Have a long day ahead to drive a lot of fasteners? Make it easy on yourself with one of the best impact drivers. Lighter and more compact than a drill, these power tools are a necessity for sinking screws and driving bolts. Let’s take a look at two of them to see which one is perfect for you.
DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4″ Impact Driver Kit
DEWALT’s DCF885 impact driver has been proving its value for a few years now. It’s a solid tool that continues to perform well and rake in positive reviews. It doesn’t have a brushless motor, but it’s still considered a great choice for professionals.
One of its best features is its power compared to its size and weight. Without the battery, this impact driver weighs only two pounds (or 2.8lbs with battery). The weight is perfectly balanced when you grip it in your hand. The barrel is only 5.55 inches long back to front, and the spring-loaded hex chuck takes 1-inch bits, ideal for fastening in tight spots.
But the small size is deceiving. The DCF885 driver has up to 1400 inch-pounds of torque with 3200 impacts per minute. The maximum speed is 2800rpm, but it has a variable-speed trigger so you can work slower on delicate materials.
The three LED lights on the chuck collar shine where you’re working without making shadows. They have a 20-second delay before they shut off once you release the trigger, and they don’t seem to drain the battery any faster because of it.
The battery in the DCF885C1 kit is for light duty jobs. It’s rated for 1.5Ah so you’ll probably get less than 30 minutes of continuous runtime. If you want something that lasts longer, the DCF885 works with any of the DEWALT MAX XR Lithium-Ion batteries with onboard fuel gauge, no matter the capacity.
More features of the DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver Kit:
- Covered by DEWALT’s 3-year limited warranty
- Comes with rapid charger and one battery, but no case or bag unlike the Makita kit below
Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit
Makita’s XDT111 impact driver isn’t brushless either, but it is just a little bit faster and more powerful than the DEWALT DCF885. This may be due to Makita’s proprietary 4-pole motor design. Unfortunately, it weighs significantly more. Its top speed is 2900rpm with 3500 impacts per minute and 1460 inch-pounds of torque.
But this driver weighs 3.9 pounds when the battery is on board, about a pound more than the DEWALT. That pound can get pretty heavy over the course of a long day, especially when you’re working overhead. But the driver is still a lot lighter than a drill, and it’s quite sturdy with its all metal gear housing.
The XDT111 has an advantage besides its power and speed. It’s only 5-3/8-inches long. It may seem like splitting hairs, but on some jobs every eighth of an inch matters. It has dual LED lights to illuminate your work area, and they have a few seconds of afterglow when you release the trigger.
Another great feature of the XDT111 is something we wish all power tools had. It’s Makita’s XPT Extreme Protection Technology. This is a layer of extra protection so that water and dust can’t reach the internals of the driver. This is a pro’s tool that doesn’t need to be babied.
One final bonus is that the XDT111 comes with a 3.0Ah lithium-ion battery. If you have other Makita 18V tools, this may not be a big deal. But if you’re new to Makita, this is a good start to your collection. A 3.0Ah capacity battery will let you keep working longer between charges, and you can top it off on the charger during your lunch break.
More features of the Makita XDT111 Impact Driver Kit:
- Covered by a 3-year limited warranty
- Comes with a hard tool case, 18V LXT Li-ion battery, and rapid charger
If you want the fastest, most powerful impact driver out of these two, get the Makita XDT111. It has a larger capacity battery, a shorter barrel, and it comes with a hard tool carrying case.
If you want the lightest-weight impact driver with almost as much power and speed as the Makita, get the DCF885C1 from DEWALT.