Cordless Impact Driver Buyer’s Guide

Note: This guide is updated as we review new products or when other aspects – like price – change. Check back for the most up to date guide!

Do you think a different tool should be in one of our lists? Let us know in the comments section below!

Porter-Cable-PC18ID cordless impact driver
Bosch PS41-2A 12v cordless impact driver
DeWALT DCF895L2 20v Max* Cordless Impact Driver
Bosch PS41-2A 12v cordless impact driver

Most Powerful

If you need power, then you need an 18v cordless impact driver. Anything less just won’t do. Below are the top 3 most powerful drivers.

Porter-Cable-PC18ID cordless impact driver1. Porter-Cable PC18ID 18v: 1600 in-lbs
The most powerful driver we’ve reviewed. Just a fact. Besides being powerful, it’s also relatively inexpensive, which is why you’ll see it appear on the Best Value list below, too.

It’s also a bit longer (and less maneuverable) than most of the others, and some contend its not as rugged. Still, it’s good tool and compatible with both Ni-Cad and Li-Ion batteries, making it an easy add-on for people invested in the P-C cordless line. Read more…

DeWALT DCF895L2 20v Max* Cordless Impact Driver2. DeWALT DCF895 20v Max: 1500 in-lbs
The newest cordless impact driver under the DeWALT brand has a brushless motor. This new technology uses computer chips to control the motor for more efficiency.

The result is more power, with a huge boost in battery life. While you can’t replace the brushes (because there’s none to replace, of course!), the word is there’s less internal wear on brushless motors – making this point almost moot.

DeWALT is a proven brand with rugged tools – you’ll see this one pop up again down below! Read more…

3. Bosch 26618 18v: 1500 in-lbs
Not only does the Bosch have a ton of power, it’s also got 2 drill modes that let you turn off the impact driver action completely. By turning the tool into a drill, you can have much better low-speed control.

Like all cordless impact drivers trying to be drills, you will need to get hex-shaft drill bits or a chuck-adapter.

If you want all the power at a smaller cost, and don’t need the drill modes, check out it’s equally-beefy brother, the Bosch 25618 Read more…

Best Value

Just because it’s cheap, it doesn’t mean it’s a value. Below are the top 3 cordless impact drivers we feel give you the most bang for your buck. Prices shown are current Amazon prices*

Bosch PS41-2A 12v cordless impact driver1. Bosch PS41-2A 12v Kit
Current price: $ (as of 7pm, 12/31/1969)

For a modest price, you get one of the most powerful 12v impact drivers. It’s also the shortest in its class, making it easy to get into tight places.

Although it doesn’t have the power of an 18v driver, it can handle most people’s needs without trouble. An excellent deal from a great company. Read more…

2. Milwaukee 2650-21 18v Kit
Current price: $ (as of 7pm, 12/31/1969)

Milwaukee puts out a tough product that can withstand abuse. Mix the durability with a lot of torque, and a price that regularly drops below $160, this is a deal that is hard to pass up.

The Milwaukee M18 cordless line has a huge number of tools, further increasing the overall value. And keep an eye on the combo that includes the 2650 – Combo Kit 2691-22 – and you might be able to get an M18 drill for only a few dollars more.

We chose this kit over the 2650-22 since it includes the compact 1.5Ah batteries, further keeping the cost down. Read more…

Porter-Cable-PC18ID cordless impact driver3. Porter-Cable PCL180IDK-2 18v
Current price: $ (as of 7pm, 12/31/1969)

Not only one of the most powerful, this cordless driver can usually be found for a great price, too. This is the same Porter-Cable driver we listed as Most Powerful, but in a kit with 2 Li-ion batteries and charging station.

While it might not be as slick as some of the high-end Makita’s, it is a strong driver at a low price. If you are short on cash and need some power, this is a good way to go. Read more…

Professional Picks

Pros need quality tools that are dependable and can handle daily use and abuse. Battery life is important, too – running out of juice when there’s only 10 screws to go is a bad way to ruin a good day.

DeWALT DCF895L2 20v Max* Cordless Impact Driver1. DeWALT DCF895 20v Max
DeWALT tools are known for being professional grade. Their brushless cordless impact driver is no exception.

The longer lasting batteries are a huge feature for those working long hours. And all users can appreciate the powerful 1500 in-lbs of torque – which also got them the #2 spot above! Read more…

(If you aren’t ready to move to their 20V Max line, but are looking for DeWALT, check out their popular and powerful DC825)

2. Makita BTD141 18v
The BTD141 is one of Makita’s most popular drivers. With 1330 in-lbs of torque, it’s a powerful cordless – yet small enough to be a permanent addition to any tool bag.

With a comfortable grip and long lasting batteries, you might not ever put it down. For professionals already invested in Makita LXT tools, this is a must. Read more…

3. Milwaukee 2650-20 18v
Milwaukee’s M18 cordless impact driver is a rugged yet relatively inexpensive tool that’s got even more power than the Makita BTD141.

As with most Milwaukee tools, it can handle daily use with no problem. While it’s a bit heavier than some others, the added weight makes it just feel tough in your hand.

With a huge M18 line, it’s easy to get more tools without having to invest in more batteries. Read more…

Homeowners’ Choice

DIYers and Weekend Warriors have a different set of criteria than professionals. While power and battery life are desired by everyone, sometimes you need to save some cash for the rest of your family. We think these three drivers will keep a homeowner happy for many years – without breaking the bank.

Bosch PS41-2A 12v cordless impact driver1. Bosch PS41-2A 12v Kit
Small, maneuverable, reliable. And it’s a great, great value.

Although it doesn’t have the power of an 18v driver, it can handle most people’s needs without trouble. An excellent deal from a great company. Read more…

DeWALT DCF815S2 12v Cordless Impact Driver2. DeWALT DCF815S2 12v Kit
Super power from a 12v cordless driver. Not only lightweight and balanced, it has a number of other great features like no-shadow LEDs

This is a professional grade tool, but it goes for a great price. If we expanded the Best Value list above, this would be #4! Read more…

Porter-Cable-PC18ID cordless impact driver1. Porter-Cable PC18ID 18v
The 3rd list this appears on! And of course, why wouldn’t it? With the most power, and a great price, this is just about perfect for a DIYer who doesn’t need to run it every day.
Read more…

Most Versatile

Sometimes you don’t have the money or the shop space to get single-application tools. While most impact drivers can be used for drilling, a few stand out in the multi-use category.

1. Bosch 26618
Sometimes you need the fine control of a drill for tiny or soft-metal screws. With 2 drill modes in addition to impact driver mode, the Bosch 26618 gives you just that.

When you need impact mode again, it offers 1500 in-lbs of torque – not too shabby! Read more…

Rockwell RK2515K2 3RILL2. Rockwell RK2515K2 “3RILL” – 12v kit
While technically 4 modes, the 3RILL lets you choose between a drill, screwdriver (a drill with a torque clutch) or an impact driver. Set the switch and go to work!

While it might not perform as well as the Bosch, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper. And if you get the larger accessory kit, you get a huge number of bits and attachments to let you get almost any job done.
Read more…

* Why do we show Amazon price? Amazon is a trusted retailer of many products, including tools. We’ve noticed Amazon has competitive pricing and often offers free shipping, which is a huge cost saver for our readers.

For all these reasons, Cordless Impact Driver HQ is enrolled in the Amazon affiliate program. See full disclosure.

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