When it comes to power tools with electric motors there is one technology that stands out above all others. Brushless motor design has greatly improved all types of tools. And if your budget can stretch to it, then you’re always better off with one of these.
Why are brushless motors better?
There are two advantages that come with brushless technology that are vital especially if you’re a contractor where the tools are in use all day every day.
First of all, these motors run a lot cooler with far less friction. That means they don’t overheat as easily and wear is kept to a minimum. The result is that you can use the tools for longer, without having to worry about overloading them.
Secondly, they use up to 50% less energy when combined with smart electronic monitoring. That means you have less downtime to switch batteries. And you need a lot less back up batteries to drag around as well.
Top of our list Is this DeWalt brushless impact driver. This shouldn’t really be surprising as the company is one of leading tool makers and one of the early adopters of brushless technology. The motor is able to deliver torque at 3 different speed settings. This is one of the stand out features, as it really gives you flexibility to adapt to precision jobs. And at full power you’ll get a huge 1800 pounds of torque.
You also get 2 Lithium-Ion batteries included. That means you’ll always have a backup as long as you keep it charged. The one downside to mention here is that the charger is a little bit on the slow side.
The overall design is very compact, which makes the power output even more amazing. This makes it suitable for use in tight spaces. And if light is limited, then you can turn on the LED bulbs for a clear view.
The included hard case is excellent to keep things safe, even at a busy jobsite or in the back of your truck while in transit.
If you need power and top quality workmanship, then you really won’t go wrong with this option.
The second strongest brushless motor on this list is built into the Milwaukee drill/driver. With 1500 pounds of torque you’ll be able to deal with even the toughest jobsite work, knowing that you have something reliable.
What’s great about all Milwaukee products is that the included batteries are very fast charging. This model is only the bare tool and battery, and doesn’t include the charger. Just make sure you select a branded fast charger to your order if you don’t already have one. That combination can have a battery fully charged in 30 minutes.
The built-in LED lights are going to be a feature you can’t live without. If you ever find yourself in a tight and dark place, then you don’t have to worry about having one hand tied up with a torch. It’s convenient and a lot safer to work in this way.
In addition to the brushless motor there is an electronic monitoring system. This ensure that the amount of battery power delivered is at an optimum to reduce energy consumption. And it also protects the motor from overload. The result is a tool that will last many years longer.
The gearbox has two different speed settings. At the low range, you have a huge amount of control to do precision work. And at full power you’ll be able to enjoy the effects of 1500 pounds of torque.
The only real negative is that it’s a bit on the heavy side. So, if you do a lot of overhead jobs, then it might not be the ideal choice.
This Makita brushless impact driver kit includes everything you might need. First off, it has a powerful motor that delivers 1500 pounds of torque. That should be enough for the majority of jobsite work. Power is transferred using a 2-speed gear box. If you have precision work to do where you need to go slowly, then you’ll have a reliable tool for the job.
And at full power you’ll get through tough jobs in no time, with total reliability.
This system has an electronic monitor in place that constantly checks the power output and adjusts the energy input. As a result, you get up to 50% more time out of every single charge.
It also keeps a close eye on longer periods of high torque and heat being generated. This helps to avoid overloading the motor for any length of time. The gears are fully made from aluminum alloy which is lighter and much harder wearing. You’ll be glad for this feature when you see how many years of work you can get out of it.
To help you get more work done in darker places there are LED bulbs built into the front. They are low energy and won’t drain the battery in a noticeable way.
The main downside is that the power output is more to the upper side. Even in low speed it’s not really suitable for working with soft wood.
Sometimes you need an impact driver for tight spaces or overhead work, where weight is going to be an issue. The solution is this Bosch driver which weighs just 1.6 pounds. That is incredibly light and you’ll be able to hold up high for so much longer than any other device on this list.
Despite being small and light, it still packs 975 lbs-in of torque. Not enough for really tough jobs, but it’s a great tradeoff for certain types of jobs. If you want to avoid pains in your arms and shoulders and get stuff done quicker, then this is what you need.
It also packs a very fast 2600 RPM driving speed. That means you can fly through the majority of lighter work without any delays.
You also get LED bulbs built-in for extra visibility. Even in well-lit places shadows can be a problem and very annoying. With the bright LEDs, you won’t have to worry about that.
With excellent German engineering and precision manufacturing you’ll have a tool that lasts for years even under heavy use. The only downside is that the handle is a little bit on the large side. If you have smaller hands then it might not be that comfortable.
Another top of the range product is this Porter Cable driver. It does come at t a higher price tab, and you don’t get much in the form of accessories. But what you do get is a powerful and exceptionally long lasting machine.
The driver speed runs up to 2700 RPM to help you get through lots of work in a very short period of time. And for the tougher jobs you get a total 1400 pounds of torque. Not the highest on this list, but it is reliable and effective.
Your shipment will include two 20V battery and charger that are designed to last a long time. For heavy commercial use that is an absolute must in order to reduce your downtime to a minimum.
Because you’ll probably be using it for long parts of your day, it’s also important that it’s not too heavy and is well balanced in your hand. As soon as you pick up this driver you will notice how comfortable it holds.
And when you need to switch between precision and full power impact driving you don’t want that to happen suddenly. With this model, you get a nice and even seamless transition to give you a lot more control.
The downside with this option is that it only has one speed setting. So, if you have a lot of precision or softwood work to do, then it’s probably not that suitable. And the charger is a little on the slow side.
Comparing different products always comes down to understanding the different marketing language being used. To cut through all that, we put together this list of main features to focus on.
There are two things to look at when it comes to power output: RPM and torque. The revs will tell you have fast the tool will spin. And the higher this is the quicker you’ll get through your work. Torque is what tells you how much twisting power can be provided.
This is important for tougher jobs with harder materials and large screws and bolts.
Sometimes a single gear set up with only one speed setting will be fine. But if you do different types of jobs where you often switch between precision and full power then you will want to look for 2 or 3–speed gearboxes.
You just have a lot more control and it won’t interfere with top end power. However, it will add a bit to the cost of the product.
Working with power tools all day can be tough. And the heavier the tool the more strain there is on your arms and shoulders. Lower weight often means less power though, so you have to find a careful balance between the two.
In this day and age, we would not recommend getting any tool that doesn’t have LEDs built-in. Once you have used them, you really won’t want to go back. They are such a cheap feature to include, that it’s surprising more companies don’t have them by default.
Even in well-lit places, you’ll get caught out with shadows. And having a hand occupied with a torch is just not going to be an ideal solution.
This concludes our review of the best brushless impact driver options currently available. If you haven’t already done so, then check out the links to Amazon above. With every single option, you will have enough features to really make your work projects easier.
Pick your budget and then see which tool fits that range the best.