The size and weight of an impact driver determine how comfortable it is to use as well as how easily it fits into tight spaces. Most impact drivers are compact in size, making them suitable for applications that require driving in larger fasteners, such as framing a wall or driving a lag bolt into a 2×4. DeWalt’s impact drivers range in weight from 2.1 to 2.5 pounds, not including the battery.
Built with the same quality, and warranty, as its green tools, the black versions strip away some of the advanced features, bringing the cost down. While it’s nice to have multiple driving speeds and modes, they’re not required to get a job done. This basic impact driver has the same torque as its green counterpart and drove all the fasteners in our test well, including 4.5-inch-long lag bolts. We also used it to remove 5⁄16-inch, grade-8 bolts torqued up to 40 foot-pounds.
The Atomic DCF809 is one of the most compact impact drivers in terms of front-to-back length that still packs a decent amount of power. It might be worth considering if you already have compatible batteries and are always working in cramped areas; otherwise, the Atomic failed to impact us much. Since most lug nuts are torqued to 100 foot-pounds, which equals 1,200 inch-pounds, you need an impact driver that produces at least 1,200 inch-pounds of torque to remove lug nuts. The DCF885 produces enough torque to suit the needs of most DIYers at a price that leaves room in the budget for other power tools. While its 1,400 inch-pounds of torque may not cut it at the pro job site, it’s more than enough power to suit most home improvement projects.
I was really impressed with the weight of the tool, how balanced it is in your hand, and how comfortable it feels when you hold it. As with most of the other Dewalt tools I’ve owned, this tool exudes quality and durability. There is no better way to conduct a product test than dewalt reciprocating saw to put it through its paces on several projects. Understanding what jobs a DeWalt impact driver can handle is key to choosing the right model. An impact driver should not be used to drill holes in soft or delicate surfaces as its torque could cause irreparable damage.
This Hart is ideal for the budget-conscious and folks who need a driver for occasional use around the home. 20 volt max tools deliver up to 57% faster application speed and up to 35% greater runtime than other leading 18 volt lithium-ion tools. The DCD985 hammer drill falls into our premium line of tools ideal for heavy drilling and fastening application s the DCF885 impact driver runs up to 2800 Rpm with 1,400 in.lb. Of max torque making it a fast speed and high power tool to complete applications quickly. Having both the drill and driver is handy and saves you from having to switch bits back and forth on jobs that require both. This relatively basic driver will accomplish most tasks you’ll encounter around the house.
Brad Ford has spent most of his life using tools to fix, build, or make things. Growing up he worked on a farm, where he learned to weld, repair, and paint equipment. From the farm he went to work at a classic car dealer, repairing and servicing Rolls Royces, Bentleys, and Jaguars. Today, when he’s not testing tools or writing for Popular Mechanics, he’s busy keeping up with the projects at his old farmhouse in eastern Pennsylvania.
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You can use an impact driver for drilling holes; however, they are not good at precision drilling. They should only be used to drill through material that a standard drill is not powerful enough to drill through, including metal, some masonry, and very dense or knotty wood. One of the very first projects I worked on with this tool was crawling the attic and installing Teflon loops to run some structured cable for a home network. I was driving 2.5” Teflon coated screws in a very dusty, cramped and dark work space.
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