October 4, 2023
If you’ve ever tried driving dozens of screws using a screwdriver to complete a project, you would surely understand how enervating the process is. You’ll indeed end up with sore muscles if you’re not conditioned physically to do it. So, you’ll readily appreciate a tool like an impact driver when working on heavy workloads that require driving dozens of screws. Moreover, you would surely appreciate the inventor of the impact driver for having thought of and invented this handy tool.
Of course, you may say that you would not need an impact driver because you already have a drill/driver. Yet, if you want to enhance your woodworking and mechanical tasks further, it will be best to invest in an impact driver. With a dedicated impact driver, you can facilitate the screwing of plywood, building decks, installing of tile backer board, and many other jobs that necessitate the driving of long screws.
4 Most Recommended Impact Driver for Any Woodworking Projects
An impact driver is a popular tool, and you will find many brands and models of impact drivers in the market today. This makes choosing the best impact driver a bit confusing. It will help if you know the following most recommended impact driver to facilitate the choosing process for you:
1) Milwaukee M18
If you are looking for an impact driver that is both popular and reliable, you should consider the Milwaukee M18 DB303552. The Milwaukee M18 offers impressive torque, given its size. It features a four-pole frameless motor that radically reduces its size while maximizing its efficiency to improve its battery life. Moreover, this impact driver is a handy tool that offers incredible value to you as a professional woodworker.
This impact driver has a molded plastic case that holds it. This case is durable. Furthermore, its XC batteries are commendable for providing the extra torque you need for this tool. Moreover, it gives this impact driver a longer runtime. You only must press a button to activate a test light that indicates how much charge the battery has.
The Milwaukee M18 comes with its signature nylon house (red glass-filled). It likewise comes with a belt clip and LED light that turns on when you depress its trigger. Its trigger is also easy to use, allowing the user to control its speed.
- It quietly operates.
- It features a one-handed chuck.
- It only comes with a single LED light.
- If you’re used to other impact drivers, you may find the power of this impact driver wanting.
2) Ridgid 18V R86037
Another excellent impact driver option is the Ridgid 18V R86037. It is ideal for driving long screws onto thick wood. It also features a brushless motor and other sterling features that you would surely love. Moreover, it offers a maximum RPM of 2,750 RPM and 2250 Inch Pounds of torque.
The Ridgid 18V R86037 features a chuck that you can quickly eject. Plus, it provides an ergonomic design for its grip. Besides, it features a belt clip to allow you to tuck it to your side while working. It also offers variable speeds with its three modes of speed.
It also comes with a LED lighting that activates when you activate this impact driver. You can see its Tri-beam LED lighting at its chuck, which illuminates your project when it starts.
- It provides lots of torque.
- Its battery is long-lasting.
- It offers variable speed.
- You need to buy its battery and charger separately.
3) DEWALT DCF885C1
If you are desirous of a less expensive option, I guess the DEWALT DCF885C1 will be an excellent choice. It’s easy to use even if you are a first-time user. It also comes with a separate charging station. This impact driver is small enough that it can fit into most tight spaces.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t sacrifice on its torque and power. It can produce a maximum torque of 1,400 inch-pounds. It also comes with three LED lights that illuminate your workpiece.
The DEWALT DCF885C1 features a mix of power, portability, and convenience. It measures around 5.55 inches and carries a slim design that you would surely love. It is lightweight at 2.8 pounds, allowing you to use it for long operation hours.
It is capable of a maximum 2,800 RPM and 3,200 BPM impact. Plus, it comes with a three-year limited warranty as well as a ninety-day money-back guarantee.
- Offers a powerful performance.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Its battery may not be that long-lasting, and the price of an additional battery is not that low.
4) MILWAUKEE 12V 2462-20
If you are looking for another excellent impact driver, you should check out the MILWAUKEE 12V 2462-20. It is a reasonably priced option. It is also small but powerful and is run by a 12-volt battery. It is capable of 1,000 inch-pounds torque and a speed of 2,500 RPM.
Its not-so-large size makes it easy to carry around anywhere you will work. It also comes with an ambidextrous belt clip that keeps this tool close to you when you work. Moreover, it comes with a power level meter (LED) that you can see on its side.
The MILWAUKEE 12V 2462-20 comes with a brushless motor that lets this tool run cool for a longer time. With this feature, the device can last longer. It also comes with a Drive Control feature that allows for two fastening modes for additional convenience. It also comes with a protection feature from overloading, over-discharging, overheating (Redlink Plus Intelligence).
It doesn’t come, however, with a charger or battery. So, you need to purchase the battery and charger separately. Furthermore, this tool can work well with Redlithium (2.0) compact battery. It weighs around 2.1 pounds that makes it comfortable to carry around.
- Excellent performance.
- Its battery is long-lasting. It is compact and lightweight.
- You need to buy the battery and the charger separately.
Factors You Must Consider When Buying an Impact Driver
Once you know the most recommended impact drivers in the market today, you can inch closer to buying the ideal impact driver for your woodworking needs. Yet, it will also help if you know the essential factors to consider to zero in quickly on the best impact driver:
Impact and Torque
Impact drivers can’t be ideal if it doesn’t deliver enough torque. The torque comes in an inch-pound measurement. As a rule, the more powerful the battery is, the more torque you can get from the tools. For this reason, the 18-volt and 20-volt impact drivers can deal with harder materials better than the 12-volt impact drivers.
The 12-volt impact, for example, can deliver up to 800 inch-pound torque, while a 20-volt impact driver can deliver up to 2,000 inch-pound torque. However, if you are a DIYer, you can get by with a tool capable of up to midpoint torque range.
The impact driver also delivers an impact at a specific rate. This impact or extra blow is measured in impact per minute or IPM. So, it will help to consider the rate at which a particular model can deliver that additional blow.
You may find corded impact drivers in the market today. Yet, if you are a DIYer, you will seldom use this type of impact driver. But if you have a cordless impact driver, you can quickly tackle more challenging jobs that require driving multiple screws and fasteners.
Cordless impact drivers also run using batteries. These batteries are usually lithium-ion batteries that typically come in different voltages (12V, 18V, and 20V). The lesser the voltage capacity, the more lightweight and compact. Thus, you can easily handle these less powerful impact drivers. These impact drivers, however, can drive medium-sized screws into soft and medium hard wood. So, if you will engage in small projects, the 12V impact drivers will suffice.
The 18V impact drivers, however, are heavier and larger than the 12V. They also offer more power. You can use them for projects that require driving large screws into hardwood. These impact drivers are ideal for serious woodworkers.
The big boys, of course, are the 20V impact drivers. They are heavy-duty and can deliver more power to drive screws into the most challenging wood consistently. You can use these impact drivers to deal with large workloads.
Another essential factor to consider is the RPM of the impact driver. The RPM refers to the rotations per minute or the impact driver’s speed to rotate the bit. The faster the RPM, the quicker you can do your job. However, it will be best to remember that it can strip screws and damage the workpiece if you go more quickly. It will be good to note that the faster the torque, the slower the speed.
You will find that most high-end impact drivers feature multiple settings for their RPMs. The lowest setting can deliver a range between 600 RPM to 800 RPM. The middle settings range between 1,800 RPM to 2,000 RPM, while the highest settings range from 3,000 RPM or more. The ranges mentioned above usually refer to the “no-load” capacity of the tool. No-load capacity refers to when you run the device in the air sans driving an actual screw.
The best impact drivers do not need to be the most expensive ones. They also need not be the more complicated ones to operate. If you check out the top-tier options at hand, you will discover that they offer a no-frill approach and operation. Moreover, the top-notch ones are easy to operate and handy.
Given the abovementioned factors to consider, you can quickly zero in on the best impact driver. Besides, if you know the most recommended impact drivers by the experts, you can narrow down your search to the best options at hand. Without cracking your head as to which you should choose among the many models, you’re now in a better position to decide which impact driver you would choose.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.