What’s the Best Impact Driver for 2021?

Impact Driver Review

For most people, an impact driver is not the first addition to their work kit.

Instead, they start with a standard drill. While that is an okay decision, there are times when your regular drill goes not quite cut it.

RankPictureModelRatingShop
#1DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit ReviewDEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit9.8/10Check Price
#2Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver ReviewMilwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver9.6/10Check Price
#3BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver ReviewBLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver9.4/10Check Price
#4SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver ReviewSKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver9.3/10Check Price
#5BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit ReviewBOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit9.1/10Check Price

Most people understand the need for an impact driver on driving screws. Yes, you can use the drill to drive screws as much as you can create pilot holes.

However, you can do the same job quickly and more effectively by shifting to an impact driver. Therefore, if you want to create a work kit that prioritizes efficiency over all-in-one stuff, you can start by adding one of the best impact drivers into it.

As you can guess, though, you have to choose between various types of impact driver tools. Cordless impact drivers and brushless impact drivers are only two of the main options. Further down the lane, you will have to choose between multiple combinations of performance, power, design, and additional features.

The impact driver you select can make or break your workflow and routine, to be fair. Therefore, you will have to consider different aspects like brand value and build quality. For example, you cannot expect an electrician and a carpenter to prefer the same impact driver. Altogether, it is a complicated process.

We understand the situation very well, and we sought the help of some veterans in the industry to create a grassroots-level solution. We talked to electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and many others who have used an impact driver in their work domain.

Based on these insights, we chose the best five impact drivers you can find on the market today. Of course, we had thousands of customer reviews and ratings to back up our opinion. Shall we check them out?

Winner: DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit Review
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Weight: 2.8lbs

Our winner pick is this widely-used and super-popular 20V MAX impact driver kit from DEWALT. A product that does not cost too much, this battery-powered device has become the favorite option of electricians and woodworkers, among other professionals.

Thanks to the space-saving design of the machine, it can easily be used in different spaces. You may notice that the product does not come with many fancy features. Instead, it focuses on a no-hassle approach towards power fastening. Altogether, you should consider the DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit if you can relate to these points.

Benefits

  • The DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit comes with a simple and ergonomic design. Because it has a minimum weight of 2.8lbs, you will not have trouble using the machine in tight job environments. For instance, if you have to fasten some screws while standing on a ladder, this impact driver assures the best experience in town.
  • This product from DEWALT also ships with a few additional features. For instance, you get a built-in LED system, which comes with a 20-second delay after releasing the trigger. The light from this three-LED system can help you ensure maximum accuracy while driving screws. It is also convenient to load the bit using a single hand, increasing the usability by a long shot.
  • The DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit has a rather unexpected torque of 1400 Inch Pounds. Given the compact and lightweight design of the product, the number translates to a lot of power. Its 1.5Ah battery will power the machine for a considerable amount of time. We also loved that it has a fast charger included in the package.
  • The DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit comes with a three-year limited warranty from the company. Provided that the company has its service centers and support channels across the country, you can use excellent after-sales support. You can easily find tutorials and peer-community help when you want to customize the work set up by adding more accessories into the package.

Drawbacks

  • Some customers have mentioned that the battery on this 20V impact driver does not last long. While it may be true, we must also consider the scenario using the product. If you want to use the maximum torque of the system on rigid materials, you cannot expect the device to last for more than a few minutes.
  • Some users also believe DEWALT could have used a better battery in the package. Because it has to power the machine and the LED lights simultaneously, you may need to keep a spare battery. We believe people expect better quality for the price.

Extra Features

We must appreciate the overall design of the product and its compactness. From the front to back, it is just 5.5 inches long. When you hold the product, you can rely on the grip to maintain maximum accuracy.

Since it uses a pressable control, it is effortless to manage the sensitivity of the impact driver. Altogether, the new design is excellent for beginners and pros alike. The compact design extends the practical possibilities of the DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit by a long shot. In the first scenario, if you want a small-enough product that fits the working environment, the product gets the job done.

In the second scenario, when you want to get maximum power to deal with rigid surfaces, the impact driver can step up the game. It is the best form of flexibility you can ever have if you ask us. 

Buying Advice

The DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit is the best example of how you should not judge a machine based on its looks. As we said, this impact driver comes with an impressive amount of power and design that improves productivity.

You can count on this cordless impact driver when you want to combine the best build quality and additional features. However, you cannot expect the machine to last for so many hours, especially if you leverage the maximum torque. Finally, you do not have to spend a massive amount of money on this device.

Runner-Up: Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver

Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver Review
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Weight: 1.37lbs

If you think our top pick costs a little too much, you should consider the runner-up, a cost-effective impact driver from Milwaukee. As you probably know, Milwaukee has been making some of the best industry equipment for decades. And the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver is no exception.

This simple, compact, and ergonomically designed product packs many features that you do not see on premium impact drivers. If these additional features appeal to you, you should consider including the cordless impact driver in your package.

Benefits

  • As you can guess, the system is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery. Because it has a voltage of just 12 Volts, you can expect a reasonable running time. The company has also used an internal computer tech to ensure that the motor does not get overheated often. Milwaukee has attained this through constant communication between the sensors and the controller.
  • Compared to our top pick, the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver has a lower torque. It has been set at a torque of 1000 Inch Pounds. However, this number sync with the battery specifications and the maximum speed of 2500RPM. Once again, the compact design will allow you to use the machine in various environments.
  • Thanks to the internal computer tech inside, the impact driver can show you how much battery life is remaining in the package. You can check out the LED lights on the left side of the machine. It even gives you numbers in 25% increments, which is impressive. These LEDs will prevent a situation where you end up with a shut-down impact driver at work.
  • Milwaukee has also included an ambidextrous belt clip in the package. From the accessibility point of view, it is a significant improvement. Regardless of your dominant hand, you can use the machine with maximum comfort. It is nice to see that the manufacturer has addressed this issue, which manufacturers almost always forget.

Drawbacks

  • The biggest drawback of the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver is that it does not come with a built-in battery. You cannot ideally take the product out of the box and use it for maximum results. Of course, even when we consider the extra price for the battery, the impact driver will stay more affordable than the first pick.
  • As you can guess, Milwaukee had to make a few compromises to bring the price down. The construction of the housing is not that great. There are multiple instances where customers are unhappy with the build quality. It means you may need a replacement soon if you roughly use the product.
  • As you can guess from the numbers, this cordless impact driver is not as powerful as the winner pick of the article. If you are a professional electrician and want a machine that keeps up with several days of non-stop working, this product will not be a suitable option. On the other hand, DIYers seem to love it so much.

Extra Features

You can use the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver with extra accuracy, thanks to the LED lights on the front. If you have to work in low-light environments, the LED panel will prevent shadows from ruining your accuracy. Milwaukee has also optimized the overall design to provide comfort while holding the device for hours continuously.

Buying Advice

Undoubtedly, the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Cordless Impact Driver is a fantastic option from an affordability point of view. You do not have to worry about the build quality and power when dealing with DIY-based projects and beginner-stage electrical projects.

However, once you go beyond that border, you would feel the under-performing nature of the product. By adjusting the speed and performance, the impact driver maintains a balanced driving experience. Altogether, if you prefer the convenience and a proportional speed over off-the-charts power, you would love this product.

Alternative: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver Review
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Voltage: 20V
  • Weight: 2.6lbs

If you are looking for a semi-premium impact driver with better performance, the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver is a great consideration. This cordless product also packs one of the best designs we have seen on impact drivers. Seamless one-hand operation and ergonomic holding points are two things that make the impact drill interesting.

Benefits

  • Despite the cordless and compact design, you can count on the performance offered by the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver. You can use it on industrial-level materials without the worries of getting stuck in-between.
  • Like many premium cordless impact drivers you can get, the product also comes with a quick-release 1/4 inch hex chuck. Once you have gotten used to the size, you can change the chucks using a single hand.
  • The 20V capacity of the machine translates to an impressive maximum torque of 1375 Inch Pounds. It means the machine can keep up with you even when shifting to a commercial space from a residential one.
  • The Lithium-Ion batteries used by BLACK+DECKER are known for their high capacity and durability. It translates to better running times and durability. You can also choose between different battery sizes.

Drawbacks

  • The package does not include the battery and the charger. Considering the price it charges, we believe it is not the most affordable option in the market. You can choose a battery that suits your needs on the bright side.
  • The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver also lacks a few premium features that we had expected to see in a premium product. For instance, the lack of LED lighting and battery indicators is a big loss for some users.

Extra Features

The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver does not come with any extra features.

Buying Advice

The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver does not stand apart due to the extra features or the customization options. On the other hand, you can count on this 20V impact driver if you are looking for a performance improvement. Apart from this, the product is one of the typical cordless impact drivers you find in the market.

Alternative: SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver

SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver Review
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Voltage 20V
  • Weight: 5.18lbs

There are times when you have to give up extra features and choose an impact driver with impressive power and performance. It also happens to be the best brushless impact driver you can get today, but you should be ready to pay a little extra. On the bright side, though, you can expect the SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver to last more than a couple of years.

Benefits

  • As you can see from the specifications, this cordless, brushless impact driver has a maximum voltage of 20V, and it comes with a 2.0Ah battery inside. It means you can use the product for a considerable amount of time without recharging the battery. You can control the sensitivity quite easily as well.
  • Compared to the other impact drivers we have covered on this list, the SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver is mighty. You can easily use the digital motor with an impressive variety of surfaces, including but not limited to rigid wood.
  • We already mentioned that you do not have to charge this impact driver often. However, when you have to, the included fast charger can give you 100% battery in just 45 minutes. It is great for those who need uninterrupted performance without having two units.
  • You can also choose between two-speed levels and enable extra control. Depending on whether you are dealing with long fasteners, you can pick one of these modes. According to the situation, the machine can intelligently shift to a more robust mode.

Drawbacks

  • As you may have noticed, the SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver is not compact at all. It has a total weight of 5.18lbs and consumes a good amount of space. So, you cannot use the impact drill in all situations.
  • Even though the package comes with impressive features and build quality, it has an expensive price tag. We do not think ultimate beginners can afford this impact driver without compromising in some other area.

Extra Features

In addition to the superior build quality and advanced performance, the impact driver allows you to charge other devices from the built-in battery. You can use a USB cable to charge your smartphone when you work. We should also note that the digital brushless motor will last longer than its analog counterparts.

Buying Advice

Although it is not the most affordable product, the SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V Impact Driver delivers an impressive amount of performance. In the end, you will have a device that can catch up with your different screw-driving needs and other power-consuming tasks. The intelligent system can change its speed based on the scenario as well.

Alternative: BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit

BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit Review
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Weight: 2.3lbs

BOSCH is another name you can trust when it comes to industry-grade equipment. And the BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit is another testimony to that conviction. We also think the product brings a best-of-both-world scenario. While it offers almost the same level of performance, you do not have to deal with a super-bulky driver kit.

Benefits

  • The BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit uses a reliable design that we have seen for many decades. However, the entire thing is only 5.9 inches, and you can include it in your electrical kit with zero-hassle.
  • Because it has a voltage of 18V and a powerful battery inside, the power transmission can offer up to 1400 Inch Pounds of power. You can also reach a whopping 2800RPM system, which is excellent. The company has added some supportive features as well.
  • BOSCH has used a hammer-and-anvil system with this compact impact driver. Therefore, when you want to enjoy maximum performance, you can do that with no trouble. The design also reduces the amount of recoil you face as the user.
  • As you can guess, this premium product comes with a built-in LED system and quick-charge options. To be honest, we would have been disappointed if we did not find these options in a product of this price tag.

Drawbacks

  • Again, the problem is that not everyone can afford this product. You seem to be paying a reasonable amount for the machine and the battery, as you can see. Nevertheless, you do not have to worry about the system giving up on you halfway.

Extra Features

The BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit does not offer many extra features. The company has focused on providing the best performance and build quality, commendable. You will also love the highest-quality support from BOSCH.

Buying Advice

Considering all these aspects, we recommend the BOSCH GDR18V-1400B12 18V Impact Driver Kit as the best upgrade option for intermediate users. Even though you may have to give up on some extra features, you would love the product’s overall performance. You can expect the compact impact driver to last a long period as well.

Impact Driver FAQ

Is a brushless impact driver better?

benefits of impact driver

Yes, a brushless impact driver is better than a traditional impact driver. We have to look at the performance aspect of all these changes.

Therefore, you can enjoy better performance and hassle-free systems when you have a brushless impact driver system. It happens because the brushless motor can reduce friction and last for long. However, you may have to pay a little extra for a brushless impact driver.

Should I buy a drill or impact driver?

You should understand that a drill and an impact driver are two different products. Even though you can use them interchangeably in some cases, the solution is not absolute.

An impact driver is designed to drive screws into rigid materials, while a drill is designed for regular drilling needs. As we said, you can use a set of accessories to reverse these options, but you will have to compromise accuracy and control in the end.

Can I use an impact driver as a drill?

We already mentioned that impact drivers are not designed for drilling needs. However, with the help of a few accessories, you can use the product for drilling.

While doing so, you cannot expect the desired amount of power or accuracy, though. The hammering action of the impact driver will affect how it deals with the drill-bit.

What is the difference between an impact driver and an impact wrench?

impact driver for electrician

Impact drivers are designed to help you drive screws into wood and other materials precisely and in an effortless manner.

On the other hand, an impact wrench has been designed to tighten and loosen the variety of nuts and bolts. Because of the differences, impact wrenches are bulkier and need different input. However, you can always find corded and cordless options in both categories.

Conclusion

There is no denial that you need one of the best impact drivers for your electrical or general work kit.

However, based on the requirements, you can control how much you spend on these devices. You must not hesitate to get a premium and rugged-built impact driver if your projects require better power and durability.