When cordless tools first hit the market, they started with drill/drivers. This amazing tool gave everyone from carpenters to do-it-yourselfers a way of getting home improvement projects done, without having to drag out an extension cord. Not only was it cordless, but it functioned both as a drill and as a driver. That combination hadn’t existed before. The only ones who had power screw-runners were drywall hangers, who used a corded screw gun.
Cordless power tools have come a long way since those early days. Now we have a plethora of cordless tools, with new ones being invented all the time. One of the most useful of these is the cordless impact.
The cordless impact improves on the screw sinking ability of the drill/driver by adding impact power to it. This allows a relatively low power tool to sink much longer screws, and even to sink them into harder woods. For situations where it is necessary to drive screws into materials such as pressure treated wood, a cordless impact provides the power to cut through the resin, which usually binds up a screw being driven by a drill/driver.
Today’s handyman or carpenter needs a drill and impact driver kit, as much as the carpenter of yesteryear needed a hammer and saw. These power tool combo kits provide the means of working on a large amount of home improvement projects, along with new construction. But, if you’re going to buy one, you want to get the best drill impact driver combo kit you can for your money.
We’ve searched long and hard to find the best drill and impact driver combo kits around. There are lots to choose from, but these five are the best and most popular power tool combo kits around:
Makita LCT200W 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Combo Kit
Makita was one of the earliest manufacturers of cordless power tools and is still one of the greatest innovators, with one of the most extensive cordless tool lines out there. They are known for high quality products that last. This has to be the best drill combo kit out there, with a 480 in/lb drill/driver and a 1280 in/lb impact.
Of all the cordless tools out there, Makita has the fastest recharge time, at an amazing 15 minutes. With the two 18 volt Li-Ion batteries supplied, and the fast recharge time, this one will keep you going, instead of being forced to take breaks while you wait for your batteries to charge. The fast charger protects the batteries, even while providing the fast charge, so that you get 2-1/2 times the amount of charge cycles over earlier models.
The kit comes with a nice soft carry bag. Both tools have have a built-in LED work light, making it easier to work in dark places. Both tools are variable speed, with two speed ranges.
Bosch CLPK232-181 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 2-Tool Combo Kit
The next in our lineup of best power tool combo kits is this kit from Bosch. Although a bit less expensive than the Makita kit, it provides more torque in both the drill/driver and the impact. That means more power for drilling holes, sinking screws, and even loosening stubborn bolts. The drill provides 600 in/lbs of torque, while the impact provides an amazing 1600 in/lbs.
Bosch’s charging system isn’t quite as fast as the Makita, boasting a 30 minute charge cycle, rather than 15 minutes. The kit comes with two slim pack batteries, rather than the higher capacity fat packs. However, these tools will work with both types of batteries, along with any other Bosch 18 volt battery.
Both tools are variable speed, with a dual-speed range selector. They come nicely packed in a soft case for ease of taking them to the jobsite. Both tools feature LED headlights, and the impact has externally accessible brushes for ease of maintenance. The chuck on the drill/driver is ratcheting to reduce chances of loosening, a nice feature to have.
Porter-Cable PC218IDC-2 18-Volt NiCd Drill/Impact Driver 2-Tool Kit
The next best drill combo kit comes from Porter-Cable. This kit has the advantage of being considerably less expensive than any of the others we’ve included on this list, contributing to its popularity. But, don’t let the low price put you off, it’s still a powerhouse, providing 440 in/lbs of power in the drill/driver and 1600 in/lbs for the impact.
These tools use Ni-Cad batteries, so don’t expect a quick charge time. Not only that, but with Ni-Cads, you have to give them a full charge, as the batteries have a “memory.” While two high capacity batteries are included in the kit, they won’t keep you working as well as Li-Ion batteries do.
Both drill/driver and impact have LED worklights to make it easier to use the tools in tight places, where there isn’t enough light. The drill/driver boasts and all-metal keyless chuck for long life, without problems. This chuck is supposed to be excellent at avoiding back-off, so you won’t have to worry about it loosening up and losing your bit.
Makita LCT314W 12V Max Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-Piece Combo Kit
If you’re not needing as much power in your tools, you might want to consider a 12 volt drill and impact driver kit. While many think of 12 volt cordless power tools as being obsolete, there is still a great market for them, especially amongst homeowners, who don’t need all the power that the pros need. This is probably the best power tool combo going for a 12 volt kit.
These tools still feature Makita’s fast charging system, but in a much more compact size. Both tools are under 2.2 pounds, making them great for women to use, or for use when you have to do a lot of overhead work. The compact size fits into tight places where their larger 18 volt cousins can’t be used.
The drill provides 200 in/lbs of torque, while the impact provides 800 in/lbs. While not as much as the 18 volt units we’ve been looking at, that’s still enough for a lot of tasks. The kit comes with a compact flashlight, which will run nine hours on a single charge. There’s also a nice hard case for holding everything in the kit.
DeWalt DCK211S2 12-Volt Max Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit
Rounding out our list of best drill impact driver combo kits is another 12 volt kit, this one form DeWalt. The really nice thing about this kit is that the impact has three LEDs mounted around the chuck, effectively eliminating shadows and providing much better illumination. The drill/driver has a single LED, mounted below the chuck.
Both tools are variable speed, with two speed ranges. The impact provides 948 in/lbs of torque, making it considerably more powerful than the Makita. The manufacturer doesn’t provide a torque rating for the drill/driver, instead stating that it provides 189 UWO (unit watts out). Some manufactures are switching to this system of rating power on tools, which doesn’t easily convert for comparison’s sake.
These units aren’t quite as lightweight as the Makita units, but still considerably lighter than the 18 volt models. They both come with belt hooks, which the Makita 12 volt units can’t accommodate. A soft kit bag makes it easy to carry everything around and keep it together.
So, there you have it, the five best cordless drill and impact driver kits on the market, as chosen by users. Any one of these kits would be great to have for any home improvement project. It’s up to you to decide which one best fits your budget and your needs.