8 Best Impact Drivers | April 2017

8 Best Impact Drivers | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you are a construction professional or a committed DIY-er, you'll find the perfect impact driver for your next project right here. They're ideal for situations when you need greater torque than a screwdriver can deliver. Skip to the best impact driver on Amazon.
The Ryobi P234g features a high level of control for either fastening or loosening long screws and bolts. It's price makes it a great choice for home hobbyists, while its quality makes it a poor choice for the professional.
  • cast aluminum gear housing
  • magnetic holder for bits
  • not a powerful driver
Brand Ryobi
Model P234G
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The Craftsman C3 impact driver can deliver up to 3,500 impacts per minute, helping it outperform most other cordless units on the market. It is quite compact, making it a great choice for use in cramped spaces, like under a car.
  • adjustable rpm depending on workload
  • integrated lights
  • battery and charger sold separately
Brand Craftsman
Model 5727.1
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The Bostitch BTC440LB 18V Lithium driver was designed to eliminate kickback, and features a cold-forged impact mechanism for longer durability. Conveniently, it works well as a powerful screwdriver when needed.
  • delivers 1,400 in-lbs of torque
  • variable speed trigger
  • torque settings not adjustable
Model BTC440LB
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Porter-Cable PCCK640LB Impact Driver offers more power and runtime in a smaller package. Its compact size fits easily in tight spaces, and its easy load chuck allows a user to insert bits with one hand.
  • high performance transmission
  • battery fuel gauge
  • not a durable product
Model PCCK640LB
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Makita XDT01Z's three-speed power selection and brushless motor allow for smooth, accurate fastening control, making it the perfect driver for a range of tasks, including those that must be handled with precision and finesse.
  • compact, ergonomic design
  • manufactured with highest quality steel
  • lightweight for reduced operator fatigue
Brand Makita
Model XDT01Z
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Milwaukee 2650-21's 18 volt battery and four pole frameless motor make it one of the strongest and longest running impact drivers in its class. It delivers up to 1,400 inch/pounds of torque under load.
  • 1/4-inch hex quick change
  • belt clip for easy portability
  • 70 percent faster than other brands
Brand Milwaukee
Model 2650-21
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The DeWALT DCF887M2 Max XR three-speed design gives users application-specific control, while the push-button chuck allows for one-handed operation, and it accepts bit tips up to 1-inch. It comes with a battery and an efficient charger.
  • 3 led lights for increased visibilit
  • rugged case comes included
  • very well reviewed item
Model DCF895D2
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
The Bosch HTH181 Impact Driver utilizes advanced lithium ion technology for longer lasting work time at full strength. The kit includes two batteries, so you can be working and charging at once, never slowing down to wait for power.
  • 500 feet per pound maximum torque
  • lightweight, balanced design
  • spring-loaded hammer and anvil
Brand Bosch
Model HTH181-01
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What An Impact Driver Can Do That A Screwdriver Can't

DIYers and construction workers can think of an impact driver as a large, powerful screwdriver. Rather than relying on the power of human hands to turn it, the impact driver is motor-powered. Prolonged use of a manual screwdriver is one of the activities that can cause Lateral Epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow. Because an impact driver is a power tool, even those with weaker hands can use it; all the user must do is hold it up to the work surface. Since many can be held in one hand, they can leave the user's other hand free to hold a board still, or keep a level steady to ensure a perfect job.

As their name implies, impact drivers deliver impact constantly while turned on. With a regular screwdriver, the worker must manually apply pressure or else the bit scan slip out of the screw recess, otherwise known as camming out. An impact driver requires the user to apply very little force to continue driving the screw. Impact drivers are capable of much more than driving in screws. They can also be used to bore large holes. Many of them have a high torque mode; when that is combined with a large bit, the user can easily create big holes in tough surfaces.

Another advantage of the high torque that impact drivers are capable of is the fact that they can drive longer screws. Their screw recess will hold longer screws, which are usually prone to wiggling when attached to a regular screwdriver, firmly in place. The torque then drives the screws into the wall with so much force that they cannot fall out of place. Many people find that an impact driver puts less strain on their wrist than a regular driver, too, because they do not constantly need to twist their arm. For tougher jobs, an impact driver can eliminate the need for a hammer drill and regular driver.

What Makes A Quality Impact Driver

Those looking for a truly powerful impact driver should look at the impacts per minute one can deliver. This can help the user drill into the most stubborn materials and will get a job done quicker. Those who intend on putting their impact driver through heavy use should consider one with a cold-forged mechanism. The cold forging process tends to create extremely strong parts in power tools. If the impact driver will be mostly for automotive work, the buyer should look for a compact model that can fit under a vehicle.

Power tools can be very dangerous and need to be handled with care. Make sure your impact driver is designed to reduce kickback, to prevent workplace injuries. Those who need to carry out a variety of tasks should look for an impact driver with an easy load chuck, so they can rapidly switch out bits. Models with extra long run times will also be quite helpful. One doesn't want to have to stop their job halfway through to recharge their impact driver. Many have battery fuel gauges so the user will at least know when their tools are close to dying.

For tasks that require a little more precision, buyers should consider an impact driver with various speeds. These allow for more fastening control. Some features add convenience, too, like a clip that can be easily attached to a tool bag, and an ergonomic grip. Many impact drivers even have LED lights built-in to increase visibility in dark work spaces.

Safety Tips For Using An Impact Driver

Impact drivers should never be turned on until the user has put on safety goggles. Any loose particles left on the driver could fly up and enter the worker's eyes. In fact, over 60 percent of eye injuries happen on construction, manufacturing, or trade jobs. Ideally, the user has a steady stance, but impact drivers will cause the body to move slightly. Workers should make sure the ground around them is completely dry so the impact of their tool doesn't cause them to slip and fall. Those with long hair should tie it up before using an impact driver. If a chunk of hair gets caught in the tool, it can quickly drag the user's face towards it.

Workers should always make sure there is not a gas pipe, stud or electrical line behind the wall they're drilling. Driving a tool into a wall or ceiling can be very dangerous, and can cause things like carbon monoxide leaks or fires. Tools like stud finders can prevent some accidents, and a professional builder can tell you where the gas lines are. One should clear the floor around them before beginning work, too. If their impact driver's kickback causes them to fall over, they do not want to land on a sharp object.

Users of impact drivers should always check their tool for faulty parts before turning them on. If one part of the tool is loose or broken, it can injure the user or at the very least ruin the job. Once the driver is on, if the user notices any odd sounds coming from it, they should turn it off immediately. This could be indicative of a loose part.

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Last updated on April 28 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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