Best Impact Driver Reviews 2017 – 2018

So you’re looking for the best impact driver around. You’ve come to the right buying guide. An impact driver has a surprising amount of power for something so small, like a dentist drill with the ability to drill through concrete-hard teeth. An impact driver is capable of so many things and can be used in a multitude of applications. It’s a motorized, industrial-grade screwdriver that depends on actual machine power rather than elbow grease. The so-called impact driver produces a lot of power and torque that they might as well be classified as drills. They’re the drivers you need when you’re taking lug nuts off of a truck or dealing with deck building. They have the ability to rotate like a drill, but they have screw or lug nut heads plus they add a hammer and anvil impact action whenever you need more force to break a hole or really drive your screws into the whole during industrial-grade jobs.

You can’t play around when putting lug nuts in or out of trucks, since a derail could lead to disaster. You want those screws, lug nuts, bolts, and so forth screwed down into holes and ruts as tightly as possible with as much torque as possible that normally manual, by-hand screwing can’t accomplish. As for decking, you don’t only need to drive screws in with such tightness it looks like the parts have been melded together; you sometimes need to break into the hole altogether (the holes are at times smaller than the screw so that when they’re screwed into with a cordless impact driver, there’s no space or looseness left behind). Another interesting thing about these impact drivers is that they weigh less and are smaller than your average cordless drill yet have drill-like aspects to their function. This is advantageous because their smallness produce less reaction force and the point of impact is more concentrated.

PictureModelEditor RatingsOur Review
Black & Decker LDX120C Cordless Drill (4.5 / 5)
1584+ Reviews
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PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Impact Driver (4.8 / 5)
153+ Reviews
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DEWALT DCF815S2 Impact Driver (4.8 / 5)
146+ Reviews
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Bosch PS41-2A Impact Driver (4.8 / 5)
171+ Reviews
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Makita LXDT01 18V Cordless Impact Driver (5 / 5)
46+ Reviews
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Best Impact Driver Reviews

Black & Decker LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver

The best seller known as the Black & Decker LDX120C Cordless Drill/Driver has all sorts of benefits and features going for it, like the fact that thanks to its Lithium Ion Technology and 20V Max battery, you end up with a powerful cordless impact driver with longer life, more power, and more compactness. As for its ergonomics, there’s also the fact that the Black & Decker LDX120C Cordless Drill/Driver features an 11-position clutch that provides you with precision control when it comes to drilling through various materials, like plastic, metal, and wood. You can also shift from different clutch positions do cover various screwdriving applications. This is also a lightweight and compact impact driver that ensures the operator less fatigue and exhaustion when operating the device. You can also screw and drill in confined spaces with this instrument thanks to the way it’s designed. 

Additionally, Black & Decker LDX120C unit also features variable speed so that you can do things like countersink without damaging the material you’re countersinking on. That’s the main appeal of the Black & Decker LDX120C, to be honest. You’re given the option to adapt in every which way to different situations, so you’re not at a loss when dealing with all sorts of applications. The impact driver can go from zero to 650 RPM and 115 inches per pound of torque in a lightweight and intuitive drill/screwdriver hybrid. It’s one of the more compact and portable impact drivers in the market that can hold its charge longer between every use. Its lithium ion battery, meanwhile, last far longer than your standard nicad batteries. It’s worth every last penny because of the control you’re afforded when drilling through different materials and adjusting the speed in accordance to the job, from loosening lug nuts to tightening screws for deck building.

PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB 20-volt ¼-Inch Hex Lithium Ion Impact Driver Kit

The Porter-Cable or PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Impact Driver Kit is a high performance impact driver that provides quality transmission so that your fastening and screwdriver applications are done with as fast as mechanically possible. More to the point, this compact tool readily and effortlessly fits into tight spaces that require drill-powered screwing, plus there’s less fatigue involved with your wrist, hand, and arm compared to manual screwdrivers. Even power drills have more reactionary feedback compared to the PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Impact Driver thanks to its smallness, superb design, and high torque motor. Its power is concentrated on its end point, so you’re dealing with less feedback per fastening or drilling job. It’s also a tool you can use with one hand due to its size and its easy load chuck that allows you to insert the bit one-handed.

What’s more, the PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Hex Lithium Ion Impact Driver Kit has a convenient battery fuel gauge that displays the charge remaining in the battery. You won’t have to second guess yourself anymore when thinking whether or not your impact driver should have its battery recharged or replaced. Meanwhile, you don’t need a pen light or hard hat with a light anymore when working in dark areas because the PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Impact Driver also provides additional light on its own. Even though it’s so small at 6.2 inches in length and 3.2 pounds in weight, this device delivers pound for pound more power and runtime. You can work longer and more efficiently when you have this lithium-ion-powered wonder drill and motorized screwdriver in one. This is because it comes complete with 20V Max Lithium Ion batteries with 1.5-Amp cells. In many ways, the PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB Impact Driver Kit is a gift that keeps on giving.

DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max ¼-Inch Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max 1/4-Inch Impact Driver

The DeWalt or DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max ¼-Inch Impact Driver Kit will naturally compete against even the best impact drivers on this list with impressive, incredible specs by virtue of the DeWalt legacy of excellence. As expected of the innovators of the radial saw. For example, the DEWALT DCF815S2 Impact Driver includes a portable belt hook, one-handed loading of its ¼ inch hex chuck that accepts one-inch bit tips. Three LED lights provide you visibility without shadows when working in dark areas as well (that’s two LED lights more than what the PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB offers). There are also the requisite benefits present in almost every impact driver, like its compactness and lightweight design that allows it to fit even in the tightest areas. Measured without workload, its batteries’ maximum initial voltage is 12 volts. When it’s doing work, there’s a nominal voltage of 10.8 volts.

The amazing thing about the power tool’s lighting capabilities is that it doesn’t create shadows that defeat the purpose of lighting dark areas thanks to its three LEDs and the placement of every LED to ensure that the light creates no shadows at all. The belt clip, on the other hand, enables you to hook your impact driver anywhere you wish. The DEWALT DCF815S2 Impact Driver Kit also comes complete with multiple torque settings, a DeWalt-unique reverse option, and variable speeds so that you end up with a multifunctional power tool that can adapt to various circumstances. Meanwhile, it owes its maneuverability when it comes to tight spaces from its 6¼ inch size and its 2.2 pounds of weight. What this means is that it’s even smaller than traditional impact drivers, which are already quite small to begin with when compared to power drills. This so-called kit comes complete with two lithium-ion battery packs.

Bosch PS41-2A Impact Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case

Bosch PS41-2A

Last but not least is the Bosch PS41-2A Impact Driver Kit. That’s not only a mouthful to say; it also showcases in one go the many specs and capabilities you can expect from the ever-dependable Bosch PS41-2A Impact Driver Kit. Bosch is one of those trusted brands when it comes to power tools and whatnot. After all, Robert Bosch GmbH, or Bosch, is a German multinational engineering and electronics company. What that means is that you’re getting the best of the world-renowned capabilities of German engineering in one awesome impact driver device. Bosch aims to exceed and not just to meet industry standards.

The Bosch PS41-2A is not only a lightweight driver; it arguably is one of the lightest in weight drivers of its kind. It also features compactness beyond mere regular smallness of a typical impact driver. To be more specific, it has the shortest head length of its class, which is small enough to reach into the tightest corners and areas. Meanwhile, it also has 930 pounds of torque compounded by 2,600 RPM for fast drilling. If that’s not enough to whet your DIY appetite, then how about the Bosch PS41-2A Impact Driver Kit’s three-LED light ring comparable to the one from DeWalt, which efficiently lights up a dark working area in seconds. Finally, it has a requisite fuel gauge for easier power and battery replacement management every time.

Makita LXDT01 18V Cordless Brushless Impact Driver

Makita LXDT01 18V Cordless Brushless Impact Driver

The Makita LXDT01 18V Cordless Brushless Impact Driver is a driver that’s also made by an internationally recognized brand name. Thusly, like with the DeWalt impact driver covered earlier, you can also expect the best when it comes to the Makita LXDT01. For instance, this driver has a three-speed power selection switch that can go 0-3,400, 0-2,800, 0-1,300 IPM and 0-2,600, 0-2,000, 0-1,300 RPM. This provides operators with the most accurate, dependable fastening control and screwing action for various applications such as swing set construction, installing cabinets, deck building, theater set creation, making shop furniture, and so forth. Like with the other entries in this list, it’s a flexible power tool that you can use for any application that involves drilling and fastening things together. After all, it delivers 1,460 inches per pound of max torque and increased motor efficiency to get you 20% longer battery life every charge.

What’s more, the Makita LXDT01 Impact Driver also a battery warning light that informs you if you’re low in energy. The LED light and the warning light both flash when it’s time for you to recharge the battery; like with the Porter-Cable PCCK640LB, you don’t have to estimate by yourself when your battery packs are about to run out of juice thanks to the warning system of the Makita LXDT01 Impact Driver. The Makita LXDT01 18V is actually smaller than the DeWalt offering because it’s 5½ inches long and weighs only 3.3 pounds. Because it’s a smaller device, your fatigue in handling it will be completely reduced compared to using, say, a power drill or a regular screwdriver. You yourself won’t have to twist and turn in order to make the impact driver work. Then again, this is a benefit shared by all impact drivers.

Impact Driver Buying Guide

The Difference between an Impact Driver and a Drill

Even if the operator has less muscle mass compared to your average construction worker, they can deal with more efficient screwing and lug nut removal thanks to the fact that the smaller impact driver offers less reaction force and recoil, with the action concentrated on one pinpoint place, which is the hole that you’re screwing your screw over. You can also use these impact drivers one handed or at tight spaces with no problem since you don’t need to torque your own arm and wrist to make them work. The best impact driver should be able to give you support no other power tool in your arsenal of power tools could offer. These drivers will vary in terms of torque, battery options, price, and size just like any other device out there. Even though they look the same, there are definite differences between a drill and this motorized screw driver.

A drill drills holes. An impact driver, although it’s capable of making holes bigger, does so only when rotating a screw, a bolt, or a lug nut. It puts bolts and screws in and out with such torque and force that when the job is done, you’d swear the connected parts are one. Impact drivers, curiously enough, have higher rotational torque than your average drill. Furthermore, the best cordless impact wrench should also feature a fast-paced rotational tapping (not the same motion you’d get out of hammer drills). This motion allows you to fasten things better and tighter while still keeping the screw tip in place so that the whole rig is still removable. What’s more, when you figure out the basics of this instrument and understand which one is the best one for you in accordance to their individual benefits, it should be easy to match the right driver to whatever job you want it to accomplish.

Some Reasons to Use an Impact Driver

There are many reasons why you should make use of an impact driver, but turning them into drill replacements is not one of them. Sure, as many impact driver reviews would note, drills can drive fasteners as well as drill holes like the best impact drivers out there, but they’re mostly used for lightweight work. If you want brute strength, that’s when you turn to impact drivers.

Conveniently Cordless: When using an impact driver, you don’t have to worry about getting cords tangled like mom’s spaghetti. This is because the average impact driver runs on rechargeable batteries and is mostly cordless to boot. They’re so small they don’t need an electrical outlet to work. These battery packs can even be taken out of the unit and recharged on some other battery recharging module. If you want more convenience, purchase an additional battery or two so that you won’t have to wait between charges to use your tool.

Compact and Lightweight: Speaking of which, the smallness of your average impact driver is also of great note and convenience to the average operator. A regular drill is heavy and cumbersome to use (as well as very loud). However, impact drivers are made to be the mighty mites of your tool box. In fact, the best cordless impact driver you can acquire should feature compactness and a lightweight frame in order to make them easy-to-carry pocket drills and screwdrivers of sorts that you can take out of your pocket or tool box whenever required.

A Screwdriver and Drill in One: Aside from being so small, you can use them on hard-to-reach places without straining your arms and wrist, the average impact driver is also capable of doing both the work of a screwdriver and a power drill. Many of the tasks that are perfect for the tool include driving screws and drilling holes, making it more than just a motorized screwdriver. To be more specific they’re perfect for heavy duty jobs like swing set construction, deck building, theater set creation, making shop furniture, and installing cabinets.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Impact drivers have immense appeal among the DIY crowd exactly because you don’t have to apply any manual force when drilling anything or screwing anything into their respective socket. There even exist the best impact wrench variants that allow you to wrench in and out bolts with the same efficiency you would get from its pocket-sized screwdriver drill counterpart. Just point it at the specific direction you need to screw or drill, turn it on, and let it do the rest. This way, you can do one-handed driving and drilling.

Easy on the Wrists and Hands: The impact drill is arguably made with ergonomics in mind. It’s easy on your wrists and hands because all you’re essentially doing is pointing and turning it on without bracing your arm and body for impact like you would with the average drill. You’re able to do all this while at the same time placing loads of torque onto whatever fastener you’re fastening or material you’re drilling, thus ensuring of a tight grip on whatever nuts, bolts, and screws you want to connect properly.

Extreme Torque: Speaking of extreme torque, this little dynamo concentrates the pressure applied into one point. Not only are you safe from the equal and opposite reaction from something with such power by holding it in place so that it could do its job. This cordless impact drill also delivers the torque efficiently, thus making sure your fasteners as safe from being undone unless an even greater force tears them apart. The same force can also be used to unscrew them, making your impact driver the only thing to make your projects come undone most of the time.

Closing Thoughts

Read the reviews above carefully because certain impact drivers are better suited to specific jobs compared to others. There’s no such thing as a one-driver-fits-all-applications impact driver. Every situation requires different tools, even if it’s the same kind of tool. You should refer to the “Some Reasons to Use an Impact Driver” Section in order to know which aspects of a given impact driver stands out the most. When buying a cordless driver, you should avail of special hex chuck bits as well so that the extreme torque and speed (in RPM) of the tool is efficiently delivered, such that the shank doesn’t spin when under load. You can consider the impact driver not only as a motorized drill of sorts, but also a heavier duty version of your typical drill. You can use the drill for simpler jobs such as putting together entertainment stands or drilling holes for pictures, among other jobs.

However, as mentioned earlier, if you want high impact applications like deck building and driving or loosening lug nuts that can hold together a truck parts together, then nothing short of an impact driver will suffice. When considering the type of material you’re using and the size of the project, you err towards the side of caution and impact driver usage when it’s more complex and industrial-grade in scope. That’s the bottom line when it comes to impact drivers and what they bring to the table. More and more, standard hammer drills are being replaced by the average impact driver and with good reason: These smaller and torque-heavy screwdriver drills have more flexibility and adaptability than your average hammer drills that aren’t even that efficient in handling heavy-duty fasteners, nuts, bolts, and screws. If you have a big job and the average drill or screwdriver can’t handle it, then stick with impact drivers; they won’t let you down.