Impact drivers are similar to cordless drills. However, these tools make 5 times more torque than ordinary drills, therefore they can undo any bolt you have in mind. Still, they are lightweight and compact. Thanks to their simplicity, but a huge role in tough jobs, an impact driver will help you complete any task at least 30% quicker than without it. They are also the only alternative to undo old and rusty bolts.

Torque is the first and the main feature you should look for in your new impact driver! It is shown in inch-pounds and in this case, more is better. Smaller models usually have around 500 inch-pound of torque. On the other end, we have advanced and high-end impact drivers with incredible 2.000 inch-pound of torque. Rotation force (torque) determines the applications of a tool. Light-duty models (500-700 inch-pounds) are for minor applications, while the impact drivers with 2.000 inch-pounds are suitable for heavy-duty applications. Note: If you are a mechanic, you will need an impact driver with the highest amount of torque. In order to get the best impact driver, pay attention to the speed. It is displayed in RPM and it means how many rotations a tool can achieve in one minute. Once again, more is better. A model with 2.200 RPM is treated as fast and it is usually a safe choice. The voltage will determine the power of an impact driver. Smaller models have 12V while larger may reach 18V. Usually, higher voltage means a bigger and heavier impact driver, designed for more demanding operations. A related feature to consider is the weight of a tool. Make sure it isn’t too heavy, or it will cause hand fatigue. Here, we have tested 5, top of the range models. All of them are new, modern and designed to meet your criteria.

Comparison

Product Rating Price
Makita XDT042 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit 4.7/5 $$
DEWALT DC825B 1/4-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver 4.8/5 $$
DEWALT DCK240C2 20v Lithium Drill Driver 4.6/5 $$$
DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4 4.0/5 $$
DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless 4.5/5 $$$

Makita XDT042 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Without any doubts, this is the best impact driver right now. It is made by one of the best manufacturers, Makita and it is based on the latest generation of impact drivers. In essence, this means that you get a lightweight, 3.3lbs tool, capable of delivering up to 1.420 inch-pounds of torque. It is 18V and it comes with a heavy-duty, Lithium Ion battery. In simple words, this model has all the aspects we mentioned at the beginning! An electric motor is a new-generation unit, therefore it can deliver up to 2.300 RPM. It is quiet and eco-friendly as well. We liked a brand new feature, called the Star Protection Control. It monitors the usage of a tool and prevents the battery from overcharging. Even better, it allows you to use different batteries to power your tool. Just look for the symbol of the Star Protection Control on a battery. Pros: • The highest speed is 2.300RPM. • 18V so it is powerful. • Can deliver up to 1.420 inch-pounds of torque. • Star Protection Control. • Lightweight. • Soft and comfortable handle. Cons: • Too big for minor applications. • The battery itself is heavy, affecting the balance. • Batteries are expensive to replace.

DEWALT DC825B 14-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver in Retail Package

The DEWALT DC825B is another brand new tool of this kind, made by Makita’s biggest rival. It is also a powerful, 18V impact driver, made from high-quality materials. As the end result, it has a low weight of just 2.2 pounds (without a battery) and dimensions are 5.8 x 6.7 x 4.1 inches. Other advantages include a frameless electric motor, designed specifically to prolong the lifespan of a tool. Replaceable brushes are another addition that should be mentioned. All of this is packed in a modern case with ergonomic handle. This tool will deliver 1.330 inch-pounds of torque and 2.700RPM. Dewalt says that the best sides of this model are compact dimensions and the ability to use it in hard-to-reach places. We are generally satisfied with this unit. It is modern, well-made and it comes with a 3 year warranty. Pros: • 2.700RPM. • The electric motor can deliver 1.330 inch-pounds of torque. • Comes with a 3 year warranty. • Compact and suitable for tight spaces. Cons: • Comes without a battery. • More expensive compared to the previous model (when a battery is included).

DEWALT DCK240C2 20v Lithium Drill Driver/Impact Combo Kit

As a kit, this is a product to choose, simply because you get an impact driver and a drill. It is lightweight, only 2.8 pounds and it comes with 3 LED rights. This small feature, allows you to see the desired bolt without shadows. Both tools use Lithium-Ion batteries that can be used on different tools, made by this manufacturer. Note: The drill has 300 unit watts out. Other things we will have to mention is that you get 2 batteries and both tools are well-made. They feature ergonomic handles, modern design and you can see the high-quality. Also, both of them are suitable for usages in tight areas. With the kit, you also get a contractor bag, perfect for carrying these tools anywhere you want. We must say that the standard warranty is 3 years. Pros: • This is a kit, so you get 2 tools in it. • Both tools use the same batteries. • Lightweight. • 3 LED light circles. • Contractor’s bag. Cons: • Additional torque would be great. • Kit comes without accessories.

DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 14” Impact Driver Kit

This is currently the number one new release. It is an updated model, offering well-known Dewalt features. In essence, you get a lightweight, 2.8 pound impact driver with 3 ring lights (LED) and a 3 year warranty. However, there are some additional features implemented. You get 1.400 inch-pounds of torque and the highest speed of 2.800RPM. The fact it is a completely new tool suggest and the 20V energy system. A 1.5 Ah battery is recharged with a quick charger. At the end, we can say that this model is suitable for professionals. It has a lot of power, it is durable, comes with a high-grip ergonomic handle and it also has a design that will allow you to use it in small spaces. You should know that simple addition, such as belt hook, suggests that this is a fully professional model. Pros: • 1.400 inch-pounds of torque. • Modern design. • 20V rather than conventional 18V. • A battery can be used for other Dewalt tools. • Belt hook made from metal. Cons: • Comes with a bag, rather than with a case. • It will get hot when you use it for a longer period of time.

DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless 0.25” 3-Speed Impact Driver

The DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR is the last model here. It follows the same path most of the latest Dewalt tools have, so it is beautifully made and has perfect dimensions. At the same time, it weighs only 2.2 pounds, which made it one of the lightest impact drivers in the class. While this sounds well-known, you should get an idea that this model is all about precision. You get 3 different speed settings. Thanks to them, you can use it for more precise and delicate operations. Important: For delicate operations use the 1 speed. An interesting fact is that this model is more powerful, but 2 mm shorter than the previous model. It is also a 20V power tool, so you get more power, perfect for more demanding tasks. A value for money is impressive as well. In general, you are getting an affordable impact driver of the latest generation that comes with all the features you are going to need. Some of the standard ones include 3x LED rings and belt hook (full-metal). Pros: • It is very powerful. • Lighter and smaller than the previous model. • 3 speed settings (for precise operations). • 20V. • A battery can be used for other tools, made by Dewalt. Cons: • Comes without a battery. • It requires 100% healthy battery to deliver maximum performances.

Conclusion

All 5 models here are safe to buy. They are not cheap alternatives, they are the main tools to consider. We tested and categorized them based on the quality, features and the performances they offer, but all of them can meet average demands. If you are looking for power, models here with the highest amount of torque and the highest speed are the ones you will need. Another advantage of these 5 tools is that they are based on the latest generation, so you get quicker chargers, better batteries, and additional precision-related improvements. Let’s not forget that all of them are compact, therefore lighter, which is more important than you may imagine, especially if you are going to use your impact driver for more than just a few hours per day. These tools managed to achieve amazing rankings and high scores on all tests, so you will get a lot of plus sides, but not a single, severe drawback. Add the fact all of them are made by world-known manufacturers and you will end up with an impact driver that will last for many years to come.