Best Impact Drivers - Our Top 5 Reviewed
You might be wondering if an impact driver is essential when you could use a drill, well, using an impact driver can save you alot of effort and time, due to their high torque power.
They allow you to screw or tighten even the toughest of nuts and don't suffer against heavy-duty drilling like your standard drill might do.
Now, you're probably asking yourself what impact driver should I buy? With so many on the market ranging in different features and prices, it can be hard to figure out which impact driver is the best.
That's why we have decided to round up the best impact drivers we could find and compare them to find the best impact driver for you.
Our Top Pick! -
DEWALT DCF809D2 XR Impact Driver 18V (Editor's Choice)
The DEWALT brand has been around in the tool industry for a long time. This impact driver, in particular, comes with a max torque of 190Nm and an impact rate of 2000 ipm with a no-load speed of 0-2,800 rpm.
Feature-wise, the impact driver, comes with two lithium-ion 18V batteries and is only 130mm in length. It additionally only has a weight of 1kg and has a drop and load bit holder for one-hand use.
Overall, this impact driver by DEWALT is a relilable impact driver and comes with all the features you need in the best model such as its brushless motor, variable speed and high impact rate per minute.
Some downfalls of this impact driver have to be chuck and ball bearing system which has reported to fail after some months of use.
- Reliable impact driver.
- High rpm speed.
- Includes two 18V batteries.
- The lightweight of the only 1kg.
- Drop and load bit holder.
- Chuck and ball bearing system are reported to fail after some months of use.
Our Runner Up - Makita DTD171Z Impact Driver
This 18 volt Makita impact driver features a 180Nm brushless motor and variable speed trigger; it can reach a speed of 3,600 rpm and can deliver up to 3,800 imps.
Main specifications of the brushless impact driver are its one-touch sliding chuck for easy bit installation and electric brake safety feature. The impact drive additionally has a forward/reverse switch and an LED light to illuminate your work area.
Other notable features of the Makita 18V impact driver are it's four impact assist modes for variable torque power and a one year warranty which can be extended online for buyers confidence.
This impact driver is one of the best impact drivers on our list thanks to its high speed and impact rate, which saves time drilling and can help you speed up your work time.
The Makita impact driver additionally has adjustable modes which can allow you to change the torque of the impact driver depending on the material you are drilling into.
Some downfalls of this impact driver have to be that it comes without its battery and charger, meaning they are other costs to consider.
- High impact and speed rate.
- One-touch chuck.
- Electric brake.
- LED light.
- Four torque power modes.
- Comes without a battery and charger, which are extra costs to consider.
Einhell Cordless Impact Driver
The Einhell cordless impact driver has one of the most affordable prices on our list and features a 90Nm torque power with a no-load speed of 2,400 rpm.
Significant points of this impact driver are it's 1/4 " hexagonal mount and drill bit lock. The impact driver also has a variable speed control to adjust torque when working with different materials.
Design-wise, the impact driver additionally has a short and lightweight design with an LED light. There is an ergonomic soft grip included too.
For charging, a 45-minute charger is included with the model, and it has a rechargeable 12V battery included too.
To conclude, this model by Einhell is one of the best tools on our list in terms of value for money. Its design is very compact and lightweight, which can reduce user fatigue when using the impact driver for long periods.
Negatives of this impact driver are its torque and speed, which is very low in comparison to other impact drivers; this might mean it will struggle to drill more heavy-duty screws.
- Affordable with battery included.
- No-load speed of 2,400 rpm.
- 1/4" hexagonal mount.
- LED light for illuminating workspace.
- Low torque may not be suitable for heavy-duty work.
VonHaus E-Series 18V Cordless Impact Driver
VonHaus is very popular in the tool industry. This budget cordless impact driver features a brushless motor that has a torque of 100Nm and comes with a variable speed of 2,800 rpm and 300IPM.
Best features of this tool are its 1/4" hex drive and 18V battery that comes included and can be charged within 2 hours. The model further comes with a belt hook and an LED light system.
Other notable points of this impact driver are its ability to be used either outside or inside and its two-year warranty for increased buyers confidence.
If you are looking for a beginner budget tool, then this Vonhaus 18v driver might be right for you. The device has a tiny size but strong torque for helping you drive in screws with ease.
The model additionally has a perfect battery life which allows you to use your impact driver for longer without having to re-charge all the time.
Downfalls of this model have to be its size which is said to be too small for alot of users.
- Very low-priced.
- 18V battery and 100Nm torque.
- 1/4" clutch.
- 2,800 rpm.
- LED lighting system included for dark lit places.
- Charger and two-year warranty included.
- Very small in comparison to other best impact drivers.
Milwaukee M12BID-0 165mm Sub Compact Impact Driver
The Milwaukee model comes with a power of 112Nm torque and has a speed of 2,500rpm with a 3,300 ipm.
Notable features of this impact driver are its 165mm length and REDLINK overload protection. It additionally comes with 1/4" hex chuck and has a heavy-duty gearbox.
Design-wise, the impact drivers model, has an optimised handle for control and comes with an LED light and onboard fuel gauge.
Overall, this tool by Milwaukee has excellent power for its price and high impact rate, its ergonomic design is also easy to use, and it can be very portable due to its compact size.
Downfalls of this impact drivers model have to be its lack of lithium-ion battery included, which is another cost to consider.
- High torque and speed.
- Easy to use optimised design for better control.
- 165mm length.
- Onboard fuel gauge.
- 1/4" hex chuck.
- Lack of battery included, which is an extra cost.
Our Final Judgement - Which Impact Driver Is The Best?
To conclude, the best impact driver on our list has to be the DEWALT DCF809D2 XR Brushless Impact Driver 18V 2 x 2.0Ah Li-ion Model.
This tool by Dewalt is the best on our list due to its durable design, high torque power, and fast impact rate, which allows you to drill screws and nuts faster with its lightweight of under 1kg.
We also think this Dewalt power tool is excellent because of its drop and load bit holder, which makes changing bits on your drill fast and easy.
However, as this Dewalt tool is expensive, we would also recommend the Makita DTD171Z Impact Driver. This is due to its small and compact design with high torque power, although, you do need to consider the extra cost of the battery with this model as it does not come included.
What To Look For In The Best Impact Driver (Our Best Buying Guide)
Now we have compared and looked at the best impact driver reviews. You might be asking yourself what features do you need in the best heavy-duty model.
You may also be deciding between buying a drill or going for an impact driver.
Well, not to worry! We've got you covered with our best buying guide below to help you find the right impact driver for your DIY.
Best Features To Look For In an Impact Driver
From torque to impact rates, there are many features you to need to look for and consider in your best impact driver.
It's also worth making sure your impact driver comes with its driver's battery, some models may seem affordable, but this is generally because they come without their battery.
We have listed out the key features to search for in an impact drivers model below -
- Chuck size - Having a larger chuck size will give more versatility in what kind of drill bits you can attach. A 1/2 inch chuck size is the best for impact drivers as you can use large or small drill bits. Most affordable models come with a 1/4" chuck size which is still good but limits you to smaller hex drill bits.
- Torque - The torque of your model determins the force delivered to your driver's system via a brushless motor. Your torque should be anything from 100Nm to 190Nm or more.
- Motor speed - You should look for a motor speed of around 2,500 rpm. This will be more than enough to help you screw in nuts and bolts faster.
- Battery power -If you are looking for a cordless impact driver, then battery power is an important feature to consider. You should check for a 20v max battery or 18V, also consider how long they can run for before they need re-charging.
- Size and weight - Look for a lightweight impact driver, having an impact driver which is too heavy will become tiring after continuous use, you also don't want a model that is too small or a model that's too bulky. A medium-sized lightweight impact drivers model is the best.
- Acessories - There are some accessories such as LED lighting, carry bags and chargers to look for. LED lighting is especially useful if you will be using your cordless impact driver in dim-lit places.
- Design - The design of your model should have a comfortable handle and ergonomic design; preferably, the model should additionally be easy to use and operate.
- Warranty - As with all tools, you need to make sure your impact drivers model comes with at least a one-year warranty to ensure you are protected against a faulty model.
Impact Drivers VS Drills
Drills and impact drivers at first glance can look very similar; however, they do differ in how they operate and the impact they produce from their motor.
For example, drills use spinning motions, and impact drivers use a much more intense power to drill.
We've explained the differences between these tools below and compared their advantages and disadvantages.
These power tools work by using extreme torque to drive screws; they can deliver up to 3x more power than standard drills and are very quick.
The tools can even remove stripped screws and tend to be much more compact than best cordless drills; they additionally give little impact to the user when drilling. Impact drivers tend to use Hex shanked driver bits too rather than a keyless chuck.
Downfalls of these models have to be that they use a lesser variety of torque-speed settings, they can also be a little louder than standard drills due to the high force rate they deliver.
- Can be used on heavy-duty screws and material.
- Needs little effort.
- Compact size.
- Not suitable for delicate work.
- Only allow for hex drill bits.
- Can be expesnive.
Power drills, on the other hand, have an adjustable chuck that can take a variety of drill bits and use a spinning action to drill in screws and nuts.
They tend to be bigger than a driver and have many versatile uses.
Negatives of these drills are that have less force than drivers so may not perform as well one heavy-duty screw as the driver would.
Overall, we recommend going for a drill if you are looking for more versatility and want to screw in standard holes and screws, they are also better for more delicate DIY jobs as you have better control over there torque.
However, suppose you want a drill that can be used on any heavy-duty material and not get stuck. In that case, you should go for an impact driver; these drivers additionally save you time as they are much faster at screwing in larger screws when compared to drills.
What is an impact driver and why do I need one?
These power tools operate by using a 1/4" hex holder for gripping screwdriver bits and use their torque power to deliver fast and heavy impact rates. This force can drive long screws easily into tough materials.
These drivers can save you time and deliver much more force than any standard power drill on the market.
How much should I budget for the best model?
You should budget anything from £100-£300 and above depending on the tool power and drive you are looking for. A high price will come with a battery included and be much more powerful in terms of torque and speed than cheaper models on the market.
Is it better to use a cordless or a corded model?
The best cordless drivers offer much more portability in the tool but require to be re-charged often due to their battery reliant power source. If you are looking for a device with constant and steady power, then you should look for a corded driver.
What should I not use this tool for?
It would help if you did not use a powerful driver like this for jobs that require delicacy and precision, also never try and drive it materials like a brick.
What is the difference between this tool and an impact wrench?
An impact wrench is used for loosening tight nuts and bolts, a driver, on the other hand, is used for drilling in screws and nuts.
Can you loosen bolts with these drivers?
You can loosen small nuts and bolts with these devices due to the impact; however, an impact wrench may be more suitable for this kind of task.
Are these tools noisy?
Yes, a tool like this is very noisy due to its high motor torque and large impacts which tend to be noisy when making holes in the material.
What are the main features to look for in one of these drivers?
The main points to look out for in one of these power tools are; battery power, brushless motor, torque power, hex size, weight and speed.
Can I use these power tools on automobiles?
This depends but you can use your driver to remove the lug nuts of your car as long as you model has the appropriate amount of torque and the nuts were tightened at the right level of torque.
What is the best chuck size to use?
You should use a size of 1/2" so as you can use your power tools model with a broader variety of drill bits, a 1/4" is more common however and more affordable too.
How do I maintain my model?
There a couple of tips for maintaining your driver such as; always using the correct hex drill bits, never using too much torque and using a lubricant oil now and then.
Is it easy to change drill bits on one of these drivers?
Yes, some models have easy changing methods for hex shanked bits that can even be adjusted with one hand.
What materials can I drill with one of these drivers?
You can drive into; wood, plastic or heavy-duty materials like steel.
What are some safety tips for using a tool like this?
You should always keep the area clear when using your tool and make sure to use the correct acessories with the model. Never wear loose clothing and wear eye protection to avoid any debris from the drilling going into your eye.
Do I need a driver with variable speed settings?
If you can find a model suitable for you with variable speed settings, then this is excellent as it will give you much more control over the speed of your tool, allowing you to use the lighter drive for less heavy-duty materials.
Our #1 Best Impact Driver For Delivering The Best Power
The number one impact driver tool on our list is the DEWALT 18 V Impact Driver DCF809D2 XR Brushless Motor x 2.0Ah Li-ion. This is thanks to its relilable build quality, high torque power and fast impact speed settings which allow you to have more control over your drive and have maximum power when dealing with more rigid screws and materials.
We additionally recommend the affordable Makita DTD171Z Impact Driver due to its compact and lightweight design that reduces user fatigue when using the tool for long periods.
The model is also very high powered considering its price, making it great value for money; however, it does not include its lithium-ion battery.