An impact driver can drive screws better than even the best screw guns out there. That’s because it uses not only rotation but also concussive blows to power the screws through even the densest material. This makes them the best tools for dealing with large lag screws and for dealing with projects that need a large number of screws to be driven.
It’s imperative, however, that if you are going to buy one of these tools that you buy the best impact driver possible. An inferior model won’t have the precision or the power to do the job properly. Which is why I’ve compiled the following list of the top ten best impact driver tools which are currently available. These models will do the job that you need to be done and do it quickly and easily.
10. Ryobi One+ P236 18-Volt Cordless Driver
Designed to be powerful and precise, the Ryobi P236 has a number of features which make it an ideal fastener driver. It delivers 3,200 RPM and up to 1,600 inch-pounds of torque, which is an impressive amount of power for around the house. It also is equipped with 3 LED lights near the chuck, which enables this unit to illuminate the area as it’s being used. It also has a rubber over-grip which makes this driver easy-to-use, even when the user’s hands are wet or sweaty. And since this is a tool-free tool, users simply have to put a bit into the chuck and lock it down.
9. Milwaukee 2462-20 M12
Designed to deliver up to a thousand pounds of torque and 2,500 RPM of rotation, this driver is capable of handling a wide variety of fastening tasks. It has an ergonomic design that not only makes it easy-to-hold but also easier to use and has an on-board battery gauge which tells the user just how much battery time is remaining. While this model is bare, which means the battery has to be purchased separately, it does deliver performance that puts other drivers to shame. It’s 7-inches by 1.8-inches by 6.5-inches in size and weighs approximately 2.3-pounds.
8. Black & Decker BDC120C 20-Volt Max Lithium Driver
This tool has a number of features which make it useful for handling a variety of projects. It delivers 1,375 pounds of maximum torque and has a variable speed that can operate between 0 and 3,000 RPM. It also has a 20-volt battery that can be used with other Black & Decker Max tools. This tool also has a quick-release 1/4-inch hex chuck and has a compact and lightweight design as well. Which makes it a tool which will prove itself useful in just about any tool box or home workshop.
7. Black & Decker 20-Volt Drill/Driver Combo Kit (BD2KITCDDI)
This combo kit comes with the BDC120 driver, the LDX120 drill, an LBXR20 20-volt Max battery, a double-ended driver kit and a battery charger. In other words, it has everything a homeowner or DIY handyman to deal with a number of different fasteners. The drill has an 11-position clutch that also has an LED work light, and the driver can deliver up to 1,375 pounds of max torque. Both tools have a light and compact design that makes them easy-to-use and since they are part of the Max Battery System, the battery they come with can be used with a variety of other Black & Decker Max tools.
6. Dewalt DCK240C2 20-Volt Lithium Combo Kit
Consisting of a DCF885 driver, a DCF771 drill, two 20-volt lithium-ion 1.3Ah battery bags, a contractor bag and a 20-volt Maximum charger, this combo kit is ready to tackle an assortment of different jobs. The driver is designed with a 3-LED light ring that allows the user to see what they’re working on, a one-handed hex chuck for easy bit removal and a compact design. The drill has a 1/2-inch single-sleeve ratcheting chuck and a high-performance 300-watt motor. All in a kit bag that’s easy to take from one job to the next.
5. Dewalt DCF885C1 20-Volt Max Driver Kit
This kit comes with the DCF885 driver, a fast charger, and a 20-Volt Max battery, everything needed to get a job done quickly and efficiently. The driver is compact and weighs under 3-pounds, so it’s easy-to-use and portable to use just about anywhere. It also has a built-in LED light that has a twenty-second delay after the trigger is released, so users can see what they are working on. And this tool also has a 1/4-inch hex chuck that accepts 1-inch bit tips and can be loaded easily with one hand. All of this means this unit is ready for use around the house or on the job site.
4. Bosch 18-Volt Cordless Drill/Impact Combo Kit
Drilling and driving capabilities are available to anyone who decides to use this combo kit. It features a Bosch DDS181A 1/2-inch drill and a Bosch 25618 1/4-inch driver and also comes with two 2.0 Ah slim-pack batteries. It also comes with a bag and a charger. The 25618 driver delivers 1,500 pounds of torque and 3,200 BPM, so it provides professional levels of power. And since the tools are backed by a 3-year warranty and the batteries with a 2-year warranty from Bosch, users can rest assured that they are getting a quality product.
3. Makita XDT131 18-Volt Driver Kit
Useful for handling everything from tightening lag bolts to attaching deck screws, this driver kit has the tools necessary for getting the job done. It has an 18-volt LXT brushless XDT13Z driver that provides up to 1,500 pounds of max. torque and a variable speed up to 3,400 RPM and runs cooler than other drivers thanks to its brushless motor. This kit also has an 18-volt lithium-ion 3.0Ah battery, a lithium-ion charger and a tool bag that allows the kit to be packed up and taken to the job site or out to the garage with little trouble.
2. Dewalt DCF887B 20-Volt Speed Driver
Although this is a bare driver, which means it doesn’t have a charger or battery, it does have a driver that’s equipped with a number of features which make it useful to professional workmen or DIY amateurs. It has a variable speed trigger that provides a no-load speed of either 0 to 3,250 RPM and is equipped with 3-LED lights which remain on for twenty seconds after the trigger is released, which allows users to see what they’re working on. This tool also allows for easy one-handed loading and accepts 1-inch bit tips. And since this tool is lightweight and compact, it’s easy to take just about anywhere.
1. Dewalt DC825B 18-Volt 1/4-Inch Cordless Driver
This 1/4-inch cordless driver provides up to 1,330 inch-pounds of torque and has a variable speed control that allows it to be used from 0 to 2,400 RPM or 0 to 2,700 RPM. This makes it a great tool for removing or driving fasteners in not only wood and metal but also concrete as well. This tool also has an anti-slip grip that’s very comfortable to hold while using and has a compact design that allows it to be used in tight spaces. This unit is designed to be durable and is manufactured using high-quality materials. It’s a tool that should provide plenty of driving and fastener removal power.
Impact Driver Buying Guide
Just about anyone who has ever done any sort of DIY project knows about drills. These tools are quite useful for handling several different jobs around the home. Unfortunately, fewer people are familiar with impact drivers—a tool that looks similar to drills but has a few key features that differentiate it from common household drills. To help our readers differentiate between these two tools, we decided to put together this little guide that will hopefully illustrate the difference quite well, so our readers know which ones they need for which job. And at the end of this guide, we’ve also included some tips that will help people find the best impact driver for them.
Standard Drills Vs. Impact Drivers
Okay, let’s begin the guide with the differences between these two tools, and let’s begin with the Standard Drill. Standard drills come in many different models. There are corded and cordless models, and ones that either have keyed or keyless chucks to hold bits. These drills can be used with both hex and standard bits, which makes them a versatile tool for several types of jobs. They can be used for high-speed drilling, or driving screws and other types of fasteners into various types of materials. Most standard drills are also equipped with a special device called a clutch. The clutch is designed to adjust the torque level of the drill on the fly, so it doesn’t overtighten screws and end up damaging the material that’s being drilled into.
Impact Drivers, on the other hand, are a little bit different. For one, they usually deliver more torque than Standard Drills. As a general rule, cordless impact drivers are available in voltages that range from 12-Volt models to 20-Volt models. The higher the listed voltage on the impact driver, the more powerful the tool is going to be. One thing that the impact driver does differently than a Standard Drill is to produce more torque when it’s needed and to deliver quick rotary bursts as desired. It also applies more of a downward force to the project, so larger fasteners can be drilled into harder or thicker materials. This downward force also prevents the user from having to manually exert force to get the screw or fastener into the wood, so it can save their wrists from a whole lot of fatigue.
Okay, so what do all of these design features mean? They mean that Standard Drills are better suited for driving in smaller screws and/or fasteners or for drilling holes in materials that aren’t too hard or thick. Impact Drivers are more suited for dealing with extremely large screws or for drilling into hard or thick materials. What it essentially boils down to is this: a Standard Drill provides better precision but an Impact Driver delivers more power.
Choosing An Impact Driver
Now that we’ve cut through some of the misconceptions about impact drivers and have thoroughly explained how they differ from standard drills, it’s time to talk about some of the features that people may want to look for when they’re buying an impact driver. All of the following items should be seriously taken into consideration before purchasing your next driver.
One of the very first things that anyone should look for in an impact driver is its motors. The best impact drivers use brushless motors that utilize an outer electromagnet instead of carbon brushes to direct current to the magnet at the core of the motor. The current is directed by circuitry to the motor’s inner magnet. This results in the motor being more efficient and being able to produce more power. Cordless impact drivers with brushless motors also don’t burn through their batteries as cordless models that use brushed motors. Therefore, it’s essentially important to purchase a model with a brushless motor for the best results.
Although RPMs, or revolutions-per-minute as it’s otherwise known, is important for both standard drills and drivers, it’s especially important for impact drivers. With more RPMs, the user can drill and drive screws a whole lot faster. And faster RPMs also reduces the load placed upon the motor. This can help protect the motor from overheating or being up. Remember, the higher the RPMs, the better.
Torque is also vitally important for an impact driver and the higher the torque the better. Increased torque allows the tool to apply more pressure as it drills through the material. That keeps it from slowing down and allows it to drill long screws into some pretty tough materials. Since it’s almost impossible to have too much torque, the DIY enthusiast should purchase an impact driver with the highest amount of torque that they can afford.
The Design Of The Impact Driver
It’s also important to consider the design of the impact driver to ensure that it’s ergonomic. Nowadays, these tools are made with a lot of different improvements that make them more comfortable to hold and easier to use. Some of these design improvements include rubberized grips and compact noses for getting into tight areas.
LED lights are also a great feature for an impact driver to have, although, in all honesty, they’re not an essential feature. Drivers that have an LED light under the chuck can illuminate the work area and allow the user to get a better idea of what they’re doing. If a person does decide that they want a model equipped with an LED light, they should ensure that it has a light delay. Many models that have LED lights have a 20-second delay that begins counting down once the user has released the trigger. This ensures that the user isn’t in complete darkness once they’ve finished screwing in their last fastener.
When choosing a new impact driver also ensure that it’s not a bare tool model. Bare tool models are the ones that come with just the impact driver and without a charger or a battery. Although bare tools are cheaper, they don’t offer much savings when you factor in having to buy a new charger or battery set. On the other hand, if you already have your own charger or battery that’s compatible with your new driver, then buying a bare tool model can be a good way to save a little bit of cash.