The best impact driver is designed to turn screws, nuts & bolts – quickly & without fuss. It’s the perfect partner for your 18v cordless drill.
Delivering significantly more torque than a drill, an impact driver will turn the toughest screws quickly and with minimal effort. Lightweight, compact & ideally used alongside a cordless drill, this is the perfect power tool for driving multiple screws & bolts quickly & easily.
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. For trade & DIY, the best impact driver makes numerous tasks, quicker & easier.
Best 18v Impact Drivers
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. Recommended models (see below) start from only £60 + battery.
For trade, a brushless motor makes good sense. This gives a longer run time, compact design and best of all, it will last much longer than a conventional model. A brushless motor is unquestionably a good investment over time.
There are six primary factors to consider when choosing the right impact driver.
- Maximum Torque – For most jobs, 130Nm is plenty.
- Speed Control – Number of speeds, maximum and trigger control are all important factors
- Motor type – Brushless motors are more efficient and last longer
- Physical Size – Usability & comfort
- Weight – Lighter is better, but not at the expense of power
- Battery Type – Stick with one brand and you can use the same batteries across all your power tools.
Verum compares 100s of power tools. We scrutinize specifications, listen to experts and gauge real-world opinion to help you choose the best impact driver for you…
BestBudget Impact Driver:
Powerful, durable and easy to use, thisMakita impact driver ticks all the quality and reliability boxes. But what really makes this model stand out is the value and 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 (often missing on budget models) 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.
For most of us, choosing this impact driver is a no-brainer. It’s the perfect partner to a Makita drill.
SPECIFICATION: 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 | Verdict price £58 | See Best Price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Bundle Deal | Verdict Price £160 | See Best Price on Amazon
Includes Makita DTD152 Impact Driver, 5Ah Battery & Charger
18v Bosch Impact Driver:
PDR 18 LI Advanced Impact Drive
The Bosch PDR 18 LI impact driver is lightweight, easy to use and a great partner for a Bosch DIY cordless drill.
The Bosch power-for-all range of power tools all uses the same batteries and chargers. This means you can own one charger and a couple of batteries across all your Bosch DIY power tools. Since 2007, all Bosch green, 18v power tools work with the same power-for-all battery system.
This model is perfect for DIY. It’s affordable and easy to use. Speed control is set by the trigger – a light touch gives a soft start followed by graduated speed increases according to how tightly you squeeze. Also of value is the torque delivery. This is managed by a clever internal chip that sets the right power level for the job and preserves battery life.
If you’re a keen DIYer and there’s every reason to go with the Bosch brand & impact driver is a great choice.
SPECIFICATION: TORQUE: 130Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 2600 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3200 ipm | WEIGHT: 1Kg | LENGTH: 155mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Bosch PDR 18 LI | Verdict price £100 | See Best Price on Amazon
Includes Charger & Battery
High Torque Impact Driver:
Ryobi R18IDBL-0 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, 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.
Lots of 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.
SPECIFICATION: TORQUE: 270Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 3000 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3900 ipm | SPEEDS: 3 | WEIGHT: 1.2Kg – 1.5Kg | LENGTH: 194mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Ryobi R18IDBL-0 | Verdict price £140 | See Best Price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Best Makita Impact Driver:
Makita DTD154 [Brushless]
This impact driver is designed for professional tradesmen & serious DIY. Perfect if you already own or are considering Makita power tools. The compact design delivers plenty of power for most tasks. It’ll keep going when lesser devices give up. Pros give this model a consistent & definite thumbs up.
Brushless Impact Driver
The brushless motor makes this impact driver superior from day one. And a great investment over the long term. With enhanced efficiency, each battery charge lasts longer. Plus, even with constant use, there’s no chance of this Makita overheating.
Three Speed Impact Driver
Speed and torque control are important. Not all jobs need a huge turning force or high-speed revolutions. Unlike cheaper 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 brushless motor & impact selection switch sets this model above cheaper versions – DIY or pro tradesman, it’s worth the extra investment.
If you already own Makita LXT batteries & a charger then the DTD154 is an easy choice. Alternatively, if this is your first Makita, no problem. The quality & range of Makita power tools is excellent – you won’t be disappointed.
SPECIFICATION: TORQUE: 175Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 3600 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3800 ipm | SPEEDS: 3 | WEIGHT: 1.2Kg – 1.5Kg | LENGTH: 117mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Makita DTD154 | Verdict price £115 | See Best Price on Amazon
Choose battery & charger separately
Best Impact Driver: [BEST BUY]
Dewalt DCF887 Impact Driver [Brushless]
The Dewalt DCF887 is a powerful, controllable and robust impact driver. Designed for trade, but perfect for anyone who appreciates working with top-notch tools.
Capable of delivering 205Nm of torque, this model will turn anything. Importantly, the power is easily controllable with three speeds. The lowest mode (variable speed of 0-1000rpm) is designed for precision jobs, where there’s a potential for fastener and material damage.
Quality power tools use brushless motors and this Dewalt model is no exception. A brushless motor generates less heat and doesn’t wear at the same rate as a conventional device. This means it will last longer, can cope with continual use, drains the battery-less and over time will save you money.
All the features you’d expect are here. A ring of bright LEDs improves visibility. Plus, the belt hook and magnetic bit holder are welcome features. Looking for negatives, it’s a little longer than some, but at under 1kg (without battery), this model is light and easy to use.
If you’re considering purchasing power tools in the future or already own Dewalt batteries, choosing the Dewalt DCF887 is an easy decision – the Dewalt 18v range now comprises well over 100 tools.
High torque, three speeds and a brushless motor mean this model is a match for any task.
SPECIFICATION: TORQUE: 205Nm | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 3800 rpm | IMPACTS PER MINUTE: 0-3800 ipm | SPEEDS: 3 | WEIGHT: 1Kg | LENGTH: 134mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Dewalt DCF887 | Verdict price £185 | See Best Price on Amazon
DEAL: Includes Impact Driver, 5Ah Battery, Charger & T-Stack Case
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Impact Driver vs. Drill Driver –What’s the Difference?
An impact driver delivers around four times more torque or turning force than 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 uses a ½” square shank rather than a variable chuck or hexagonal slot. An impact wrench is designed for scaffolders and mechanics. It’s perfect for tightening & loosening car wheel bolts and alike.
Use the Same Brand Batteries Across Multiple Devices
In terms of convenience and cost, it’s a good idea to stick with a single brand of cordless power tools. Bosch, 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 has used a standard fitting for over a decade now. Make sure any Makita kit you buy, uses LXT batteries. Bosch Consumer (green) & Bosch Professional (blue) use different fittings and are not interchangeable. Stay with 18v unless you need something very light or very high powered.
Click to See The Complete Guide to Batteries & Chargers
Best Buy Impact Drivers
BEST BUDGET BUY
Makita DTD152 | Verdict price £58
See price on Amazon
Best Makita Impact Driver
Makita DTD154 | Verdict price £115
See price on Amazon
Dewalt DCF887 | Verdict price £185
See price on Amazon
All of the models recommended here represent excellent value for money. The Makita DTD152 stands out for all the right reasons – it’s a great budget option. Alternatively, the Bosch is a decent DIY driver, complete with a charger & battery. However, for trade and anyone who appreciates using top-notch power tools, a brushless motor is worth the extra cash.
The compact Makita DTD154 is an excellent driver. Especially, if you already own Makita LXT batteries. However,the overall Best Buy is the DewaltDCF887 – the high torque brushless motor and superb controls make it the top choice.