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best impact wrench for the money


steve1616

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I was wondering what everyones thoughts were on impact wrenches from different companies.  I am going to buy a 20 volt max combo kit this week for my everyday tools, but I also need some high performance cordless impacts when I can't use air guns.  The tests I have seen put milwaukee impacts in the best performance for the money category, especially with the $100 instant rebate going on now.  I did see that dewalt has a new 3/8" impact coming out soon.  Should I wait in hopes that dewalt will come out with a new 1/2" impact with more torque and smaller form factor than the current offereing or just buy the milwaukee while I can get it cheap.  The milwaukee 1/2" impact will cost about 250 after rebate.  The only other impact testing better is the ingersol rand and snap on tools which are double the price so I am not interested in those tools.   

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Dewalt WILL come out with a 20v max 1/2" impact wrench, it's a no brain'er tool for the new line. Question is- When?

Price is a huge factor when shopping for a tool, If you need it now, or this year... I would probably go for something you feel comfortable with, and fit's your current budget. If you're going to end up with a tool that put's you outside the 20v max battery range, I'd go for the 18v DW059 version from Dewalt. You can find them on Ebay for super cheap. It's a great impact, and you could always pick up the dual port charger and have essentially one charger for all you need's.

dewalt20v4.jpg

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I already have a 1/2" impact similar to the DW059.  I currently own a 28 volt Milwaukee impact that is rated similar to the DW059.  The only problem I have with these impacts are that they are just too big for a lot of applications.  I think that a really powerful 3/8 will do most of my work, but I need a fairly compact 1/2" drive also.  I am hoping that Dewalts new 3/8 drive will have similar specs to Milwaukee's current 3/8 impact.  Then again, I am not sure how specs add up in the real world.  I don't know if milwaukee fudges numbers a little compared to the dewalt.  For example, my friend has a ridgid that has better specs (more torque) than my dewalt 1/4" impact driver, but my dewalt will put in 2 fasteners to his single fastner. 

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I already have a 1/2" impact similar to the DW059.  I currently own a 28 volt Milwaukee impact that is rated similar to the DW059.  The only problem I have with these impacts are that they are just too big for a lot of applications.  I think that a really powerful 3/8 will do most of my work, but I need a fairly compact 1/2" drive also.  I am hoping that Dewalts new 3/8 drive will have similar specs to Milwaukee's current 3/8 impact.  Then again, I am not sure how specs add up in the real world.  I don't know if milwaukee fudges numbers a little compared to the dewalt.  For example, my friend has a ridgid that has better specs (more torque) than my dewalt 1/4" impact driver, but my dewalt will put in 2 fasteners to his single fastner. 

The 3/8 impact in DeWALT is a better performer than the Milwaukee. In all honesty though, their current 1/2inch impact is a good tool, but DeWALT will have a better option in the 20v platform in the (hopefully) near future.

If 3/8inch will do what you need though, just wait for the DeWALT 20v, it is coming out soon, and is best in class.

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Thanks for the info.  I think the 3/8 would be able to do most of what I need.  I can hold off a little longer on the 1/2" impact.  Is the new 3/8 impact you are talking about the DCF883?  Does it have more torque than your current 3/8 offering.  The current  3/8 impact (DC823B) shows it rated at 125 ft-lbs.  Will the new impact be rated at higher torque?  The fascination I had with the milwaukee impact was because it was rated at 166 ft.-lbs. for the 3/8 and 450 ft.-lbs. for the 1/2".  I would love to stay with dewalt on everything if their new stuff would be more powerful.

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How soon will Dewalts new 3/8" impact come out in North America.  I am not sure the 12 volt will have the power I am wanting. 

Also, does anyone know if the new brushless impact driver that dewalt is coming out with is way better than their current 20 volt imipact driver.  Maybe I should just wait until this new stuff is released.

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How soon will Dewalts new 3/8" impact come out in North America.  I am not sure the 12 volt will have the power I am wanting. 

Also, does anyone know if the new brushless impact driver that dewalt is coming out with is way better than their current 20 volt imipact driver.  Maybe I should just wait until this new stuff is released.

You will not have to wait long for the impact wrench. I cannot talk about dates until it is officially announced, but I can tell you that it is soon. As far as the brushless impact driver, there are definitely benefits to brushless, but it will likely be significantly more money, so it would depend on what you need.

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kjones, how much better is the new 20 volt max impact driver compared to the old 18 volt impact driver?  I really want to buy the new 20 volt impact driver, but I wish there some testing out for comparisons.  The only thing that scares me a little is that I have seen testing that shows the milwaukee impact driver being far superior to the old dewalt DC827.  This doesn't mean anything since they didn't test the 20 volt line, but it makes me a little hesitant.

Here is some of the testing I am referring to.  

http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/industry-news.asp?sectionID=1490&articleID=1721612

These seem to be fair testing, and the dewalt 827 didn't fair all that great.  Since the 3/8 impact is based off of the impact driver platform, that is why I have hesitation regarding the dewalt 3/8 impact driver.  My hope is that the 20 volt would outperform the DC827 just like the milwaukee did in the tests above.  

I did want to say that I had a chance to test out the new dewalt 20 volt impact driver vs. the milwaukee impact driver, but there was a huge problem with the test.  The Dewalt was brand new out of the box, and they charged the batteries fully.  The milwaukee was a brand new bare impact driver.  For some reason, the local place put an old battery on the milwaukee impact driver.  The dewalt was way better in the speed test I did, but I am not a nooby to power tools, and it was very obvious that the old milwaukee battery was no good.  It acted just like the old batteries from my V28 system.  My V28 power tools seemed like new tools when I got a couple of new batteries.  

I am dumbfounded as to why the local supply store would test the tools for me, but handicap one of them.  It is a shame because I was really hoping to have a good test between the two different brands.

I just want to make sure that I get the best 3/8 impact that I can.  I am going with the 20V Max for all my other tools so it would be a bonus to share the same batteries instead of having both dewalt and milwaukee batteries. 

Kjones, could you give me your thoughts on the testing above.  I know your a dewalt guy so I am sure you have tested everything.  Would the new 20V impact be way better than the old 18 volt impact? 

   

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I haven't watched the video above, and probably will not have time for a while, so keep that in mind when reading this.  

There can always be specific tests built (or randomly performed) where any tool can outperform another.  For instance, I have seen a really obscure test done where a Ryobi performed faster and longer than a Milwaukee; obviously not the results you would expect to see, nor are they indicative of the better tool.  This is not to say that the test in the video is unfair (as I mentioned, I have not watched it), but that tests where you vigorously perform the same application until the battery dies does not always realistically replicate what is done in the field/job site.  (there is certainly a place for these tests, as you know, we do them all the time!  So I am not saying that there is in purpose to them.)  In respect to Milwaukee, I would say that Impact drivers/wrenches are the single best tool they do.  I know that I am obviously biased, but I honestly think that every single other tool Milwaukee makes is "creamed crap", but they do a pretty good job with impacts.  That being said, I have been a part of some pretty rigorous product development testing, where I watched a real world user put the DC823 up against the DeWALT 1/2 inch and Milwaukee 1/2 inch impact wrenches, and believe it or not, it dramatically outperformed both of them!.  The DeWALT's simply hit harder, and are well timed with RPM's and IPM's.  They have these tools dialed.  

Also, the DCD885 runs at 400RPM faster than the 18v cousins, so I would assume that the forthcoming 3/8" impact wrench will also be set at different ratio's than the 18v's.  Lastly, the DCD885 does outperform the Milwaukee 18v in every test that I have done, but that is not to say that there is not a specific application that I have not found yet where the Milwaukee would be faster.

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I am agreeing with everything that you are saying.  This is why I am going to buy the 20 volt max for my core line of tools.  I was only interested in the milwaukee for impact purposes only.  I absolutely hate milwaukees drills.  Dewalt has 3 usable speeds compared to Milwaukees slow and slower speeds on the drill.  I do think milwaukee makes a decent sawzall, also. 

One last question.  In your testing, does the DCD885 outperform the DC827?  If it does outperform it, does the DCD885 outperform the DC827 by a decent margin?  Oops, that is 2 questions.  I really appreciate your input. 

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Kjones, don't worry about my last questions.  I got the answer myself.  I tested my dewalt DC825 vs. the DDCF885.  I sunk 3/8 by 2.5" lags into a 4X4 block.  I was only concerned with speed of application.  I have plenty of batteries so I really don't care about duration.  My DC825 with nicads put the lags in on average of .15 seconds faster than the new model.  They both seemed identical in performance, and they were both spectacular.  I really liked the feel and lights on the new model.  Both models sunk 3" deck screws faster than you could really get a good test on.   

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I think Dewaltdude is going to do this test eventually.  I think the tools were probably exactly the same.  I am pretty sure the time descrepancy was my fault running the stopwatch.  My local tools store was kind enough to let me test this, but I think they are getting a little annoyed with me.  They just want a sell at this point, and I will buy, but I just need a dead tool and 2 batteries to get the promotional deal. 

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The tools are actually pretty different, so the results are actually a bit surprising to me. The 20v runs at a higher rpm, so I am not too surprised that they where the same with large lag bolts, but the 3 inch deck screws do surprise me, as I would assume the 20v would be a good deal faster. I have tried this with smaller screws (2 inch or smaller, as it was just screwing into 2x12's), and the 20v was definitely faster. It will be interesting to see someone do a video of this test.

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I think the newer model was a little faster on the 3" deck screws, but they both sunk them so fast that I don't think you would notice much difference on the job.  I didn't time the 3 inch deck screws because I felt like I was already pushing my luck with the tool store guys.  I was annoyed at one thing.  One guy was telling me that they were an industrial store, and that the tools they sell have better parts in them than cheaper versions at places like home depot.  I think this is a lie.  I would think that if the kit has the same part number than it would be the same whether I bought it from them or home depot or dewalt outlets, and etc.  Does anyone know the real answer to this.  I think the store was lying to justify their higher pricing.

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1million percent false! That rumor is definitely outthere, but the absolute truth is that with DeWALT tools, if it has the same model number, it is made the same regardless of what distributor you find it. Imagine the logistics involved if a company where to try and make a crappy model and a quality model, with no distinguishing features between them. They would never be able to track shipments, warranties, etc. I can't speak to other products sold at big box stores, but DeWALT does not do this. If the guys at the store try to tell you that again, feel free to correct them, and if they argue the point, let me know and I will call them myself!  ;)

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haha..seriously. I wish I had been with you... I mean seriously in the us where  dewalt depends on Lowes and depot. I'm in both stores all the time I  walk the tool aisle no matter what because I love a sale. When you buy when you don't havee to have to You save Money. Could you imagine trying to change a part on a tool you paid hundreds of dollars for to they gave you a cheaper version of he real thing  >:(

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Thank you for the piece of mind.  I was pretty sure the salesman was lying, but I am glad that you removed all doubt.  I am going back there this week so I will let you know if he keeps pushing the issue.  The local place is offfering a good deal if I can find a tool to trade in, but I found a Dewalt outlet center online that is selling the same kits so much cheaper that I think the local place needs to come down in price a little.  Home depot is selling the same kit for over $120 cheaper.  I don't like the bags all that much for the new Dewalt kits, but that doesn't affect me anymore since I bought the Dewalt tuff system which is awesome. 

I even found a place online selling the Dewalt 3 amp hour battery for $59.     

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