Verum is reader-supported. When you buy through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – learn more

Best Impact Driver 2021: Top Drivers for Power & Control

recommended cordless impact drivers for high torque screw turning. diy and trade

The best impact driver is designed to turn screws, nuts & bolts – quickly & without fuss. This is a great piece of kit for anyone who appreciates using the right tool for the job. 

Delivering significantly more torque than a drill, an impact driver will turn the toughest screws quickly and with minimal effort. Lightweight & ideally used alongside a cordless drill, this is the perfect power tool for driving long screws into timber. 

There are three good reasons to buy an impact driver. Large construction screws, volume or simply to avoid the faff of continually swapping a drill bit for a driver on your drill. Whatever your reason (probably all three) – the best impact driver makes numerous tasks, quicker & easier.

Choosing the Best Impact Driver

As with all power tools, spending big affords some amazing kit. However, it’s possible to pick-up a great impact driver for less than you may think. The models below start from around £60 (without battery) – perfect for occasional jobs. 

For trade & serious DIY, consider a model with a brushless motor. This gives a longer run time, compact design and best of all, it will last much longer than a conventional model. Yes, it costs more, but a brushless motor is definitely a worthwhile investment over time.

There are six primary factors to consider when choosing the right impact driver.

  1. Maximum Torque – For most jobs, 150Nm is plenty.
  2. Speed – Number of speeds, maximum and trigger control are all important factors
  3. Motor type – Brushless motors last longer but cost more
  4. Physical Size – Usability & comfort
  5. Weight – Lighter is better, but not at the expense of power
  6. Battery Type – Needs to work across your power tool brand range

Verum compares 100s of power tools. We have scrutinized specifications, checked manufacturer claims and consumed owner opinion to evaluate which are the best impact drivers available to buy – right now

Best Buy Recommended Makita DTD152Z Impact Driver UK
Makita DTD152 – Entry level impact driver that’s a match for most jobs. Compatible with Makita LXT batteries

1. Makita DTD152
Budget DIY Impact Driver

This is the best impact driver you can buy for under £100. It’s powerful, durable and easy to use. As you may expect from Makita, the DTD152 impact driver ticks all the boxes in terms of quality and reliability. But what really makes this model stand out is the budget price.

Variable Speed Trigger

All the must-have features come as standard. The variable speed trigger makes this impact driver, easy to use. Plus, this feature coupled with the electric brake means you have complete control with one hand. The compact design is lightweight and with twin LEDs, it’s easy to see what you’re doing – even in tight, dark spaces.

Makita LXT Battery System

Some of the cheaper Makita power tools use their own battery system, which is a big negative, but fortunately, the Makita DTD152 uses the standard LXT batteries. Choose multiple small batteries if you favour a lighter device or go large if long-lasting power is important.

There’s no brushless motor on this budget model. However, the brushes are easy to replace and cost less than a fiver. For most of us, choosing this impact driver is a no-brainer. It’s great value and gets the job done. 

TORQUE: 165Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 2900 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3500 ipm | WEIGHT: 1.3Kg – 1.6Kg | LENGTH: 137mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years

Makita DTD152 + Battery 5Ah + Charger | Verdict Price £168
See best price on Amazon

Makita DTD152 [Bare Unit] | Verdict price £55
See best price on Amazon

Best buy Ryobi R18IDBL-0 18V ONE+ Cordless Brushless motor Impact Driver. With torque control & 3 LEDs. UK
Ryobi R18IDBL-0 The high power, brushless motor gives this Ryobi standout qualities

2. Ryobi R18IDBL-0
Best High Torque Impact Driver

If you own a Ryobi cordless drill, this impact driver is made for you. The excellent Ryobi range of cordless power tools all work with the same, 18v ONE+ battery system. For anyone, trade or DIY who’s yet to try Ryobi – the kit is excellent and good value for money.

Ryobi Brushless Impact Driver

This recommended impact driver has a brushless motor. This means it will last longer than a conventional model and is suitable for heavy and continual use. Plus, it will generate less heat and work for much longer before requiring a battery change or charge.

Three Speed Control

With four power modes, control is easy. There are three basic modes which set the appropriate speed and torque to match the size of the screw and precision required. The fourth setting gives a slow start then cranks up the power before slowing down again as the screw head meets the timber – Ideal for decking & alike.

Most power tools have an LED on the front, but this impact driver has three surrounding the chuck. This illuminates every job without shadows. 

Already own a Ryobi drill? This impact driver is the perfect partner. If you need more power, are driving large numbers of screws or simply want to avoid the faff of continually switching between drill bit & driver – choose the Ryobi R18IDBL-0.

TORQUE: 270Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 3000 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3900 ipm | WEIGHT: 1.2Kg – 1.5Kg | LENGTH: 194mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years

Ryobi R18IDBL-0 [Bare Unit] | Verdict price £110 | See best price on Amazon

Best buy Makita DTD154 BL LXT brushless motor Impact Driver 18V 117mm Length UK
Makita DTD154 – Great specification & built to last.

3. Makita DTD154
Pro Level Impact Driver – Perfect For Trade

Professional tradesmen – this is the best impact driver for you. Especially if you already own Makita kit & batteries. The compact design delivers plenty of power for most tasks. It’ll keep going when lesser devices give up and professional users give it a consistent & definite thumbs up.

Makita Brushless Impact Driver

The brushless motor makes this impact driver superior from day one. And a great investment over the long term. With superior efficiency each battery charge lasts longer. Plus, there’s minimal chance of the Makita overheating – even with constant use. This power tool will just keep going.

Three Speed Impact Driver

Speed and torque control are important. Not all jobs need a huge turning force or high speed revolutions. Unlike cheaper Makita models, the DTD154 has a three stage impact selector. This means you can set the speed & torque that’s appropriate for the job. In addition to this, the variable speed trigger gives you total control.

The impact selection switch & brushless motor sets this model above cheaper versions – DIY or pro tradesman, it’s worth the extra few quid.

If you already own Makita power tools, batteries & charger then the DTD154 is a great choice. Alternatively, if this is your first Makita, no problem. The quality & range of tools is excellent – you won’t be disappointed.

TORQUE: 175Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 3600 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3800 ipm | WEIGHT: 1.2Kg – 1.5Kg | LENGTH: 117mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years

Makita DTD154 [Bare Unit] | Verdict price £140 | See best price on Amazon

Click to See The Complete Guide to Batteries & Chargers

Impact Driver vs Drill Driver: What’s the Difference?

An impact driver delivers around four times more torque or turning force of a drill. Plus a drill clamps the drill bit with a variable chuck, while an impact driver has a slot, to quickly lock in a hexagonal shank (6.35mm / ¼”).

The best impact driver is a specialist tool for driving screws – it’s not designed to drill holes. For this reason, it works brilliantly alongside a good combi-drill. But it’s not a replacement. Using both a combi-drill & impact driver means you can drill perfect holes and drive large screws, at speed. And you save the faff of having to keep swapping bits.

Impact Driver vs Impact Wrench: What’s the Difference?

An impact wrench delivers more torque than an impact driver. And, it uses a ½” square shank rather than a variable chuck or hexagonal slot. A wrench is the right tool for scaffolders and mechanics. It’s perfect for tightening & loosening car wheel bolts and alike. 

Cordless Tool Batteries

In terms of convenience and cost, it’s a good idea to stick with a single brand of cordless power tool. Makita, Dewalt & Ryobi all offer a wide range of quality tools. What’s important, is that each brand sticks with the same batteries, making them interchangeable across your power tools. Plus, you only need one charger.

Ryobi has stayed with the same fitting for some time, Dewalt uses a couple of different types. Make sure any Makita kit you buy, uses LXT batteries. Bosch Consumer & Bosch Professional use different fittings and are not interchangeable. Stay with 18v unless you need something very light or very high powered.

Best Buy Impact Drivers

Best Buy Recommended Makita DTD152Z Impact Driver UK

Best Budget Buy
Makita DTD152 | Verdict price £55
See price on Amazon

Best buy Ryobi R18IDBL-0 18V ONE+ Cordless Brushless motor Impact Driver. With torque control & 3 LEDs. UK

Ryobi R18IDBL-0 | Verdict price £110
See price on Amazon

Best buy Makita DTD154 BL LXT brushless motor Impact Driver 18V 117mm Length UK

Best Buy
Makita DTD154 | Verdict price £140
See price on Amazon

Budget or Premium?

All of the models detailed above will deliver ample torque and speed. A brushless motor is worth the extra cash if your power tools are in regular use. Plus, being able to control and set the maximum torque & speed, makes an impact driver easier to use and adaptable to a wide range of jobs. 

In summary, the Makita DTD152 is a great budget option. If you want a brushless motor and superior control, invest a few quid more.

Best Combi-Drill
Best Random Orbital Sander