The Best DeWalt Impact Drivers: How To Find The Right For The Job

The Best DeWalt Impact Drivers: How To Find The Right For The Job

The first DeWalt equipment was a woodworking machine in 1922, but these days, the company is all about advancing its technology and packing as much power as possible into each tool. From basic 12V drills and drivers to high-powered 20V MAX XR options, DeWalt offers something for everyone.

Here we’ll cover the different types of impact drivers the brand offers, how to find the best ones, plus our top seven recommendations for the best options on the market.

Bottom Line Up Front

For households and even small businesses or independent contractors, a reliable drill and impact driver kit is our top choice. The DeWalt 12V Cordless Screwdriver & Impact Driver Combo Kit (DCK210S2) tops our list as the best DeWalt impact driver for multiple jobs and scenarios.

Sometimes you just need a standard screwdriver drill, and DeWalt provides one in the kit. You’ll also have a reliable and robust impact driver (plus two batteries) without enough torque to tackle most light- to medium-duty and even some more heavy-duty tasks.

Different Types of DeWalt Impact Drivers

DeWalt has a range of impact drivers across different voltages and bit compatibilities. You’ll even find some surprising features on newer models. Here’s more about the different types of DeWalt impact drivers.

Basic Tool vs. Smart Features

Many of DeWalt’s tools are standard-issue power tools, but others come with Bluetooth capabilities and other tech specs. For most casual and home users, power tools with total connectivity are not necessary, but they can provide some peace of mind when it comes to deterring theft.

DeWalt’s “smart” tools include the phrase “Tool Connect” in their names, which signifies you can take advantage of tracking and other features via the compatible smartphone app. For a lot of us, this tech is not only unnecessary but also causes some frustration. It’s important to notice which tools have it and which don’t and purchase according to your preference.

New MAX XR Line DeWalt

New MAX XR Line

DeWalt’s most recent line of tools is the MAX XR. The line includes everything from impact drivers to combo kits, nailers, drills, and more, and offers expanded battery life, faster application speeds, better device runtime, and superior ergonomics.

If their Bluetooth-enabled tools weren’t forward-thinking enough, DeWalt is making sure to keep up with the competition in terms of expanding its product lines and continuously making improvements. You might also notice similar names on some impact drivers, as well as references to previous versions, which means changes are always rolling out to keep up with new tech and new information.

Brushless vs. Brushed Motor

Brushless motors are popular today because they reduce battery drain and can prolong the life of your tool. No maintenance is required with brushless motors, but that also means when the tool dies, it’s dead.

Many consumers prefer brushed motors because the older technology is often cheaper than brushless tools. As the market grows, though, we can expect to see fewer and fewer power tools with brushed motors. For now, DeWalt still offers a few, and one made it onto the list of our top picks.

Bare Tool Versus Kit

Like other tool companies, DeWalt offers its impact drivers as bare standalone tools and in the form of kits. Depending on what tools you already have at your disposal, as well as the battery type those tools take, you may opt for all bare tools or an entirely new kit with multiple batteries and a charger.

Cobbling together a full set of power tools from different brands can be challenging because of voltage differences, so make sure you pay attention to what your current tools run on before assuming you can interchange batteries and opting for a bare tool you’ll have to buy accessories for later.

We’ll include both bare tools and kits in our recommendations for the best DeWalt impact drivers.

How to Find the Best DeWalt Impact Drivers

How to Find the Best DeWalt Impact Drivers

From Bluetooth-enabled power tools you can track to Wi-Fi solutions for construction sites, DeWalt has achieved plenty of notable milestones in its time. Over the years, the company has honed its technology and produced some of the hardest-hitting tools out there. With so many choices when it comes to impact drivers, we know you’ll appreciate some guidance on how to find the best options with DeWalt. We’ll start with what scenarios tend to require an impact driver so you can determine whether one of DeWalt’s should be on your shopping list.

What is an Impact Driver?

Driver drills seem to be a thing of the past. For nearly any drilling or driving task you need to complete, there’s an impact driver that’s up for the challenge. But what is an impact driver and how is it different from other drivers?

Impact drivers use a different mechanism than drill/drivers to drive the bit, and you can only use bits with a hex shank (or purchase an adapter, in some cases). More compact and powerful than regular power drills, impact drivers are often noisier and a bit tougher to control as well.

Impact drivers are also lighter and more compact than regular drill/drivers, making them easier to wield than their bulkier predecessors. You can expect to make quicker work of most drilling and driving tasks with an impact driver than you would with a standard power drill or driver.

Power Options

18V power is standard for many power tool manufacturers, but the majority of DeWalt’s tools are 20V versions. DeWalt aims to produce tools most suitable for heavy-duty construction applications, which means the more power, the better.

And while the company offers other power tools in corded and pneumatic options, all the impact drivers are cordless, making it simple to narrow down your choices. Alternatives to 20V are still available, so determine what power type you want before adding a specific tool to your online cart.

In many cases, a 12V tool can deliver adequate resources for most DIY projects, so it’s not always wise to go for the biggest and best just because it’s available. We’ve covered the pros and cons for varying power outputs to help you narrow down your options.

Tool Connect Tech

While it’s not a novel concept for all manner of household devices to have Bluetooth connectivity nowadays, you might not expect your power tools to join the suit. But DeWalt recently rolled out Tool Connect, a service which allows users to track their tool and battery inventory.

You can see where your devices are, manage the use of it, and help eliminate losses. Tool Connect is also helpful for deterring theft, as the tracking features deliver real-time information on every tool in your lineup. Remote features include the ability to disable tools or batteries plus diagnostics monitoring.

Many of the tools in DeWalt’s inventory have Tool Connect, so you’ll need to decide whether the service is a must-have before shopping for your new impact driver. Look out for products with “Tool Connect” in their name to be sure the tools are compatible.

1. DeWalt DCF815S2 12-Volt Impact Driver Kit

DeWalt DCF815S2 12-Volt Impact Driver Kit

In a rare departure from DeWalt’s standard 20V offerings, the DCF815S2 is a 12-Volt kit with enough power to tackle basic tasks around the shop or home.

  • 12V power
  • Includes storage bag
  • Includes two 1.1 Ah batteries and charger
  • Shadow-free LED lighting
  • One-handed loading
  • Variable speeds
  • Multiple torque settings
  • 1,400 in. lbs. of torque
  • Belt clip
  • Weighs 2.2 pounds

If 18 or 20V power tools aren’t up your alley, DeWalt’s DCF815S2 might be the right fit for your toolbox. An all-inclusive kit provides the impact driver, two batteries, a charger, and a storage bag, which sets you up for handling most tasks around the house.

One drawback is the sensitive trigger; good luck honing in on detailed projects with the amount of power the driver packs. For general projects which don’t require a ton of precision, though, the DCF815S2 is one of the best DeWalt impact drivers for the job.

Pros

  • Ample torque
  • Lightweight batteries

Cons

  • Sensitive trigger; not ideal for detailed work

2. DeWalt DC825B Impact Driver

DeWalt DC825B Impact Driver

A surprisingly smooth impact driver without the kickback most drivers deliver, DeWalt’s DC825B has a special place in the hearts of non-brushless-motor enthusiasts.

  • Bare tool only
  • 18V power
  • 1,330 in. lbs. of torque
  • Anti-slip grip
  • Frameless motor
  • Replaceable brushes
  • Compact size
  • Weighs 4.6 pounds

If you find yourself lamenting all the new brushless motors on power tools, DeWalt has the answer to your needs. Its DC825B impact driver has a frameless motor with replaceable brushes, so while you can expect plenty of performance out of it, you can also prolong its life through regular maintenance.

Be sure to buy high-quality driver bits to pair with the DC825B, though, because the torque isn’t kind on cheaper, flimsier bits. The quick-attach chuck is a welcome feature, though, and makes it easy to swap bits as necessary.

Pros

  • No kickback
  • Accepts replacement brushes (a pro for some users)
  • Adequate torque for medium duty tasks

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Not brushless (a drawback for some users)

3. DeWalt DCF887B Impact Driver

DeWalt DCF887B Impact Driver

An impact driver for precision tasks? DeWalt says yes—with the DCF887B, which features a special speed for small and detailed jobs.
Variable-speed trigger (three speeds)

  • Three LED lights with 20-second trigger release delay
  • Precision Drive speed
  • 1,824 in. lbs. of torque
  • Includes belt clip
  • One-handed loading with easy grip chuck sleeve

Precision Drive speed is a highlight of the DCF887B, and it’s a welcome feature. Variable speeds are excellent, but the Precision Drive helps you zero in on more complex tasks without fear of stripping screws or snapping heads off entirely.

One drawback is the jump from setting 2 to setting 3; the higher power setting has massive torque, while most of us wish it had another setting in between to manage those “in between” type tasks.

Pros

  • Precision Drive speed
  • One-handed loading is convenient
  • Extensive use on a 20V battery (sold separately)

Cons

  • Lowest speed setting is only applicable for specific tasks
  • Big gaps between lowest and highest speed settings

4. DeWalt 12V Cordless Screwdriver & Impact Driver Combo Kit (DCK210S2)

DeWalt 12V Cordless Screwdriver

Twelve volts might not seem like much for an impact driver, but DeWalt’s DCK210S2 dual kit can handle most household tasks without fuss.

  • 12V power
  • LED lighting
  • Impact Driver (DCF815) and screwdriver (DCF610)
  • Two 1.1 Ah lithium-ion battery packs and charger included
  • Two-bit tips and belt clips included
  • 79 ft. lbs. (948 in. lbs.) of torque (impact driver)
  • 160-unit-watt output (screwdriver)

Both a screwdriver and impact driver come with DeWalt’s DCK210S2 kit, preparing you for nearly any household job you may encounter. With 79 ft. lbs. of torque in the impact driver, you might find the power a bit lacking in comparison with heftier models. For most household applications, though, it’s plenty of juice to complete the job without running down either battery.

Battery charging time is short, too, requiring only about thirty minutes to reach a full charge. An ergonomic design, plus lightweight construction, means both tools are handy and comfortable to work with over long periods.

Pros

  • Short recharge time on battery packs
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Relative low torque output

5. DeWalt DCF885B Impact Driver

DeWalt DCF885B Impact Driver

A versatile tool with go-anywhere sizing, DeWalt’s DCF885B impact driver is an excellent choice for users who frequently work in confined spaces or need to reach overhead to complete driving tasks.

  • 20V power
  • Three LED lights and trigger release delay
  • 1,400 in. lbs. max torque
  • Weighs 2.8 pounds
  • One-handed bit loading

A trim profile and low overall weight make the DCF885B a handy tool for users who need to complete overhead jobs or work in restrictive spaces. At under three pounds, the impact driver is handy and balanced, although it does get a bit loud when it’s working at full power.

Impact drivers often don’t have a reputation for being easy to handle, but the DCF885B is small and ergonomically sound; it only measures a bit over five and a half inches long. And at less than three pounds, it won’t wear you out during long days.

Pros

  • Narrow profile for working in tight spaces
  • Quick connect makes changing bits easy

Cons

  • Fairly loud

6. DeWalt DCF887D2 20V MAX XR Impact Driver Kit

DeWalt DCF887D2 20V MAX XR Impact Driver Kit

At 2mm shorter than its predecessor, the DCF887D2 can fit in almost any tight space, but it’s not just the size we love.
Features the DCF887 brushless 3-speed impact driver

  • 20V MAX XR power
  • Includes two 2.0 Ah batteries, a charger, a belt clip, and a box
  • Precision Drive speed for added control
  • 3 LEDs with after trigger delay
  • 1,825 in. lbs. max torque

Plenty of torque and even a Precision Drive speed for specialized tasks round out the DCF887D2’s offerings, earning it a spot on our best-of-DeWalt list. At 5.3 inches long, the size is also one of the impact driver’s best traits.

Even though it’s small and compact, the DCF887D2 offers plenty of power, with a maximum torque of 1,825 in. lbs., which can handle nearly any heavy-duty task you require. It’s also one of DeWalt’s 20V MAX tools, meaning it has superior ergonomics, upgraded features, and more.

As part of the XR series, the DCF887D2 kit also provides extended runtime and faster application speeds.

Pros

  • Precision Drive speed
  • Fits in small spaces
  • Exceptional runtime

Cons

  • Only three speeds limit the torque range somewhat

7. DCF888B 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Impact Driver

DCF888B 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Impact Driver

For teams or professional contractors, Tool Connect can prove an invaluable feature for overseeing tool security and functionality—and the DCF888B has it.

  • 20V MAX XR power
  • Tool only
  • Total Connect app compatibility
  • Diagnostics tracking
  • 1,825 in. lbs. max torque
  • Precision Drive
  • Bluetooth connectivity up to 100 feet

If you work alone, especially on hobby projects you, you might not see a need for the Bluetooth connectivity feature in your tools and batteries. For large teams or professional contractors, however, knowing where your tools are and how people are using them helps ensure their longevity and protect your investments.

Tool Connect lets you track your tools and batteries and run diagnostics to find out how they’re performing or whether they require charging. With 20V MAX XR power, the DCF888B also benefits from a longer runtime than comparable impact drivers.

Pros

  • Tool Connect feature for tracking and diagnostics
  • Precision drive speed
  • Exceptional runtime

Cons

  • App navigation is more complex than necessary

Comparing the Options

Product Type Power Best for…
DCF815S2 ¼-inch Impact driver kit 12V Heavy-duty household jobs
DC825B ¼-inch bare tool 18V Those who prefer brush motors
DCF887B ¼-inch bare tool 20V Precision tasks
DCK210S2 ¼-inch screwdriver and impact driver kit 12V Light-duty household tasks
DCF885B ¼-inch bare tool 20V Overhead jobs and tight spaces
DCF887D2 ¼-inch impact driver kit 20V MAX XR Long days and heavy-duty projects
DCF888B ¼-inch Tool Connect impact driver 20V MAX XR Multiple job sites and teams

Final Thoughts

For projects were a screwdriver drill just won’t cut it, an impact driver is the tool of choice. From completing tough drilling jobs to removing stuck-on fasteners, impact drivers are workhorses by nature, and DeWalt’s line of impact drivers is no different.
Each DeWalt driver provides excellent responsiveness, ample power and torque, and comfortable ergonomics for every setting. It wasn’t easy narrowing down our top choices, but we’re confident we’ve found the best DeWalt impact drivers for every application, making it easier for you to make a buying decision and get to work.

Head Builder

With a passion for home renovation projects of all kinds, we provide real user reviews, guides, how to articles to help any homeowner achieve their dream home. Whether you want to use electric or hand tools, our advice will help you build. From bathrooms to attics, to kitchens, we cover them all with skilled insights and real-life advice you'll love.

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