Impact driver shows up on the market and put the shadow on similar tools that people were using before they have shown up. They are extremely practical for DIY/home use, and they have become popular over the years. The significant advantage of the impact driver is that they’re more compact and deliver more torque than a standard cordless drill.
You are probably wondering: For what can you use impact driver? Is it useful for automotive works?
Well, you will need this tool if you are doing around-the-house jobs and light automotive work (removing oil pan bolts, lug nuts, etc.).
Now, imagine the situation that you must change your tire on the road by yourself! Just thinking of how much time would it take to do it by hand! Oh, yes, too much. Seems like a never-ending job. But with the impact driver, you can complete it very fast.
Let`s make it clear, you won`t have an equal result with an impact wrench and impact driver. Impact drivers can be used for cars, but just for home DIY purpose. It doesn’t have the power like impact wrench that you will definitely need if you have a professional workshop.
But, if you don’t have the need for impact wrench and you want impact driver (which can be used for many other purposes), we advise you to look the number of torques, and angle option of the impact driver, because they are better for automotive jobs.
Now, let`s see which are the best impact drivers for cars?
But before we go any further, check out our Buyer’s Guide!
DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless 0.25″ 3-Speed Impact Driver
We all like compact and lightweight tools, and this DEWALT model is absolutely all of that. It has brushless motor, this means that it will run for a longer time on one charge that a brushed motor. The 3-speed transmissions will help you to perform precision on work as well.
If you have a job that requires working in tight areas, that’s fine, because this tool is very compact. This model features three LED lights which run off the battery and have a 20-second shutoff delay.
It has 1825 inch/lbs max torque, and quick release chuck.
This impact driver is more than just your average tool – you will probably use it on a daily basis. There are so many uses to cover them all, but we can tell you for sure that you can use it as an impact wrench, nut driver, screwdriver, drill and die grinder.
- 3-speed settings for optimized application versatility
- Precision drive in speed 1 for precision applications and added control
- 3 LED lights with 20 second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
- 1-handed loading 1/4 in. hex chuck with easy grip sleeve
- Compact and lightweight design to fit into tight areas
- Battery and charger sold separately
Makita XDT14Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 3-Speed Impact Driver
This Makita model is very powerful. It delivers 1550 inch/lbs. max torque and 3600 max RPM. It is the best-in-class solution for users who want more torque, longer run-time, and precision fastening features.
You can use this driver to drive and for tightening and loosening. We have tested it and it can take off lug nuts without any problems.
These precision features, combined with 3-speed power settings, give users more control for a wide range of fastening tasks – from cabinet screws and deck screws to lag bolts, and much more. It is only 4-5/8″ long and ideal for work in tight spaces.
- T-mode helps prevent damage to the screw or work piece
- 3-speed power selection switch provides precise fastening control for a wide range of applications
- Brushless Motor delivers 3600 max RPM and 1550 inch/lbs. of max torque
- Electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
- Eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
- Extreme Protection Technology which is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
- It perfectly match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
- Compact and ergonomic design at only 4 5/8 in. long
- Weighs only 2.7 lbs.
Bosch 25618-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Bag
Everything about this impact driver is very well engineered. It is the smallest impact driver in its class, but with high torque. It is equipped with a Hammer and Anvil System delivering 1500 inch/ lbs. max torque.
The trigger is very smooth in operation, and extremely well designed. With such a good trigger, it can easily run the impact driver at very low RPMs, which prevents you from accidentally over torquing a screw or bolt. Bits are held in a 1/4″ hex drive with Quick Release.
It features the LED light that makes working in darker areas much, much easier. It has variable speed control settings.
One last thing… the Bosch 25618 impact driver was designed in Germany and assembled in Malaysia. You should be warned that there are several major tool companies that manufacture and assemble their products in China, and that is something you may want to think about.
- The most compact design – Only 5.7-Inch Long-the smallest in its class
- Very lightweight
- Fast, powerful and more torque – 2,800 RPM and 1,500 Inch/lbs. of torque
- Highest BPM in category – over 3,200 BPM
- LED light – for use in dark areas
- 1-year warranty
Hitachi WH10DFL2 12-Volt Peak Cordless Lithium Ion Impact Driver Kit
We really consider life time warranty as great advantage and this is what Hitachi is giving for tool. For batteries they give 2- year warranty-which is also excellent offer. It delivers 955 inch/lbs. max torque.
This tool has a very small size and therefore is more suitable for a wider range of tasks than larger tools. You can use it easily even in very tight spaces. At less than 6 in. inches in length and just 2.2 lbs. weight, this impact driver has the power to drive stubborn screws and bolts.
- It delivers 955 inch/lbs. of torque
- Powered by Lithium Ion technology resulting longer battery life
- Up to 2,700 RPM and 3,200 BPM for maximum driving speed and fastening capabilities
- Variable speed trigger to match speed to the application
- LED light effectively illuminates dark work spaces
- Lightweight and compact design
- Lifetime Tool Warranty and 2-Year Lithium Ion battery warranty
Ridgid R86034 X4 18V Lithium Ion Impact Driver
This is powerful but compact design which will help you to finish your job easily. This tool has brushed motor which can keep up with most DIY repairs or construction projects around the house. It delivers 3100 impacts per minute and 1750 inch/lbs. of torque.
This model features a trigger for the LED light that stays on for approximately 10 seconds after pressing. This is unlike most competing impact driver systems, which force you to waste battery by activating the power tool for the light to turn on. These bright lights will help you focus on jobs in the dark or tight spaces. In addition to the lighting exceptional portability. No matter your handedness, it can stay on your person at all times with the detachable belt clip that hooks onto both sides of the driver. The notched rubber coating protects against drops and falls, so this tool can be reliable for ages. Simply plug in any of the Ridgid 18V batteries insert the attached Phillip’s head 1/4-inch hex bit, hook this up to a fastener, and you’re good to go. This tool is reliable under rough conditions.
Make sure to registered warranty within the time frame, because Ridgid requires that! You also have to cut out the barcode off the box and mail that in with a copy of the receipt to Ridgid.
As they like to say: Do it right. Do Ridgid.
- A brushed motor which delivers 1700 inch/lbs. of torque
- LED light stays on 10 seconds after pressing the button
- Rubber coating which protects the tool from damages
- The variable speed trigger can fluctuate your impacts from 0 to 3,100 IPM.
- Quick bit change (slide the collar back to eject bits. Insertion is just as easy; push the bit until it clicks on and you’re done)
- Removable Belt clip that can attach to either side of the impact driver, affording ease of access to users with right and left-handedness
- Lightweight, only 2.7 pounds
- 3-year limited warranty
MILWAUKEE ELEC TOOL 2760-20 M18 Fuel Hex Hydraulic Driver
This impact driver is definitely the quietest from all impact drivers we have tested. You will really enjoy while using it, because it makes the minimal noise.
It has plenty of torque 450 inches/lbs., and it can easily take lug nuts off which is not its main job, but you will be very pleased with all what this tool can do.
The other thing that is great is that you can set this tool to “self-tapping screw” mode and it actually senses when your screw has bottomed out, and then it slows down to a crawl! No more stripping screws! All you have to do is pull the trigger at a constant speed, blast the screw in, and it will slow to a crawl exactly when the screw gets tight.
It has a brushless motor which delivers up to 0-3,000 RPM with constant power output to drive screws faster. With 4-mode control, you will have greater control over output speed and power for greater versatility.
- Brushless motor which delivers 0-3000 RPM
- 4-MODE Control for greater versatility
- LED light-for working in dark areas
- Hydraulic power-train delivers quieter operation, smoother performance and increased durability over a standard impact
- Tool and battery REDLINK protection due to overloading or overheating
- Lightweight, only 2.1 lbs.
- 5-year warranty
Impact driver vs Impact wrench
In general, impact wrenches are heavier and more powerful) than impact drivers. Impact drivers deliver max 2000 inch/lbs. of torque, while the impact wrench delivers up to 13000 inch/lbs. of torque. Also, impact wrenches use a square drive (generally ½”) and are made for loosening/fastening sockets, while most impact drivers use a ¼” hex drive and are used for driving screws.
But, good thing is that ¼” impact drivers can easily be converted to a ½” square drive with a simple adaptor bit allowing you to use it with socket drivers.
Well, let`s say that most of the homeowners and DIY guys probably won’t have much need for an impact wrench (for around-the-house jobs and light automotive work).
But, if you have car workshop it will be nice to have one lying around to zip lug nuts off and rotate the tires with.
Impact drivers are very practical for DIY use and have become very popular over the years. We can say for sure that they’re more compact and deliver more torque than a standard cordless drill, but they’re more user-friendly than a full-size impact wrench.
Also, most of the decent impact drivers on the market nowadays have enough torque to remove lug nuts from cars (probably the only use you’d have for an impact wrench anyway). With improved battery life, impact drivers last a long time between charges and can produce reasonable amounts of torque.
What to look when buying?
The main thing you need to look at in these tools is the amount of torque it can turn. If the maximum amount of torque produced is less than the job at hand, it’s not going to work (obviously).
You should look at how much voltage the battery pack has, and how long will it work, in order to avoid often battery changes and charging.
This shows the time it takes to charge the battery fully. For a 2 Ah battery, the typical charging time ranges from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
Make sure to wear safety protection when you are using your tool. We know that impact drivers are very loud, so make sure to wear hearing protection if you are using the tool for a longer time.
Some other features that we advise you to consider are a brushless motor, ergonomic grip, variable speed setting, the warranty, and illumination light.
You don’t really need impact wrench if you are not using it on a daily basis and you don’t have professional car workshop. You can choose a much cheaper and compact impact driver. We hope that our choice of the best impact driver for cars helped you in making your choice.
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