Best Impact Driver List & Rankings

impactdriverspecialist_rtvd13Impact Driver Reviews0 Comments

Featured Image Showing a Dewalt and Milwaukee Impact Driver with "Best Impact Driver" text

If there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty:

Life is much easier when you have a POWERFUL and RELIABLE impact driver.

The problem is that there are so many different brands and models of impact drivers that it is difficult to know which one is best.

That’s why we have spent time researching all of the best impact drivers from all of the top companies in order to compile this Best Impact Driver list.

And without further ado…

Our Best Impact Driver Round-up

First Up, The Heavy Hitters

Let’s first review the professional grade tools on our list of Best Impact Driver. These tools are packed with loads of power and extra features but come with a steep price tag.

We love buying high quality tools and think that these four tools are more than worth their money.

But which one provides the most VALUE for our dollar? Read on to find out.

First, let’s see how they compare against each other based on their specs.

  Image of the Dewalt Logo Image of Milwaukee Tools Logo Image of Makita Tool Company's Logo Image of BOSCH Logo
Model Name DCF887 2573-22 XDT12T IDH182-01
Max Torque 1,825 in-lbs 1,800 in-lbs 1,500 in-lbs 1,650 in-lbs
Max RPM 3,250 3,000 3,600 2,800
Max Impact/Min 3,800 IPM 3,700 IPM 3,800 IPM 3,200 IPM
Weight 2.0 lbs 2.1 lbs 2.4 lbs 3.2 lbs
Tool Length 5.3 inches 5.25 Inches 4.625 Inches 6.2 Inches
Included Battery (2) – 20V 2.0Ah MAX XR (2) – M18 REDLITHIUM XC 5.0Ah (2) – 18V LXT 5.0Ah (2) – 18V 4.0Ah FatPack
Xtra Features 3-Speed / Precision Drive / No Shadow LED 4 Speed DRIVE Control / Self Tapping Screw Mode 4-Speed Power Select / Tightening Mode / Assist Mode 3-Speed / Impact Wrench and Impact Driver Combo
Warranty 3 Years 5 Years 3 Years 3 Years
Shop on Amazon:

How they rank:

1st Place (Tied) – Milwaukee Impact Driver 2753-22

Image of Best Impact Driver - Milwaukee 2753-22This came down to a really close race between the Milwaukee and the Dewalt. Both of these Impact Drivers are both worthy of the title Best Impact Driver, and in the end we decided that we couldnt declare either kit as better than the other. Both are great tools, and deserving of their 1st place rankings. As for which one is right for you? That just depends on your specific needs.

What we love about it:

The POWER: The Milwaukee Impact Driver also packs an impressive 1,800 in-lbs of torque. It is only surpassed by the Dewalt in this category, which outdoes it by only a mere 25 in-lbs. This different is negligible and you’d never notice the difference out in the field. The 1,800 in-lbs of torque that thing pumps out is more than enough for most applications.

Its Weight: Once again, this is another category where the Milwaukee just barely trails the Dewalt Driver. At 2.1 lbs (bare), this Milwaukee Impact Driver is one of the lightest that we ever tested. Having a tool this light is a major help when working long projects.

Its Size: The Milwaukee 2753 manages to outdo the Dewalt here by .05inches. This is once again another negligible difference. The Makita beats out both of these tools, but we’d rather keep the length longer if that means gaining another ~300 in-lbs of torque.

The Batteries Where the Dewalt falls short, is where the Milwaukee truly shines. This kit comes with two 5.0Ah REDLITHIUM XC batteries. At 5.0Ah these units are sure to last all day under most normal applications. For a few more dollars than the Dewalt set you’ll be getting an impressive set of batteries that will most likely not need to be upgraded.

The Adjustable Power SettingThe adjustable power settings on this tool are amazing. There are four distinct power setting tools, including the Self Tapping screw mode which really helps precisely drive in self tapping screws when you need to.

The Warranty: The Milwaukee tool offers a best-in-class 5 year warranty. This edges out all the other units which have warranties that only last 3 years.

What could be better

Honestly there’s not much bad to say about this driver. We absolutely love Milwaukee tools and it is our preferred brand. If it were not for the price tag of this kit, it would most likely rank 1st.

But Is it right for you?:

If you’re willing to shell out the extra money for the Milwaukee 2753-22, you’ll be rewarded with a top-of-the-line tool that you could proudly call the best impact driver. You’ll also get two amazing 5.0Ah REDLITHIUM XC batteries which will last for a very, very, long time.

1st Place (Tied) – Dewalt Impact Driver DCF887

Image of Best Impact Driver DCF887 Dewalt Impact DriverThe Dewalt DCF887 series has also earned the title of best impact driver on ou list. Just looking at the comparison table alone, the Dewalt impact driver is competitive in every single category, while being available at a substantial discount to the competition.

What we love about it:

The POWER: This thing is packing a whopping 1,825 in-lbs of torque out the gate.  Compared to the other drivers in this category, only the Milwaukee 2753 can compare.  The other two don’t even come close.  With this in our toolbox we don’t ever have to worry about having enough power to get the job done.

Its Weight: Of all of the impact drivers we tested, the Dewalt was in at the lightest.  At only 2.0 pounds, it feels like you’re carrying nothing.  This helps a ton on jobs that require us the carry the driver for a long period of time.

Its Size: This is not the most compact tool on our list, but that doesn’t mean that it is still not quite compact! At 5.3 inches this is still an extremely compact tool that is sure to fit in to a variety of tight spaces. The only other tool to truly beat out the Dewalt Impact Driver in this category is the Makita XDT12T. But it looks like the Makita had to sacrifice some power in order to make the tool that small. We think the compactness of this impact driver at 5.3 in plenty and should definitely be small enough for most of those tight situations that you might be required to work in.

The Price: The price of this kit is incredible! This one of the cheapest kits on our list, but it still manages to still have extremely competitive specs. The one reason for this low price is most likely the two 2.0Ah batteries. The Milwaukee and the Bosch both include two 5.0Ah batteries (this is probably a main reason for their higher price). But for those people that won’t need 5.0Ah batteries, this kit is a perfect introduction into the Dewalt platform.

What could be better

The Included Batteries: The two 2.0Ah 20V MAX batteries that are included leave something to be desired. Ah stands for amphere hours, and for the most part, are a good indication of how long the batteries will last for. Two of the other kits in our list both come with 5.0Ah batteries that are sure to last much longer the than 2.0Ah batteries included with the DCF887D2 kit. If you think this would be an issue for you, look to buy the Dewalt DCF887B (Bare Tool) and then buy some 5.0Ah Dewalt batteries separately. It’ll cost you a bit more money, but this is probably one of the best combo’s out there.

The Adjustable Power Settings We love that the power settings on this tool can be adjusted. However, we think that Dewalt could have done this a little bit better. The three settings on this tool are not very evenly spaced out (0-250 / 1500 / 1,825). So while the first and third settings are definitely useful, we found the middle setting to something we rarely used. Dewalt could improve upon this by making the middle setting somewhere better in between (with a max torque of ~1000).

But Is it right for you?:

If you’re in the market for the best impact driver and you aren’t tied to any particular platform — this is probably one of the best kits you could buy to start out.

The tool itself is extremely powerful and competitive across most major metrics.

The only major downside is that the batteries included are not top of the line. They have a low Ah rating and won’t last as long as some of the other batteries out there. But for most common applications, these batteries would be fine and suit most people’s needs. Just don’t forget to put the spare back on the charger.

3rd Place – Makita Impact Driver XDT12T

Image of Best Impact Driver - Makita XDT12TMakita’s offering in this category is pretty unique. The defining feature of this tool is its insanely small 4.625 inch length. This absolutely smokes the competition. There isn’t a single other tool that we’ve reviewed that comes even close. But all of this power in such a small device comes at a price. At this price, it is one of the most expensive tools on our Best Impact Driver list.

But, if you are in the market for an ultra-compact and lightweight tool, this is the tool that you would want. Makita has managed to keep the specs of the tool pretty impressive, despite its small frame.

What we love about it:

The Size: The XDT12T is insanely small! Seriously! At 4.625, there is nothing that comes even close…at least not with these specs. People buying this tool are looking for maximum compactness.

The Batteries: Just like the Milwaukee Impact Driver on our list, the Makita has included two awesome 5.0Ah batteries with this kit. And with a price tag like this, it should be expected.

The Adjustable Speed Settings: Also like the Milwaukee, this tool has an adjustable four speed setting so you can specify the max power that can be used in specific situations. This tool also comes with two modes called Tightening Mode, which is good for faster tightening of self-drilling screws while helping prevent damage to the screws, and Assist mode, which helps eliminate “screw cam-out” and “cross threading” by driving at low speed until tightening begins.

What could be better

The Price: This is pretty straight forward. This is by far the most expensive kit that has made our list. This is only a tool that we would purchase if we felt that it was absolutely necessary to have the most compact tool available at our disposal. In the normal course of our work, we don’t feel like we need to.

The Max-Torque: This tool tops out at 1,500 in-lbs of torque. Some of the tools in our Economy/Mid-Tier list beat out the XT12T in in-lbs of Max-Torque. We feel that given the price tag, this should be more competitive.

But Is it right for you?:

It’s pretty simple. Is this the best impact driver? No.

But, if you are looking for the most compact and high performance impact driver available, this is the tool for you. The included batteries are awesome, and the extra features this tool have are impressive. But at it’s current price tag, we feel like this tool is only appropriate for the folks that place a high importance on compactness.

4th Place – BOSCH IDH182-01

Image of Best Impact Driver - BOSCH IDH182-01BOSCH’s impact driver was the least impressive in this category. Despite being a good all around tool, it just couldn’t stand up against the much better Milwaukee and Dewalt Impact Driver products.

However, there is one major redeeming feature of the BOSCH IDH182. This tool is actually a combo impact driver & impact wrench, all in one. If you are looking for both of these tools and have a tight budget, this BOSCH product might be the tool for you.

What we love about it:

The Wrench/Driver Combo: This is the only tool in our entire Best Impact Driver list that doubles as both an impact driver and an impact wrench. If you often work on projects that would require an impact wrench, such as on your cars, you should seriously consider this tool.

The Batteries: These batteries aren’t as impressive as the batteries offered by Makita and Milwaukee, however, they are still good in their own regards. At 4.0Ah we’re sure that you will be pleased with the power and battery life offered by this kit.

What could be better

The Power: The max-torque on this driver tops out at 1,650 in-lbs. This is pretty good, however, comes up short when compared against the Milwaukee or Dewalt Impact Drivers.

The Weight: It looks like having a hybrid impact driver & wrench comes at a cost. This unit weight 1.2 lbs more than the Dewalt. At this weight the driver will weigh your hand down if you have to use it continuously for long periods.

The Size: Once again it looks like by including the impact wrench aspect into this tool BOSCH was forced to sacrifice some on the compactness. At 6.2 inches, this tool is around 1 inch longer than the other tools in this category, and a whopping 1.5 inches longer than the Makita XDT12T

But Is it right for you?:

If you’re in the market for an all-in-one impact driver & impact wrench then this is definitely the tool for you.

Like the saying goes, “A Jack of all trades, but a Master of none”. The BOSCH IDH182-01 is a great example of this as by impact wrench capabilities into this driver, BOSCH had to sacrifice on many other aspects that prevents this tool from being the absolute best impact driver on the market.

Next Up, Economy/Mid-Tier

On our next Best Impact Driver list we have decided to include only tools that cost less than $150. These tools are easy on the pocket and come with complete kits to get you started (batteries, chargers, bare tools, and carrying cases/bags).

We were pleasantly surprised by some of the offering in this category. There is some serious bang for your buck that can be attained in this segment.

Let’s dive right in.

  Ryobi Tools Logo Image of Rigid Tools Logo Image of Porter Cable Logo Image of Hitachi Logo
Model Name P1870
(Not Brushless)
GEN5X R86035SB
(Not Brushless)
PCCK647LB
(Brushless)
WH18DGL
(Not Brushless)
Max Torque 1,500 in-lbs 2,000 in-lbs
WOW!
1,400 in-lbs 1,280 in-lbs
Max RPM 2,600 RPM 2,750 RPM 2,700 RPM 2,400 RPM
Max Impact/Min 3,200 IPM 3,200 IPM 3,100 IPM 3,200 IPM
Weight 2.64 lbs Unknown – lbs 2.9 lbs 2.4 lbs
Tool Length 9.8 inches Unknown inches 5.8 Inches 6.5 Inches
Included Battery (1) – 18V 1.2Ah (1) – 18V 2.0Ah (2) – 20V MAX 1.5Ah (2) – 18V 1.3Ah
Xtra Features On-Board Bit Storage Tri-Beam 3 LED lights / 3-Speed Brushless Motor No Notable Extra Features
Warranty 3 Years Lifetime 3 Years Lifetime
Price on Amazon:

1st Place – RIGID Impact Driver GEN5X R86935SB2

Image of Rigid GEN5X R86935SB Impact-DriverLet me just say….WOW! Check out that max torque. 2,000 in-lbs. That’s the highest max-torque on this entire list! And this tool is featured in our economy segment! That is extremely impressive.

Unfortunately we were not able to get our hands on an actual unit, so we’ll have to base our review for this item purely on the specs alone (some of which, we couldn’t find).

What we love about it:

That Torque Though!  Seriously. 2,000 in-lbs of torque for an impact driver is insane. This tool is powerful enough for the most difficult driving situations. The RIGID Impact Driver managed to beat out our 1st place winners from the professional grade category with this amount of torque.

The LED Lights: Unlike the other impact drivers in this category, this tool actually has some pretty nifty features. One of these features is the Tri-Beam LED light setup that it has. This is very similar to the three LED lights that Dewalt included on its DCF887 impact driver.

The Adjustable Speed Settings: This is another feature that is not usually found at this price point.
The professional grade impact drivers all included 3 or 4 speed settings on their drivers. And we did not expect to see a premium feature such as this at this price point.

The Warranty: The RIGID Impact Driver offers a Lifetime warranty! Please check with the manufacturer to verify that this is still available if not purchased from Home Depot directly.

What could be better

Availability: It looks like Home Depot discontinued this item, but it is still available from Amazon. It is not entirely clear whether or your a purchase from Amazon would be covered under the lifetime warranty. Check with the manufacturer if this is something you would be concerned about.

Batteries This tool only comes with one 18V 2.0Ah battery. This is the only battery in our economy/mid-tier category that is 2.0Ah or better, but we still wish there would’ve been a second battery included.

But Is it right for you?:

At this price range, this is probably the best impact driver for your money. We’ve had great experiences with RIGID products in the past, and based on the specs of this tool, we think you’ll be extremely pleased.

The only other tool in this category that comes even close is the Porter Cable PCCK647LB, which you’ll hear about real soon….

2nd Place – Porter Cable Impact Driver PCCK657LB

Thumbnail Image of Porter Cable Impact Driver PCK647LB BrushlessThis is the most expensive economy impact driver that we have on our list, but at the same time, it is the only economy impact driver with a Brushless motor.

Brushless motors are more efficient and thus will use less battery power to operate, prevent frequent charging, and increasing the lifespan of the motor.

What we love about it:

That Brushless Motor!  This is one of the most affordable kits that will get you a quality driver with a brushless motor.

The Batteries: Included in this kit are two 20V MAX 1.5Ah batteries. These aren’t the best batteries on the planet, but given the price range, we think these are a great bargain.

What could be better

The Batteries: At only 1.5Ah these batteries will need to be frequently recharged.

The Power: This kit only provides 1,400 in-lbs of torque, which is respectable, but doesn’t even come close to RIGID’s 2,000 in-lbs of torque.

But Is it right for you?:

If you absolutely MUST have a Brushless motor and this is the best impact driver that you could afford, then Porter Cable might be for you.

This is a great all around tool that performs fairly well in many different categories, but doesn’t particularly excel in any of them either.

3rd Place – HITACHI Impact Driver WD18DGL – $145

Thumbnail of Hitachi Best Impact Driver WH18DGLThe HITACHI WD18DGL Impact driver another one of our favorite impact drivers out there. It doesn’t excel at that much, but it is a great all around tool, and at this price, it is a great tool to get if your budget is tight.

This would also be a great throw-away tool for those situations where you know your driver is going to get beat up and you want to not do damage to some of your higher quality tools. Save your expensive tools for normal use, and let the cheaper ones take all the damage from the really messy jobs.

What we love about it:

The Price:  At this price point, you are getting a great all around tool with a decent kit. This is some serious bang for your buck. It is definitely not the best tool out there, but it is an affordable, all around superstar.

The Weight: At only 2.4 lbs it is the lightest tool that we have tried in the Economy/Mid-tier category. The only tools that are lighter than this are the Milwaukee and Dewalt Impact Drivers that we tried.

The Lifetime Warranty: What could be better than a lifetime warranty?!

What could be better

Not much. For the price, we were pleasantly surprised but what we were getting. This tool comes with two 18V batteries, is lightweight, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The only thing that could’ve been slightly improved would be the max-torque. At 1,280 in-lbs of max-torque, the Hitachi Impact Driver is trailing the competition by quite a bit.

But Is it right for you?:

If you’re looking for an absolutely budget impact driver, this is the tool for you. It only has 1,280 lbs of max torque, but other than that, holds up pretty well against the competition and is available for only $99. You can’t get much better than that.

Once again this tool wouldn’t be considered the best impact driver overall, but when thought as a budget purchase, it definitely holds up.

4th Place – RYOBI Impact Driver P1870

Thumbnail of Best Impact Driver Ryobi P1870We included this RYOBI impact driver on our Best Impact Driver list only due to its price. It’s a complete impact driver kit available for the basement bargain price..

If you are on an extreme budget or looking for a beater tool, then this might be the tool for you. Otherwise, we would steer clear, as there are much better options available for only slightly more money.

What we love about it:

The Price:  This is one of the cheapest kits we could find. If you are on a shoe-string budget this might be the tool for you. However, if you can afford the extra few bucks, I would definitely consider upgrading to the HITACHI WD18DGL.

The Power: Despite its other flaws, this thing offers 1,500 in-lbs of torque. This is actually pretty good and is one of the few redeeming characteristics about this tool.

What could be better

Its HUGE!: At 9.8 inches in length this is quite a large tool. This tool is way larger than anything else that we have tried. It feels more like a hammer drill than an impact driver.

Its RYOBI: Honestly we are not huge fans of RYOBI tools. The few that we have tried in the past were completely lackluster.

But Is it right for you?:

This is definitely another tool that does not even come close to being the best impact driver, even at this price range.

We would however, recommend buying this tool if you are strapped for cash and need something in a pinch. We know that some of you out there are on tight budgets, and in that case, this is a decent tool for the price.


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