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Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver

Best Cordless Impact Drivers in 2019

Back in the days of yore, impact drivers were used exclusively by professional mechanics and builders for contract jobs, but today we find them becoming a crucial part of a DIY-hobbyist’s collection of power tools. The thing that makes impact drivers so great is their ability to deliver rapid bursts of high torque for driving screws of any shape and size.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

Furthermore, with the right bit, an impact driver can work similarly to a power drill. The great thing is that its high-power motor makes it work even more efficiently than a regular cordless drill.

A quick stroll down the power tool’s aisle in your local hardware store will show you the wide selection of different impact drivers available. The great thing is that you have many different specs and features to choose from, but the bad is that with so many choices, it’s normal for first-time buyers and even experienced ones to find the right model that fits their specific needs. The following portion of this article will provide you with a brief buying guide of impact drivers and the most crucial features to take into consideration.

Power Source

Like many handheld power tools, impact drivers come with or without power cords. Generally, corded impact drivers offer more power, but cordless models are much more portable – something that every contract worker is looking for. In this article, we’re going to focus only on cordless models since there is a higher demand for them.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Brushed vs Brushless Motor

In general, there are two different types of motors installed in impact drivers: brushed and brushless motors. Brushed motors are the classic type that is slowly being replaced by brushless motors.

Brushless motors don’t have any brushes that will wear down over time, meaning that it requires fewer visits to the maintenance man and will be usable for many years longer than the brushed variety. Performance-wise, there aren’t any significant differences.



RPM, BPM, and Torque

There are three important variables that can help you determine how well an impact driver performs. These are RPM, BPM, and torque. RPM (rotations per minute) can be an indicator for helping you know how efficient the tool is. BPM (bumps per minute) is the number of hammer-like bumps for driving screws through dense materials. Torque is the amount of force applied while the bit rotates (measured in inch pounds). Greater RPM, BPM, and torque mean more power and better efficiency.

Makita XDT111

Makita XDT111

Chuck Size

The size of the chuck determines the size of the bits that are compatible with an impact driver. The largest commonly used size is half an inch, but you can get a lot of work done with weaker ¼-inch chucks and bits. Large bits are for more heavy-duty jobs whereas small bits are for quick driving jobs that require limited amounts of torque.

Comfort

Like any handheld power tool, comfort should be a priority when choosing an impact driver. Try and find a model that offers an easy-to-grip plastic or rubber handle. The weight of an impact driver can also affect how comfortable the tool is, but you honestly won’t have any trouble finding any lightweight, compact impact driver.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

LED Light

More often than not, you’ll need to use an impact driver in poorly lit areas (e.g., closets, under the hood of your car, or even under your car). There are several impact driver models from various manufacturers that are equipped with LED lights near the chuck. However, you probably shouldn’t fully rely on these LED lights for proper illumination and also invest in a high-lumen LED torch.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Hitachi WH18DGL

Top 5 Cordless Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are naturally versatile tools that can be used in a wide range of applications, but some people, especially first-time buyers, might have some difficulties finding an appropriate model. This is understandable since a quick internet search will literally yield thousands of results.

No need to worry, we’re here to help. The following list contains our picks of the five top-performing cordless impact driver models.

5 Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver

The first impact driver on our list is from the infamous manufacturer of red-colored power tools: Milwaukee’s M18 2656-20. Keep in mind that this is a bare-tool kit, meaning you need to purchase the 18V battery RED Li-Ion battery, battery charger, and hex bits separately.

The proprietary 1.5-amp frameless motor generates up to 2,750 RPM, up to 3,450 BPM, and up to 1,500-inch-pounds of torque. This should help users finish a wide range of different jobs, though some of the more heavy-duty tasks like driving screws through dense surfaces may pose a problem. Nevertheless, for the average hobbyist, mechanic, and furniture-maker, the M18 2656-20 can be a reliable impact driver for most jobs.

Milwaukee M18

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

4 Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver

The WH18DGL from Hitachi is another great impact driver worth considering. This kit includes the impact driver, a single 18V rechargeable Li-Ion battery, and a battery charger. To get started with this tool, you’ll have to purchase your own ¼-inch hex bits.

The 3-amp motor generates up to 2,400 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,280 inch-pounds of torque. The total weight of the tool with its battery included is only around 3.1 pounds, and it also features a handy LED light near the chuck for keeping your work surface properly illuminated. When working on different surfaces with different screws or bolts, you can alter how much power to deliver by playing around with the touch-sensitive trigger.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Check how much you can save, buying the Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

3 Makita XDT111 Impact Driver

The XDT111 from Makita – another Japanese-made impact driver – is definitely worth mentioning. The four-brush motor has two speeds: a low setting that provides 2,900 RPM and the top gear that delivers up to 3,500 RPM. This tool provides up to 3,500 BPM with 1,460 inch-pounds of torque. This ¼-inch impact driver weighs only around 3.9 pounds – battery included – and measures in at only 5-3/8 inches long from chuck to end.

The kit includes the tool, a hard carrying case, an 18V Li-Ion battery, and a rapid charger that can fill a battery from 0 to 100% in only 40 minutes. There are also LED lights for keeping your work surface lit up for easy visibility.

Makita XDT111

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita XDT111 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

2 BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver

No list of handheld power tools is complete without including at least one BLACK+DECKER model. The BDC120C is a ¼-inch impact driver that runs off of a super-powerful 20V battery. The kit comes with the tool, the battery, a rapid charger that fills a battery to 100% in less than 40 minutes, and a screwdriver bit to get right down to work.

The 1.5-amp motor delivers up to 3,000 RPM and 3,900 BPM at a maximum torque of 1,375 inch-pounds. The amount of power-delivery is determined by how hard you press the touch-sensitive trigger. What’s impressive about this unit is that despite being equipped with a brushed motor, the heat produced by the spinning brushes dissipates much quicker than in other comparable impact driver motors.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Check how much you can save, buying the BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver

The final and number one pick on our list is the DFC885C1 from DEWALT. The company has built a reputation on manufacturing some of the world’s most reliable and efficient power tools, and the DCF885C1 is no exception.

Weighing in at only 2.9 pounds, you’ll hardly feel the weight of the unit even when working overhead and at odd angles. Although the chuck is ¼ inches, the 1.5-amp brushed motor provides enough power that you can attach 1-inch bits with an adapter. Using the touch-sensitive trigger, the impact driver can deliver up to 2,800 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,404-inch-pounds of torque. Three LED lights are placed conveniently near the chuck to provide more than enough light for illuminating dark spaces.

DEWALT DCF885C1

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

Impact drivers are ingenious tools that don’t just drill holes but also have the capacity to drive screws and tighten nuts and bolts. Back in the day, impact drivers were considered to be exclusively used by professionals and contract workers, but today we can find impact drivers in almost every hobbyist’s collection of handheld power tools. If you need to fix up your car, hang pictures, or put furniture together, an impact driver can be your go-to tool.

Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee M18

There are numerous specs and features to keep an eye out for when scouring the market for an impact driver. The most important of these include whether it’s corded or cordless, whether it has a brushed or brushless motor, its speed and power ratings, the size of the chuck, how comfortable it is to grip and use, and whether it has forward-facing LED lights. As long as you know the basics and understand what you need an impact driver for, finding the right model should be much easier to do.

Of course, even if you do know what you want and need, you’re going to be bombarded with thousands and thousands of different impact driver models to choose from. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled a list containing the top five cordless impact drivers available. They are all made from the world’s most popular manufacturers of power tools, but the one that takes the cake is the DCF885C1 from DEWALT. The company has established a reputation so great that an overwhelming number of people – professional and hobbyists alike – swear by the name.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

The DCF885C1 is a simple 1.5-amp ¼-inch impact driver that gets its power and speed from a powerful 20V battery. The motor delivers more RPM, BPM, and torque that professional workers are looking for. Even hobbyists can enjoy using this tool as the touch-sensitive trigger can be used to deliver as much or as little torque and speed as you need.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

Makita XFD12R Compact Driver-Drill Review

Things can get a bit confusing when looking for the right power tool, especially when it comes to handheld tools that look similar, behave similarly, but are used for completely different things. We’re talking about power drills and impact drivers, the former which is used to drill through materials and the latter which drives screws and other fasteners into pre-drilled holes.

Makita XFD12R 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Driver-Drill Review

Of course, you could bypass the headache, confusion, and costs of looking at multiple tools by investing in a single tool that does multiple jobs. The Makita XFD12R is a driver-drill which combines the best of drills and drivers. Now, the only question is how well this two-trick pony performs.



Powerful 18V Battery

The XFD12R uses a powerful 18V battery that provides plenty of runtime for drilling hundreds of holes per charge. This isn’t the largest battery that can fit into a cordless drill, but it provides enough power and speed that both DIY-ers and professional handymen will appreciate.

Kit Comes with Two Batteries

Do you know what’s better than oneThat’s right! A million! Also two… The XFD12R kit includes two 18V and a rapid Li-Ion battery charger. While one battery is powering the XFD12R, the other can be on stand-by, quickly filling up from 0% to 100% in less than an hour. Having multiple batteries on hand can reduce downtime by a lot, especially considering that each of these batteries has enough power to deliver hundreds of drill holes on a single charge.

Makita XFD12R Driver-Drill Review

Reliable Battery Protection

When in the workshop and getting into your work groove, it’s easy to disregard how much juice is left in the battery or whether you’re pushing the motor past its capacities. Makita has added three forms of protection – the proprietary Star Protection system – that prevent the XFD12R’s 18V battery from exploding and premature expiration. These are protection from overload, over-discharge, and overheating – the three things that carelessness or ignorance can easily lead to.

Brushless Motor for Maximum Efficiency

Power tools can come with either brushed or brushless motors. In terms of performance, there really isn’t any difference, but in every other regard (work efficiency, runtime, heat management), brushless motors always come out on top. The XFD12R comes with a brushless motor that supposedly increases the runtime of this unit by 50% compared to comparable 18V driver-drills.

Lightweight and Compact

It doesn’t matter ripped you are or how much you can lift; handling power tools can be quite tiring, especially when drilling overhead, standing on top of a ladder, and horizontally. For this reason, it’s important that handymen find tools that are lightweight and can fit in cramped spaces without having to twist and turn your body. As a driver-drill, the XFD12R is one of the more lightweight, compact units available. It measures 6-3/4 inches from chuck to back and weighs only 3.4 pounds, significantly reducing the risk of fatigue.

Makita XFD12R 18V Review

Massive ½-inch Metal Chuck

The chuck on a cordless drill or driver ranges from ¼ of an inch to 1 inch in diameter. The greater the diameter of the chuck, the more capable the tool will be at penetrating materials at greater depths and widths. The XFD12R is in the middle ground with a metal ½-inch chuck which is perfect for home renovation, woodworking, and construction applications.

530 inch-pounds of Torque Delivery

The amount of torque produced by a power drill or driver’s motor is crucial in the performance of the tool. Torque is the amount of turning force that drills and drivers exert when turning the bit. Greater torque delivery translates into easier material removal and driving screws. The XFD12R generates up to 530 inch-pounds of torque, more than enough for driving screws through drywall, drilling through thick metal conduits and beams, and frozen wooden slabs.

Makita XFD12R

2-Speed Transmission

Although speed isn’t the most necessary variable to consider when determining a cordless driver-drill can perform well, it does have a lot to do with work efficiency. After all, a drill bit that spins quicker and with enough torque will remove tons of material in hardly any time at all.

The XFD12R comes with a 2-speed motor; the first gear can reach speeds of up to 500 RPM while the second gear can spin the bit up to 2,000 RP. This driver-drill is equipped with a touch-sensitive variable speed trigger, so the user has full control over how much speed to deliver for each gear.

Verdict

If you haven’t read through the entirety of this article, in a nutshell, there’s absolutely nothing to hate about the Makita XFD12R. This cordless driver-drill excels in both drilling through tough materials and driving long screws through said materials. Each battery provides enough life to drill hundreds of holes, and this kit comes with two batteries to increase productivity at the job site. Even though no power tool is perfect, the XFD12R is pretty darn close.

Makita XFD12R




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

Milwaukee Electric Tools 2997-22 Hammer Drill Review

There’s no better way to get into the woodworking or home renovation game than by purchasing a toolkit. For the budget-conscience of you out there, you can obtain multiple tools in one purchase without spending as much compared to buying them separately. However, it’s important that you know what you’re doing so you don’t end up spending money on tools you don’t need.

Today, we’re going to take a look at a tool kit from Milwaukee Electric Tools. This kit contains a hammer drill and an impact driver – tools used in carpentry and home repairs. We’re going to take a look at each of these tools and let you know whether the kit is worth it. We have high expectations for this tool based on the number of satisfied customers.



What’s in the Kit?

The two tools that come in the 2997-22 combo kit are the 18V ½-inch 2804-20 Hammer Drill and the 18V ¼-inch 2853-20 Impact Driver. It also comes with two 18V REDLITHIUM (Milwaukee-made) battery packs and a multi-volt charger (18V and 12V). Accessories include a hard carrying case, a side handle for the hammer drill, a belt clip, and a bit holder. You’ll need to purchase your own bits separately.

Milwaukee 2804-20 Hammer Drill

Firstly, let’s take a look at the hammer drill that comes in this combo kit. If you’re unfamiliar with hammer drills and what they do, imagine using a regular drill while bashing the back-end with a hammer. The “hammer blows” allow the tool to penetrate deep into tough materials such as concrete and stone – two materials that most power drills could hardly make a dimple in.

Hammer drills may confuse first-time users since the motor produces miniature earthquakes when activated. This is NOT a sign that the tool is broken; you just need to grip the tool tightly using both hands to keep it steady(ish).
Let’s see what the 18V ½-inch 2804-20 has in store.

Brushless Motor

This hammer drill is equipped with a brushless motor which, according to Milwaukee, gives the tool 60% more power compared to competing models. We’re not entirely sure whether this is true for all hammer drills across the board, but after giving this tool a few test runs, we’ve found that the tool packs a ton of torque (1,200 inch-pounds to be exact).

Tool Length

There might be times when you’ll need to drill through concrete in tight-fitting spaces. The length of the tool determines how comfortable it’ll be in doing so. The 2804-20 measures 6.9 inches from front to back (not including drill bit) which is quite small compared to what’s available on the market.

Overheating Issue

One thing that most customers have complained about is this hammer drill’s overheating problem. Despite having a brushless motor and REDLINK PLUS (a proprietary system that protects from overload and overheating), most people found the tool could work only for 20 minutes before needing a 30-minute break.

Milwaukee 2853-20 Impact Driver

Impact drivers are not to be mistaken for power drills. An impact driver delivers a ton of torque for driving long screws through hard materials. This is done by the sideways “hammer blows” that rotate the bit more forcefully. It can be used as a drill in a pinch, but the chuck does not offer a ton of stability.

The 2997-22 combo kit from Milwaukee features the 18V ¼-inch 2853-20 Impact Driver. Let’s take a look at how well-built this tool is.

Brushless Motor

This impact driver also features a POWERSTATE brushless motor which, according to the manufacturer, drives screws up to 30% quicker by delivering up to 25% more torque (2,500 inch-pounds). For an 18V impact driver, this is quite extraordinary; you’ll be able to drive long screws through hardwood and plastic without any problems.

Impacts per Minute

The sideways hammer blows, or impacts is what gives this tool way more torque than traditional power drills. The more impacts delivered per minute, the better the tool will be at driving screws. The 2853-20 can generate up to 4,300 IPM. You can control the speed, torque, and number of impacts by switching between four available speed modes.

Verdict

So considering what we know about the 2997-20 combo kit from Milwaukee, is it worth the investmentIn our opinion, unless you desperately need a hammer drill, then this kit isn’t for you. For most DIY-ers, a hammer drill is a specialty tool that won’t come in handy in many if not any of their projects. An impact driver, on the other hand, is an extremely versatile tool that has applications in carpentry, home renovation, and even mechanic work.

One thing we’d like to point out is that the 2804-20 Hammer Drill isn’t that great of a tool. The overheating issue really destroys any hopes of reliability. Take it from us: get the 2853-20 Impact Driver separately and don’t deal with the heartbreak of the inferior hammer drill.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver Info Guides

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

With a wide selection of power tools with increasingly greater power and dropping price tags, it’s not uncommon for people to become their own home repairmen or mechanics. With a set of simple, easy to use tools, even you can save money by doing things on your own.

What's the difference between drill and impact driver?

However, this means getting the right tools for the right jobs. For instance, did you know that a power drill is mainly for drilling holes and not driving screwsOr how about a hammer drill’s superior ability to drill through concrete but the inability to break seized screws or nuts?

One of the greatest confusions to hit the DIY market is the impact wrench and impact driver dilemma. What exactly do you need each of these tools forCan you live through life with one or the otherWill you need bothThis article aims to answer these questions.

What’s an impact wrench and impact driver?

Since they both have the word “impact” in their names, it’s understandable that there might be some level of confusion surrounding both of these tools.

Impact Driver versus Impact Wrench

Impact wrench

First of all, an impact wrench is designed for fastening and loosening sockets. They’re used for things you’d normally use a wrench for when building furniture and doing automotive work. When a regular wrench just can’t cut it for whatever reason (lug nuts are too tightly wound, or screw heads are badly stripped), your only hope is to turn to an impact wrench.

They’re mainly powered by compressed air through air compressor machines (known as pneumatic impact wrenches), but some models use electricity and even hydraulic power. However, the most powerful type of impact wrenches is air-driven pneumatic ones.

Speaking of power, the magic behind the excellent performance of an impact wrench is torque delivery. Air or electricity gives the tool’s motor a sudden burst of power, producing an intense rotating motion which will break seized nuts in an instant. Impact drivers are mere children to impact wrenches when it comes to torque.

Impact driver

Now let’s talk about impact drivers. First of all, an impact driver is designed to drive fasteners through the wood. They can also be used to unfasten screws and nuts and even drill holes (to a certain extent), making them an extremely versatile tool that both woodworkers and mechanics can get value out of.

Like the impact wrench, the magic behind the impact driver’s excellent performance is the amount of torque produced. In order to drive long threaded screws through several inches of wood, you’ll need torque. An impact driver’s torque comes from the number of concussive impacts perpendicular to the surface, giving the chuck and bit a lot umph to better push fasteners through dense materials.

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

Impact drivers were once specialized tools for professionals, but the high number of manufacturers producing numerous models has driven their efficiency up while dropping their price. Today, you can get cheap, effective, and even cordless impact drivers for much less than the price of an impact wrench.

So which do I need?

It ultimately comes down to what you do in your workshop. For instance, if your projects focus around building wood-based pieces of art, then you’ll most likely need an impact driver. They can connect two boards together by pushing long screws through thick pieces of wood.

Impact drivers can also be used somewhat like an impact wrench. For instance, with the right attachment and bit, you can use your impact driver to screw in bolts and lug nuts. Basically, with an impact driver, you can do both mechanic (to a certain degree) and carpenter jobs.

As for an impact wrench, you’re virtually limited to only fastening and loosening nuts, bolts, and screws. Yes, an impact wrench delivers a tremendous amount of torque – more than five times as much torque between a certain impact driver and impact wrench models – but this is might actually be its downfall.

You see, with the intense rotating motion of the chuck, without a stable grip on the fastener, it can be quite easy to lose control of the tool due to tremendous vibrations emanating from the tool. For this reason, the impact wrench, regardless of the attachment you use, will not offer stability for driving screws through wood or other materials.

Impact Driver vs Impact Wrench

Furthermore, an impact wrench may not be entirely necessary for doing your own automotive repair jobs. Unless you’re tearing apart a semi-truck or breaking 50-year-old, rusted lug nuts, an impact wrench may be overkill. This is especially true if you plan on building furniture using a heavy-duty impact wrench.

Another thing to take into account when contemplating whether to get an impact wrench is the fuel source. We said earlier than a pneumatic impact wrench is the best option in terms of torque delivery, so if you’re going all-in, you’ll need to invest in a reliable air compressor. If you’re thinking of getting a cordless impact wrench, just know that running off of batteries significantly reduces how much torque the tool can produce.

Impact Wrench versus Impact Driver

Final Remarks

The TLDR version of this article is that you’ll most likely need an impact driver more than you’ll ever need an impact wrench. This, of course, is based on the assumption that you’re a regular Joe looking to handle home-repair, furniture-building, and automotive DIY jobs.

An impact driver drives long screws and breaks seized fasteners. Although there isn’t nearly as much torque produced by an impact driver compared to an impact wrench, for most home jobs, it’ll provide more than enough torque.

An impact wrench is an ultra-powerful tool that perhaps only professional mechanics will ever need. They produce a huge amount of torque for fastening and loosening nuts. Basically, an impact wrench is only used whenever a regular wrench just can’t deliver.

The use of an impact wrench is limited to loosening and fastening nuts and removing screws. It doesn’t offer the ability to drive screws or drill holes, making it basically a glorified one-trick pony. Sure, it’d be nice to own one, but an impact wrench would probably succumb to rust long before the average DIY-er can make regular use out of it.

Cordless Drill/Driver vs Impact Driver

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver Info Guides

Impact Driver versus Hammer Drill

If you’re just beginning to build up your own collection of power tools, you’ll undoubtedly run into several challenges; the most confusing of which is which power tools you actually need.

Impact Driver versus Hammer Drill

The arguably most crucial power tool is the cordless drill/driver since there’s really no way to replace how well this tool drills holes in walls, wood, and even plastic. However, you might run into something called an impact driver. Aesthetically, an impact driver is similar to a cordless drill, albeit it with a shorter chuck. If you pay close attention, you’ll see that the shape of the chuck is different – three-jawed vs. hex chuck – each calling for different sets of bits.

As you scroll down the power tools aisle at your local retailer, you might come across something known as a hammer drill. Now your confusion grows multifold; what in the world is a hammer drill and how does it differ from an impact driverThey look different – one is stubbier while the other has an elongated chuck, not unlike that of a power drill.

Now you might be thinking, “What in the world is going on?” Don’t worry; there’s no need to panic; the differences between these tools are rather significant. This article can help by describing the differences between both tools and the different scenarios where each tool is used.

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver

What’s an impact driver?

Between impact drivers and hammer drills, impact drivers are the stubbier tool with hexagonal chucks. Their stubbed noses give them the ability to fit into tight spaces such as in between components in the hood of your car for breaking nuts.

An impact driver delivers a tremendous amount of torque. Torque is needed to drive long screws through materials like wood and concrete to a certain degree. The extreme amount of force is delivered in a manner that is similar to swinging a hammer against a vice grip in order to get it to spin. Each rotation of the chuck is coupled with several impacts per minute (IPM) to drive screws without stripping them in the process.

Impact driver uses

The main uses of an impact driver are to drive fasteners and break seized nuts and bolts. You can control the amount of torque by twisting the chuck position (if available) in order to reduce the risk of stripping the head of the screw.

Basically, an impact driver is used for building and repairing jobs. If you’re building furniture or a deck, looking to do some work under the hood of your car, or fixing up your bike, then an impact driver would be an invaluable tool to own. After pre-drilling holes using a power drill, you can drive long screws through them to connect boards together.

Impact Driver vs Hammer Drill

An impact driver can also be used to drill holes. However, it’s nowhere near as effective as a common power drill due to the hexagonal shape of the chuck and bit. At best, an impact driver should be used as a last resort to drill shallow holes in wood or walls since the impacts can cause the bit to move at an angle, creating an oddly shaped hole in the process.

What’s a hammer drill?

A hammer drill looks more like a power drill, but the name can cause some confusion. In addition to looking almost exactly the same, they serve similar functions: to drill holes.

However, the magic sauce behind a hammer drill is the force applied in the direction of the chuck. An impact driver gives added rotational force for increased torque, whereas a hammer drill bashes the chuck into the material as the chuck rotates. What happens is that the bit has more penetration power for improved drilling depth.

Hammer Drill versus Impact Driver

Hammer drill uses

As you can probably tell, a hammer drill is meant for drilling into extremely dense surfaces. If you need to drill holes through concrete, masonry, or rocks, then the hammer drill is your best bet. Users have commented how a hammer drill feels somewhat like a miniature version of a jackhammer. That’s why the secondary handle is there – to give you extra leverage to prevent the bit from flopping all over the place.

However, a hammer drill is never, EVER to be used to drive screws. Even if you have the dexterity to drive screws without holding the screw with one hand, you could end up doing one of two things: a) destroying the screw, or b) damaging the surface of the material you’re foolishly attempting to drive a screw into with a hammer drill. Leave driving screws to an impact driver or power drill.

What is difference between hammer drill and impact drill?

Do I need an impact driver or hammer drill?

Another thing you might be asking yourself is whether you need one or both of these tools. Well, it all comes down on what you plan on doing.

Most home repair dudes don’t and won’t ever need a hammer drill since it’s basically a one-dimension tool. If you need to pre-drill holes into cement walls, there are dedicated bits that you can mount onto a power drill’s chuck. After that, use the same power drill to drive the screw in. A hammer drill can only remove the material from the wall before needing to switch tools to get the job done.

As for an impact driver, there are one-million-and-one things you can do with it, foremost of which is driving screws more efficiently. If you’re doing some automotive work, an impact driver can be useful in breaking stuck/rusted nuts, eliminating the need for a wrench and elbow grease.

Can I use an impact driver as a hammer drill?

Final Remarks

Hopefully, we’ve answered your questions regarding impact drivers and hammer drills. The main thing to take away from this article is that impact drivers are made for driving fasteners and putting things together – e.g., fixing up cars and bikes and building furniture. A hammer drill is for causing destruction and mayhem. Oh, and drilling deep holes in super-dense materials like concrete, rocks, masonry, and so on. The average hobbyist won’t find much use out of a hammer drill, and even if you need to pre-drill holes in the aforementioned materials, you can go at it using a masonry bit mounted onto a power drill’s chuck.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver

Best Impact Driver with Cord

Back in the day, impact drivers were considered a tool used exclusively by professional mechanics and furniture-makers. Nowadays, they’ve become an integral part of the DIY handyman’s collection of tools.

Best Impact Driver with Cord

The main job of an impact driver is to drive fasteners through wooden boards. A power drill can also be used to push screws through wood, but it’s not nearly as effective or efficient in doing so when compared to an impact driver. You can say goodbye to stripped screw heads and the frustration of being unable to drive screws. With an impact driver on your utility belt, you can get a ton of work done around your home and under the hood of your car.

Impact driver vs. Power Drill

One common question we get is what differentiates an impact driver from a power drill. The answer is simple: a power drill is used to drill holes, whereas an impact driver drives fasteners. They can substitute each other’s main functions but have very limited capacities. For instance, a drill doesn’t have enough torque to drive long screws, and an impact driver can’t be used to drill through cement walls.

Impact Driver with Cord

Corded or Cordless?

Although cordless impact drivers are all the rage, let’s not forget about their corded-electric counterparts. Corded impact drivers have considerably more power than cordless models. You may not need such a tremendous amount of power for regular home repairs or in your woodworking shop, but it never hurts to have more than you’ll need (just in case).

Of course, with a corded impact driver, your range of movement is limited by how long the power cord is. Like any corded-electric power tool, one way to overcome the problem of portability is with the help of an extension cord. However, if you’re working at a job site without a reliable source of running power, then a corded impact driver may be nothing more than an overqualified paperweight.

Corded Impact Driver Buying Guide

If you’ve decided that you’re going to get a corded impact driver, then there are several things you should consider in terms of the tool’s performance. The following guide will help you determine what specs you need in your impact driver so you can make an educated purchase decision.

What bits to use with an impact driver?

Torque

The magic behind the ultimate performance of an impact driver is the amount of torque produced. Unlike power drills, an impact driver can deliver hundreds and even thousands of inch-pounds of torque.

This is due to the concussive blows (impacts per minute, or IPM) delivered perpendicularly to the surface where you’re driving the screw. These impacts give the chuck a tremendous amount of power when rotating, giving the tool the ability to drive long screws through thick surfaces without stripping the screws.

For everyday jobs around the house, you may not need a tremendous amount of torque.

RPM

Although RPM isn’t as necessary for driving screws, it’s still an important factor to consider. A higher RPM means more efficiency when driving fasteners. However, you don’t want your impact driver’s chuck to spin as rapidly as the chuck on your power drill since quicker speeds can significantly increase the risk of stripping screw heads.

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

Adjustable vs. Electronic Clutch

Different jobs call for a different amount of torque. For instance, driving short screws through softwood won’t need as much power as driving long fasteners through hardwood. The way you can adjust the amount of torque produced is by using the clutch.

The clutch is the turning mechanism located near the nose-end of the tool. The tool will deliver different amounts of torque based on the clutch’s setting.

There are two types of clutches: manually adjustable and electronic clutches. The former requires you to manually rotate the clutch in order to find the proper torque setting. This requires a bit of trial and error, but it’s not entirely hard to get the hang of using.

An electronic clutch automatically adjusts the amount of torque based on the level of resistance is met when the chuck turns. Greater amounts of resistance will cause the electronic clutch to produce greater amounts of torque.

What is the best electric impact?

Brushed vs. Brushless Motor

Like in any power tool, impact drivers come with either a brushed motor or a brushless motor. We recommend getting a brushless motor because: 1) they produce less heat, 2) they’re more efficient, and 3) they won’t have any maintenance problems. However, if you don’t plan on using your impact driver on a regular basis, a brushed motor can do just fine since there’s no risk of burning the motor and the occurrence of maintenance problems will be few and far between. Plus, brushed motors are cheaper, so there’s that to think about.

Chuck Size

The size of the chuck determines the width of the bits that can be mounted into your impact driver’s chuck. More light-duty work will most likely require a ¼-inch chuck, whereas heavier-duty jobs will need a ½-inch chuck. You can always get attachments for your impact driver in order to thinner or thicker bits, but it’s advised that you get attachments that go smaller and not bigger since the tool’s motors aren’t equipped to handle more demanding jobs that it was designed to do.

Power Cord Length

Another important factor you need to take into account is the length of the impact driver’s power cord. Basically, your range of movement is a circle where the radius is the length of the power cord. Some models may have short cords while others may come with long 10-plus-foot cords. But you can solve the whole power-cord-length dilemma by getting an extension cord.

What is the most powerful impact driver?

Final Remarks

The impact driver has become the must-have tool for people looking to do home repairs, fix up their cars and motorcycles, and build furniture. Although cordless models are all the rage, corded impact drivers deliver more power for making easy work out of more demanding tasks. There are several factors that you need to consider when looking at a potential impact driver to take home with you, such as power, speed, torque adjustability, motor, and the size of the chuck. If you’re getting a corded model, be sure that you get one that has a long power cord or that you have a reliable extension cord since they don’t use batteries.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

What is a Brushless Impact Driver?

Impact drivers used to be tools for specialists. They were bulky, expensive, and considered a luxury for the common DIY. Nowadays, with a fair amount of manufacturers producing different models to capture a larger market share, they’ve become more compact, more inexpensive, thus becoming a vital tool for any home repairman and carpenter.

What is a Brushless Impact Driver?

What an impact driver is used for

Oftentimes, first-time buyers or people just learning about different power tools will confuse impact drivers with power drills. This is an understandable mistake considering their similar shapes and that they both use different bits for driving screws.

The main functions of an impact driver are to drive screws and break seized bolts. However, with the right bits, you can actually perform a wide range of jobs with just this tool on your belt.

The two main variables that play a role in an impact driver’s ability to force screws through dense materials and break the most rusted, seized nuts are torque and concussive blows. Torque, usually measured in inch-pounds or foot-pounds, is necessary for turning the screw against the resistance caused by the material. The concussive blows, measured in bumps per minute (BPM) or impacts per minute (IPM) are akin to using a bashing a hammer against the side of a screwdriver to give it added force when rotating. An impact driver can produce up to around 3,000 IPM – about 50 impacts a second!

Even though an impact driver can technically be used to drill holes, it’s not recommended since each hammer-like blow could misalign the bit, causing a slight turn or curve in the resulting drilled-out hole. It’s best to stick to a power drill to drill holes in walls or wood, but then switch to the impact driver to fill said hole with a fastener.

Brushless Impact Driver

Types of motors

There are two types of motors fitted into impact drivers: brushed and brushless. They both work similarly in offering the power to produce speed, torque, and quick impacts when fitted into an impact driver. We’ll explain briefly what brushed and brushless motors are below.

Brushed motors

Brushed DC motors have been around since the early 19th century and are still found in many types of power tools to this day. A typical brushed motor consists of “stator” magnets and a “rotor” coil connected to the commutator. The current coming from a DC power source is transmitted to the coils via metallic brushes which spin with the rotor.

Brushless motors

Brushless DC motors are powered by a DC power source through a switching power supply. This generates AC electric signals which then cause the motor to start. The magnets in a brushless motor are permanently fixed onto the conductors found on the stator. You won’t find any metallic brushes in a brushless motor (obviously).

Brushed vs. Brushless

Now that we know the basic differences in construction and how the power is delivered let’s look at some of the areas that can help you decide whether to opt for a brushed or brushless impact driver.

Impact Driver Brushless

Speed Range

Although breaking nuts and driving screws may not necessarily need high speed, there is a considerable difference in how brushed and brushless motors can alter the how quickly or slowly the tool’s chuck can spin.

Brushed motors usually have limited speed ranges. This is due to the construction of the metallic brushes which prevent the motor from ramping up. Brushless motors, on the other hand, due to their lack of brushes, are not as limited in reaching super-high and super-low speeds. Power loss due to physical contact between components within the motor is virtually nonexistent.

Heat dissipation

One of the biggest problems that plague a power tool’s motor is heat. Impact drivers naturally produce heat, and pulling the trigger a bit too long without releasing it can lead to tragedy, i.e., a broken tool or one in need for major repairs.

Brushed motors produce considerably more heat due to the constant contact of the brushes against the commutator. When this occurs, you need to release the trigger and leave the tool alone until it’s sufficiently cool enough to begin work anew.

As for brushless motors, without any of those brushes in the way, less heat is produced (some manufacturers say between 50 and 80% less heat production), allowing you to get more work done. Brushless motors, although they can heat up, also deal with overheating much more efficiently. Cooling a brushless impact won’t take as long as a brushed model would.

Brushless Impact Drivers

Maintenance

Brushed motors require frequent visits to the tool-repairman. This is because the metallic brushes can become worn out after excessive use. You can also replace the brushes on your own if you can find and follow the right tutorial. Basically, a brushed motor needs you to be constantly aware of the condition of the brushes.

Brushless motors, with their lack of brushes, aren’t in need of constant maintenance. There’s nothing to wear out, and you can essentially get work done constantly without having to ensure sensitive components within the system are still in working order.

Price

Brushless power tools are almost always more expensive than their brushed counterparts. Brushless motors are basically the new tech on the block in the world of power tools, thus requiring you to have slightly more financial flexibility. Brushed motors have been around since before World War I and oftentimes come with cheaper price tags.

However, whatever savings you’d hope to get from getting a brushed motor will most likely go back into fixing the tool and replacing its brushes. In the long run, if you don’t plan on retiring you power tool after its warranty is up, you’ll most likely end up spending more on a brushed impact driver than on a brushless one.

What is the best brushless impact driver?

So which should I get?

Ultimately, it depends on what you’re doing and how often you’ll do it. If you find yourself in your garage workshop all day long, putting things together and tearing them apart with an impact driver, then a brushless model would be the tool of choice. Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, if you need an impact driver to drive fasteners every time to take an annual family portrait, a brushed impact driver with its cheaper price tag will suit you just fine.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

Milwaukee M18 2656-20 vs 2753-20

Impact drivers were once considered tools that only the most serious carpenters and mechanics needed. Nowadays, it’s considered a vital tool for basic home and furniture repairs. The magic behind an impact driver is the hammer-like blows with each rotation, giving you maximum torque for loosening and driving screws and bolts. If you need to break a nut or loosen a screw that hasn’t moved in over a decade, the most reliable handheld power tool to turn to is an impact driver.

Milwaukee M18 2656-20 vs 2753-20: Impact Driver Comparison

Milwaukee M18 2656-20

Milwaukee has been one of the most popular manufacturers of power tools, and their line of impact drivers is a testament to how well-designed their products are. In this article, we’re going to take a close look at two of their most popular impact drivers – the Milwaukee M18 2656-20 and the M18 2753-20. Despite both of these tools coming from the M18 cordless system, there are a few significant differences that need to be addressed. Without further ado, let’s jump into our comparison.



Motor

2656-20
The 2656-20 features a 4-pole frameless motor. Don’t be tricked by the name; it’s still a brushed motor, meaning that you’ll need to replace brushes every so often, depending on how frequent you use the tool. Even as a brushed model, it does extremely well in keeping the heat down to a minimum when used for extended periods of time.

Milwaukee 2753-20 vs M18 2656-20: Impact Driver Comparison

Milwaukee M18 2753-20

2753-20
The 2753-20 comes with a brushless motor, meaning you don’t need to worry about replacing brushes, and other maintenance issues are few and far between. Like any brushless motor, the Powerstate motor fitted into this tool produces very little heat so your machine won’t suddenly die due to heat exhaustion.

Conclusion: One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing an impact driver is the type of motor it comes with. There are two types to choose from: brushed and brushless. Even though the 2656-20 features a 4-pole frameless motor that does well in dissipating heat, it’s still a brushed motor that will experience maintenance issues, whereas the 2753-20 has a brushless motor that produces very little heat, thus extending its battery life considerably.

RPM and IPM

2656-20
This tool’s motor can reach speeds of up to 2,750 RPM while producing up to 3,450 IPM. For every hobbyist and most professional mechanic, these ratings should be sufficient in work and time spent on driving or taking out screws or bolts. If you’re looking at other impact driver models, we highly recommend looking at tools that can reach at least 2,500 RPM and 3,000 IPM.

Milwaukee M18 2656-20 vs 2753-20

Milwaukee M18 2656-20

2753-20
The 2753-20 is marginally better than the 2656-20 regarding speed and hammer-like blows per rotation. It has a maximum speed of up to 3,000 RPM and 3,700 IPM. It’s clear that this unit’s motor exceeds our minimum performance requirement. However, practicality-wise, it’s not much better than the 2656-20.

Conclusion: The RPM and IPM ratings are also important considerations to take into account when looking for the right impact driver. These two numbers show how quick and powerful the tool is. Looking at their respective ratings, honestly speaking, there’s hardly any difference. The slight advantage that the 2753-20 has over the 2656-20 regarding performance is mainly due to the efficiency of its brushless motor.

Torque

2656-20
Torque is what truly separates an impact driver from a cordless drill. Having high torque is what gives an impact driver the ability to drive screws through dense materials such as masonry. The 2656-20 can produce up to 1,800-inch-pounds of torque. This far surpasses the power needed to unscrew greasy bolts, let alone drive screws through the wood.

Milwaukee 2753-20 vs M18 2656-20

Milwaukee M18 2753-20

2753-20
If you thought 1,500-inch-pounds of torque was impressive, take a look at the 2753-20’s amazing efficiency at producing up to 1,800-inch-pound rating. This tool is the more powerful tool of the two. However, with this much torque, be sure that you have perfect control when driving screws.

Conclusion: There’s no point in investing in an impact driver if it doesn’t produce very much torque. We’re glad to say that both of these Milwaukee models can provide more than enough torque for some of the toughest jobs at home and under the hood of your car. However, when it comes to torque, more is better, and that’s why we favor the 2753-20 over the 2656-20.

Size and Weight

2656-20 and 2753-20
The size and weight of an impact driver does help in determining whether a certain model is a good fit for you. You’ll most likely use your impact driver in tight quarters (e.g., under the hood of your car or in other dark, hard-to-reach spaces) to loosen greasy bolts.

The last thing you need is a heavy tool weighing your arm and shoulder down when working at awkward angles. With either the 2656-20 or the 2753-20, you don’t need to worry about this problem at all. Both of these tools are compact (less than 6 inches from chuck to end) and lightweight (2.65 pounds, not including battery).

Milwaukee M18 2656-20 vs 2753-20: Impact Driver Comparison

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Chuck Size

2656-20 and 2753-20
The size of the hex chuck is an indicator of how powerful an impact driver is. Despite both of these tools being able to reach high speeds and produce a high number of IPMs with massive torque, these are not the most powerful impact drivers on the market.

Both the 2656-20 and 2753-20 come with ¼-inch hex chucks. The most powerful chucks you’ll find in home-use, and even professional-grade impact drivers should be at least half-an-inch in size. That being said, you shouldn’t worry too much about either of these tools not having sufficient power to tackle even the toughest jobs you have at home.

Verdict

Despite their minor differences where it matters the most (RPM, IPM, torque, size, and weight), we feel obligated to state that the better Milwaukee impact driver to choose between these two tools is the M18 2753-20. The reason behind our choice is simple: it has a brushless motor. This means the 2753-20 runs much more efficiently, reducing battery consumption, heat production, and extending the tool’s life.

The Milwaukee M18 2656-20 is not a bad choice at all, considering that its 4-pole frameless motor is still technically a brushed motor, we were rather impressed that it worked so efficiently at dissipating heat and maintaining battery power after several hours of usage. However, in the current state that the power tools industry is in, there’s no substitute for going brushless.

Milwaukee 2753-20 vs M18 2656-20: Impact Driver Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee M18 2753-20 on Amazon >>>

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs DCK280C2 vs DCK290L2

There’s no better way to begin a hobby as a DIY construction worker or furniture maker than by investing in a power tool combo pack. And there’re no better tools to start with than a power drill, and impact driver clipped to your belt. Not only do you get multiple tools to work with just a single purchase, but you can also complete a wide range of different tasks with both a power drill and impact driver.

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs DCK280C2 vs DCK290L2: Impact Driver Combo Comparison

DEWALT DCK240C2

In this article, we’re going to look at three of DEWALT’s 20V cordless power drill/impact driver kits: the DCF240C2, DCK280C2, and DCK290L2. These kits have received a tremendous amount of positive reviews from their users, something that we’re not entirely surprised to hear since these are DEWALT-made products. But choosing between the three can be quite confusing. In our comparison, we’ll clear up any confusion regarding these three kits and help you decide which of them will work best for you.



Power Drill

DCK240C2
This combo kit comes with the DCD771 drill/driver. It comes with a ½-inch chuck and can be used to both drill and drive screws through all sorts of materials. This is a versatile, two-speed tool that produces up to 450 RPM and 1,500 RPM. Its 16 clutch settings give users the freedom to choose the appropriate torque, up to 450 inch-pounds, for various tasks without destroying screw heads.

DEWALT DCK280C2 vs DCK290L2 vs DCK240C2: Impact Driver Combo Comparison

DEWALT DCK280C2

DCK280C2
The Dewalt DCK280C2 features the ½-inch DCD780 drill/driver. Its large chuck allows users to place heavy-duty bits for drilling holes into dense materials and driving screws. This is also a two-speed tool that provides up to 600 RPM and 2,000 RPM on its low- and high-speed settings, respectively. With its 15 different clutch settings, you can decide how much torque to deliver, ranging from 200 inch-pounds all the way up to 530 inch-pounds.

DCK290L2
The DeWalt DCK290L2 is different from the other combo kits in the sense that it comes with a hammer drill instead of a drill/driver. The ½-inch hammer drill – DCD985 – is a much power powerful tool compared to a drill/driver and can be used for drilling holes and driving long screws through the densest of materials. This is a three-speed tool that produces up to 575 RPM, 1,300 RPM, and 2,000 RPM on each of its gears.

DEWALT DCK290L2 vs DCK240C2 vs DCK280C2: Impact Driver Combo Comparison

DEWALT DCK290L2

With 22 different clutch settings, you can select how much torque to deliver, starting from 330 inch-pounds to an astounding 700 inch-pounds. This tool comes with a 360° handle that offers maximum leverage and control when drilling through the hardest materials.

Conclusion: One of the main differences between these three DEWALT combo packs is the power drill that comes with each set. Looking at their respective drills, we feel that you can get the most value out of the DCK290L2’s hammer drill – the ½-inch DCD985. Hammer drills differ from traditional power drills in the sense that they can exert a tremendous amount of force for drilling into stone, masonry, concrete, brick, and mortar. Attempt to do this with a power drill and its motor will burn out on you.

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs Bosch CLPK22-120: Combo Kit Comparison

Impact Driver

DCK240C2, DCK280C2, and DCK290L2
All three of these DEWALT combo kits come with the exact same impact driver model: the DCF885. This is a ¼-inch impact driver that can generate up to 2,800 RPM at 3,200 IPM. This 2.8-pound tool can produce up to a staggering 1,400 inch-pounds of torque for driving the longest screws through the toughest of materials with maximum precision. If you were to purchase an impact driver separately to complete your arsenal of power tools, we would recommend this tool with no hesitation.

20V 3.0-amp Li-Ion Batteries

DCK240C2, DCK280C2, and DCK290L2
What we need to know is that these packs are the upgraded versions of DEWALT’s previous line of 18V cordless power tool combo kits. Essentially, with any of these packs, you can expect up to 40% battery efficiency per charge and high-RPM performance for completing jobs more quickly.

DEWALT DCK280C2

DEWALT DCK280C2

When comparing these kits to other 20V combo packs of other brands, these tools still hold as some of the best-performing and compact 20V tools available. One of the best things about these three combo packs is that they each come with two 20V batteries. With one charging (more on the charger later) and the other running either your drill or impact driver, you can maintain a steady workflow without interruption.

Quick Charger

DCK240C2, DCK280C2, and DCK290L2
In order to reduce downtime as much as possible, a power tool’s batteries should be able to reach maximum capacity in the shortest amount of time. DEWALT has included quick chargers in all three of these drill and impact driver combo kits to help users reach maximum efficiency when working on laborious tasks. It takes around 40 minutes for these batteries to reach full capacity from 0%, and you get around 35 minutes of power per full charge.

DEWALT DCK290L2 Impact Driver Combo

DEWALT DCK290L2

Best Dewalt Impact Drivers: Brand Guide

Contractor Bag

DCK240C2, DCK280C2, and DCK290L2
There’s no point in getting a combo kit if they don’t give you a handy carrying case to store your tools in. All three of these kits come in a durable contractor bag with pockets dedicated to holding onto the two 20V Li-Ion batteries and quick charger. Since the tools and accessories are lightweight – less than 15 pounds – there’s no risk of the tools tearing through the bag’s fabric. Just be sure to store any additional screw bits in their compartments so nothing will poke through the bag.

Verdict

From our comparison, you can see that there are considerably more overlapping specs and features between the three DEWALT combo packs than there are differences. In fact, the only significant difference worth mentioning is the drill that comes in each pack. Both the DCK240C2 and DCK280C2 come with excellent drill/drivers. However, it’s the DCK290L2’s hammer drill that really puts it a step above the other packs.

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs DCK280C2 vs DCK290L2: Impact Driver Combo Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK240C2 on Amazon >>>

With its amazing power, you can drill through inches of wood, concrete, masonry, brick, and mortar without fear of ruining the chuck or overworking the motor. For this reason, we feel that the kit that offers the most value and versatility in and around the home and workshop is the DeWalt DCK290L2. In every other regard – impact driver model, batteries, charger, contractor bag – the three kits are identical.

DEWALT DCK290L2 vs DCK240C2 vs DCK280C2: Impact Driver Combo Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK290L2 on Amazon >>>

Best Cordless Drill-Driver Combo Kits: Buying Guide

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use




Categories
Drills & Impact Tools Impact Driver

DEWALT DCF885C1 vs DCF787C1 Impact Driver

Impact drivers used to be specialist tools used by industry workers for completing a wide range of construction jobs. Their high-torque performance is what made them a rarity among hobbyist DIY-ers and power tool retailers. Nowadays, impact drivers have become an essential tool for every construction worker of any expertise.

DEWALT DCF885C1 vs DEWALT DCF787C1: Cordless Impact Driver Comparison

DEWALT DCF885C1

It’s no surprise that we’re fans of DEWALT, and we’re not the only ones. The market also has very few bad things to say about any DEWALT power tools. In this article, we’re going to take a look at two of their impact driver models the DCF885C1 and DCF787C1. To be completely honest, there are very few differences between these two models. However, where they do differ could make a difference in persuading you to choose one over the other. So which of these two DEWALT-made impact drivers is the better option for your line of workKeep reading to find out.



Torque

DCF885C1
The main difference between a power drill and an impact driver is that the latter delivers a tremendous amount of torque. You’ll need more torque for breaking nuts and driving screws into wood, both soft and hard, with little resistance. The DCF885C1 can deliver up to 1,400 inch-pounds of torque.

DCF787C1
The DCF787C1 can deliver a maximum of 1,500 inch-pounds of torque. This should be more than enough to finish a wide range of tasks in the home and garage. Compared to the DCF885C1, we can see that there’s a very small difference in torque.

Conclusion: When it comes to torque, the general rule is that more is better. That being said, we feel that there isn’t really that significant a difference to make you choose one tool over the other when considering their torque alone. Either of these tools could serve you well in completing a wide range of tasks.

DEWALT DCF787C1 vs DEWALT DCF885C1: Cordless Impact Driver Comparison

DEWALT DCF787C1

RPM and IPM

DCF8851C and DCF787C1
The next most important variables to consider when looking at impact drivers are their speed and how many impacts they produce. IPMs indicate how many hammer-like blows are made when the chuck spins, giving the tool its torque and effectiveness in driving long screws and breaking nuts. Both of these tools can produce 2,800 RPM and 3,200 IPM. This should be more speed and power for everything you’ll ever need your impact driver to do.

Chuck Size

DCF885C1 and DCF787C1
The largest chuck you can find in consumer-grade impact drivers is one inch. The larger the chuck, the more powerful the tool is at breaking nuts and driving long screws. However, a larger chuck uses larger bits, requiring the tool to use more power to perform optimally. The DCF885C1 and DCF787C1 both come with ¼-inch chucks, which is the most common size found in impact drivers. With the right adapter, you can even connect 1-inch bits/shanks into these tools’ chucks.

LED Lights

DCF885C1 and DCF787C1
Oftentimes, your work will force you to work in poorly lit areas – e.g., under the hood of your car or in closets. One of the most reliable sources of high-lumen lights is by using a cordless torch. However, they may not properly illuminate the area in which you’re driving screws. Luckily, both the DCF885C1 and DCF787C1 come with three LED lights with a 20-second delay after releasing the trigger. This will give you time to appreciate your work smugly.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

Brushed vs Brushless Motors

DCF885C1
This tool comes with a brushed motor. In terms of performance, there is no significant difference between brushed and brushless motors. However, although brushed power tools are cheaper, they will need to be maintained regularly.

DCF787C1
The DCF787C1 is a brushless impact driver. Since there are no brushes, this tool doesn’t produce as much heat as the DCF885C1. This extends the lifespan of the tool dramatically, reduces maintenance-related issues, and eliminates the need to replace brushes. However, brushless motors are generally more expensive, but you can actually save hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Conclusion: This is the most significant difference between these two impact drivers. One features a brushed motor, whereas the other comes with a brushless motor. Brushless motors perform considerably more efficiently than their brushed counterparts. The one and only drawback of brushless tools is their cost. However, their higher price tags can actually help you save money in the future on maintenance and replacing brushes and commutators.

DEWALT DCF787C1

DEWALT DCF787C1

Runtime

DCF885C1
The DCF885C1 uses a 20V Li-Ion battery that delivers around 30 minutes of runtime per full battery. This is about the industry average for brushed impact drivers, so you can rest assured that this impact driver will provide just as much runtime as comparable products.

DCF787C1
This tool is also powered by a 20V Li-Ion battery. However, it has a runtime rating of over 45 minutes per charge. The 50% increase in battery life is due to the brushless motor. The tool loses less power due to heat production, making it perform much more efficiently than their brushed counterparts.

Conclusion: Although both of these tools draw power from 20V 1.5-amp Li-Ion batteries, we can really see a difference in how effective these tools use power. This is mainly due to their respective motor types and ability to alleviate heating problems. Brushless motors produce less heat and are better are heat dissipation, thus extending their runtime per full battery by over 50%.

DEWALT DCF885C1 vs DEWALT DCF787C1: Cordless Impact Driver Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF885C1 on Amazon >>>

DEWALT DCF885C1 vs DCF787C1: Verdict

There are several overlapping specs or minor differences between these two DEWALT-made impact drivers. Both the DCF885C1 and DCF787C1 can produce more than 1,000 inch-pounds of torque, can generate 2,800 RPM and 3,200 IPM, use the same sized bits, and have handy front-facing LED lights.

The main differences between the two are their motor types and their respective maximum runtimes per battery. Because of the DCF787C1’s greater efficiency, we’d highly recommend this tool over the brushed DCF885C1.

However, we should also let you know that the brushed DEWALT DCF885C1 produces just about the same results as the DCF787C1, but it’ll have more maintenance issues down the road. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and how often you’ll use an impact driver. For infrequent use, the brushed DCF885C1 will suit you just fine.

DEWALT DCF787C1 vs DEWALT DCF885C1: Cordless Impact Driver Comparison

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF787C1 on Amazon >>>

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
Bestseller No. 2
Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless...
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 1, 500 inches pounds Of max torque
  • Variable speed (0 3, 400 RPM & 0 3, 600 IPM) for a wide range of fastening applications
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for...
Bestseller No. 3
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
  • High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
  • Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
  • Compact & Lightweight for ease of use