Specs are provided by each manufacturer and are not verified by Tools of the Trade.
BoschBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
2361818-volt nicad / 2.430 min.4.7 lbs. / 10th of 11 (tie)7.0 seconds / 5th of 10 (tie)55 /11th of 122,500 / 3,200 / 1,350 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
Still the lone holdout for a medium-voltage LI tool platform, Bosch had the only non-lithium-ion tool in the test, so it provided a perfect comparison. With nicad batteries, it outweighs most others and doesn't provide as much work. The grip is wider than the more comfortable drivers, so it feels bulky in your hand and just too big all over. With a heavy battery and a belt clip that doesn't grab securely, hanging it from a tool bag or belt is chancy. There is an aim-able light at the bottom of the handle, but its amber tint doesn't provide high-contrast light. The latches on the plastic case seem upside down, causing me to dump the contents more than once.
Street Price
$249

Contact
Bosch
877-267-2499
www.boschtools.com
CraftsmanBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
320.2812820-volt LI / 2.250 min.4.2 lbs / 8th of 116.5 seconds / 3rd of 1084 / 6th of 122,500 / 3,200 / 1,200 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
At 20 volts, this tool packs a wallop–it's the third fastest–but there's a price to pay in weight and ergonomics. We only liked heavy drivers like this Craftsman when driving screws downward, such as for floor underlayment. But when you had to pick it up and drive screws horizontally, this wasn't a top choice, especially for finish carpenters with small hands. The grip is wide, and I couldn't get my fingers all the way around it. With no belt hook and being too big to store in a nail pouch, this model required a lot of hand holding. The light is at the bottom of the handle. Batteries have a status meter. Sold tool only; equivalent two-battery kit price without case, $300.
Street Price
Tool $80, battery $90, charger $40

Contact
Craftsman Professional
866-798-6657
www.craftsman.com
DeWaltBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
DC827KL18-volt LI / 2.4 60 min.3.6 lbs / 5th of 116.9 seconds / 4th of 1080 / 7th of 122,400 / 2,700 / 1,330 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
Among the top-rated tools. Part of DeWalt's brand-new 18-volt Nano lithium-ion line, this impact driver is a small, light tool with a great feel and respectable performance: it's the fourth fastest tool in the test. The balance of the tool is well-centered, and the handle is small enough to reach all the way around, making it a comfortable grip. There are left and right mounting holes for a belt clip, but it must be purchased as an accessory for now. (Part #646817-00, $2.) The light mounted above the trigger is not the brightest but does the job. Comes with a plastic case.
Street Price
$349

Contact
DeWalt Industrial Tools
800-433-9258
www.dewalt.com
Hilti-ABattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
SID144-A14.4-volt LI / 2.6 30 min.3.5 lbs / 4th of 118.0 seconds / 8th of 1057 /10th of 122,700 / 3,400 / 1,239 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
The Hilti is one of the lightest drivers–a small, comfortable tool. My hand fit around OK, but the grip could be a bit thinner, like our favorites. Great for finish work, but it wasn't able to drive as many lags as the competition, so framers and remodelers may make a different choice. The tool has a two-speed electronic switch above the battery to regulate torque and rpm. We always left it in high gear and kept moving, but the torque setting could be handy for novice users to avoid shearing screw heads. Triple LEDs encircling the nose are among the most effective lights. The battery has a status meter, but I really wished for a belt hook. Comes with a plastic case.
Street Price
$369

Contact
Hilti Inc.
800-879-8000
www.hilti.com
HitachiBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
WH18DL18-volt LI / 3.0 45 min.3.9 lbs / 7th of 116.2 seconds / 2nd of 10105 / 3rd of 122,600 / 3,200 / 1,330 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
One of the best, the Hitachi performed well during field testing and near the top in our shop test, with second-place speed and third-place duration results. The grip is too thick at the bottom of the handle; the most comfortable are the skinniest. For low rpm use, a switch mechanically limits the trigger travel. The amber-colored light (wish it was white) on the end of the belt hook is aimed by positioning the hook, but this may put your left hand in a bind if you need light while going lefty. The light is manually switched. Comes in an oversized plastic case. A 3.5-pound compact (WH18DFL) was introduced too late for testing but felt strong in our brief use.
Street Price
$299

Contact
Hitachi Power Tools
800-829-4752
www.hitachipowertools.com
MakitaBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
BTD14118-volt LI / 3.0 30 min.3.4 lbs / 3rd of 117.8 seconds / 7th of 10 (tie)100 / 4th of 122,300 / 3,200 / 1,330 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
This lightweight comfort standout with fourth-place duration results shares the Makita winner circle with its compact sibling. Virtually the same tool but with a full-size battery, this variation of the brand's impact driver nearly doubles the work of the favored compact, but with a little more weight. Since the 1.5 and 3.0 amp-hour battery packs are interchangeable in these tools, the 141 also can become a compact by simply slipping on the half-size battery. Exclusive to this tool are a unique, push-in bit loading feature that can be done with one hand, and a coveted belt clip. This model also has about 4% higher maximum torque. Comes in a plastic case.
Street Price
$299

Contact
Makita USA
800-462-5482
www.makitatools.com
MakitaBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
BTD142HW18-volt LI / 1.5 15 min.2.9 lbs / 1st of 117.8 seconds / 7th of 10 (tie)58 / 9th of 122,300 / 3,200 / 1,280 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
The unanimous choice among everyone on the testing crew, the compact Makita is a real winner. With all the top tools capable of doing what we use impacts for, we focused on comfort and features. The Makitas have the nicest, narrow grips, and we love the effective lights that stay on after releasing the trigger. The short motor size proved its worth while driving screws. When we tested this model with the full-size battery, it drove 101 lags–just one more than the model 141 did–proving their equality. I wish the plastic case latches didn't break so easily and that the belt clip was included. (Parts #324705-1 and #251314-2. $2.40)
Street Price
$219

Contact
Makita USA Inc.
800-462-5482
www.makitatools.com
MilwaukeeBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
0881-2218-volt LI / 3.0 60 min.5.3 lbs / 11th of 117.0 seconds / 5th of 10 (tie)130 / 1st of 122,600 / 3,200 / 1,400 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
For driving a lot of decking screws or ledger lags, the Milwaukee might be the right tool. First in the duration test with 130 lags driven–more than most carpenters would drive in two days of work. But ergonomically, this heaviest tool is the one we judged all other tools against– from the bottom of the scale. The grip is OK, but the battery and motor are so big, you feel as if you're carrying a boat anchor. The balance is poor but can be modified by sliding the battery in backwards, too. The tool seemed louder than most, and there is no belt hook for this potential pants-puller. The light is above the trigger, the battery has a meter, and the case is way too big.
Street Price
$299

Contact
Milwaukee Electric Tool
800-729-3878
www.milwaukeetool.com
PanasonicBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
EY7540LN2L14.4-volt LI / 3.0 50 min.3.2 lbs / 2nd of 115.6 seconds / 1st of 10126 / 2nd of 122,300 / 3,000 /1,330 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
The second-place Panasonic earned excellent scores in our tests–first in speed, a very close second in duration, and it is the second lightest tool in the category. Ergonomically, this tool is in the top tier also. It has a narrow handle, and the brushless motor's head is very short and sleek. There is a three-mode electronic control to dial in different speed and torque ranges to customize the power output to your task. The folding belt hook is the nicest but can crowd your hand during quick lefty use. The manually operated light on the battery housing was not our favorite design, but bright. Has blinking low-battery and overheat warning lights. Best case.
Street Price
$319

Contact
Panasonic Power Tools
800-338-0552
www.panasonic.com/cordlesstools
PanasonicBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
EY7542LN2L14.4-volt LI / 3.0 50 min.3.7 lbs / 6th of 118.3 seconds / 9th of 1091 / 5th of 122,350 / 3,300 / 1,239 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
A top performer, this Panasonic is the only driver of the test with a separate, clutch-controlled, non-impact drive function like that of a cordless drill/driver. The 7542 drove a lot of lags, taking fifth place but also a virtual first in versatility. Having the only tool in the test suited for drilling holes means you could leave your drill/driver in the truck and still do a variety of work. The Panasonic grip is very comfortable with good hand wrap-around. And their folding belt hooks are the best. The manually operatedlight on the battery housing was not our favorite design, but bright. Has a blinking low-battery warning light. Best case. Kit includes flashlight.
Street Price
$349

Contact
Panasonic Power Tools
800-338-0552
www.panasonic.com/cordlesstools
RidgidBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
R882318-volt LI / 3.0 45 min.4.7 lbs / 10th of 11 (tie)13 seconds / 10th of 1048 / 12th of 121,700 / 2,900/ 1,490 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
The Ridgid was a low performer, with last place in speed by a wide margin and last in duration results. It also tied for second heaviest, not scoring many ergonomic points. The grip isn't too wide, but the tool is among the largest overall. This driver really heated up during testing, making it difficult to remove the bit from the tool. It also seemed noticeably louder than others. No belt hook. Light over trigger. Sold tool only; equivalent two-battery kit price without case, $377.
Street Price
Tool $119, battery $99, charger $60

Contact
Ridgid Power Tools
866-539-1710
www.ridgid.com
RyobiBattery/Amp Hours/Charge TimeWeight/Weight OrderLag Timing/RankingLags Driven/RankingMax RPM/IPM/Torque
P23018-volt LI / 2.4 60 min.4.3 lbs / 9th of 117.5 seconds / 6th of 1063 / 8th of 122,400 / 3,000 / 1,200 in-lbs
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Tester Comments
Ryobi has recently entered the lithium-ion tool arena and is revitalizing many of its cordless tools with LI. This impact driver is a good example of Ryobi's success. It drove lags just as fast as many of the top tools. Ergonomically, though, the tool didn't win points when compared to more powerful but smaller drivers from other manufacturers. The tool is on the large side and the third heaviest overall. I was able to get my hand around the grip, but just barely. This tool has no belt hook, but the light above the trigger is decently bright. The color-coded battery meter is hard to read. Sold as tool only; equivalent two-battery kit price without case, $288.
Street Price
Tool $70, battery $99, battery and charger $119

Contact
Ryobi
800-525-2579
www.ryobitools.com