10 Best Impact Driver for Automotive Use (2021)

Let's jump in to find out which impact driver is best for automotive use.

Impact drivers are widely used in homes and large industries. Their wide use is because they have excellent raw speed or torque that allows them to fasten large bolts, screws, or threaded fasteners quickly. Although they have applications almost everywhere, we will be seeing them performing specifically for automotive use. 

Cars have a lot of nuts and screws. This requires the operator to change the drill bits quite often as there are several sizes. Impact driver allows easy swapping of drill bits. Also, they have immense torque that quickly and swiftly fasten long nuts. Impact drivers are very compact in shape, which allows them to reach tight spaces easily.

Best Overall
DEWALT DCF885C2 20V MAX Cordless Drill Impact Driver Kit
DEWALT DCF885C2 20V MAX Cordless Drill Impact Driver Kit

Features

  • Best drill for automotive use
  • Worth the price
  • Tri LEDs for better coverage
  • Compact design weighs only 2.8 pounds
Best Cheap
BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit

Features

  • Value for money
  • Includes a battery 
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy drill bits replacement
Expert's Choice
Bosch PS41BN Max 12V Impact Driver with Insert Tray Bare-Tool
Bosch PS41BN Max 12V Impact Driver with Insert Tray Bare-Tool

Features

  • Best overall rankings
  • Lightweight and powerful motor
  • Tough and durable body 
  • Mid pistol grip

Bosch PS41BN Max 12V Impact Driver with Insert Tray Bare-Tool

9.4/10
We were surprised by the performance of this drill. This best compact impact driver is super easy to operate and store. Despite its small and compact design, this beast can output a max torque of 3600 PRM. This driver also comes with a toolbox that can easily fit in a rigid box.

Product Features

Lightweight Design:

This 12V Bosch impact driver has a mid-pistol grip and has a super-compact design. It has a quick bit release chuck that allows swapping drill bits with single-handed operation quickly. This impact driver weighs only 0.34 lbs. which makes it a fabulously lightweight impact driver.

Best Overall Rankings:

We were surprised by how good this tool performs. This tool is recognized all over the world and has a fantastic ranking of 9.4 out of 10. This is indeed the best 12V impact driver 2021. The tool qualifies this best ranking by meeting the price, durability, power, and reliability standards.

Ultimate Reliability:

The tool has the power to cover you by providing the max torque of 930 in-lbs. The tool has Bosch’s hammer and anvil mechanism. This 12V impact driver comes with a tool fit box that allows maximum productivity and easy tool organization. In general, the tool has the power to get any task done despite how challenging it is.

Pros
  • 930 in-lbs. of high output torque, excellent for nut/bolt/screw  operations
  • Bosch's hammer and anvil mechanism
  • Best built quality for maximum durability
  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • Maximum reliability and power to get any challenging task done
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a belt clip
  • Limited one-year warranty only
  • Battery to be bought separately 

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit

9.4/10
Drill lovers! Behold Budget purchase!
Guys, this is one of the best budget purchases. It's also one of the best products online, and all that comes in a reasonable price tag. A 20V battery powers the impact driver. This impact driver is indeed powerful, compact, and has plenty of features.

Product Features

Quick Release Hex Chuck:

Impact drivers lack mechanical clutch. Instead, it has a hex-styled chuck that makes it super easy to swap drill bits. These chucks only support hex-styled drill bits. Unlike the rotating chuck on the cordless drill, this features an easy pull-to-swap drill bit. This is one of the best 1/4 impact drivers in the market.

Powerful Motor:

The motor is mighty. This can deliver 1375 inch-pounds of incredible torque speed, which is super convenient for quick and efficient fasteners’ drilling. A reliable 20V impact driver battery powers this motor. Despite the mighty motor, this impact driver is very easy to maneuver, thanks to its compact design.

Enhanced Ecosystem:

The 20V impact driver included battery can output 3000 max RPM. The included battery can interchangeably be used with other supporting power tools. This feature is beneficial when an impact driver is used for automotive, as it enhances overall productivity.

Pros
  • Best impact driver for automotive use
    included 20V impact driver battery
  • Fast and high powered impact driver
  • Compact and lightweight design with a hex styled chuck
  • Max torque up to 3000 RPM
  • A productive ecosystem with interchangeable battery
Cons
  • Excellent tool for everyday use, but not designed for prolonged heavy-duty use

Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT Cordless Impact Driver, Tool Only

9.8/10
Another excellent impact driver for automotive use. This tool doesn't come in a small price tag but trust us, it's a one-time investment and can run for ages. This product does only include a power tool.

Suppose you are willing to spend some extra bucks on additional purchases. In that case, there is an upgradeable combo kit version also available.

Product Features

One Time Investment:

Although the price is relatively high because it only includes a power tool, this tool is fabulously durable. It has one of the best build qualities in cordless impact driver categories. This impact driver is full of comfort features and power.

Also, there are five different options available if you are interested in an additional adapter set, drill bit set, holder, or complete kit. All things are worth the price and are great options for your tool collection if your budget allows you to have one.

Brushless Motor:

This drill is powered by a brushless motor design. It’s one of the best brushless impact drivers in the marketplace right now. We are here to brief all those who don’t know how significant an improvement is on standard brushed motors. 

Brushless motors power modern tools and are super useful. This motor delivers 1600 in.-lbs. Brushless motors exclude carbon brushes that enable longer battery time and cooler performance. Also, these motors are quieter than brushed motors at load conditions. Thus, they are super common in modern tools these days.

Speed Control Option:

The impact driver has single touch four-speed power control for precise and organized drilling. The impact driver can be adjusted at 1100, 2100, 3200, and 3600 RPM (revolution per minute). This enables the operator to adjust the torque control and lessen the physically applied pressure. 

These battery-powered impact drivers come with assist mode. Dual tightening mode allows users to drive threaded fasteners at incredibly low speeds until tightening begins. This eradicates the cross-threading or screws head from coming out.

Pros
  • Brushless motor design for efficient and cooler performance with enhanced battery runtime
  • Four-speed selectable options
  • Best rated impact driver, designed to last ages
  • Easy upgradeable option to complete combo kit
  • Quick-shift mode for efficient drilling
  • Dual LED for brighter work's place
Cons
  • Price is expensive but is certainly worth the built quality 

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit

9.6/10
A little cheaper version of the last reviewed impact driver. In short, it's a great economic impact driver for automotive use. This one has a complete combo kit. This combo kit has an impact driver, soft bag, battery, and charger. The entire combo kit is priced reasonably. This combo kit also has one of the best market ratings.

Product Features

Ergonomic Design:

The drill has a very compact design. The neck is only 5 inches long, which makes it a very compact tool. The overall body is not only enough to determine the ergonomics; the weight also plays an important role. The weight of this impact driver is only 3.3 lbs. with the battery. This enables it to be used efficiently for prolonged tasks without fatiguing the operator.

Convenient Grip and Chuck:

This driver’s grip is a soft rubberized grip that provides ultimate comfort and makes it holding easy for longer durations. The impact driver accepts the styled hex bits, which can be easily replaced by simply pulling the chuck’s collar. 

Apart from the comfortable grip, this also comes with an all-aluminum gear housing that allows better durability and reliability in severe environments. The build quality of gear housing prevents the impact driver from most of the damages.

Extreme Protection Technology:

The impact driver has extreme protection technology. This feature enables it to be used more confidently in harsh environments. This extreme protection technology protects the machine from dust and water. Also, the efficient power management system protects the machine from overloading and overcharging. 

Pros
  • Extreme protection technology protects from water and dust
  • Efficient power management system
  • Quick change hex chuck
  • Compact design
  • Brushless motor with three-speed control
  • Value for money
Cons
  • Some users might feel the speed of the driver not up to the mark
  • Ideal for light-duty work

Porter-Cable PCCK604L2 20v Impact Driver Combo Kit With PCC682L

9.4/10
Now we are going to present another great option for almost the same price bracket. So ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Porter-Cable PCCK604L2. This cordless combo has two power tools, i.e., a cordless drill and a cordless impact driver. Along with that, the combo kit consists of a soft bag, 20 V batteries, and a charge.

Product Features

Great Tools and Value for Money:

This combo kit has two main power tools that have the power to do any tough job. The combo kit has many other supporting tools like a charger, batteries, and a soft bag. We bet you won’t find too many things in a combo kit at such a nominal price tag. 

So you get an impact driver for automotive use and a cordless drill that you can use to accomplish any household task as these cordless drills are greatly versatile.

High-Speed Power Tools:

The included cordless drill/driver has a 1/2 inch chuck that has the power to deliver 283 UWO (unit watts out). It has a dual-speed control that allows the output torque to be adjusted between 350 or 1500 RPM. This delivers more precise drilling. A 20V battery powers all that great speed.

Easy Upgradation:

This combo kit can easily be upgraded with additional purchases, like an extra 20V battery or Bluetooth speaker. The 20V additional battery is a convenient option to purchase. It enhances the workflow and allows operators to move freely without carrying the charger every time.

Pros
  • Best drill and impact driver set at a very reasonable price tag
  • Easy add on purchase option available
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • High-performance power tools with good durability
  • Better and improved battery runtime
Cons
  • Impact driver's batteries may start to lose their life with extended use 

CRAFTSMAN CMCF800C2 20V Impact Driver Kit

9.5/10
Suppose you are looking for the best electric impact driver that is super durable and has plenty of features. In that case, you might be interested in CRAFTSMAN CMCF800C2. This impact driver comes with a battery and is priced quite reasonably. The tool kit has plenty of add-on options available to choose from. A 20V battery-powered impact driver is responsive for all automotive uses.

Product Features

Wonderful Warranty Period:

The tool has a whopping three-year warranty. The warranty is an important thing to consider while spending a decent amount on the machines. Usually, these machines are used roughly, which makes them more prone to damages. So once they are in warranty, one can use them more confidently.

Comfortable Drilling:

The impact drivers are generally lightweight, and likewise, this too has a very decent shape. This driver is compatible with a versa-track hanging hook, making it easy to hang down when idle. Also, the driver can output 1460 in-lbs of torque that can quickly drive down long threaded fasteners. Quick-release chuck enables one-hand bit change that allows the operator to remain focused.

Attractive Design:

The drill machine has a gorgeous-looking body that makes it ideal for automotive uses. The driver has a built-in LED for improved visibility in dark working environments. The grip has a very brilliant surface which makes it very easy to grasp.

Pros
  • Durable and reliable design
  • Single time purchase with three years limited warranty
  • Maximum output of 2800 RPM for fantastic responsive performance
  • Improved battery runtime
  • Versa-track hook compatible
Cons
  • Inexpensive but undoubtedly worth the price
  • Absence of variable speed control

Ryobi One+ P236 18V Cordless Impact Driver, Tool Only

9.6/10
Indeed this one is an actual value purchase. Presenting the best budget cordless impact driver that is powered with all the premium comfort and power features. The price tag is very excellent, but it lacks a battery that needs to be purchased separately.

Like all the One+ products, this one also features a green plastic body and a battery that can be interchangeably used with other supporting tools.

Product Features

Exclusive Magnetic Tray:

The exclusive magnetic tray on this Ryobi model qualifies it as an easy-to-use impact driver. It enables the user to hold the driver with both hands without worrying about the threaded fasteners or drill bits. The magnetic tray does that work for them!

This way, the user can either hold the driver with one hand or use both hands on the impact driver if dealing at high torque speeds.

One + Compatible:

The best feature of this impact driver is that it promotes the One+ ecosystem. The One+ is a unique lineup of Ryobi that has almost 180+ products for different applications. All of them are powered by an 18V battery that can be easily interchangeably used with one other. This way, it promotes efficiency and a productive ecosystem.

Comfort Features:

The tool is indeed the best drill for automotive use as it has a lot of features and a very decent price tag. The chuck enables easy bit replacement with a simple pull collar to swap mechanism. The impact driver also has a tri beam led for best shadow elimination during work.

Pros
  • Best rated impact driver
  • Reasonable price tag
  • Firm pistol grip with advanced gripping material
  • One+ compatible battery
  • Magnetic tray for single-handed operation
  • Tri beam LED
Cons
  • The battery needs to be purchased separately 
  • Lacks a belt clip

DEWALT DCF885C2 20V MAX Cordless Drill Impact Driver Kit

9.6/10
Well! How can we miss Dewalt's product in our reviews? The amazing German-manufactured Dewalt's products are always on our top lists.

Presenting! The best-ranked Dewalt DCF885C2 combo kit. It consists of a 1/4 inch impact driver, bag, charger, and battery. Although not the budget purchase, yet the build quality is worth the price.

Product Features

Durable Design:

The machine has a most durable design. We have thoroughly tested Dewalt’s 20 Volt impact driver, and trust us; it’s worth it. The driver has a compact design and weighs only 2.8 lbs. this enables it to fit tight places easily. The neck is only 5.5 inches in length.  Trust us; it’s the finest 1/4 inch impact driver in the market.

Worth The Price:

Although the price tag is not small, the impact driver is still one of the best Dewalt impact drivers. This beast can output a max torque of 1400 in-lbs. That is super responsive for all automotive applications. The built quality, driver’s reliability, and duality are worth the price, and it’s indeed perfect for all locomotive applications.

Extra Portability:

The driver kit comes with a belt hook option that allows it to hang when idle easily. Also, the tri-led remains lit for 20 seconds even after reloading the trigger. Interestingly, it never affects the battery.

Pros
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design
  • Power of complete kit with fantastic 20V battery
  • Best Dewalt impact driver
  • Extra belt hook for extended portability
  • 3200 IPM for responsive performance
Cons
  • Not a brushless design which means more battery drainage and less runtime

Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank 12 Volt Lithium Ion Power Tool Only

9.6/10
This Milwaukee 2462-20 is a bare tool that lacks a battery. It's full of many features and has a powerful motor that comes at a very reasonable price. The small cordless drill driver is an ideal option if you are looking for the best Milwaukee impact driver.

Product Features

Small Drill Driver:

The tool has a pistol grip and has a very handy design. The impact driver has the dimensions of 7 x 1.79 x 6.46 inches. Indeed this driver is super small and can easily fit into the operator’s hand. This tool can easily reach tight spaces. Thus, this too is a great option if you consider buying an impact driver for automotive use.

12V Battery:

This battery-powered impact driver is driven by a small yet mighty 12 V battery. This battery belongs to the special lineup of Milwaukee called the M12 batteries. These batteries are supported by hundreds of power tools designed for different tasks.

These batteries can be interchangeably used among all the supporting tools. This promotes a healthy ecosystem if you already own an M12 tool.

Fuel Gauge:

Regardless of the small and compact shape, this impact driver is filled with plenty of comfort features, like the fuel gauge. This fuel gauge enables the operator to know beforehand the remaining time. Thus he/she can plan the task accordingly. 

Apart from the fuel gauge, this impact driver also has a nicely designed LED light. The smart LED light illuminates the workspace and focuses more on the point of action while eliminating the finger shadow. The LED is activated with the trigger.

Pros
  • Small shape with mid pistol grip 
  • Best compact impact driver 
  • Smart LED light with fuel gauge
  • Red-lithium M12 battery
  • M12 batteries compatible with many other supporting tools 
  • Max torque up to 1000 in-lbs. and 2500 RPM
Cons
  • Batteries need to be purchased separately

Hitachi WH18DGL 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver Kit (Lifetime Tool Warranty)

9.4/10
Another great tool for automotive use, Hitachi WH18DGL. The best part about this impact driver is that it comes with Hitachi's Lifetime tool warranty and two-year limited battery warranty. This beast has immense power and comfort features, so let's check it out.

Product Features

Powerful Motor:

The Hitachi WH18DGL comes with a powerful motor that can provide a maximum torque of 2400 RPM (revs per minute) and 3200 BPM (Beats per minute). This immense motor power enables it to be used confidently for any automotive use. The overall built quality of this tool is also fantastic. These tools are renamed Metabo. 

Lightweight and Ergonomic Design:

The design and feel are also important while considering buying a cordless impact driver. This tool weighs only 3.1 lbs. that allows it to be used for prolonged tasks without fatigue. The impact driver also contains a built-in LED light and reverse operation tool for comfortable and responsive usage.

Lifetime Tool Warranty:

This battery-powered impact driver comes with an amazing lifetime tool warranty. However, the lifetime warranty excludes the battery whose warranty is only limited to 2 years. Overall the tool is great for automotive uses and has a nice motor and built quality.

Pros
  • Lifetime tool warranty
  • Improved and efficient battery, designed to deliver better battery time
  • The mighty motor delivers 1280 in-lbs.
  • Max torque output of 2400 RPM
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design
Cons
  • Lacks belt hook
  • Battery charges take time  

How to Buy the Best Impact Driver for Automotive Use?

The definition of “best” is different for different people. Some people consider the budget purchase as the best product. Some consider performance as the main metric for evaluation. Likewise, it differs for different people.

The best impact drivers for automotive use are listed in this article. These include the best choice (overall good), best budget (cost-friendly), and expert choice (excellent performance). Among these, you can choose as per your requirement and budget. 

The most important thing is first to analyze your budget and requirement. Accordingly, you can make the choices by considering the battery, including tools, durability, built quality, motor performance, etc. 

By considering these few things, we believe you can easily land on the best impact driver. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cordless drill and impact driver?
Though they sound the same but have a major difference. The cordless drills are versatile and have an adjustable torque clutch that prevents bits slippage and breakage. These drills can adjust several bit sizes and are super versatile. The impact driver, on the other hand, lacks a mechanical clutch and has immense torque speed. They accept only styled hex bits for easy replacement. And can fasten long nuts and screws easily without tearing them off. They are much more compact than cordless drills.
What is the benefit of brushless motors?
Brushless motors lack carbon brushes. This means they provide more battery time and are super cool during load conditions. They also are much more efficient than the standard brushed designs.
Which voltage is better 12, 18, or 20?
The choice of voltage determines the responsiveness and performance of an impact driver. Usually, the more, the better. Now, this is not always true. Generally, this depends on your usage. The 20V drivers are bigger and heavier than 12V drivers. So you can choose according to your need.

Conclusion:

Finally, we listed the top ten best impact drivers for automotive use towards the end of this article.  Through proper research and validation, we enlisted these best impact drivers in the market. These products are super durable and top-ranked these days. Still, we have further chosen the best in terms of overall performance, price and performance.

The best choice for today’s article is DEWALT DCF885C2. This product has the power of a complete combo kit and has a very durable design finish. It’s powered by a 20 V battery but has the power of 3200 impacts per minute. Other than that, it has a tri LED and belt hook for added productivity.

The budget-friendly purchase of today’s article is BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C. This impact driver is made for automotive use and has a high torque output of 3000 RPM. Along with that, it has a quick-release bit mechanism. Overall it has many other features and is truly worth the price.

And lastly, the performance beast is Bosch PS41BN.  The top-rated impact driver with a minimal and lightweight design. This impact driver has a mid-pistol grip. Overall it has a tough and durable design and is worth purchasing.

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