two magnets on the top (for holding drilling and screwdriving accessories) and the LED work light under the chuck (for illuminating dark places and rooms). Moreover, the light flashes as soon as the trigger switch is pressed, while the tool's gear doesn't engage. This feature is largely convenient and power efficient. Almost all impact drivers support the reverse rotation and this Porter-Cable model is not an exception. Its forward/reverse control button is placed near the trigger switch. The battery fuel gauge button located in the lower part of the handle is the main zest of this impact driver. Once you push this button, 3 LEDs will indicate the current battery charge status, so you'll be able to avoid deep battery discharging. The good news is that the tool comes with two 1.5 Ah batteries, so don't worry about the runtime. As for the body of the tool, it is made of plastic with rubber bumpers across the surface. These bumpers perform two functions at the same time: they prevent impact driver from slipping off and protect the material it's made of.

So, what's our opinion about this impact driver? Porter-Cable designed a great tool with a high torque and lots of convenience features. The impact driver will be equally great for home use and large projects.

PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB 20-volt Lithium Ion Kit in the use

More Products to Consider

A 20V battery will considerably extend the runtime of your Porter-Cable impact driver, whereas a 34-piece bit set will allow you to cope with any task.

Detailed review of PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB 20-volt Lithium Ion Kit

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Porter cable 20v impact driver unboxing & review
PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB
PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB
 

Bosch PS41-2A

The Tool For Everyone

No power tool review can be decent without an appliance manufactured by Bosch - one of the leading tool-making companies in the world. Truly, Bosch requires no presentation! We can just say that the quality, durability, and innovative technologies brought the company a staggering revenue of €70.6 billion in 2015 alone! This gobsmacking figure proves that the Bosch products are trusted worldwide, so our team just followed this trend. We picked the Bosch PS41-2A impact driver with the 12V battery for our review. The battery power is enough to ensure the torque of 930 in-lbs. It is worth saying that the RPM and BPM rates of this impact driver can contend with more pricey and powerful models. In other words, PS41-2A will drive screws and make holes in wood as good as high-end drivers, but when it comes to tougher tasks, this driver might face a real challenge. Maybe, we are too critical about the tool, but in any case, this impact driver is more powerful than most drills, so it is generally nice for handymen.

Review of Bosch PS41-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Hex

Portability Doesn't Mean Inconvenience

The design of the Bosch PS41-2A impact driver differs from other models, as the tool is mainly intended for small and repeated jobs in elevated or hard-to-reach places. In particular, it's provided by a compact body which is 5.4" long, and the weight of 2.13 lbs. Nevertheless, a tiny size and lightness don't restrain conveniences of this impact driver. Thus, we can see a forward/reverse lever near the trigger, and 3 LED work lights on the ring around the chuck. The manufacturers who care about the runtime usually boost the battery capacity or just add an extra battery. As you already know, Bosch supplies an additional battery with this tool. In addition to batteries and impact driver itself, you'll find two screwdriver bits and a case for storing and carrying.

So, if high performance, portability, and handiness are the features you look for when selecting home improvement tools, the Bosch PS41-2A will be a great pick!

Bosch PS41-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Hex in the use

More Products To Consider

We advise buying Bosch BAT414 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah High Capacity Battery to get a substitute for the exhausted battery of your driver and avoid hours of waiting until it gets charged.

Bosch Hex Shank Impact Tough Drill Bit Set is an irreplaceable thing in every handyman's home.

Detailed review of Bosch PS41-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Hex

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Bosch 12V Max Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/4 in. Hex Impact Driver - PS41
Bosch PS41-2A
Bosch PS41-2A
 

Sources:

1. Tips for Choosing the Right Impact Driver, eBay. March 3, 2016.

2. How To Choose The Right Drill, Masters Home Improvement.

3. How To Choose a Cordless Impact DriverAcme Tools. May 9, 2016.

4. Joe Truini Cordless Drill/Driver vs Impact Driver: Which Do You Need? Popular Mechanics. December 10, 2015.

5. Cordless Impact DriversWood Magazine.

6. Impact driver, Wikipedia. June 19, 2016.

7. Impact Driver Or Combi Drill? Axminster Tool & Machinery.

8. How Does an Impact Driver Work? DoItYourself.

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