Best Cordless Impact Drivers 2018

Best Cordless Impact Drivers 2018

In this review, we look at the best impact drivers from Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, Ryobi and Miwaukee.

Top 5 cordless impact drivers review

What are the Best 5 cordless impact drivers of 2018?


We have done the hard work so you don't have to. We have tested the best cordless impact drivers and also the worst! We found the best brushless cordless impact driver to be the DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion Body Only Impact Driver. Whilst we reviewed a lot of these impact guns and found the Dewalt to come out on top we have provided a thorough review of what we consider to be the top 5 best impact drivers 2018.

We review the features side by side, look at the pro's and con's of each, look for a variety of uses and features such as the best cordless 1/2 inch impact drivers and the best impact driver for automotive use. We look at Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, Ryobi and Milwaukee. Finally, we will look at the best impact driver combo kits.

We will highlight what we feel is the best impact gun if you are on a budget, if you are a tradesman looking for the best impact driver of 2018 or the DIY enthusiast looking for the best impact driver combo kit. We make use of comparison tables to bring you the Best Pick in several categories. We hope you enjoy our reviews of best cordless impact drivers 2018 if you have come across others you think should make our list, get in touch! Tell us what you feel makes it one of the best impact drivers of 2018 and give us your review based on using it.

This review was originally created in 2017, but we have updated it for 2018.

Quick Comparison of the best impact drivers 2018

In the table below we show some of the key features side by side of the best impact drivers we have on test in our review of the best impact guns.

DeWalt 18v XR

Bosch GDR

Makita DTD153Z

Ryobi One+

Milwaukee M12

Dewalt 18v XR Impact Driver
DeWalt DCF885N
Bosch GDR Impact Gun
Bosch GDR
Makita DTD153Z Impact Driver
Makita DTD153Z
Ryobi One+ Impact Driver
Milwaukee M12 Impact Driver
Milwaukee M12

Nm Torque

165Nm

160Nm

170Nm

220Nm

20Nm

Weight

1.1Kg

1.5Kg

1.2Kg

1.4Kg

1KG

LED Light

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Our raing

#1

#3

#2

#4

#5

Our top pick of the best DeWalt 18V XR Impact Gun

Dewalt 18v XR Impact Driver
DeWalt DCF885N

DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion Body Only Impact Driver

The DCF885N 18V cordless impact gun is part of DeWalt's XR range of power tools. It's a very compact and lightweight impact driver which is great for working in confined spaces.

The DeWalt DCF885N's gearing is entirely metal which not only allows for efficient power transmission but also a tool that is made to last!


  • Drop-In Keyless hex driver
  • Bright white LED work light with flashlight function.
  • Steel belt clip with magnetic bit holder
  • Intelligent trigger for power adjustment

What makes a good impact driver?

Why choose an impact driver over a drill?

What is the key difference between a drill and an impact driver? TORQUE and lots of it! If you are driving screws into timber over and over an impact gun is the tool of choice. Go back a few years and they were a specialist tool that were only in the hands of tradesmen. In 2018 we see them in many home DIY enthusiasts tool kits and they are available relatively cheaply. They can drive screws into most timber and materials without the need for pilot holes.

Are impact drivers just for driving screws?​

No not at all! Whilst this is their primary use and probably the only thing most people use them for they are also incredibly useful for boring big holes. The torque available makes them ideal for getting a big bit and making a large hole straight off the post without the need for using a smaller bit as you would with a drill.

Do I need a drill?​

Yes definitely, an impact wrench is great at boring big holes in wood, driving fastenings into wood with no pilot holes required. They really do have their place and are a great addition to your tool kit. However they are no substitute for a hammer drill. Impact drivers are designed to have torque and lots of it, they are not designed to keep powering forward through a touch material such as masonry, etc.​

Combo kits​

The best of both worlds would be to purchase a combo kit which features a multi drill, impact driver, charger and batteries. Check out our review of combo kits.

Bosch Professional GDR Impact Gun Review

Bosch GDR Impact Driver
Bosch GDP

Bosch Professional GDR 18V-LI Cordless Impact Driver

This cordless impact driver from Bosch is an amazing impact gun, in fact one of the best in it's class. With 160Nm of torque (the highest in it's class) it really is a force to be reckoned with.

It is one of the shortest yet most powerful cordless 18V impact driver's on sale today, weighing in at 230 horse power.

It has 3 working modes, impact driving along with low and high speed drilling. This really is a great versatile cordless 18v power tool.​

  • 160Nm of torque
  • 3 working modes, impact, low/high speed drilling
  • 18V 180W


Overall Product Review

Whilst not the cheapest or most expensive cordless 18v impact driver on review, this offering from Bosch really does pack a punch. It has a lot of power at it's disposal, with 160Nm of torque ready to go, it is a great cordless power tool that can not only drive power in impact mode but also offer two speeds of drilling when required. We were very impressed with the size of the Bosch GDR, whilst small and easy to carry it is one of the most powerful we had on test.

 Best Tradesmans Angle Grinder - Makita Brushless Impact Gun Review

Makita DTD153Z Impact Driver
Maikta DTD153Z

Makita DTD153Z Brushless Impact Driver

The Makita DTD153Z features a 4 pole brushless motor and 170Nm of torque, providing lots of power what ever the task at hand for your impact driver.

The DTD153Z is based on it's predecessor the DTD129, but no offers an amazing no-load speed of 3,400 rpm. This will give you 3,600 impacts per minute resulting in a power tool capable of driving screws 30% faster. A big hit when you are doing repetitive driving tasks.

  • Brushless motor
  • Keyless single sleeve chuck
  • 170Nm Torque
  • 3,400 rpm


Overall Product Description

The Makita DTD153Z is one of our favourite impact drivers here at ToolsReview.uk we are big fans of the Makita brand and this product fails to disappoint. It packs great power, gets the job done quick time, supports a wide range of different sized bits and has fantastic battery length. The batteries and charger don't come with this unit as it is headless. This unit is also incredibly robust, having dropped one from several sets of ladders it still bounces back every time.

Best DIY Enthusiast Impact Driver - Ryobi One+ Impact Driver Review

Ryobi One+ Impact Gun
Ryobi One+ Impact Driver

Ryobi One+ Impact Driver 18v

The Ryobi is the most powerful impact gun we have on test, delivering 220Nm of torque. The power provided with this drives the screws in faster and with ease without putting any strain or kickback on the user.

This power tool is designed with comfort in mind from it's torque to take the strain, to it's over mould grip technology, Ryobi really have thought about the user experience with this one. It also has really handy bit storage right on the driver.

  • Keyless hex drive
  • Comfort grip
  • 220 Nm torque
  • Variable speed, brake and reverse


Overall Product Description

The Ryobi is towards the entry level of pricing within our review, yet packs the most punch. This is probably one more for the DIY enthusiast than the tradesman or maybe as a secondary tradesman tool. It is really designed with user comfort in mind. Ryobi also really thought through convenience with the One+ with it's onboard bit storage and integrated LED light featuring three LED bulbs. It really is a great choice for your next impact gun.

 Milwaukee M12 Impact Driver Review

Milwaukee M12 Impact Driver
Milwaukee M12

Milwaukee M12 BSD0 12v Impact Driver

Don't let the star rating put you off this little impact gun, the reason being that we don't feel it is a strong competitor against the rest of the items on review here from Makita, Bosch, Ryobi and DeWalt. That being said it is a great item for the home user being more of an electric screwdriver with regards to power.

This is the only 12v we have on test. It offers 20Nm torque which doesn't sound very powerful. It's not don't get us wrong, please don't try driving screws into hardwood with no pilot holes. But if you are assembling flat pack furniture at home or for a job this could be the perfect solution.

  • 20Nm Torque
  • 12v
  • LED light
  • Compact for tight spaces


Overall Product Description

This is the entry level product in our review, the cheapest impact driver isn't going to offer the best feature set and the most power. But we are ok with that, we expect that. For what it is to be used primarily as an electric screwdriver with the occasional use of being an impact wrench we think it is great. 

Conclusion

So, in conclusion what do we think? We have reviewed some of the best impact drivers available currently in 2018, from brands such as Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, Ryobi and Milwaukee. They all have their pro's and con's as you can see in our individual reviews above.

We feel that the overall champion which stands out as being the best value for money, whilst combining a lot of torque, great battery life and a compact size is the DeWalt 18V XR impact gun. You can see it's individual review below. However as you will find from reading the individual impact driver reviews above​ if you have a brand preference we highlight some of the best features above and can hopefully help you make your mind up when purchasing your next cordless impact gun.

Best Pick Impact Driver​

DeWalt 18v XR Impact Driver
DeWalt XR Impact Driver

​The DeWalt 18v XR impact driver is our best pick for many reasons. As always with our best pick price is a consideration, we don't tend to opt for the cheapest or most expensive unless there is a good justification. This is towards the top end of the price point. But it's features including the integrated belt clip, magnetic bit holder, and intelligent trigger make it a good well rounded best pick for us.

Best DIY Enthusiast Impact Driver​

Ryobi One+ Impact Driver

Our best DIY enthusiast impact driver goes to the Ryobi One+. This is the most powerful impact gun we had on test offering 220Nm of torque. It offers variable speed, reverse and forward gears and anti-kick back to ensure safe operating of the impact wrench.

Best Tradesman Impact Driver​

Makita DTD153Z

The Makita DTD153Z impact driver is our tradesman's tool of choice in this category.​ Makita is known for it's reliability and robustness. We have used and tested several of their tools and they have been dropped from a great height, left unused for long periods and held their charge and are a great tool to carry in your van. With 3,600 possible impacts per minute the Makita not only gets the job done, but gets it done quick time!

Our top pick of the best DeWalt 18V XR Impact Gun

DeWalt DCF885N Impact Driver
DeWalt XR Impact Driver

DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion Body Only Impact Driver

The DCF885N 18V cordless impact gun is part of DeWalt's XR range of power tools. It's a very compact and lightweight impact driver which is great for working in confined spaces.

The DeWalt DCF885N's gearing is entirely metal which not only allows for efficient power transmission but also a tool that is made to last!

  • Drop-In keyless hex driver
  • Bright white LED work light with flashlight function.
  • Steel belt clip with magnetic bit holder
  • Intelligent trigger for power adjustment

Best Impact Driver - Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the best impact driver bits?

Impact driver bits take one hell of a bashing. Depending on your impact driver of choice they can be experiencing over 150nm of torque at any one time. They come up against the toughest of fixings and surfaces and get very hot. Whilst there are cheap options on the market from DIY stores and own brands, they typically don't stand the test of time!

If I had to recommend any one brand of bits to someone it would be the DeWalt range. They do a box of PZ2 bits in a handy case that clips to your belt, these bits are strong and last a long time. The idea of the multipack is as a tradesman you are fastening that many fixings you go through any bits at a great rate. These will certainly reduce the amount of times you go through bits though. 

DeWalt also offer a pack that features the bit extension bar and a wide range of different sized bits and style of bits.

What is the best impact driver for working on cars?

When it comes to working on a car there are two fundamentally different use cases.

Firstly, they can be used to fasten things in place, driving bolts and nuts into place and sometimes screws to hold trim in place. What I would say in this instance is be very careful. Most things on a car are torqued into place in accordance with the manufacturers recommended amount of torque. In most instances I would nip it up some of the way with an impact driver and then finish it off with a manual torque wrench, set to the correct amount of torque.

The second use case would be for fastening or releasing wheel lug nuts. In this case releasing them sometimes requires the strength and torque of an impact driver or torque wrench to release them, depending on who has fastened them on. Alternatively you could use a wheel brace with a long bar on such as a scaffolding pole. Again fastening wheel lug nuts with an impact driver is great, quick and easy, but the last part I would always recommend using a torque wrench. You want to ensure they are tight enough not to come off, but the last thing you want is to be at the side of the motorway in need of changing a wheel and find they have been put on with an impact driver and won't come off without one.

If you were buying one either as a garage or home user it would depend on the frequency of use, to which I would recommend. If it something you will seldom use, but a nice luxury I would go for a battery powered unit from someone like Snap On. However, if you are going to be using it regularly I would opt for an air powered impact driver or impact wrench. The sheer power experienced from air powered tools blows their battery counterparts out of the water.

What is the best impact driver twin pack?

Some people have had a combi drill for years, they have used it to drill holes and also fastening fixings. Once they use an impact driver they realise the drill should just be a drill and this whole new beast out shines the combi drill for fastening fixings in every way. Sometimes, it works out cheaper to buy a twin pack and purchase a new combi drill and impact driver in a set together. This typically comes with a battery or two, along with the charger to boot. So whilst you can save some money if you are buying into a brand where you already have batteries and a charger for them, it is sometimes nice to start again.

We have written a review of the best combo kits which looks in detail at which offers the best value for money and is the best overall.

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