4 of the Best Impact Drivers to Tackle Your Biggest Jobs
Practically everyone has a drill. Drills are super handy for every day fix-ups such as hanging pictures and putting furniture together.
But what about the bigger jobs around the house? For instance, if you want to install your own deck or finally install the built-in bookshelves you’ve always wanted. You’re going to need the amped up version of the drill–the impact driver.
Or perhaps you like to do your own work on your cars and you need a tool to help with your mechanical work. A drill won’t get the job done, but an impact driver will make all the difference.
As you have probably gathered from a little research, an impact driver comes in all budgets and sizes. Then you add to it all the features–amps, volts, and hammer speeds–and suddenly an easy decision becomes way more complicated. To save you time, we’ve put together 4 great options for you to consider so you can get on with your work.
Dewalt has an outstanding reputation for tools. There are several features which make this our pick for the best impact driver. Everything you need is in this one kit. The DCK240C2 includes both a drill and an impact driver. You can accomplish almost any project with both of these tools.
There are many seemingly small details which have a big impact on your performance. The first is how lightweight the product is–coming in at one pound. You won’t have to worry about hand fatigue for a long time. The ergonomic design of the drill makes it easier for you to continue to work for hours on end.
The second are the three LED lights to help illuminate your workspace. You’ll be able to get more accomplished because you can actually see what you’re working on! And since this is a cordless model, you’ll be able to move about freely wherever you need to go.
The design is great, but what about performance? The 20v provide enough power to get the job done. The 1.3Amp lithium ion battery will make sure your impact driver lasts long enough.
Customers love this impact driver because of the long battery life and outstanding performance. You’ll see uses ranging from building a deck to working on a motorcycle. The Dewalt is a perfect option for performance and ergonomics.
DEWALT DCK240C2 20v Lithium Drill Driver/Impact Combo Kit
Our top pick. This kit includes both an impact driver and drill. Lightweight, yet powerful, this impact driver will keep you working for hours.
Another great option for a drill/impact kit is the Porter Cable PCCK604L2. Weighing in at 3.2 lbs, this one is slightly heavier than the Dewalt option, but costs less too.
The 20V packs a punch, making sure you can accomplish what you need to. The torque comes in at 1450 inches per pound, which means it’s powerful enough for whatever you need. You’ll also have plenty of battery life with the 1.3Amp lithium ion battery. 1500 RPM’s give you the speed and additional power you are looking for.
People who’ve purchased this product rave about how much power you get for the money. It’s lightweight but powerful enough to build decks or work on cars.
Another great perk of this product? The batteries for the Porter Cable impact driver will fit other Porter Cable products, helping you get even more bang for your buck.
PORTER CABLE PCCK604L2 20V MAX 2-Tool Cordless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit
Our runner up. This impact driver and drill set is heavier than the Dewalt but costs less. Perfect for occasional or short term use.
Another Best Impact Drivers
The Craftsman V20 Cordless Drill Combo Kit
Craftsman tools have been around a long time, and many customers are loyal to this brand. The same goes for the impact driver, which is found in the Craftsman CMCK200C2 V20 Cordless Drill Kit.
The cordless impact driver allows you to change out your bit with a one-handed operation.
It gives you 1460 inches per pound of torque and two speeds. You can use the 800 RPM setting or the 100 BPM for your really heavy-duty work.
This is also a good option if you prefer a tool with a heavier weight to it, versus other models. It’s durable and rugged to stand up to any potential drops from the ladder.
Customers love this item for its long battery life and ability to stand up to the tougher jobs. The weight of the unit can be an issue though. Choose this model if you don’t think you’ll be holding your impact driver for long periods of time, but still want powerful features.
The Black & Decker BDC120C gives you a maximum amount of features for a minimum budget. The 20V will give you power, while the torque comes in at an impressive 1375 inches per pound. Don’t let the price fool you. This impact driver is perfectly capable of handling your jobs with construction or mechanical work.
This unit is lightweight compared to other models. It comes with one lithium-ion battery, making this a great option if you’re looking for a cordless model.
This is a great option if you don’t need the impact driver and drill kits, but you still need the heavy-duty performance of an impact driver. The Black & Decker BDC120C doesn’t have as many frills as other versions (such as an extra battery or LED light) but can still handle the workload.
BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver
Our value pick.
Questions to Ask to Find the Best Impact Driver
When you are trying to decide which impact driver will be the best for your DIY needs, you’ll want to consider several factors.
What is the torque? If you didn’t pay attention in your high school physics class, don’t sweat it. Torque is simply how much force it takes to make something rotate. In the case of an impact driver, the torque will come in quite handy when working with fastenings.
For example, you’ll see it listed as 1,000 inch pounds of torque. Some models may be as high as 2,000 inch pounds of torque, while others will have 450. Depending on how much work you do with fastenings, you’ll want to look for a higher number. The higher the number then the more powerful the tool will be.
What is the voltage? Impact drivers come in three different voltages – 12 volt, 18, and 20. This is a good measure of how powerful the machine is. Most people will tell you there isn’t much difference between the 18 and the 20 volt. However, the 18 volt is a substantial amount more than the 12 volt. If you need an impact driver that can handle tougher items (such as decking material or car parts) then choose one with a higher voltage.
What about speed? Look for models with a higher RPM (rotations per minute). The higher the number, the more likely it can handle whatever you throw at it. You can also find models with variable speeds. You can choose the lower speed for easier jobs, and the higher RPM when you need extra power.
Is it corded or does it use a battery? Impact drivers will come with either a cord for a power source or battery operated. Make sure you choose which will work best for your use. With the corded versions, you never have to wait on a battery to charge. It’ll always be waiting for you whenever you’re ready to use it.
With a battery, you won’t have to worry about a cord getting in your way. You’ll be able to move around effortlessly.
If you do choose a model with a battery, look for the lithium-ion batteries which will last longer on a charge. No one wants to spend hours waiting on their impact driver to re-charge its battery. Look for the amp per hour rating to give you an idea of how long the charge will hold. For example, you may find a 1.5 amp/hour model.
Another feature which is helpful with battery operated models is a charge indicator. Many models will have indication lights to help you gauge if your battery is running low. This will come in quite handy when you’re working on a project for several hours at a time.
How much does the impact driver weigh? This is pretty self-explanatory, but something which is often overlooked. When comparing models, it’s helpful to see how much the impact driver weighs. Most impact drivers range from three to ten pounds. An additional pound or two may not seem like a lot, but when you are holding it for long periods of time then it can start to wear on you.
Choose the Best Impact Driver Like a Boss
Choosing the best impact driver is an important decision for your toolbox. You’ll have to find the balance between ergonomic design and battery life. But you also have to choose a unit that can complete your tasks and stand up to the wear and tear.
The good news is, there are several great options at many different price points. Once you know what you need–such as with torque and speed–you’ll be able to find the best impact driver for your needs.