If you are filling out a tool shed or garage, then you absolutely need the best impact driver. It is a great all-around power tool that is useful for a wide variety of jobs ranging from general DIY to specialized woodworking.
Given how important of a tool it is, you want to make sure that when you do buy an impact driver, that you buy the best one that you can find.
We are here to help you out with that. We have reviewed a list of great impact drivers to help make your decision easier. If you want a recommendation, we say go for the Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Impact Driver 2021
Best Impact Driver Reviews:
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
There are certain brands that you always expect to see when looking at any list categorizing the best power tools. It doesn’t matter what kind of power tool you are talking about, some brands will always find a way onto the list.
So, when it comes to our list looking for a impact driver, it probably isn’t some big surprise that one of the prime contenders is from DEWALT. They are definitely a very recognizable brand when it comes to power tools of any kind. The DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1) is a great DEWALT impact driver, as you will see in this review.
The first thing that you will notice about this impact driver is its size. Impact drivers, generally, are not large tools. However, even by that standard, the DEWALT is still fairly notable. It is relatively small and compact. This makes the tool extremely manageable and easy to use. It is perfect for working in smaller spaces and in cramped conditions. It is so easy to manage in fact, that you can easily change bits with one hand, for even more convenience.
At the same time, you shouldn’t let the small size fool you. This impact driver packs a surprising amount of kick for such a small package. It boasts a total power output of around 1400 in-lb (inches per pound). This isn’t the most power that you will see on this heat impact driver list, but given the small size of the DEWALT, it is definitely very impressive.
This being a DEWALT power tool, there are certain standards that need to be met regarding durability and convenience, otherwise, it just wouldn’t be a DEWALT power tool. For starters, this is an extraordinarily well-built tool. Even though it is small, you can tell that it is built to last. Secondly, it comes with quality of life features like a built-in LED light for working in low-light conditions and easy to change bits.
While the DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1) isn’t our pick for the title of overall best impact driver, it is hard to deny that this is a great power tool that will be a valuable addition to any tool shed.
- One-handed bit changing.
- Built-LED light.
- Surprisingly powerful, given the small size.
- Compact and easy to hold.
- Could use a stronger battery.
- Could use more adjustable components.
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
For the next product on our impact driver list, we are going to be looking at a low-cost option for those of you who want a cheap impact driver for low-cost home maintenance or small DIY projects.
BLACK+DECKER has something of a reputation for making low-cost tools that are still relatively effective. The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C) is a good example of this, as you will see in this review.
Obviously, we have to start this review by mentioning probably the most notable feature of this impact driver, which is how affordable it is. Coming in at under $60, this is easily the cheapest impact driver that we will review on our impact driver list. This makes it a good option if you only do really light DIY work and need a cheap, convenient impact driver for that purpose.
It can be easy to associate being inexpensive with being low-quality, but that isn’t the case here. The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C), despite being inexpensive, is fairly well-made and offers surprisingly good performance.
To give you an example of what we mean, let’s take power. This impact driver offers a power output of around 1375 in-lb, which is almost on par with the power output of the more expensive DEWALT that we reviewed earlier. So, for far less money, you get an impact driver with roughly comparable power output.
As you can probably tell just from looking at the impact driver, this is a very lightweight and compact impact driver. Much like the DEWALT impact driver that we reviewed earlier, this is an impact driver that is designed to be used in small areas. Also, because it is so light, it is very easy to use this impact driver for long periods of time without developing a sore hand or anything like that.
It also has very easy to change bits. You can quickly release the bit on the impact driver and then swap in a new one. It makes it a lot easier to work on large projects that may require different sized bits to be used at different stages.
- Extremely inexpensive.
- Lightweight; can be used for hours.
- Easy to change and customize.
- Powerful, given the price.
- Good battery quality.
- Probably won’t last you for an extremely long time, given the price.
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit
Our last review was of a relatively inexpensive impact driver. For this next review, we are going to be completely changing gears and will be looking at an extremely high-end impact end impact driver in the form of the Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (3.0Ah).
This is a somewhat pricey impact driver, but if you don’t mind the price, to say that you will be getting a really good impact driver would be something of a massive understatement. As we plan to show you in this review, this is an exceptionally well-made power tool.
For starters, this is easily the most powerful impact driver that we have reviewed so far on our impact driver list. The power output is around 1500 in-lb, which is about 100 in-lb more than the next most powerful impact driver that we have reviewed so far. This means that the Makita has enough power to deal with different problems and it can be used on a wide variety of different projects.
Despite having a really high power output, this is still a very comfortable impact driver to use. Not only does it fit very nicely into your hands, but it also doesn’t weigh a lot so you can use it easily enough. It also comes equipped with a rubber grip on the handle, which makes it even more comfortable to use.
A hallmark of Makita products is durability and that is definitely true of the Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (3.0Ah). The interior is made with very high-quality aluminum that helps to protect the vulnerable internal components of the impact driver. These tools have lots of small, vulnerable components like gears inside of them, so having an extra layer of protection is great and definitely worth a bit of extra money.
Again, we acknowledge that the price may be a turn-off to some. At the same time, however, we also have to acknowledge that the quality of the Makita definitely justifies the high price. It has a lot of great features and it will be a mainstay of your tool shed for a while, so it is certainly a good investment.
- Very durable and built to last.
- Internal components protected by strong aluminum.
- Very powerful.
- Comfortable to use thanks to rubber grip.
- Can be a pricey investment.
Milwaukee M18 2850-20 18-Volt 1/4-Inch Brushless Impact Driver
A brand that isn’t quite as famous as should be is Milwaukee. Their tools aren’t quite as popular or as common as say DEWALT’s tools are, but they still make some pretty high-quality power tools that work well for any budget.
For this reason, we wanted to include at least one impact driver from them on our impact driver list. That is why we are going to be taking a look at the Milwaukee M18 2850-20 18-Volt 1/4-Inch Brushless Impact Driver.
One of the biggest reasons to get a Milwaukee impact driver (and this model in particular) is the extremely high-quality motor. Despite not being all that expensive, the Milwaukee M18 2850-20 18-Volt 1/4-Inch Brushless Impact Driver – Bare Tool has one of the better motors on this entire impact driver list.
The impact driver is equipped with a brushless motor. This motor will deliver consistently great performance. It will last you for a long time, presuming that you perform some very basic upkeep from time to time. Finally, it won’t break down on you in a pinch. The brushless motor on this impact driver is very reliable and it isn’t liable to break under strain like the motors on many other impact drivers out there.
Aside from the motor, this is just a well-made and easy to use impact driver. It works well in small, tight spaces. It is easy to handle and highly accurate. It also isn’t too heavy, making it a good candidate for working on ladders or working on overhead structures, where being able to maintain your balance is all that is keeping you from a broken bone or two.
We do wish that the good folks at Milwaukee had included a charger and battery with the tool, but that isn’t a big issue in the grand scheme of things. Still, it is a bit annoying to have to buy them separately. It also lacks some nice convenience features, like a built-in LED light for low-light working conditions.
- Extremely durable and reliable motor.
- Great for working on overhead structures or in tight spaces.
- Designed to last.
- Very reasonable price.
- No battery or charger included.
- No built-in LED light.
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit and Impact Driver
For the end of our impact driver list, we are going to be looking at the PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit and Impact Driver, 2-Tool (PCCK604L2). As you can probably see from the name of this product, this kit includes 2 tools.
We wanted to include it to help out those who really want to get some good value when they purchase an impact driver. Now, only one tool in this kit is an impact driver (the other is a power drill), but we still think it deserves to be mentioned on this list.
The PORTER-CABLE impact driver is fairly well-made and we imagine that it would be a valuable addition to any tool shed or garage shelf. For starters, it is very powerful. Coming in with a power output of just under 1500 in-lb (1450 to be precise), this is among the most powerful impact drivers that we have reviewed on this list.
One benefit to getting 2 tools in this package is that each comes with its own battery. The batteries are, of course, interchangeable. So, if you only plan on using the impact driver, you are effectively getting two batteries. The batteries are also very good. They are powerful and hold a charge really well.
Something else that should be mentioned is that this impact driver comes with an extremely convenient built-in LED light for working in low-light conditions. It automatically comes on whenever you hold down the trigger, which is very helpful.
- Pretty powerful.
- Built-in, automatic LED light.
- Comes with 2 interchangeable batteries.
- Comes with 2 tools for the price of 1 (impact driver and power drill).
- A bit heavy.
- Not good if you just want an impact driver.
Impact Driver Buying Guide
While this article is intended primarily as a product review article, we aren’t content with just telling you what the best impact driver is, we also want to tell you why it is the best.
In this buying guide, we are going to explain some of the important criteria to consider when picking out a good impact driver.
When you consider what you are going to be using an impact driver for, you can probably understand why it is necessary to have an impact driver with a good power output. Power on impact drivers, as you saw on our impact driver list, is measured in in-lb (inches per pound).
Generally, handheld impact drivers have anywhere from around 1100 to 1500 in-lb of power. On our list, the most powerful impact driver had a total power impact of 1500 in-lb and you probably won’t find too many impact drivers that are more powerful. If you aren’t too concerned with getting the most powerful option, you will be fine with a power output of around 1300 or 1400 in-lb.
Ease of Use
Just as important as power is ease of use. When picking out an impact driver, you want one that is easy for you to use. Ease of use is made up of various different factors. For example, impact drivers should be lightweight because this makes them a whole lot easier to use.
Likewise, you also want your impact driver to have a built-in LED light as this makes working in dark conditions. Something else to consider is overall size. You might have to use your impact driver in cramped conditions.
If this is the case, it is really helpful to have an impact driver that is on the smaller side. As you may have noticed from our impact driver review list, pretty much all of our selections were on the smaller side.
Determining whether an impact driver is worth the money or not can be a difficult task. One thing that you almost certainly took away from our impact driver list is the fact that impact drivers come in a wide array of different prices. Just on our list alone, we had impact drivers that cost under $50, and we had impact drivers that cost over $150.
If we wanted to, we could have found even more expensive impact drivers to feature on our list. This begs the question of which price is right for you. This is going to depend almost entirely on your own budget.
However, we will say that you need to consider longevity as well. A more expensive impact driver might be hard to swallow at first, but it might also last a lot longer. The same can’t be said for a less expensive tool.
If you are still unsure about how to find the best impact driver, or if you want to give us feedback, you can do so by leaving us a comment down below.