Last updated on November 13th, 2018 at 07:14 pm
The building and construction industry involves a lot of drilling and driving or removal of small and large screws and bolts from soft and hard materials. Without the right tool, the work can really be unnecessarily time-consuming and difficult with average outcome. Thanks to the cordless impact driver that not only gives you freedom from hoses and power cords but also brings speed and professionalism into how you drill holes and install screws and bolt fasteners.
A cordless impact driver is a battery-powered tool that delivers a huge amount of torque to drill holes and drive screws and bolts into hard materials like heavy steel, hardwood, or pressure-treated lumber quickly and easily. Like the impact wrench, the driver uses lateral impact to twist screws and drill bits in or out of material. However, the impact driver does not deliver as much torque as an impact wrench and therefore cannot be used to break lose large lug nuts and bolts. The tool works both as a drill and a driver. As a drill, the power tool uses hex shank drill bits rated specifically for an impact driver to make holes. It can also use spade bits to bore out large holes. When used to drive bolts and screws, the cordless impact driver utilizes impact sockets because the regular ones can shatter with impact.
Selecting the best cordless impact driver for your trade among competing alternatives is not simple. However, after thorough research and rigorous tests, this article presents the 5 best cordless impact driver tools for easy selection.
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1/4 inch Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver Kit – 2753-22CT Review
Milwaukee cordless impact driver kit comprises of 2 18V/4Ah Lithium-ion M18 batteries, a brushless impact driver tool, M12/M18 charger, belt clip, bit clip, and of course they come packed in a nice hard plastic carrying case. Weighing just about 3 pounds and 12 ounces together with battery, the Milwaukee 2753-22CT cordless impact driver delivers enough power to drive different types of screws and bolts in light and heavy-duty applications.
More specifically, the Milwaukee M18 cordless impact driver features a 1/4 inch chuck that is designed to allow easy installation and removal of bits. Its handle has soft rubber finish for increased comfort during use. The variable speed trigger is easy to depress to allow easy control of speed. The forward and reverse button is also strategically located to allow the operator to change the direction of rotation easily during operation. The impact driver tool has additional features such as a bright LED light with 10 seconds delay to illuminate the work area, a belt clip for suspending the tool on the tool belt when not in operation, and a bit clip for holding bits.
The Milwaukee M18 impact driver 1/4 inch is rated at a maximum of 1800 in-lbs of torque and the brushless motor delivers up to 3000 RPM. However, the tool has 4 working modes with different speeds and torque settings for increased versatility and control. The modes include are:
- Mode 1 – delivers up to 200 in-lbs of torque and a maximum of 850 RPM
- Mode 2 – delivers up to 700 in-lbs of torque and a top speed of 2100 revolutions per minute
- Mode 3 – limits the torque to 1800 in-lbs and maximum speed of 3000 RPM.
Operation Modes of the Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver
Mode 1 delivers up to 200 inch-pounds at a maximum variable speed of 850 RPM. In this mode, the tool starts by driving the screws quite fast and slows down as the head approaches the surface upon which it begins to impact to ensure the screw head is flush without overtightening. This mode is ideal for tightening door hinge screws.
In Mode 2, the Milwaukee 18V impact driver delivers up to 700 inch-pounds and a maximum of 2100RPM that can be varied using the speed trigger. It is usually the preferred operation mode for mechanics to tighten automotive nuts.
Mode 3 delivers all the torque and the maximum possible RPM. It is the preferred mode of operation for driving screws through metal and works very well when doing steel stud framing. In other words, mode 3 is ideal for heavy duty applications.
Mode 4 (Self-tapping mode)
The fourth mode of operation is usually known as the Self-tapping mode. It is purposely meant to drive self-tapping screws because it provides custom speed and power needs. In this mode of operation, the driver starts at a controlled speed that ramps up gradually to 3000RPM. The controlled start prevents walking. The maximum speed, on the other hand, ensures that the self-tapping screw winds through its threads quickly. As the head approaches the surface, the speed slows automatically to about 750 RPM to prevent breaking or stripping out the screw. Additionally, the tool begins to impact slowly to ensure that the screw is flush without overdriving.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver is an incredible tool that combines power, efficiency, precision, and an amazing operator control to provide an unmatched working experience. The tool has a compact design and is generally not heavy on your hand thus preventing you from fatigue to increase productivity. The driver holds the bits tight to prevent them from wobble thus increasing efficiency and reducing wear on the tool. Additionally, the RedLink plus intelligence technology allows the tool to communicate with the battery for optimum operation and to prevent overheating. As a result, this increases the life of the battery and tool. Lastly, the self-tapping operation mode is extremely useful and makes the tool the best cordless impact driver for framers who work with sheet metal and ducts.
20V Dewalt Cordless Impact Driver Kit (DCF887D2) Review
The Dewalt impact driver kit features two 20V batteries, a 20V/12V charger, the DCF887D2 impact driver tool, and a hard plastic carrying case. The DCF887D2 DeWalt cordless impact driver is a brushless, 3-speed power tool ideal for driving nuts, bolts, and screws in light and heavy duty works. The tool weighs about 2.14 pounds together with the 2Ah battery and 3 pounds with the 4Ah battery.
The cordless DeWalt 20V impact driver features a brushless motor that efficiently delivers up to 1825 pounds of torque. The tool also has a 1/4 inch hex chuck with an easy lock that allows you to slide in bits without having to pull the chuck away. Removing the bit is super easy as well because you only need to pull the collar a little bit to the front to release the bit. The chuck locks the bits in place so you don’t have to worry about the bits coming off of the tool while you work.
Working with the Dewalt cordless impact driver is super easy because of its light weight and ergonomic design. The rubber grip on the handle allows the tool to rest comfortably on your hand while its variable trigger is nice and easy depress in order to vary speed. The button for switching between three operation modes is also big enough to allow you to operate without having to remove safety gloves. In addition, the DeWalt impact driver features 3 LED lights at the front to light up the work surface. The lights have a 20 seconds delay to increase visibility even after the last trigger release.
The rubber meets the road with the cordless Dewalt brushless impact driver when it comes to its operation modes. It has three operations modes, namely:
- Mode 1 (Precision Mode) – limits torque to about 20 ft-lbs and speed to 1000 rpm
- Mode 2 (Normal Mode) – limits speed to about 2800 rpm and 125 ft-lbs of torque
- Mode 3 (High Speed) – delivers a maximum of 152 ft-lbs, 3250 rpm, and a maximum of 3800 impacts per minute
DCF887D2 Dewalt Cordless Impact Wrench Operation Modes
Also known as the precision mode, Mode 1 is characterized by spinning slowly at a variable speed of up to 1000 rpm. Because of the slow speed and the subsequent low torque of up to 240 inch-pounds, the precision mode enables greater control that makes it ideal for lighter applications such as the installation of cabinet hinge screws. When operating in this mode, the impact driver tends to hesitate and begin to drive small lateral impacts as the screw head approaches the workspace. This ensures that the screw head ends perfectly flush with the surface.
Mode 2 is also known as the Normal operation mode. It is arguably the most used mode of operation of the DeWalt cordless impact driver because it delivers up to 1500 inch-pounds of torque at a maximum 2800 rpm. It is used mostly for tasks such as tightening down automotive bolts.
Lastly, Mode 3, also referred to as the High-Speed impacting mode is the third operation mode of the cordless DeWalt impact driver. In this mode, the tool delivers up to 1825 inch-pounds of torque at 3250 rpm that can be controlled using the variable speed trigger. This is the highest torque setting that can be used for heavy duty applications.
The cordless DeWalt 20V impact driver is a great tool that gives you control with its three-speed mode settings. It is light on your hand to prevent fatigue. It is also very powerful and the rubber grip on the handle makes it comfortable to hold. When you don’t have the impact wrench, the DeWalt cordless impact driver doubles up as one to remove wheel bolts and lug nuts that are torqued to spec. However, the only issue that is not necessarily a deal breaker is that the bits tend to wobble a little bit inside the drive especially when driving screws into wood. Generally, the DeWalt cordless impact driver is a great tool with the highest specs among competitors and definitely a great addition to your toolbox.