Top 6 Best Impact Drivers – Detailed Comparison & Reviews
Best Impact Drivers and Reviews
When it comes to power tools we cannot hide our enthusiasm. Power tools came into the world and made a large impact on how we carry out various activities. They made work to be executed a lot faster and with minimum effort. We thank science for this. Among the list of our favourite power tools is the impact driver. The impact driver and the drill may be cousins in the same family. The main difference comes in the power output. The impact driver is known to have more influence in terms of impact than the stand drill or hammer drill.
To understand whether you need a drill or impact driver. You need to look at the amount of work to be carried out and of course, the materials involved. The impact driver is more suited for heavy duty activities. They are very adaptable, especially when working with longer screws or when trying to get through the thick material. It causes less strain on the hands as it does not require a lot of input from you for it to work.
To select the best impact driver to work for you, you have to take note of some factors. These factors facilitate selection of an impact driver. Take out your mental pen and paper and let us have some fun.
Impact Driver Buyer's Guide
When you are in the market looking for a good impact driver, it can get confusing. There are so many brands and so many features. The best thing is to look are the main functions. The accessories will come later as an addition. Below are some of the things that you should be looking for in a good impact driver.
The performance of a good impact driver is equated to its speed and torque. When we talk about speed, we are talking in terms of rotations per minute or inches per minute. The higher the speed the faster the driver completes the work. Faster speeds sometimes, however, can cause burning out and overheating. To prevent this, impact drivers usually come with mechanisms that prevent the impact driver from overheating and causing damage. Whether it is a corded or cordless impact driver, features like these are indispensable.
When it comes to matters of torque, the impact driver has a less smooth time. The impact driver produces enough torque to screw in properly. Most impact drivers do not have torque adjustment settings that can be controlled according to the sensitivity of the material. The driver just delivers enough torque for massive impact, hence the name, impact driver.
Ease of use
Working for extended periods of time can make our bodies languish in exhaustion. This exhaustion is commonly evident in the morning when all your muscles are sore. To prevent your arms from going numb, manufacturers use ergonomic based designs. These designs are made to give you a layer of extra padding as you work. They make sure that your hands do not get blisters no matter the material you are working on. A good impact driver’s weight is always balanced so as not to overwork certain muscles.
While on the issue of ease of use, the inclusion of LED lights is important. You need visibility to make sure that you can clearly see the surface. Sometimes you might be working in sections that are not well lit and you need a bit of light. These LED lights come through and save the day. Some actually include indicators that can show you your battery life. These are all handy things that make work easier.
Keyless chuck mechanisms help you switch bits without too much effort. You do not need extra tools to change the bits that you want to use. They save you time and constant frustrations with locating the chuck which did use to be a problem before keyless chucks.
Most power tools in use today no longer require those cumbersome wires. Now you can go anywhere with your impact driver. Since they rely on Lithium-Ion technology, they are able to easily retain energy. They are easily recharged quickly and they are now a lot more affordable. This means that you can work undisturbed until your batteries need power again. Make sure that the battery packs you use are well suited for the impact driver.
Most models now use batteries compatible with your your other powers tools. This means you may be able to save your self some money and use the batteries and charger from your other tools such as drills, chainsaws, leaf blowers, strimmers, cordless lawnmowers, the list goes on. Just make sure they are compatible. In general, if you have a Bosch cordless power tool, the battery and charger will will be compatible with the impact driver, the same goes for other brands.
Size of the driver
The size of the impact driver that you select will depend on the amount of work that you want to be done. There are various impact driver sizes that are on the market. If you need to do light work you can settle for a 12V one rather than an 18V one. In some models, the motor is very powerful meaning that it can be quite bulky as they use larger batteries. If you want a heavy duty impact driver, you might end up holding a substantial amount of weight, this is the trade off you make for extra power. In general though, model models are not to heavy.
Versatility in function
There are brands in the market that go the extra mile to create multi-purpose functions from one tool. These functions are highly advantageous for those who know how to use them. Apart from acting as a drill, the impact driver can be used as many other things. When designed with an all-in-one adapter, the driver can be used as a wrench among other things. They can also come designed with forward and reverse functions. This function is not included in all impact drivers. These multipurpose functions, in the end, save you some time and money.
Like most power tools in the market, you can always choose brands that offer you adjustable features. These adjustable features are there to provide you with control over the amount of power that you need. We have impact drivers that have adjustable speeds and torque which advantageous since some materials at the time require slower/faster speeds to get through.
You can choose brands that offer you easy gear changing systems so that you can have seamless work. An adjustable mechanism that requires you to stop in order to switch up might end up costing your valuable time.
Cost of impact driver
As mentioned before, the market has different sizes of impact drives available. When you think about cost, you have to think about functionality and budget. You may require a heavy duty impact driver for heavy duty work. With the money that you have, you can gauge the closest product that can fit in that price range. Working within a budget keeps you from overspending on getting unnecessary tools. Be sure to get value for every dime you commit to a product. Settling for fewer means that you will have to go back to the stores again. This time for the right product.
Consider buying sets where the impact driver includes the batteries and a charger as most models are sold as the bare tool only. This means you need to all ready have compatible batteries as all ready mentioned or purchase them separately. It's often cheaper to buy a set including batteries, charger and carry case as apposed to buying the battery and charger separately.
OUR TOP 7 IMPACT DRIVER REVIEWS
Ryobi One+ 18v Impact Driver
**OUR BEST PICK**
- Power by Ryobi’s ONE+ collection battery designed for more than 35 garden and power tools.
- Can be purchased as bundle with 18V 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery and faster charger or as bare tool only if you all ready own compatible batteries and charger.
- Features 3 LED lights for illuminating darkly lit places.
- Produces a powerful torque of 220Nm for better turning of large screws and lag bolts.
- Includes a keyless hex drive which allows easy bit change.
- Features Ryobi’s enhanced GripZone for optimum grip and comfort and On-board bit storage for added convenience.
- The tool has an aluminium front gear which protects the components within thus increasing their durability.
The Ryobi One+ Impact Driver is available as body only if you all ready have compatible tools or as a bundle with a 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery and faster charger, this option allows you to build on Ryobi’s ONE+ collection without having to spend more on batteries and chargers with every tool purchase.
The ONE+ boasts as one of the largest interchangeable cordless power tool systems, with its batteries used by more than 35 garden and power tools, over time this can save you a small fortune.
This impact driver produces a powerful 220Nm of torque which gives you better rotating power without straining your wrist. This makes it suitable for use with larger screws, lag bolts and repetitive screw driving purposes.
There is a keyless hex drive which ensures easy bit changes. When you need to get things done, simply take the bit from the convenient on-board storage and place it in keyless hex drive.
This impact driver also features an enhanced GripZone which provides optimum grip and comfort.
There are also three LED lights which increase visibility thus making your work piece easy to see even in darkly lit places.
With the protective die-cast aluminium front gear housing, this impact driver’s components are sure to last a long time.
- No option to change torque setting, however it does have a easy to use speed control.
Would we recommend - The Ryobi One+ Impact Driver, 18V is a powerful tool that drives screws much easier than drill drivers, thanks to the 220Nm torque.
The ONE+ system is great especially if you have other Ryobi’s products – you won’t need to buy new batteries and charger but simply interchange the battery. If not they offer a great bundle that includes a 18V 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery and faster charger.
The simplicity of changing the bits is a huge binus and the protective aluminium front gear housing ensures the components are far from harm thus lasting longer.
The GripZone over mould technology is great for providing optimum comfort and control. You can even work in dimly lit areas with this impact driver thanks to the three LED lights which improve visibility.
If your in need of a impact drill for heavy duty work and repetitive screw driving jobs such as decking, driving in large screws, boring holes then the Ryobi One+ Impact Driver is up to the job.
We were so impressed with this impact driver that it won our 'Best Pick Award'.
It simply excels in every way, its the most powerful in terms of torque, even DeWalt doesn't have as much torque, it performance is super impressive, if you buy teh bundle it comes with a 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery, again no otehr model included a 4.o Ah battery. It's simply an amazing piece of kit and and it even comes with a very impressive 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.
A must for all professionals and should even be considered for home DIY projects if its within your budget.
Einhell TE-CI 18Li Kit Cordless Impact Screwdriver
**BEST VALUE MODEL WITH BATTERY AND CHARGER INCLUDED**
- Equipped with high performance Triathlon motor (140Nm) for driving in long screws.
- Comes with battery charge indicator and its fast charging taking about 30 minutes. The impact driver uses 18V Lithium Ion Power X-Change battery.
- Includes 3 fixed positions for illuminated work areas.
- Short, lightweight design (weighs only 1.44kg), with ergonomic soft grip surfaces.
- It has a sturdy aluminium housing and rubber supports for better protection.
- Includes a practical belt clip for safe and efficient operation.
- Comes with a robust storage case which is also essential for safely transporting the impact driver.
- Includes 2 years warranty as standard for full peace of mind.
The first thing you note with the Einhell TE-CI 18Li Kit Power X-Change 18V Lithium Cordless Impact Screwdriver is that it uses a common battery and charger similar to all other Einhell products.
Einhell’s idea is that once you have a charger and a few batteries, you’ll only need to pay for tools and not extra chargers and batteries.
For this impact driver, the battery and charger are included and is supplied in a decent plastic case which holds both the tool and charger. The case is also essential for safely transporting the tool from one job to another.
This impact driver feels solid in the hand thanks to the short ergonomic design and it’s pretty easy to remove and insert screws. It has a standard bit holder which is a hex shaft with locking ring so you will have to use bits meant for impact driving. Such bits are somewhat longer than the standard bits for use with a bit holder and they have a groove on one end to engage with the lock on the impact driver.
There is a detachable belt clip which can be installed on either side of the impact driver though it’s a bit heavy and you would not want to hang it off your bet for extended periods.
Three bright white LEDs around the shaft help in illuminating the work area so you see clearly when putting in or removing stubborn screws. The inclusion of three LEDs which show the current level of charge is a brilliant idea.
- The impact driver comes with no screw bits to put in the end which leaves you with the option of ordering impact bits if you need to use the tool right away.
Would we recommend - The Einhell TE-CI 18Li Cordless Impact Screwdriver is a reasonably priced tool for DIY jobs.
To get a powerful Lithium Ion battery (one battery fits all Einhell products), a high quality charger and a robust and effective driver in a decent storage case seems great value for the price.
Most models don't include the battery and charger so to see this model selling at a similar price with a battery and charger makes it idea for home DIY projects.
Just like all Einhell products, this tool comes with a 2-year warranty and spares and accessories are available which is also an added bonus, no registering online to extend the warranty like Bosch and DeWalt expect you to do..
If you need a solid impact driver for DIY tasks, this is a reasonable buy, especially if you buy into the Einhell battery system for many other tools. The 30 Minutes charge time is also excellent as even when you run out of power you don't need to wait long before getting back on track.
Great product for DIY tasks but professionals would be better paying a little more for the extra power and longer 3 year warranty.?
DeWalt DCF886D2 18V Li-ion Cordless Brushless Impact Driver Review
**BEST OPTION FOR TRADE WITH BATTERY AND CHARGER INCLUDED**
- Features 3 LED lights with afterglow which are useful for excellent visibility.
- Equipped with XR intelligent switch for increased tool and battery protection.
- It has aluminium front housing which helps in dispersing heat for maximum motor life.
- It has improved ergonomics and comfort thus allowing for longer working periods with less fatigue.
- Comes with 2Ah li-ion batteries with improved runtime along with a multi voltage battery charger.
- Supplied with a robust plastic carry case for storage and transportation.
- 1 year warranty with option to extend to 3 years by registering online.
At first glance, the DeWalt DCF886D2 18V Li-ion Cordless Brushless Impact Driver with 2 x 2Ah Batteries looks robust and reliable out of the box. It comes in a sturdy carry case along with other useful components including 2x 2Ah li-on compact batteries, 1 Multi voltage battery charger, 1 belt hook and 1 plastic carry case.
All these components weigh 3.7kg but the impact driver alone is a bit lighter weighing only 1.4kg.
The DeWALT DCF886D2 features XR intelligent switch for maximum impact driver and battery protection. At the front is an aluminium housing which helps disperse heat for increased motor life and overall protection of the small components within.
The motor itself is brushless which means it requires less servicing while at the same time it has increased run time. The power and torque is just unreal; 165Nm is plenty of power for driving in long screws or boring deep holes.
This device has an ergonomic design so it holds firmly in your hands and it is a tool you can work with for long periods without experiencing fatigue.
There is also one belt hook which can be handy sometimes for helping you carry the tool.
The 2Ah li-on batteries have an improved runtime and they are accompanied with multi voltage battery charger. There are 3 LEDs with afterglow which allow you see your workpiece even in darker places.
Worth mentioning is that you get a 3-year full warranty on the DeWALT DCF886D2 upon registering with the Company within four weeks of purchase. If you don't you will be left with only 1 year warranty so make it a priority.
- Lack of torque setting. On this note, you have to be careful not to drive screws too deep into timber and other relatively soft materials. However it does have a speed trimmer to control the speed.
Would we recommend - The DeWalt DCF886D2 18V Li-ion Cordless Brushless Impact Driver with 2 x 2Ah Batteries is a sturdy and dependable tool for professionals and DIY’ers.
With 165Nm, this impact driver is capable of driving long screws into a variety of materials with ease, it really is very impressive and the reviews on Amazon are very impressive with near perfect reviews which is very rare specially considering there is a good amount of reviews.
Other useful features include the 3 LEDs for visibility, the front aluminium housing for motor protection, the two 2Ah batteries with extended runtime, and compact carry case for transportation. The 3-year full warranty is also a great,
Like most impact drivers it is fairy noisy when in operation so we recommend wearing ear defenders. The lack of torque setting is also a little disappointing.
All in all, the product is expensive going for in excess of £150 but it’s worth the investment when you consider its a professional tool and comes with everything you need including two batteries.
If there was one impact driver we would recommend? with everything you need, this would be it. Simply a great product and a must for professionals.
Bosch PDR 18 LI Cordless Impact Wrench Review
**PERFECT FOR HOME DIY PROJECTS**
- Powerful tool with 130Nm torque for optimum performance when driving screws in wood and metal or boring holes.
- Features a compact and ergonomic design allowing for comfortable handling.
- It has a reasonable weight of 1.2kg which ensures fatigue-free working over longer periods of time.
- The motor runs on reduced current thus enabling a long run-time and increased efficiency.
- Includes 1.5 Ah capacity battery with 1 hour quick charger
- Includes 1 year warranty which can be increases to 3 years by registering online.
The Bosch PDR 18 LI Cordless Impact Wrench is a powerful tool with 130Nm of torque. This power is more than enough to drive ordinary screws in metal and wood with little effort.
The impact driver has a compact and ergonomic shape to ensure easy, comfortable handling of the tool.
Along these lines, it is also easy to transport the tool in the supplied carry case. Another thing that adds to the convenience of this tool is its low weight – 1.2kg. This also means you can work for extended periods without getting fatigued.
The motor installed in this impact wrench runs on reduced current which enables a long run-time and promotes efficiency.
The Bosch PDR 18 Impact Driver comes with two 18V Lithium ion batteries along with a 1-hour quick charger.
In any case, this impact wrench is meant to utilise the one-size fits all battery system designed for all Bosch DIY and garden tools, we have previous seen these when we reviewed Cordless leaf blowers and chainsaws.
- Not powerful enough to drive screws in harder materials. It also lacks LEDs for visibility in dimly lit places.
- Cannot adjust torque setting.
Would we recommend - The Bosch PDR 18 LI Cordless Impact Wrench is ideal for driving screws in softer materials. We don’t think the 130Nm is powerful enough for harder surfaces so if you dealing with hard woods for example, then we recommend you opt for a higher torque driver such as the DeWalt or Ryobi model.
For the suitable jobs though, you will love this impact wrench with an ergonomic shape that promotes comfortable handling.
Perhaps the most lovable feature of this tool is the lightweight. Many find the 1.2kg weight pretty easy to carry for long working periods without experiencing fatigue.
The included batteries are a bonus, specially as it includes 2 so you can be charger one while using the other.
We highly recommend this tool for anyone looking for a lightweight impact wrench for home DIY projects as it comes with everything needed. If you want real power, then we recommend spending a little more.
DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver Review
**AN AMAZING MODEL - NEVER MISSES A BEAT**
- Utilises Lithium-Ion technology batteries which make it efficient
- Constructed to form a light weight structure for easy mobility and accessibility into tight corners.
- Comes with adjustable speed settings and 14 torque control settings to give you easy drilling
- For easy bit change, this model comes with a keyless chuck and lock mechanisms to ensure they stay in place
- For ease of use, it comes with an ergonomic design and Led light to facilitate better visibility.
- The charger can support 18V,10.8V, 14.4V and charge them to full capacity with ease
- Has the forward and reverse functions and speed of 0-2800rpm to work with max torque of 165Nm
- 1 Year warranty with the option to extend to 3 years free by registering your product online.
The DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver is another good product in this review. Even from appearance alone, it looks stable. The construct makes sure that all the power can be rightfully channelled.
With a max torque of 165Nm, it can give sufficient power to attend to demanding projects comfortably. This impact driver has been designed to provide you with both reverse and forward functions.
This product also has a friendly interface. By that, we mean that it offers you adjustable features and more. To have control over any power tool means that you are in charge and it does what you want.
For many beginners working with a drill or an impact driver for the first time can prove tasking. For seasoned users, you understand that adjustable settings are very necessary.
This DeWalt model has performed its duty to you. To give your eyes a better opportunity at seeing in poorly lit areas. You need to engage with LED lights. These lights have become a common feature in power tools. They can give you the chance to make clean work despite the lighting.
The DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver doesn’t have to waste your time engaging you with bit installation. In this stage of technology, that is frowned upon. This product is definitely playing by the industry rules of one touch installations. This makes sure that you do not have to hustle with extra tools.
Would we recommend - The DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion impact driver impresses us with its compact size and impressive torque.
It is not too heavy so it can’t cause damage as you work and is easy to use even with one hand in corners ect that are difficult to reach.
It uses Lithium-Ion batteries that are popular for their compact size. These batteries are what make it possible for them to be cordless but still very powerful.
This product is of good quality and it will provide you with excellent service, it really need to be seen to really appreciate it.
We love that it has adjustable torque which many models do not have and speed settings with the electric brake which is must to stop over screwing. If your not careful it will send screws right through the wood before you even noticed its that fast and powerful.
Overall this is a very good model and comes at a reasonable price and is idea for home DIY projects and professional tradesmen. Put screws in like a hot knife through butter, very powerful yet still compact. One of the best models we have seen.
Don't forget to register your product online to take advantage of the 3 year warranty or your only have 1 year warranty.
Makita DTD152Z Impact Driver Review
- Utilises 18V Lithium-Ion batteries for maximum output (not included)
- Comes with adjustable speeds controlled by the trigger to give you more control and powerful torque of 165Nm
- Comes with the double function of forwarding/reverse
- It comes ergonomically designed to provide comfortable grip and LED light to increase visibility in dimly lit areas
- Features an electric brake so that you can stop instantly whenever you need to and avoid over tightening
- 1 Year warranty which can be extended for free to 3 years by registering online within 30 days or purchase.
The Makita DTD152Z impact driver is a powerful impact driver that is made to drive screws, specially long ones into position quickly where other standard drills may struggle through lack of torque.
The frame is well designed to ensure that all the compact power produced can be efficiently directed. The impact driver uses Lithium-Ion batteries that have been designed to store charge for extended periods of time and recharge in minimum time.
They are much more efficient compared to the standard batteries. The batteries are protected from overloading, high temperature and overload currant thanks to the battery protection circuit.
The 18V provide the impact driver with a speed of 2600rpm and more importantly a impressive torque of 165Nm for deliver power when needed. This speed can be controlled to provide you with more stable grounds to work with thanks to the trigger speed control.
An impact driver that lacks speed adjustment setting will prove hard especially when working with weaker materials which can be easily damaged.
This model is comfortable to use and that is crucial. If you are a frequent DIY enthusiast, you want to want to take advantage of this. The model is ergonomically designed so that you have a perfect and comfortable grip.
The weight ratio is well balanced making it very east to use, some models tend to tip a certain direction due to weight distribution. Another thing that can come in handy are the two LED lights. The LED lights are a bonus in any impact driver as they allow you better visibility in tight corners and dark areas. This can also be handy also when working on poorly marked materials.
The Makita DTD152Z impact driver is one where you can pull the brakes whenever you need it. When you need to attend to something or get a correction made this product can let you do it. We love the fact that you have the option to do this.This Makita model provides you with 165Nm of torque which is more than enough for driving long screws into materials where maximum torque is essential. This is sufficient to execute some handy jobs around the house or at the worksite.
We love the one-touch bit fitting mechanism. You do not have to use any tools or spend too much time changing your bits saving you precious time.
- It is not as powerful as some of the other brands in the same range but does have enough torque for most users, more demanding jobs may want to look at a more powerful model with more torque.
It provides you with enough power to attend to a myriad of activities from driving in big screws to boring big holes.
The Lithium-Ion batteries will provide enough running charge for you to work seamlessly all though the model we looked at is body only so you need to either use compatible batteries you all ready own from other power tools, or buy them when purchasing the impact driver.
We admire its comfortable grip, which comes in handy when you are working for extended periods of time. The smaller compact size means it also perfect for working one handed in harder to reach areas.
Its speed of 2600rpm and 3600ipm will come in handy if you do not require a lot of power to operate. It is a high-quality product that can be depended on for years to come.
The Makita DTD152Z is a very good quality product as you would expect from Makita and offers excellent value for money.? Highly recommended for home DIY projects or professional trade use.
Don't forget to register your product online if you choose to purchase this model to take advantage of the 3 warranty.?
Finals thoughts and conclusion
The best impact driver is not hard to find, you only need to grab the basics and you are good to go shopping. Choose a driver depending on the kind of job you want to do, the material you will be dealing with and the kind of screws you want to drive.
Note that some little things such as battery life, for cordless tools, and shape of the tool mean a lot more than just high performance. So, try to strike a balance between the useful features plus the price of the impact driver that you want.
We hope this guide will help you find a suitable impact driver for your next job.
Here a quick summary of some of our favourites:
Our Best Pick
The Ryobi One+ Impact Driver is our top pick overall. The most attractive feature of this tool is the powerful torque of 220Nm.
This makes the Ryobi impact driver suitable for large screws, lag points and heavy duty tasks such as decking and removing threaded screws and rusted bolts.
It is also easy to handle this driver bit as well as change bits thanks to the ergonomic handle and the keyless hex drive respectively.
The price is also reasonable, specially when purchased as a bundle with the 18V 4.0 Ah Lithium Battery and faster charger.
Best Value For Money Impact Driver
The Makita DTD152Z Impact driver 18V 160Nm is a tough competitor to other products in our list. We majorly snubbed it for our top pick award because it lost to the Ryobi One+ Impact Driver, 18V in terms of power, making it less efficient for heavy duty works.
Yet, we think it offers the best value for money as it has some of the best features which come at a pretty affordable price, even cheaper than our best pick model.
Still, the 165Nm torque is enough to drive screws in most materials and the fact that the speeds are adjustable gives you more control over the tool.
It is pretty lightweight, has a double function of forward/reverse, ergonomically designed, equipped with an electric brake and has LED lights.
These are standard features that cut across most models yet you get the Makita DTD152Z at an incredibly good price.