Best Cordless Impact Driver Reviews 2024 - Pro Tool Reviews

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

We’ve tested dozens of the impact drivers currently available to find out who makes the best impact driver in multiple classes. Our impact driver reviews test these tools to see who performs best in various applications to discover what they’re capable of. There are some impressive new players entering the scene that look to challenge the traditional powerhouses. When it was all said and done, the biggest names still stepped up to the plate. 240v Hydraulic Power Pack

Best Cordless Impact Driver Reviews 2024 - Pro Tool Reviews

Need a drill to go with your impact driver? Check out our best cordless drill recommendations!

If you’re looking for the best combination of performance, size, and weight, look no further than Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel impact driver in its fourth generation. Second only to Flex in our performance tests, it’s significantly smaller and lighter, plus it has an extensive platform of compatible tools that work on M18 batteries.

Price: $149 bare, $299 kit with two 5.0Ah batteries and charger

For many folks, moving to a 12V system is the way to go for the best lightweight and compact impact drivers. However, DeWalt’s DCF850 gets into really tight spots while remaining on its massively popular 20V Max battery system.

To keep the weight down, stick with a 2.0Ah battery or consider going with the 1.7Ah PowerStack battery for an even lighter working weight while boosting performance.

There is a trade-off in going this small, though. We like this model for most self-tapping screws, deck screws, and the like. However, if you’re going to be driving larger fasteners such as ledger, RSS, or timber screws, go with a stronger model.

Price: $149 bare, kit options from $199 – $279

If sheer performance is your highest priority you have to go with Flex’s 24V impact driver. Already near the top with a standard battery it takes the number one spot in nearly every test we’ve run once you add a Stacked Lithium battery. The trade-off is a bit more size and weight than you’ll find with Milwaukee, but there’s no question that Flex has the highest-performing impact driver on the market. As a bonus, it retails for a very compelling price compared to its competitors.

Price: $159 bare, $249 kit with 2.5Ah battery, 5.0Ah battery, and charger, $279 kit with a 6.0Ah Stacked Lithium battery and a charger

Milwaukee’s third generation M12 Fuel impact driver has been tough to beat. Its combination of 3300 RPM and 4000 IPM kept it running faster than other 12V models in our testing. It also had fastening strength that only the M12 Fuel Surge beat in our tests.

As part of an incredibly deep line of compatible 12V tools, this Milwaukee M12 Fuel impact driver has little in the way of competition for this crown at the moment.

Price: $139 bare, $169 kit with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge’s claim to fame is its hydraulic drive system that offers quieter operation than the standard hammer and anvil you find in a traditional impact driver. However, it’s the 2551’s performance and compact package that earns our recommendation as the best hydraulic impact driver. In head-to-head testing against the second generation M12 Fuel impact driver, the M12 Fuel Surge outperformed it in our tests.

Even though it’s been a couple of years since those tests, no one else has brought another hydraulic model to the market that has been able to knock the Surge off its pedestal. Even compared to 18V models, the performance is excellent, and its smaller size keeps us coming back.

Note: Check out our head-to-head comparison of the Milwaukee M12 Fuel vs M12 Surge impact driver! Or watch the video.

Price: $149 bare, $179 kit with a 2.0Ah battery and charger

Metabo HPT raised eyebrows when it launched its innovative Triple Hammer impact driver design. Several years in, it’s now had time to prove itself in the field as a design that offers high performance and the durability to thrive on professional jobsites. On top of that, the 18V model is lightweight and compact, making it a go-to choice that pairs well with a compact 2.0Ah battery. Plus, the newest version includes a specific mode for working with nuts and bolts.

But the major talking point here is value. The bare tool is $129 and the kit that includes two 2.0Ah batteries and a charger is just $179. Toss in Metabo HPT’s lifetime warranty on their lithium-ion tools, and you’re going to have a tough time finding a better overall bang for your buck.

Price: $129 bare, $179 kit with two 2.0Ah batteries and a charger.

We greatly prefer brushless motors over brushed, even though you pay more to get them. Skil takes some of the sting out of that premium with its PWRCore 20 brushless compact impact driver and drill combo kit.

For $149.99, you get the brushless compact impact driver, brushless compact drill, a 2.0Ah battery with an integrated USB port, a PWRJump rapid charger, and a soft bag. Don’t let the fact that it’s a compact set drive you away, though. When Skil launched these tools in 2022, they were smaller and lighter than their predecessors but had an overall increase in performance.

Only need the impact driver? You can get it for $99.99 with the same 2.0Ah battery and charger.

Price: $149.99 2-tool combo, $99.99 impact driver kit

Looking to spend a little less? Check out Skil’s brushed drill and impact driver combo kit for $99.99.

Bits designed to use in impact drivers have to flex to absorb the torsion of the impacts or they risk breaking, especially when you’re fastening metal. Every manufacturer has a delicate dance to perform between bit hardness, flex, and the variety of materials people like us are going to use with them.

We’ve had good success using Milwaukee’s Shockwave line of impact rated bits. The range is impressively wide with standard driver bits, nut drivers, specialty bits, and even drill bits with a hex shank to fit in your impact driver. There are also plenty of combo kits to save you some money over buying bits in individual or smaller packs.

Check them out for yourself and see if they outperform the bits you normally use.

Trouble with bit tips breaking on you? Check out our review of Crescent’s Vortex bit holder and see if it can help you out!

The best-selling impact drivers often strike a fantastic balance between performance, design, and price. If our previous recommendations don’t quite fit the bill for you, it’s worth taking a closer look to see if any of these models get your attention.

Not every impact driver we use leads the class, but there are plenty that we still recommend. Below are our choices for the best impact driver models from the top brands in the business.

Bosch gave their original hybrid 1/4-inch hex and 1/2-inch square drive impact driver an upgrade and it now boasts 1860 in-lbs of torque and 3400 RPM from its brushless motor. As a bonus, it comes ready for the Connected Module that offers smart controls and diagnostics using Bosch’s app.

If a compact design is higher on your priority list than socket compatibility, check out the GDR18V-1860CN. It’s essentially the same impact driver but with a standard collet and a more compact head.

Price: $159 bare, $299 with Connected Module, two Core18V 4.0Ah batteries, and charger

Even though Craftsman didn’t dominate the DIY category across the board, it prioritizes a combination of speed, power, size, and design making it a solid overall choice when you’re on a budget. With 1700 in-lbs of torque and 2900 RPM, the Craftsman CMCF820 V20 impact driver serves as the top-performing model in its lineup.

Price: $109 bare, $179 kit with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

DeWalt’s long-serving DCF887 is getting a replacement with the DCF845 that’s new for 2023. Sticking with the same 1825 in-lbs of torque, it gets a speed boost, increasing by 150 RPM and 600 IPM. To go along with its faster driving speeds, it’s also a little more compact, dropping about a 1/4-inch off the total length.

This comes without an increase in price—the bare tool is still $149.99. There are several kit options to choose from, including one that includes a 1.7Ah PowerStack battery to get you started.

Price: $149 bare, multiple kit options from $219 – $279

Flex is the clear choice if high performance is your top priority. Its specifications on paper are excellent and they translate into real-world performance that only Milwaukee consistently challenged in our tests. While it is a bit heavier and bigger, its work rate combined with an attractive price point for a Pro-focused model makes it a compelling choice.

Price: $159 bare, $249 kit with 2.5Ah battery, 5.0Ah battery, and charger, $279 kit with a 6.0Ah Stacked Lithium battery and a charger

Greenworks boasts impressive torque in their flagship impact driver, making projects around your home a breeze. Powered by a brushless motor and powered by a 24V battery, it’s also lightweight and compact. Although it’s a single speed model, you control the performance by feathering a variable speed trigger. Plus, the batteries are the same ones that power Greenworks’ 24V lawn care tool, and they have a built-in USB port to use them as a power supply. It’s a compelling package when you consider what youy get for the relatively low cost.

Price: $79.99 bare, $139.99 kit with two 1.5Ah batteries and a charger

HART has a couple of impact drivers to choose from and their second generation brushless model is the way to go in our opinion. A monster 2200 in-lbs of torque highlights its performance backed up with 3000 RPM speed and 3900 IPM.

In addition to outperforming the brushed version, the brushless motor gives you longer runtime and longer overall motor life.

Price: $94 bare, $129 kit with a 4.0Ah battery and charger

When HIlti shifted over to its Nuron platform, the product team gave its debut impact driver a big performance boost over the SID 4-A22 from the previous line. The speed is up 900 RPM, the impact rate rises 750 IPM, and the torque gets a 900+ in-lbs boost. If you’ve been wondering whether to upgrade, the answer is a resounding yes! The SID 6-22 is in a whole different performance class than Hilti previously had.

With the launch of the XTR series, Kobalt joined the ranks of a group we call “advanced tools”. They use upgraded batteries, motors, and electronics to deliver better performance than standard brushless tools.

Paired with their Ultimate Output battery, the Kobalt XTR impact driver is capable of 2400 in-lbs of torque, 3400 RPM, and 4000 IPM. There are three standard speed settings to go along with an assist mode.

While there’s no bare tool option, the kit is only $179 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger, and it’s part of several other combos.

Price: $179 kit with 4.0Ah Ultimate Output battery and charger

Makita’s XGT impact driver starts with the foundation of their flagship XDT16 and builds on it for the 40V max line. With 3700 RPM, 4400 IPM, and 1950 in-lbs of torque, it’s a little faster and a lot stronger. It showed in our tests that this GDT01 clearly has an advantage over Makita’s 18V models.

The higher-performing design doesn’t add a lot of bulk, though. The GDT01 is less than 0.2 inches longer and just 0.3 pounds heavier with its 2.5Ah battery.

Makita fans may note that the GDT02 was announced for 2023. However, the GDT01 is still the flagship for the 40V line.

Price: $224 bare, $449 kit with two 2.5Ah batteries and a charger

Metabo focuses on quality and precision with its top impact driver. The SSD 18 LTX 200 BL doesn’t hit the high torque values that some brands are targeting. Instead, it targets driving smaller-diameter screws better than its competition. A speed dial on the foot offers more control than you find with other models. Ergonomically, it’s one of the most comfortable impact drivers we tested and has a handle diameter that folks with larger hands can enjoy. What Metabo gives up in maximum torque, it makes up for in refinement and a very pleasant screwdriving experience.

Price: $179.99 bare, $379.99 kit with two 3.5Ah LiHD batteries, a charger, and a case

Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi Power Tools) has two compelling cordless impact driver choices. Both use an impact mechanism with three hammers, giving rise to the name “Triple Hammer”.

The 18V version is excellent but the 36V MultiVolt version steps the performance level up and adds some features. It has 1903 in-lbs of torque, 3700 RPM, and 4100 BPM—all of which are a step up from the previous 36V model. Two standard modes plus three assist modes—including new BOLT modes—give you plenty of control options.

Thanks to a compact MultiVolt battery, you can enjoy the upgrades without having to sacrifice a ton of extra weight. As part of the 36V MultiVolt line, this model is compatible with the AC adapter in case you need to run corded while your batteries charge.

Price: $299 kit with 2.5Ah battery and charger

Milwaukee has been topping our best impact driver charts for several years now and the fourth-generation M18 Fuel model continues that legacy. It avoids purely chasing higher torque numbers but remains in the high-torque class with 2000 in-lbs. The overall speed increases by 300 RPM and the impact rate comes up 100 IPM. Somehow, the design team managed to improve the performance while slightly shrinking the overall length even lower than the third-generation model.

Price: $149 bare, $299 kit with two 5.0Ah batteries and a charger

Ridgid made massive gains with the release of its 18V brushless impact driver and drill. The irony is that those massive gains are a huge reduction in size and weight. Leaving the Octane line behind, this impact driver is more compact, measuring 5.4 inches from front to back and dropping 1/2 an inch compared to Octane. It’s also lighter. With its 2.0Ah Max Output battery, you’re looking at 3.2 pounds, dropping more than a 1/4-pound from Octane’s weight.

Despite the size reduction, the performance consequences don’t hurt much. It has the same 2900 RPM as Octane and loses just 100 in-lbs of torque (now 2300 in-lbs). Its impact rate actually increases by 300 to reach 4200 IPM. In our tests, it outperformed Octane and earned our 2023 pick as the best value impact driver.

If you haven’t used Ryobi’s One+ HP tools yet, it’s time to meet the new high-performance side of the popular budget brand. The HP Brushless impact driver uses 3 standard modes and an assist mode to reign in 2200 in-lbs of torque, 2900 RPM, and 4000 IPM.

It’s also worth noting this, along with other HP and HP compact tools, is legitimately more compact than the last generation of brushless models. By increasing the performance and decreasing the size, they’re giving budget-minded Pros and serious DIYers fewer reasons to look at other brands.

Price: $119 bare, $159 kit with two 2.0 Ah batteries and a charger

Skil introduced its compact series of cordless tools in late 2022. For most brands, that means stepping down from the highest-performance models. However, Skil improved its performance compared to the model we previously recommended. The top speed is up by 400 RPM and the impact rate gains 550 IPM without any drop in torque. At the same time, it drops nearly half a pound in weight and three-quarters of an inch off its length.

Pros typically use impact drivers to drive screws using bits such as Phillips, Torx, or even hex head bits. For our purposes, we drive screws up to 1/4-inch diameter. While you can use an adapter to use sockets and work with larger nuts and bolts, an impact wrench is typically a better tool for that.

They have a rotational impact that comes from a hammer and anvil mechanism. This keeps the screw moving forward when it starts getting tougher to move. The mechanism works without transferring rotational torque to your wrist. It makes these tools easier on your wrists for hard-stop driving applications.

In general, they’re lighter and more compact than drill drivers or hammer drills. Many Pros use them in tandem with a drill driver to drill a pilot hole and then drive a fastener without switching bits.

Check out our impact driver vs impact wrench article.

Impact drivers benefit from higher speeds and greater torque than their drill counterparts. Their speed helps drive small fasteners more quickly while the power and impacts tighten or break loose fasteners better than drills.

We run three performance tests. The first is to see how fast each impact driver can set a 3/8 x 8-inch RSS screw into stacked and glued OSB subfloor. The second is to see how far they can drive a 1/2 x 10-inch lag screw into the same medium in 30 seconds. The final is to determine how fast it can break a nut set to 150 ft-lbs (1800 in-lbs).

One of the reasons we love impact drivers is that they tend to be smaller and lighter than drill drivers. They can reach into tighter areas and are less fatiguing when you’re working overhead. We check the weight of each impact driver bare and with a battery along with measuring the length of the head.

While we don’t come across many tools that have a terrible grip, some are better than others. Slide packs are important because they give design teams more freedom in handle and grip design. Stick packs have to fit into the handle and tend to be thicker than slide pack designs.

Beyond the handle diameter, we look at how the tool fits in your hand. We also check how comfortable and secure the rubber overmold is. While we look for abnormalities that affect everyone, different hands prefer different styles.

Sales 101 will teach you that every feature must have a benefit. When we look at the feature set to help determine the best impact driver, we’re looking for features that have tangible benefits. Here’s the standard list of what we look for:

We also look for special features. Brushless motors require electronics that open the door to systems like Milwaukee One-Key, Bosch Connected Tools, and DeWalt Tool Connect. Some manufacturers like Makita choose to program helpful modes rather than having you customize them. Of course, smart controls aren’t the only thing manufacturers add. We look for anything out of the ordinary that’s genuinely beneficial.

The value a tool offers will be different for everyone depending on what features, performance, and price you prioritize the most. Regardless, it’s the sum of what you get compared to the price you pay that determines the value for you. That’s how we give each impact driver a value rating.

Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers? That’s not us. We won’t recommend anything unless we’d use it ourselves and we don’t care who the primary retailer is. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.

We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.

Each year, we bring in and review more than 250 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.

We consult with innovators in the technology and design of tools to gain a broader grasp of where these products fit and how they work.

We work with more than two dozen professional contractors around the United States who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weighting.

The end result is information you can trust because of the editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience we collectively utilize every time we pick up and test a tool.

Kenny holds a B.S. in Biology and a minor in chemistry. While that might not sound like a direct line into the power tool industry, his analytical and scientific mindset help him design repeatable testing methods for Pro Tool Reviews’ head-to-head testing and offer highly objective comparisons in his reviews.

Kenny’s life around power tools started early. His grandfather was an airplane mechanic in WW2 and took up woodworking as a hobby after retiring from the power industry. Building everything from bookshelves to lazy Susans, he became extremely accomplished while his young grandson observed, fascinated at the way raw wood could turn into something both beautiful and functional. In fact, Kenny still uses several pieces that his grandfather made more than 30 years ago.

At home, Kenny’s dad made the family budget stretch further by doing many DIY repairs around the house. From his dad, he was able to learn irrigation, landscaping, car maintenance, basic electrical, and more. He even rewired their bass boat for fun one weekend as a young teenager.

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Best Cordless Impact Driver Reviews 2024 - Pro Tool Reviews

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