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LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

Cordless Impact Driver recommendations

OK - so my Ryobi 18v impact driver has pretty much launched it's guts... Time for an upgrade.

I'm somewhere between an avid homeowner and a part-time contractor - I do side jobs every once in a while, but most often, I'm working around my own place, or friends/family...

I'm looking for pros/cons to various models or brands - I've got a budget of $250, plus or minus $50...

Leaning towards the DeWalt 20v LiION kit - comes with driver, 2 batteries, charger, and case, for $250 - but I also know the DeWalt of today ISN'T the DeWalt of yesteryear... So before I pull the pin - is it a good tool, or are there betters out there?

I don't mind spending money for quality - but I can't justify a Hilti driver here, no matter how badly I want to...

Sooo - what's the best bang for the buck?



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON

While not the impact driver, I do have a Milwakee M18 hammer drill that I love. If that's any indication of the quality of their impact driver, then that might be a good bet.

This place has good prices. Never bought anything from them myself though.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to LazMan

I have one of those DeWalt 20v lithium ion impact drivers. I've only used it a few times so far, but it seems great. I certainly haven't been able to wear out the battery in one use.

I thought the little LED light that aims at the screw head would be a gimmick, but it's really surprisingly helpful.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to LazMan

I have a Dewalt 18V impact that I only quit using because of the batteries (or lack thereof). I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on new batteries for an old tool.

I have a Milwaukee M18 impact driver. I could not recommend it. I've had it "stall" on me several times. I've also had numerous problems with my Milwaukee M18 drills as well (several). BTW, Milwaukee is made by the same company that makes Ryobi. I've found Ryobi to be utter trash.

I do use my cordless tools on a daily basis.

I've been shopping for replacements. I'm looking at Makita or Bosch this time.

Like many other products, it appears that most cordless power tools now are Chinese junk.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



UFGator

join:2005-08-14
Saint Cloud, FL

I have the 20v DeWalt DCF885 impact driver. I've used it darn near daily for the last year, no problems at all.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

2 edits

I have a Dewalt 20v(Max) LI hammer drill... bought it 6mo ago, and its been way better than my old Bosch 18v NiMh. The packs hold their charge in 10-20degree weather very well, and I cannot stall it, this thing is a torque monster. Took the skin offa my palm one day when I wasnt payin attention. Did a 5" hole for a tankless thru a 2x12 doubler to get outside, and it ate it up.

Never got into the impact drivers.. A drill does everything I need, and I dont think they make combo impact/hammer drills, dont want to carry another rechargeable.

Bought mine thru my plumbing supplier tho (Ferguson), was 300 i think, but its a write off.. heh

pretty sure its this one

»www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCD985L2-2···tDetails

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

The head of an impact driver is typically smaller than that of a drill, so it gets into smaller spaces.

I have a Dewalt DW056...it works great. It's a (now) discontinued model but the quality is there...seemingly more so than their drills.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to tp0d

I have one of those DeWalt 20v LiIon hammer drills too. It's the best cordless drill I've ever used. Everything tp0d said I second.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to LazMan

Ordered the DeWalt Max 20v driver thru my local supplier... They were able to price match a big-box store at $199 - includes 2 LiIon batteries, charger, and case...

It should be in tomorrow - see what it's like then... I've got a basement to frame next week, so it'll get a good workout.

Thanks for the input...


Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19
reply to LazMan

Makita ALL the way. With the 3.0Ah batteries.

For some reason everyone likes DeWalt. I can't stand them.
I can't ever remember looking at one or using one and thinking: "Wow, this is nice. Really well made."



stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Southeast
reply to LazMan

I bought the Makita 12 V impact driver 3 years ago and it has become my favorite tool. The wife and I installed 210' of 6' wood fence last year. After getting the uprights put in we installed the stringers and boards in about 5 hours. I used the Makita to drive screws in place of nails. It is light, powerful, fast, and a pure joy to use. It had no problem driving 3" screws though 2X4s or the 5 lb of 1-5/8" screws in the boards. One battery was always charged up by the the time the one in use gave out.

I like it so much I go around looking for things I can use it on.



35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
reply to LazMan

Makita for me all the way. I've used the crap out of my Makita impact driver over the last 2 years and zero issues. The batteries are going as strong now as when they were new.
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Milwaukee is made by the same company that makes Ryobi. I've found Ryobi to be utter trash.

That doesn't necessarily mean anything. It's not uncommon for companies to have different lines of tools of different quality marketed to different crowds. DeWalt, for example, is owned by Black & Decker.

said by nunya:

I have a Milwaukee M18 impact driver. I could not recommend it. I've had it "stall" on me several times. I've also had numerous problems with my Milwaukee M18 drills as well (several).

But that is a reason.

Based on my research, I had wanted a Makita. I really liked their drills and heard good things. But my second choice was Milwaukee, and I found one on Kijiji in great shape. The guy was asking $125 but let me have it for $100 when he found out my third son was on the way.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to Speedy Petey

said by Speedy Petey:

Makita ALL the way. With the 3.0Ah batteries.

For some reason everyone likes DeWalt. I can't stand them.
I can't ever remember looking at one or using one and thinking: "Wow, this is nice. Really well made."

Old DeWalt stuff was a beautiful thing... New stuff, well, like I said, I'll know when I get the new driver.

Makita or Hilti would be my choice, if I was still contracting full time - I have an old Hilti rotary hammer that is indestructible... But I can't justify the price, for the type of work I'm doing these days. Like I said off the top - I'm more then a weekend warrior; but it doesn't pay the bills, either.

The DeWalt kit I've got coming is $200. The comparable Makita package (2 batteries, quick charger, and case) was $375... I just couldn't get over the price jump - almost doubling is a big step.


cmpt

@apexcovantage.com
reply to LazMan

I've had really good luck with the bosch lithium tools. I've used a bosch 12v for a down to the studs remodel everything from framing to installing cabinets. At regular prices it's hard to justify for home use but amazon and home depot seem to constantly have free tool & free battery promos, which you can stack. I bought the impact with charger/case/battery and got the drill & battery plus a third battery for free.



cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to LazMan

Though you stated you got the dewalt, I have a Panasonic and its just short of amazing. LiIon batteries seem to need charging once in a blue moon. Torque is good too (drove 10 lags in without issue on my decking to 4x4 from 2x8). Lightweight. Fits in small spaces and has an LED pointed at screw/bolthead.

But I do like DeWalt for HD work. It takes abuse.

Is it just me, or do they price the batteries as much as just buying a new kit??? (kills me to replace a good 18v with new because battery is as much as the charger, driver,battery kit...)
--
Splat



FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom

I've heard good things about the Black&Yellow 20V impact drivers and it's near the top of my list. If you buy it, buy it with the 3.0Ah battery and not the 1.5Ah junk that won't get you through any serious work. For smaller stuff or service work, you can't beat a good 12V in a holster. Here are my 2 favourites:
1) Bosch PS-41 »www.ihlcanada.com/impact412a.html Light, very compact in tight spaces, almost like a right-angle drill, lots of torque, amazing battery. I've used the older and WAY less capable PS-40 mostly for service work, but also drove tapcons with ease and any length wood screws. Amazing little thing
2) Makita is a close second.. Not as much torque, longer nose so not as good in tight quarters, but it's light, durable, great battery and well received by many guys in the trades

All of the others (referring only to the good brands, not el-cheapo brands) are middle of the pack, but I'll just single out the Black&Yellow as a bad choice for a 12V due to the form factor. You might as well go for an 18V.
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw


Speedy Petey

join:2008-01-19
reply to LazMan

said by LazMan:

Makita or Hilti would be my choice, if I was still contracting full time - I have an old Hilti rotary hammer that is indestructible... But I can't justify the price, for the type of work I'm doing these days. Like I said off the top - I'm more then a weekend warrior; but it doesn't pay the bills, either.

No, no, no. Hilti has come WAY down in price. They even sell it in Home Depot now.
The stuff there is all made in China now, but I'm sure it's the same as the made in Germany stuff.
LOL!!!


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to LazMan

So, had the new driver for 2 days now...

It's way lighter, better balanced, and got way more 'go' then the Ryobi it replaced...

Only complaint so far is that I'm snapping screws... I'm still getting used to how much more torque the DeWalt's got (and it's apples to apples - the Ryobi was 18v as well...)

Of course, the day after I picked it up, a local store had it on sale even cheaper... Such is life, oh well...



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

Even the crappiest of impacts will snap a screw now and again. It happens. Most screws are Chinese crap these days.

You probably already know this, but make sure you have impact bits and extensions. I go through about 1 bit per week on the impact style. I can blow through 4-5 regular bits in a day on the standard type. They "shatter".
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


rjgogo

join:2003-10-22
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I'm looking at Makita or Bosch this time.

Like many other products, it appears that most cordless power tools now are Chinese junk.

I can not recommend Makita, I have experienced some pretty bad battery issues with them. They crap out after a very short time, thought the Lith-ion would fare better than the Ni-Cad but I was wrong. If I could find a well made unit made in the USA I would happily pay a premium.

As for the Bosch, I have had a bad experience with a corded hammer drill that would not stay engaged unless you held the lever in place awkwardly with your thumb while drilling. It gave out right after the warranty.

I would expand your statement to include that most power tools are now Chinese junk.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to LazMan

Most of my tools are Craftsman. I have been loyal to Sears tools and appliances most of my life. My kitchen stove, microwave, and refrigerator are Kenmore (although I have a Maytag portable dishwasher). My washer and dryer are Kenmore and my window A/C is Kenmore. Most of my tools are craftsman. I do have a few specialty tools like an Ideal telephone plug crimper and a Klein CATV fitting compression tool.

I did break tradition and bought a Weber gas grill last summer after a Kenmore grill failed after three years.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.



FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom

said by IowaCowboy:

Most of my tools are Craftsman. I have been loyal to Sears tools and appliances most of my life. My kitchen stove, microwave, and refrigerator are Kenmore (although I have a Maytag portable dishwasher). My washer and dryer are Kenmore and my window A/C is Kenmore. Most of my tools are craftsman. I do have a few specialty tools like an Ideal telephone plug crimper and a Klein CATV fitting compression tool.

I did break tradition and bought a Weber gas grill last summer after a Kenmore grill failed after three years.

I hope you realize that Sears has no manufacturing facilities. Their power tools are made by the same company that makes Milwaukee and Ryobi tools, headquartered in Hong Kong. For work, I'll only buy tools from companies that have full control of their manufacturing process.

Same goes for all of their appliances and any other Craftsman product (just different manufacturers).
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to IowaCowboy

Craftsman power tools are crapola. As mentioned, they are Ryobi. I don't think Craftman has had a decent power tool in the last 25 years.
Their hand tools used to be OK quality, but now they suffer as well. I know most of their sockets are now made by the same company that makes Kobalt. Even though they are made in the USA, they are low quality.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I have been very happy with Craftsman's Nextec line of 12 volt tools. I use them daily and they have held up very good. Power is very great and the tools are holding up well for me. I did burn up a drill but I was drilling multiple 1 1/4" holes through old 2x material. I needed to get the job finished and it was the only drill I had small enough to get into the spaces. As the drill was only about $60 I didn't mind having to replace it after the job was finished.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to LazMan

I'm picking up the Hitachi 3 piece lithium ion 18v drill driver flashlight for $175 2 batteries/charger. Reviews are good we shall see.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to nunya

Nunya - great point on the impact bits... It's all I buy, but still worth mentioning...

As for the screws snapping - it's the same bucket I was using with the Ryobi, and they weren't snapping off - it's got to be the driver...

After my first real day's work (yesterday) with it - I'm not as impressed with the battery life as some - those that said they got a full day's work from a single battery are either lucky, or work slower then I do... But with two batteries in the kit, I've just been swapping back and forth, so not hurting production at all.

Framed the walls and bulkheads yesterday; started drywalling today... I don't know if it's coincidence or not, but my dimple-bit isn't working for sh_t today, on the new driver, either. Oh well - if it was easy, you wouldn't have to be this good... :P



35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Craftsman power tools are crapola. As mentioned, they are Ryobi. I don't think Craftman has had a decent power tool in the last 25 years.
Their hand tools used to be OK quality, but now they suffer as well. I know most of their sockets are now made by the same company that makes Kobalt. Even though they are made in the USA, they are low quality.

Does it really matter what quality Craftsman hand tools are since they have a lifetime warranty? One and done is nice as long as you don't lose it!
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill

crzychrisj

join:2002-03-04
Woodbury, CT
reply to chmod

said by chmod:

I'm picking up the Hitachi 3 piece lithium ion 18v drill driver flashlight for $175 2 batteries/charger. Reviews are good we shall see.

I have these and think they are great as far as the bang for your buck goes. The torque is more than adequate, the batteries last a good amount of time, and charging takes about 30-40 minutes. I bought the impact driver and the drill/flashlight separately, so I have 4 batteries which is real nice for bigger projects! There is a lifetime warranty on the tool, and IIRC the batteries are warranted for 2 years.


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to LazMan

said by 35245635:

Does it really matter what quality Craftsman hand tools are since they have a lifetime warranty? One and done is nice as long as you don't lose it!

Yes it does.. when you break your cheap Craftsman ratchet removing a rusted brake caliper bolt and your wife has the other car for a day-long trip to the outlet mall. The warranty does not include a ride to the closest Sears and it won't make those precious daylight hours lost while exchanging the tool come back either.