As we continue our quest to build the perfect power tool setup, today we take a look at some amazing impact drivers around the market. We have some typical heavy hitter brands such as DeWalt, Makita and others, but what about some less-known names that still bring us quality, affordable tools? We took a look at the highest rated impact drivers for the money and narrowed it down to the 10 best.
If we had to choose the absolute best impact driver for the money, we’d recommend grabbing a Makita XDT08Z. This thing is one of the highest quality impact drivers in the market. As we’ll explain later, budget is important, but when it comes to power tools, quality, power and overall construction are key for investing in a model you want to last a while. Keep in mind it is the bare version, so if you need a battery to go along with it you can buy the driver with battery for some extra money. If you want some more options to take into consideration, continue reading.
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An impact driver is a power or manual tool that provides energetic, powerful rotational downward force. They’re one of the most common power tools out there (and often seen in combo kits). In combination with attached screwdriver bits and a socket set, it is usually used to loosen up bolts and nuts that are “stuck” due to corrosion or too much torque. The tool can also be used in the opposite direction to tighten the screw better when you can’t apply the necessary amount of force manually or with a cordless drill. This is where the impact driver vs. cordless drill debate comes in — and that is the answer: impact drivers are needed when you merely need some force, while cordless drills can get the more brittle, everyday tasks done.
A powered impact driver uses an engine or compressed air to continuously deliver force, ensuring speed and efficiency. It is most often used in construction and manufacturing when there is a need for additional force (that humans can’t provide), which is especially handy for screw-driving.
- Pricing – How much you’re willing to spend will really steer you towards either a higher-quality Makita or DeWalt make or a more budget-friendly model like B and D or Porter-Cable. Our best impact drivers under $100 may help you if you want something more budget-friendly.
- Corded or cordless? Cordless give you extra versatility and in our opinion, is a must when it comes to using an impact driver. Just know that if you do go cordless (as most are in here), you’ll either have to buy a separate battery or hopefully use one that you already have. Check out our best cordless impact driver if you want a narrowed down list of models in that category.
- Additional features – Most come with merely the essentials, but others also throw in some LED light guides, specialized handles and more.
- Brand preference? We always include this part in our guides because some individuals truly prefer remaining brand loyal when it comes to their power tools.
The Makita XDT08Z impact driver is a versatile and powerful tool we feel is our number one choice to buy. It is one of the best impact drivers in its price range, which is no wonder when we take into an account its performance abilities. It comes with a Lithium-Ion brushless engine that ensures reliability, far better and longer than with classic brush engines. Its 18V lithium ion battery is known for its long-lasting performance. The cordless impact driver delivers maximum versatility and performance, not to mention it has the popular Makita construction so many rave about. It also notably delivers up to 1,420 lbs max torque, with 0-3,200 IPM and 0-2,500 RPM, for a reliable and controlled power that will effectively complete any given fastening task. The Makita XDT08Z weighs only 3.4 lbs., which makes it perfect for long activities or projects. Thanks to its compact design and ergonomic handle, it will easily function even in small spaces and ensure reduction of getting tired. Not this is the “bare version” (hence the Z) so it doesn’t come with a battery. Hopefully you have a few Makita batteries hanging around, otherwise you can buy the XDT08 kit, albeit for some more money.
The DeWalt DCK296M2 is probably one of the best impact drivers when it comes to overall build, power and quality. It comes with the signature DeWalt brushless engine that provides more than 50% more energy than others, which ensures longer battery life and much more usage than it’s rivals. It comes with a 20-Volt engine that delivers up to 1500 lbs of max torque at 0-2800 rpm and 0-3200 impacts per minute, which is excellent force that will reliably loosen corroded screws as well as enable you to swiftly and efficiently complete most projects. The DeWalt DCK296M2 impact driver also comes with an LED light that will ensure sufficient light in places with limited visibility. Its compact design comes in handy when you need to operate in small spaces. With its 3.4 lbs., it is lightweight, which is always helpful when using a cordless impact driver. This one rivals the Makita and we’d grab this if you want a 2-piece set.
Milwaukee M18 1/4 In. Hex I
The Milwaukee M18 1/4 In. Hex I is definitely the right choice if you are looking for the strongest compact impact driver in its class. It also delivers an excellent combination of power to price ratio, which makes it one of the best impact drivers you can choose if the previous two models weren’t catching your eye — it’s a bit cheaper than them as well. This model by Milwaukee comes with a 4-Pole engine without a frame and an impact mechanism that delivers up to 1500 lbs of fastening torque, 2750 RPM and 3450 IPM for ultimate-quality work. It also comes with an LED light that will provide sufficient lighting in spaces with restricted vision. It has a very compact design that enables you to work in confined spaces and is also lightweight, despite the fact that it is made of high-quality, sturdy metal that will ensure long-lasting, dependable performance. The Milwaukee M18 1/4 In. Hex I is a versatile and powerful impact driver that will surely not disappoint you.
This is one of the best impact drivers in the mid price-point range. With its 20V high torque engine that will deliver max 1.495 in/lbs of torque; 0-2,900 RPM; and 0-3,100 BPM, it will ensure swift fastening and a wide variety of applications in and around your home. It is a compact and lightweight tool that will easily function in small spaces and thanks to its 3.2 lbs. weight, it will enable you to work for long periods of time without experiencing much tiredness. Like the others, t comes with a convenient built-in LED light that will provide extra lighting if you need it. It also provides a swift load chuck that enables you to insert a bit single-handedly. There is also a multi-speed trigger as well as a battery fuel gauge that clearly displays the remaining charge which doesn’t hurt. Grab the Porter-Cable PCC640B impact driver if you want something in the middle — remember it’s the “bare version” so you’ll need a battery to go along with it.
The DC825B impact driver is another model by DeWalt making an appearance here. With its 18-volt powerful frameless engine it delivers up to 1330 in/lbs of torque, 0-2400 RPM and 0-2700 IPM for a multitude of fastening activities, from easy ones to more demanding tasks. It is incredibly small with a very convenient compact design that is always a plus when looking for a driver. Additionally, it is also very lightweight, which in combination with its ergonomic, textured comfort handle will prevent fatigue for long periods of time. The DeWalt DC825B impact driver also has a variable speed trigger that allows for complete control of the amount of power you apply during any project, which will enable you to save energy and ensure the longevity of the tool. It comes with a high-quality magnesium gear case and all metal transmission as well, which will further ensure tool durability. What can we say — it’s another DeWalt model that blows others out of the water.
The NitroCat 1200-K impact driver is a true heavy hitter in this tool category and definitely one of the best impact drivers in its price range — however a relatively high one at that. If you have the money, the specs on this one are very strong. It is a powerful tool with its 20V engine that will deliver 1,295 in/lbs max torque, 950 BPM and 8,000 RPM of free speed for a wide variety of fastening operations. It has a variable speed trigger that will help you control its sheer power and you can apply only as much power as you need to complete your project. The 1200-K impact driver also comes with a Kevlar housing that will ensure the durability of the tool. Despite its heavy frame, it is still a solid weight (not too heavy), and its ergonomic, compact design will ensure easy and longer operations. It will reliably function in confined spaces and its built-in LED light will allow you to work well regardless of the lighting.
Black & Decker BDCI20C
The BDCI20C is one of the best impact drivers in its middle price-point class. With its 20V brushless engine it reliably delivers 1375 in/lbs. of max torque, 0-3000 RPM and 0-3900 IMP, which will give you a pretty solid amount of power and force when it comes to tasks that ask for an impact. Its brushless engine economically uses energy and enables 50% longer battery life. The Black & Decker BDCI20C comes in a compact and lightweight design that will enable you to complete all of your projects while preventing operational fatigue. On the other hand, its reliable 20V battery will provide you lots of time to fasten without having to worry that you might need to charge the battery before the completion of the project. Black and Decker delivers a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee for this impact driver, giving you additional peace of mind when you choose to purchase this tool.
The Makita XDT09Z is another one of Makita’s popular impact drivers. With its 18-Volt Lithium-Ion brushless engine with 3 speeds, it will enable you to complete a wide variety of fastening operations, swiftly and with ease. It is a top fastening tool that delivers 1550 in/lbs max torque fastening, torque in three speed modes (0 to 1.100, 0 to 2.100, 0 to 3.600 RPM followed by 0 to 1,100; 0 to 2,600; and 0 to 3,800 IPM) that enables the user more precision when it comes to the energy necessary for a particular fastening task. This impact driver has a brushless engine that will ensure the preservation of battery power and 50% longer battery life. Makita’s ‘Quick-Shift Mode’ will provide an automatic electronic controller that will reduce rotation and impact speed before you start driving the screw into place. This will minimize damage to your work, preventing screw thread stripping and screw breakage. It’s a bit up there in terms of price but well worth it if you’re able to afford it — you’re definitely getting what you pay for here.
Maybe you didn’t know that Kawasaki is manufacturing anything else but motor bikes, but we can assure you that the 841337 impact driver is an excellent tool that will enable you to complete all fastening tasks on your tires swiftly and reliably. It’s obviously for different uses other than the impact drivers in this article, but if you’ve made it this far into the list it may be something you’re looking for. It is the best impact driver for a quick tire change while you are on the road. It is a small, versatile impact driver that can be loaded on a 12-Volt cigarette lighter outlet and can reach up to 11 feet. It comes with 190 ft/ lbs of max torque that will ensure swift tire change so you can keep on driving without any problem. It also has a built-in LED light and its compact and lightweight design is ideal for portability. The Kawasaki 841337 comes with a manufacturer’s 3 year guarantee as well, which gives you additional peace of mind in regard to the quality of this tool.
The Tekton 2905 impact driver might not be your usual household name when it comes to reliable machinery, but here we have a reliable, versatile and durable impact driver that will perform its work dependably and powerfully. Although it doesn’t fit the build like the rest of the models in this article as a power tool, it has effective fast-forward and reverse drive action, which makes it perfect for all screwing and screw-releasing actions. The drive size is 3/8 inch and impact size is 5/16 inch, which makes it perfect for all household activities. It can deliver decent torque force – albeit as much as you might need in your household operations, and with its compact design it will easily reach even hard to reach corners. Thanks to its lightweight design, you can use it for long periods of time. This is an excellent small tool that will not disappoint you and you will not have to invest a lot to get yourself one — grabbing a Tekton 2905 is more of a question being “why not just add this to my arsenal?”