The Best Impact Wrench Reviews Recommended:
There are essentially two ways of dealing with frozen and stubborn bolts and screws. You either go whining to a professional power tool expert for a solution. Or, you may straight away get the best impact driver in the market. The impact driver is a great way of downward rotating frozen screws; your go-to power tool expert has one already!
How do you know if an impact driver is good enough?
Impact drivers are the real multipurpose goons of any woodworking shop. Let us quickly take you through some points that add to the muscles of impact drivers
The game belongs to torque: When driving those really long screws, the game is all about the torque that you have at hand. Impact drivers are primarily more useful because they have this unique ability to generate a lot more torque. A small driver should suffice when driving a big screw or when boring a rather big hole. Picture this: 3/8 x 10 inch lag screws piercing into cedar.
Capacity to bore big holes: It not just with the difficult screws that impact drivers are effective. They are also gems with boring large holes. With the smaller bits, they can even double up as drills. However, they always give you twice the rpm count over the regular cordless drills.
Ease of use: Once fitted and in action, the drill bit does not need to be re-engaged all the time. This makes the impact driver great for one-handed use. While standard drivers often require you to literally put your weight behind the action, the impact driver brings in all that centripetal force into play to give you superior comfort while driving.
All-in-one potential: If you are really growing comfortable with using the impact driver, there shall be a time when this could be the only driver you need. Yes, the impact driver has the potential to replace the traditional cordless drill, provided you are really milk and honey with the usage and noise levels!
In-box ear-jammers: Impact drivers are inadvertently loud, no questions asked. The trouble gets significantly reduced if they provide in-box earphones or ear-jammers or anything to that effect. This is more as a gesture of warning than utility really.
Smaller the better: If you are eyeing one of those 18-volt versions, you must have already noted that they are not significantly larger than their 12-volt cousins. This is big torque in a very compact tool. And that is the kind of size convenience you can get.
Possible use by a child: This is a non-recommended illustrative one of course. But it only goes on to show the ease that it really generates on the arm of the person using it. Waist-sized princesses could well find a new hobby in it!
Combo kit is a big yes: If you have the knowledge of bits and attachments, there is great benefit in buying combo kits as well.
Let’s take a look at all the amazing best impact driver 2016
1. DEWALT DCF887D2 20V MAX XR Li-ion 2.0 Ah Brushless 0.25" 3-Speed Impact Driver Kit
DEWALT has cut a similar chase with the DCF887D2 with the exception of a brushless engine. Coming from a brand like DEWALT, this more likely looks like a necessary innovation. Like it has happened so many times in the past, this has been done with a specific purpose in mind.
The brushless engine of the DCF887D2 provides a much higher runtime than most brushed engines in the market at the moment. The mojo of the DCF887D2 is a compact and light form factor combined with very high flexibility of operation. There are three pace settings that you may personally choose to go with – 0 to 3250, 0 to 2800 and 0 to 1000 RPMs. There are two 20 V batteries that come included with the DCF887D2. This further contributes to the high runtime of the device.
It does not matter if you are cramped down by the space of the woodshop. This lightweight design can fit into any corner very easily. There is an added Precision Drive feature in the device. This gives you added control over the centers and linear drives for every push and pull. And to top it all, it charges up in just an hour.
- Brushless engine and two 20V batteries for better runtime.
- Comes with 3 different speed settings.
- Greater versatility and flexibility.
- Integrated 3-stage LED lights, 20 second delay for better visibility.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- Similar segment devices offer better battery life.
- Does not have a battery charge indicator.
2. Makita XDT042 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit
The XDT042 18V LXT is among the most highly rated impact drivers around. And that is for good reason. Makita has fused several actionable attributes into this one cool device.
The XDT042 18V LXT from Makita is known highly for giving maximum power and speed into a compact size and form factor. The XDT042 18V LXT is almost the torch-bearer for Makita’s rather exciting 18V series. If you do not already know, Makita power tools are the fastest charging tools that are available out there. The Star Protection computer tool allows you to monitor data in real time and know if the device is being overused.
You can choose between two high speeds: 0 to 2,300 and 0 to 3,200 RPMs to enact a variety of applications in fastening. At that, the XDT042 18V LXT weighs only a paltry 3.3lbs. You can facilitate quick bit changes with the 1/4 inches hex chuck feature. All in all, the 4-pole motor built by Makita gives you 1,420 in.lbs of maximum torque. The slim handle is easy to grip and comes with a rubberized finish.
- Easy to grip, rubberized handle.
- Very lightweight design at 3.3lbs.
- Delivers maximum torque of 1,420 in.lbs.
- Includes 18V li-ion battery
- Works at 120V standard USA outlets, no global options
- Not the best for lug nuts in cars.
3. PORTER-CABLE PCCK640LB 20-volt 1/4-Inch Hex Lithium Ion Impact Driver Kit
With the PCCK640LB, PORTER-CABLE has come up with one of the finest impact drivers in the industry. It comes decked with a 20-V Li-ion battery and promises super smooth ease of operations.
The PCCK640LB masterfully combines some of the most basic features like a well-placed LED work light and one-hand bit insertions with the real pros like 1,450 in.lbs of torque and a maximum RPM limit of 0-3,000 RPMs. With this wide a range, it effectively alleviates the fatigue that most users face while using cordless drills. The transmission is really high performing and you can achieve very quick fastening applications with it. The size and form are so compact they can fit within any corner of your shop or home.
The LED work light is a real boon if your view is being blocked by some equipment shadow. With the high torque of 1,450 in.lbs, what the PCCK640LB ensures is super performance even with a lightly built frame. The kit that comes included with the PCCK640L brings to fore all the bits you would need for a wide range of applications – right from assembling ducts of HVACs to building decks to installing drywalls.
- 20V impact driver facilitates numerous fastening requirements.
- High power motor works up to 1,450 in.lbs of torque.
- Compact, lightweight and ergonomic design.
- 20V li-ion batteries with 1.5 amp/h cells.
- Slightly heavy compared to some other models in the segment.
4. Bosch PS41-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Hex Impact Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case
While most of the rigorous impact drivers we reviewed were in the 18V range, the Bosch PS41-2A is a light requirement driver in the 12V range. From the looks of it, Bosch seems to have deigned a supremely effective tool for small woodshops and fine furniture.
Like you would expect with most 12V drivers, the Bosch PS41-2A has a very compact head. In fact, it is the shortest head length in the 12V category. The size of the head is such that it can easily reach very tight corners and areas with considerable ease. It is also the lightest weighing 12V driver that will not strain you slightly even during the longest passes of use. Like of the 18V variants, the PS41-2A gets a 3-LED light for better jobsite illumination.
At 2.13 lbs, the PS41-2A gives you the real advantage over several weightier drivers. Despite this light weight and compactness, the PS41-2A works up power by the bulk. With 930 in.lbs of torque atyour disposal, you take on most light to medium driving challenges around. In fact, the 0-3,100 RPM is comparable with some of the best 18V drivers. The kit includes two 12V li-ion batteries, screwdriver bits, a charger and a bonus contractor bag.
- Compact and lightweight design, lightest and shortest head design in segment.
- Comes with 3 integrated LEDs for jobsite illumination.
- Very high 0-3,100 PRM range comparable with the best 18V models.
- Includes screwdriver bits.
- Some bits can appear to be slightly loose
Reasons that propel the use of impact drivers
Aside professional woodworkers, daily household chores and projects frequently require the use of impact drivers too. Besides, if you have a task, in bulk that too, the results obtained from the best cordless impact driver is simply unmatched.
Take a look at the following undertakings that you can accomplish using a cordless impact driver.
- Compared to a normal drill, impact drivers apply greater torque (about 1400 inches/lb vs. 450 inches/lb for any 18v cordless unit).
- The next time you wish to build a deck, cordless impact driver can help set the screws on time, without stripping off the heads of the fastener.
- Tasks that require the use of socket wrenches are best done using cordless tools.
- With an 18 volt model, replacing old tires won’t be much of a heck. After all, lugging those nuts can be done quick using the impact driver.
- Trimming is a delicate job, so using the cordless driver will prove useful when minimal pressure needs to be applied (like attaching electrical switch plates, assembling cabinets).
- Smaller, compact batteries like 12v, 14.4v or 18v (considered ideal) in impact derivers can help with plenty of carpentry jobs.
- Almost any task that employs normal cordless drills can be performed extraordinarily suing impact drivers.
Tips to buy the best cordless impact driver
Weighing the pros and cons in advance will only help you as a potential buyer to be wary of certain considerations. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for the best cordless impact driver:
- Impact drivers can be used with hex shaft bits or drive chucks.
- To avoid palm blisters, the handle of an impact driver must be comfortable to hold.
- Check to see that your chosen tool has a great advantage over standards drills and drivers, in terms of enormous torque.
- Unlike standard drills, a good impact driver will always help you with easy one-handed driving, meaning you don’t have to exert much.
- Call it drawback but impact drivers are really loud, to the extent that heavy metal drummers can have a difficult time operating with it. Make it a point to wear good ear protection while using.
- Most impact drivers contain forward/reverse switch that allow reversal of the driver’s rotation. In case your purchased one lacks this, chances are it might not be an impact driver.
- The rotational forces of the tool being high, a good measure of checking for quality is that component housing must be strong and stable.
- Though both 12v and 18v models are compact, testers suggest trying the latter for a good amount of torque is released using it.
- Few cordless drivers come with a built-in LED lamp, which actually serves great for drilling holes or when screw driving, especially where natural light is limited.
- Unlike impact wrenches, the torque isn’t that much. Cordless impact drivers are however great when using for small engines.
- Just because the machine works like a hammer drill, it is not a substitute for the latter. When buying, ensure it’s an impact driver only. The exterior might look similar but the difference is apparent when they operate under tight loads.
- Invest in a combo kit. By spending few extra bucks, you not only get the best impact driver but several other accessories that you might require at some time or the other.
Maintaining An Impact Driver
It’s not a daunting task to maintain drivers, provided you check for the factors as listed below that can extend your driver’s life.
Lubrication: Before starting with your driver, set aside some lubricant so as to reduce chances of malfunction.
Air filtration: The air supplied through pipes and hoses if found to be contaminated, can gunk few rotating parts of the driver.
Specific cleaners: Oil and cleaners recommended by the manufacturer must only be used for cleaning, as they are usually non-corrosive to few components.
Proper setup: Compressors can go wrong anytime, so configuring things properly is the duty of the user.
Leaks and check-ups: Keep your tools clean under all circumstances. Dirt spells risk and replacement, expenses.
Where is the difference between impact driver and cordless drill?
Drills have only one way of operating- rotational action. On the other hand, impact drivers offer higher rotations with much torque and many impacts. The latter produces excessive noise.
Where is the difference between impact driver and impact wrench?
Impact drivers have somewhat lesser torque than the wrenches. For larger diameter nuts and bolts, wrenches work well, but for fastening jobs with screws, drivers are the way to go.
When should an impact driver be used?
Though a number of operations can be accomplished using cordless drivers, but whenever screws need to be fastened, the driver proves more beneficial. Aside that, nuts that require turning can also be done using it.
Will impact driver drill holes?
Given the high RPMs, cordless impact drivers can drill holes. Few however, lack control over low end speed. As a result, drilling holes become difficult.
Which is better- 18v or 20 v drivers?
The latest sensation in volt terminology is the 20v driver. But 18v batteries are considered best in comparison to its counterparts. Few companies having changed their battery formats resort to the latest.
Among the impact drivers we reviewed both in the 12V and the 18V categories, the Makita XDT042 18V LXT truly stands out. Apart from the easy-going yet important details like a slim, rubberized handle and a super light design of 3.3 lbs, the driver is also among the very few that can boast of a 1,420 pound-inches of torque. The q8V li-ion battery that comes included with it has 2 separate cells that guarantee greater runtime. What really separates the Makita XDT042 from others is the sheer variety of competition that it throws at you. If you need to drive with torque, this is the singular too you need.