With the right tools, it is no doubt that your work would be executed in a short period of time without any struggle. One good example of a tool that can aid you in your work is an impact driver.

Compared to drill drivers, impact drivers offer more powerful punch and force. Though it is pretty much like the former, impact drivers can work on fasteners faster. It is all possible through the added impact mechanism that pounds the tool inside as the rotation drives the fastener in. This gives the impact driver a more powerful torque.

So, if you need to work or drive a lot of fasteners in a project, having a quality impact driver is a must. And while we love to have the conventional corded models, opting for cordless ones is more ideal due to their maneuverability features. 

That being said, we formed a group of individuals who have sufficient credentials and knowledge about cordless impact drivers. Picking the top-notch models in the market, we tested each of them and compared them to give you a reliable, comprehensive roundup. Also, as we give you the best insights about cordless impact drivers, do not forget to check their best deals on amazon by clicking the buttons below.

Best Impact Drivers Comparison & Rating

Impact Drivers

Features

Impact Driver,Pistol Grip,18VDC
  • 2,000 inch-pounds of torque
  • 3,600 RPM, and 4,300 IPM
  • 4-mode drive control
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)
  • max torque of 1400.0 inch-pounds
  • 0-3,200 IPM
  • built-in 3 LEDs with a 20-second delay after releasing the trigger
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • 1375 inch-pounds of max torque 
  • 0-3000 RPM and 0-3900 IPM
  • soft-touch grip
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (3.0Ah)
  • 1,500 inch-pounds of max torque
  • 0-3,400 RPM and 0-3,600 IPM
  • reaches a full charge within 30 minutes
  • 3 LEDs with a 20-second delay after trigger release
  • 1825 inch-pounds of torque
  • 3-speed setting (0-1,000 / 2,800 / 3,250 RPM)

1. Milwaukee Pistol Grip Impact Driver

Impact Driver,Pistol Grip,18VDC
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Milwaukee

Dimensions

4.29 x 6.42 x 9.41 inches

Weight

2.20 pounds

Torque

2,000 inch-pounds

98%
performance
98%
durability
98%
features
98%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Has a brushless motor that delivers up to 30% faster driving speed.
  • Comes in a compact size at 4.59" in length that allows it to access even tight spaces.
  • Features 2,000 inch-pounds of torque, 3,600 RPM, and 4,300 IPM.
  • Includes a RedLithium battery pack.
  • Boasts of a 4-mode drive control which gives you better control to fasteners.
  • Has a Self-tapping Screw Mode that reduces the stripping of fasteners.
Cons:
  • Cleaning it up from grease is a bit of a challenge due to the external design of the unit.
  • It could strip heads if you don't put a lot of pressure on it while driving your screws, especially on Phillips screws.
Final Take:

It is a compact and dependable impact driver that will allow you to manage lug nuts from cars with ease. With its 2,000 inch-pounds of torque and 3,600 RPM, tire rotation can be performed in a shorter time period. This is also possible due to the good control it offers through its 4-mode drive control. The 1 to 3 settings offer the exact speeds you need for specific applications while the 4 stops the drill when the screw head gets to the surface. And although most of its exterior comes in rubber and plastic, the entire unit gives you a solid feel in your hands. That said, for its price, you’ll get a powerhouse in this compact tool.

2. DEWALT DCF885C1 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

DEWALT

Dimensions

5.55 x 9 x 3 inches

Weight

2.8 pounds

Torque

1400.0 inch-pounds

97%
performance
98%
durability
98%
features
98%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Sports a built-in 3 LEDs with a 20-second delay after releasing the trigger to give you better visibility, be it day or night.
  • Comes with a max torque of 1400.0 inch-pounds.
  • Comes in a compact design weighing only 2.8 pounds and measuring 5.55 inches front to back. It allows users for a solid grip for a long time and easily gets into tight corners.
  • Easy loading of bits with one hand, thanks to its ¼-inch hex chuck.
  • Accepts 1 inch bit tips.
  • No-load speed comes at 0-2,800 and it boasts of 0-3,200 IPM.
  • The package includes the DCF885C1 impact driver unit, one 20 volt MAX battery, and a fast charger.
Cons:
  • Sometimes encounters challenges handling lug nuts.
  • The belt clip is not included.
Final Take:

It is true that DEWALT DCF885C1 impact driver doesn’t have the highest torque on the list. But it has the right amount of force to fit almost all kinds of mechanical works you have. At the max torque of 1400.0 inch-pounds, it can make taking nuts and bolts on and off much faster and easier. The battery of this model has also an impressive performance as it won’t deplete even in 5 hours of use. We also adore how just perfectly speed-sensitive its trigger is. It gives you just the right control to go from 0 to 3200 IPM. This makes it a good choice for those who often work on light automotive mechanical tasks and woodwork. Most of all, we tested it with a series of tests and after dropping it at a three-meter height, it was still capable of running flawlessly without skipping a beat. Truly, it is more than just a compact tool. It is a sturdy and reliable tool that, despite its size and specs, can last for a long, long time.

3. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver Kit

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
Specifications:
97% Overall

Brand

BLACK+DECKER

Dimensions

7.88 x 3 x 9 inches

Weight

3.45 pounds

Torque

1375 inch-pounds

97%
performance
96%
durability
96%
features
98%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Powered by a BLACK+DECKER 20 V Max Powerconnect Lithium-Ion Battery System that makes it interchangeable.
  • Boast of a soft-touch grip that gives you both comfort and a solid grip.
  • Sports a 1⁄4-inch quick-release hex chuck that makes instant swapping out of hex bits possible.
  • Features 1375 inch-pounds of max torque for secured driving of fasteners.
  • The package includes one impact driver, one 20 V max battery, one charger, and one screwdriver bit.
Cons:
  • Doesn’t have a side clip.
  • Gets hot when used continuously for a long period of time.
Final Take:

What makes people love BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver is its torque power. Delivering 1375 inch-pounds of torque with speeds ranging from 0-3000 RPM and 0-3900 IPM, it can work on long screws, lag bolts, and other fasteners easily and drive them on most types of hard materials such as knotty wood, metal, and masonry. As for light mechanical works for bicycles, motorcycles, smaller parts of cars, this impact driver won’t certainly falter. It is also a reliable tool even in a dark working situation, thanks to its light guide that is activated by its impressive variable trigger. As a matter of fact, comparing it to other brands in the market, this is relatively cheaper given its quality features. This gives you better pricing while getting all the functionality you need.

4. Makita XDT131 Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (3.0Ah)
Specifications:
96% Overall

Brand

Makita

Dimensions

10.16 x 15.08 x 6.06 inches

Weight

3.3 pounds

Torque

1,500 inch-pounds

96%
performance
97%
durability
95%
features
96%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Its brushless motor delivers 1,500 inch-pounds of max torque.
  • Features a variable speed from 0-3,400 RPM and 0-3,600 IPM that gives you better control for a wide range of fastening applications.
  • Its 18 V LXT 3.0 AH battery can reach a full charge within 30 minutes.
  • The package includes a brushless impact driver, one 3.0 AH battery, one charger, and a tool bag.
  • Convenient one-touch 1/4" hex chuck for quick bit changes.
  • Comes with a built-in dual L.E.D. lights.
Cons:
  • It is a bit bottom-heavy making the unit a bit of a challenge to use for a long period of time.
Final Take:

The Makita XDT131 Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit boasts a BL brushless motor that prevents carbon brushes. Compared to the conventional models, its motor can run for a longer period of time without getting hot. Also, due to its motor’s nature of being electronically controlled, it has an optimized battery energy use that allows it to run 50% longer than other brands. This also allows the motor to adjust appropriately according to the torque and RPM demand of your task. The company also equipped this model of its Star protection Computer controls. It is a communication technology that makes it possible for the tool and battery to exchange data in real-time and control the conditions while you are using the impact driver. This protects the unit from possibilities of overloading, over-discharging and overheating.

5. DEWALT DCF887D2 XR Brushless Impact Driver Kit

Specifications:
96% Overall

Brand

DEWALT

Dimensions

41.2 x 11.43 x 25.65 cm.

Weight

7 pounds

Torque

1825 inch-pounds of torque

95%
performance
95%
durability
98%
features
96%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Sports a 3-speed setting (0-1,000 / 2,800 / 3,250 RPM).
  • The three speeds provide a different amount of torques at 0-240 / 1,500 /1,825 inch-pounds.
  • Delivers up to 1825 inch-pounds of torque.
  • Features a one-handed loading 1/4" hex chuck with easy grip sleeve. Also accepts 1" bit tips.
  • Comes with 3 LEDs with a 20-second delay after trigger release, giving you a clear vision of your task.
Cons:
  • Though a fall would not affect the internal mechanism of the unit, the handle section could break when not handled properly.
Final Take:

We really love the Precision Drive of the unit through its Speed 1. This gives the full delicate control you need to avoid over-tightening and fastener damage. The first speed setting comes at 0-1,000 RPM which is just enough to handle screws appropriately. On the other hand, its torque at 1,825 inch-pounds max is very efficient to help you out on your daily mechanical works. The build is also very sturdy that no fall would affect its internal mechanism, thanks to its durable external material.

Best Impact Drivers - Buyer's Guide

torque

This is one of the major points many buyers look into an impact driver. If you are someone who has to deal with heavy-duty tasks, it is suggested to opt for models that have high torque. Nonetheless, it is also ideal to go for models that offer the average amount of torque that can handle light to medium amount of work.

control

Always make sure that the model has a good speed-sensitivity in its trigger. While having an ample amount of torque is impressive in a powerful impact driver, it is also important that the unit sports enough control features for you to properly use the tool in various task applications.

durability

Impact drivers are often used in heavy-duty works and they are often subjected to unwanted falls. This is why having a unit that can withstand numerous falls is a must. Thankfully, we tested all the models mentioned above and we are glad to say that all of them passed series of endurance tests.

features

Always go for the model that offers all the features that you need, be it size, ergonomics, torque, buttons and trigger, or LED. Keep in mind that these features will aid you to have a better working experience every time you use the impact driver.

price

Keep in mind that not all cheap options will give you the best deal. Conversely, an expensive one will not always guarantee you the best performance. That is why it is important to look for the features you need and choose the brand that offers all of them at the most reasonable price.

Best Impact Drivers - FAQs

Is the “pounding sound” in my impact driver normal?

Yes, it is normal. The pounding sound is actually the mechanism inside the impact driver that pounds on the rotating part of the tool. It helps in giving the impact driver a higher amount of torque.

What is the difference between an impact driver and a drill?

The difference between an impact driver and a drill lies in their torque. The former has a higher torque that comes in quick burst compared to drills. Impact drivers also feature quick-release shanks accepting all one-quarter inch hex driver bits.

Can I use an impact driver as an alternative to a drill?

While you can use an impact driver to drill in a pinch, keep in mind that is meant to drive fasteners and not to drill holes. Nonetheless, if you have the right bit, it is possible that you can drill a hole in a light material using a standard hex-shank drill bit.

Where do I use an impact driver?

An impact driver is meant to drive long screws and bolts. It can also get through metals such as pressure-treated lumber, hardwood, or heavy steel due to the amount of torque it has.

Author

Santi Bongco is an editor at SolidSmack which is the leading site for 3D CAD, robots, cool product designs, and other technologies. For the past seven years, he taught robotics and developed innovative 3D printer ideas with his students. He also helped in developing some innovative digital ideas and products for various digital marketing businesses and big companies in Asia. Now, aside from exploring buffet restos in California, he enjoys leading groups of our in-house experts in trying some of your favorite products and electronic brands to write insightful reviews for you. PS: He loves reviewing appliances and taking them home to personally ‘try’ them.