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Contractor Smackdown: Impact Drivers

Contractor Tools

Let's get ready to rumble! And in this corner, we're going to take a good hard look at some tough impact drivers to see which ones get the job done whether you're on a work site, doing odd jobs around the home or wherever else your tools take you. All these drivers have a 1/4" drive, plenty of power to get through whatever life throws at you with relative ease, weigh under 8.5 pounds and retail at under under $475 for serious cordless power, giving you a great mix of torque, weight and price. 

DeWalt DCF895D2

The tagline for this workhorse should be "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking." With a 20-volt kit that includes a lot of fun and handy features, this well-equipped contractor-grade driver may be at the top of our price list for this smackdown, but it's also at the top of our list for performance. With a push-button chuck to make changes easily, LED light to help guide your way while saving the battery and a brushless motor providing 57% more run time over its brushed sibling, it's easy to see why this is hands-down a serious contender for contractor satisfaction. The only downsides are a slightly touchy switch and it tends to unintentionally slip into safety mode.

Porter Cable PCCK640LB

If you're feeling a little more budget-conscious, this impact driver provides the 20-volt power and performance you need with a price significantly lower than the DeWalt. Though you lose the push-button chuck, you still get a great LED light, similar customer review scores to the DeWalt and it weighs in at the same not-quite-eight-pound range as the DeWalt, but in a much smaller package. A great tool for a tight fit, this driver could be the DeWalt's little brother.

Hilti SID 18-A

This 18-volt impact is an awesome contractor pick that delivers serious power, performance and toughness. As a well-built, well-thought-out option, this impact driver provides the same tough-as-nails construction that you can expect from any tool out of this European-bred company. With a 3-amp charge, you can turn your batteries around quickly without having to buy a lot of extra while the LED light saves the battery and helps you put every pound of torque where it belongs.

Makita DT01WMakita Drill

With lithium batteries pouring more power into 12-volt tool systems, we're going to take a quick look at a couple options. Why? Because  the light weight is great when my (old, torn-up) shoulder doesn't want to do all that overhead work. This Makita is a lightweight at two pounds with the battery, but it's a serious contender everywhere else. They're very efficient in terms of delivering the same amount of torque as the higher-voltage impact drivers without all the extra weight and has the same heavy-duty construction as its larger-voltage siblings. 

Milwaukee 2462-20

I've got to admit, I've got a serious love affair going on with the M12 series, mainly because it's one of the few inexpensive systems that does more with 12-volt power. I can charge it off my renewable-energy system's battery bank as well as just tossing it in the SUV on my way to help out a friend with the optional accessory-plug charger. The series comes with an awesome assortment of battery options, and But let's look at this impact driver. Retailing for about $75 less than the Makita, it provides the same strong build and performance you'd expect out of any tool with the Milwaukee name stamped on it. Many contractors are so happy with it, they're replacing the 18-volt Milwaukee drivers with it because of the additional power available out of the newer Red Lithium battery packs.

If you're in the market for a new impact driver, Wallboard Supply Company is your tag-team partner in getting it done. We're proud to have served the four-state region for several decades and are happy to put that experience to work for you. Contact us today for more details on how we can help you with your projects.


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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.