While the standard drill is invaluable to any craftsperson, it might be underpowered for some tasks. Impact drivers allow you to take on heavy-duty jobs, such as driving bolts or screws through concrete, metal, and other dense materials.
As you can imagine, impact drivers are significantly pricier than standard drills, typically costing hundreds of dollars. While there are cheaper impact drivers on the market, most of them are of poor quality. Finding a quality driver on a budget, therefore, will take a significant amount of digging.
To save you the hassle, we have reviewed numerous impact drivers-all under $100. Sit tight and take notes.
A Quick Glance of our Favorites in 2021
|Best Overall||BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C MAX Impact Driver||
|Best Value||TEKTON 2905 Manual Hand Impact Driver||
|Premium Choice||DEWALT DCF885C1 MAX Impact Driver||
|Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Impact Driver||
|Ryobi One+ P236 Cordless Impact Driver||
The 10 Best Budget Impact Drivers under $100
1. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C MAX Impact Driver – Best Overall
The BDC120C by Black and Decker is a low-cost but reliable impact driver that is ideal for light to medium-duty DIY tasks.
This unit comes with a motor that delivers a respectable 1,375 inch-pounds of torque, meaning that it can handle most applications with ease. Additionally, it also comes with a variable speed setting to allow you to adjust the motor’s speed to suit the needs of different materials. As a result, you enjoy greater control over your project.
The BDC120C runs on a 20V lithium-ion battery. When empty, this battery takes around 4 hours to charge to full capacity. Therefore, ensure to factor in charging time when planning for a project. While it only lasts a few hours at best when working at maximum capacity, the advantage of this battery is its reliability.
It is extremely durable, thus allowing years of service before you start thinking about replacements. Moreover, the BDC120C is compatible with other 20V batteries by Black and Decker, meaning you do not have to wait for the impact driver’s battery to charge if you possess another Black and Decker power tool.
This impact driver features a compact frame that allows you to access tight spaces that standard impact drivers would have a problem fitting into. Moreover, it comes with built-in LED lights for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions. What’s more, the BDC120C weighs in at only 3.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest impact drivers in production. This allows you to use it in awkward angles and for extended periods without fatigue, thus increasing your efficiency.
You will also appreciate the BDC120C’s fast-releasing hex chuck that makes swapping bits a breeze.
The major downside to this unit is that its motor is of the brushed type. Brushed motors degrade faster than brushless motors do. You will also find it not ideal for heavy-duty use. Nonetheless, the Black and Decker BDC120C impact driver is a compact and lightweight unit that would be great for household DIY applications.
2. TEKTON 2905 Manual Hand Impact Driver – Best Value
One of the best ways of saving costs without sacrificing quality is to opt for a high-quality manual tool as these will always be cheaper than motor-powered units. The Tekton 2905 is an example of a high-quality manual impact driver that can meet the needs of both professionals and DIYers.
This is a driver that will do everything a quality motor-powered impact driver does. The only difference is that you will be using your own strength to power the tool.
The Tekton 2905 particularly excels at loosening rusted or frozen screws and bolts. Even though it is a manual driver, you don’t have to apply brute force to get the job done. This driver utilizes the benefit of leverage to convert the strike of your hammer into high torque to allow you to take on the hardiest of jobs.
The compact, lightweight design of the 2905 enhances its practicality tremendously, thus allowing you to use it for numerous applications. Moreover, owing to its lightweight, you will be able to use it for long before you start to tire. Additionally, you can use it anywhere and at any time because it does not rely on power.
The Tekton 2905 is quite versatile as well, thanks to its reversible drive, which makes loosening left-hand fasteners a breeze. It also comes with a convenient, durable storage case to allow you to keep the tool and its components safe.
Its lack of an instruction manual, however, means that this impact driver can pose challenges to beginners.
Nonetheless, at its cost, the versatility and practicality of the Tekton 2905 make it arguably the best budget impact driver under $100 for the money.
3. DEWALT DCF885C1 MAX Impact Driver – Premium Choice
If there is one thing that you can expect from a DeWalt tool is reliability, and the DCF885C1 is no exception. Even though it is on the affordable side of the spectrum, this impact driver can hang with the best of them.
This tool sports a small frame, but it is an incredible performer thanks to a powerful motor that conveys up to 1,400 inch-pounds of torque. In addition, it can deliver up to 3,200 impacts per minute, thus allowing you to take on relatively tough applications with ease. It also comes with a variable speed setting to allow you to choose the most appropriate speed for a particular application.
This impact driver features a small, lightweight frame, which allows you to work in tight spaces. Moreover, weighing in at around 3 pounds, it means that you will be able to work for longer before fatigue starts to set in.
It also features an ergonomic design to enhance ease of use. The handle is comfortable while the weight of the driver is evenly distributed to allow for easier handling. It also comes with built-in LED lights to allow you to work in low-light conditions. This feature comes in handy, especially when working in tight, hard-to-reach areas.
The DCF885C1 comes with a ¼-inch hex chuck, meaning that it is compatible with most impact bits. It also accepts 1-inch bits. However, the manufacturer does not include bits in the package, meaning that you will have to purchase your own.
This unit runs on a 1.5Ah 20-volt battery. While it recharges quickly, the battery does not last super long, meaning that you should consider investing in extra batteries if you intended to take on labor-intensive applications.
Nonetheless, the Dewalt DCF885C1 is an affordable and reliable impact driver that has what it takes to handle most applications.
4. Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Impact Driver
If you are looking for a powerful and reliable budget driver, you should consider the Milwaukee 2656-20.
For starters, this impact driver delivers 1,500 in-lbs of torque, which is remarkable considering its small size. It also achieves up to 2,570 RPM with variable speed and 3,450 impacts per minute. As a result, this unit can drive screws into tough materials with ease. The variable speed setting means that you can optimize the driver to handle delicate materials without destroying them.
The 2656-20’s motor is equipped with Redlink Technology that allows it to be in constant communication with its battery to facilitate maximum efficiency, thus resulting in a longer lifespan.
This impact driver is also remarkably easy to use thanks to its ergonomic design and lightweight nature. Its compact head allows the unit to fit into tight spaces, while the ergonomic handle sports a textured rubber grip to enhance comfort during use. Additionally, it also comes with LED lights to allow you to work in dark spaces.
You will also appreciate the fact that the 2656-20 is compatible with batteries from other Milwaukee M18 tools. This is especially relevant, considering that the manufacturer does not include the battery in your order.
5. Ryobi One+ P236 Cordless Impact Driver
Ryobi is another power tool manufacturer that is renowned for its quality offerings, with the One+ P236 being one of their best budget products.
The P236 offers excellent performance thanks to its motor that delivers up to 1,600 in-lbs of torque, which is incredibly high for a cordless driver of its size. It also has a variable speed trigger to allow you to adjust the speed and power, thus enhancing your precision.
This impact driver is also quite user friendly. It is fitted with 3 LED lights to facilitate usage in low light conditions, as well as a keyless chuck for faster swapping of bits, thus enhancing your productivity. You will also appreciate the magnetic bit holder feature that allows you to have an extra bit with you at all times.
The P236 comes with an ergonomic handle that enhances comfort and ease of use immensely. Its rubber cover not only prevents the unit from slipping but also absorbs vibrations, thus giving you better control over the driver.
However, its battery and charger are sold separately.
6. ARES Manual Reversible Impact Driver
The ARES 70006 is another great manual impact driver that will prove its worth when it comes to loosening corroded, rusted, or frozen fasteners. With a few strikes of the hammer, you should be able to generate enough torque to loosen the most dogged of bolts.
The 70006 comes with four interchangeable bits with precision-milled tips to ensure they fit into the fastener perfectly. This design allows you to avoid the hassle of drilling and tapping a dogged bolt to loosen it. The rest of the set includes the driver itself, a ⅜-inch chuck, and a storage case.
This unit features an S2 steel alloy build and a corrosion-resistant chrome-plated finish for maximum durability. Additionally, it has an ergonomic knurled non-slip grip to enhance comfort and ease of use.
The ARES 70006 does have some drawbacks. It takes a while to get used to, and its bits are susceptible to breaking.
7. CRAFTSMAN Hand Impact Driver
The Craftsman CMMT14104 is a manual hand impact driver that can convert a hammer strike into 200 foot-pounds of torque. This allows you to loosen frozen and rusted fasteners with incredible ease. It can also tighten screws, bolts, and nuts.
This driver does not require any special skills to use, thus making it incredibly easy to handle.
The CMMT14104 package consists of the impact driver, five slotted bits, and Phillips fasteners. This means that it comes with everything you require to work.
Nonetheless, its bits are rather fragile.
8. GALAX PRO Hex Cordless Impact Driver
Galax Pro has been making waves in the power tools market due to their high-quality products. This cordless impact driver runs on a 1.3Ah Lithium-ion battery that gives you decent runtime before it needs recharging. It also comes with a battery fuel indicator to allow you to pace yourself during jobs.
This impact driver’s motor can deliver up 100 Newton meters of torque and 3,000 impacts per minute, thus allowing you to take on tough applications with ease. It also comes with a variable speed trigger that allows you to adjust your speeds to suit the needs of the material you are working on.
The Galax pro impact driver’s design facilitates ease of use. It allows for toolless bit change to enhance your efficiency, is compact to fit into small areas, and is light to enhance maneuverability. Additionally, it has an ergonomic handle with a rubber grip for enhanced grip and comfort during use.
Nonetheless, this unit is not ideal for heavy-duty or professional use.
9. Avid Power Impact Driver
This impact driver by Avid Power delivers up to 1,590 in-lbs of torque with a variable speed of up to 2,700 RPM to allow you to fasten screws and nuts with incredible speed.
Thanks to its compact, lightweight frame, it is easy and comfortable to use. It also comes with built-in LED lights for enhanced convenience.
The biggest issue with this driver is that finding a replacement battery is almost impossible. Additionally, its bits are of poor quality.
10. Skil ID572702 Hex Cordless Impact Driver
The ID572702 delivers only 1,100 lbs-in of torque, meaning that it is suitable for light-duty applications. It is easy to use thanks to an ergonomic design and variable speed trigger.
However, this impact driver has more than its fair share of downsides. It does not have enough power to handle medium to heavy-duty applications, it runs out of charge fast, and is significantly heavier than most impact drivers.
As mentioned, cheaper tools tend to be poorer in quality. Therefore, when looking for a budget impact driver, it is crucial that you do your homework first. This will allow you to find the best tool for your budget. Consider the following factors when looking for a quality driver:
The torque rating of an impact driver should be the first thing that you look at when evaluating a drill. Torque is the amount of rotational force that a power tool can generate. Therefore, the higher its torque rating, the better an impact driver will be at its job.
Manual or Motor-Powered
Manual impact drivers rely on your strength for operation. As a result, they are not as powerful as most motor-powered units are. Nonetheless, they are quite reliable, in addition to being extremely affordable. For heavy-duty applications, however, it is best to use a motor-powered unit.
Brush vs. Brushless Motor
Drivers with brush motors are less reliable, as brush motors are highly susceptible to wear and tear. Brushless motors, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive.
In the long term, however, it pays to invest in a unit with a brushless motor because it will last longer without requiring as much maintenance.
Ease of Use
The ease of use of an impact driver is determined by its design and features. A compact and lightweight driver allows you to work for longer and access tight spaces while LED lights enhance your visibility in such areas. Additionally, consider the ergonomics of the driver’s handle. It should be comfortable to hold and feature a non-slip grip to prevent accidents.
As with any other tool, you want your impact driver to last as long as possible before you need to recharge it. 2.0Ah batteries tend to have the longest runtimes.
Whether you are a DIYer or a professional, there is no denying how essential an impact driver is. Nonetheless, its effectiveness and reliability depend on its quality. This is why evaluating different products first before purchasing is important, especially when you are on a budget.
If you are yet to make up your mind, consider the Black and Decker BDC120C. It is compact, lightweight, powerful, and versatile enough to take on most applications. It is also incredibly reliable. If you are on a tight budget but looking for a high-quality tool, consider the Tekton 2905 manual driver. It is durable and generates great amounts of torque.
It’s over to you now to take your pick!
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Glance of our Favorites in 2021
- 2 The 10 Best Budget Impact Drivers under $100
- 2.1 1. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C MAX Impact Driver – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. TEKTON 2905 Manual Hand Impact Driver – Best Value
- 2.3 3. DEWALT DCF885C1 MAX Impact Driver – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Impact Driver
- 2.5 5. Ryobi One+ P236 Cordless Impact Driver
- 2.6 6. ARES Manual Reversible Impact Driver
- 2.7 7. CRAFTSMAN Hand Impact Driver
- 2.8 8. GALAX PRO Hex Cordless Impact Driver
- 2.9 9. Avid Power Impact Driver
- 2.10 10. Skil ID572702 Hex Cordless Impact Driver
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion