Best Bosch Impact Drivers

Updated April 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

10 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
232 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Bosch impact drivers

Last Updated April 2020

Power drills, also known as drivers, are important tools to have around when you’re driving screws into drywall, wood, or other soft materials. Impact drivers, on the other hand, are useful for driving screws into wood or metal, for driving screws and lag bolts with large diameters, and for tightening or loosening bolts that need to be extremely tight or have become fused or stuck.

If you’re looking to buy an impact driver, it’s wise to get one from a reputable manufacturer that you can truly depend on. Bosch is a company with a golden reputation. Since their founding in 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany, Bosch has been turning out strong, reliable tools. Whether you need to tighten or loosen bolts or tackle stubborn materials, Bosch has the impact driver to get the job done right. The company has a full line of drill/drivers that are either corded or cordless. Notably, the vast majority of Bosch impact drivers manufactured today are battery-powered, usually in the 12V or 18V ranges.

Whether you need a full kit or a replacement tool, Bosch has it. Read on for more information about Bosch impact drivers and our product recommendations.

When a drill/driver reaches the point where it can’t drive a screw any further, an impact driver can take over and get the job done.

Key considerations

Single-tool kits vs. combination kits

Single-tool kits

If all you need is an impact driver, you don’t need a combination kit. Bosch has standalone tools to replace the ones that have gone to that workshop in the sky.

When you’re working with masonry, concrete, or metal, an impact driver is a requirement, as ordinary drills won’t be able to handle drilling holes or driving screws into those types of materials. If you’re disassembling rusty machinery in which many of the bolts and nuts have frozen in place due to age or rust, you need an impact driver.

Combination kits

If you need to do all of the above-mentioned tasks in addition to driving screws into ordinary wood or drywall, Bosch has a solution: a combination kit that contains both a drill/driver and an impact driver. Although impact drivers can be used as ordinary drills, you can’t be assured of always finding drill bits that are designed to fit the hex-shaped chuck of an impact driver. A kit in which both tools are ready to go delivers a tremendous amount of flexibility.

Home or work

Are you looking for something to use around the house for weekend DIY projects, or are you looking for a tool for your job site? If you’re looking for a home tool, a smaller and less-expensive impact driver would probably meet your needs. If you need an impact driver for a work situation, however, a larger and more powerful tool is probably what you need. Bosch has you covered either way.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most impact drivers will only accept 1/4-inch hex bits. Round drill bits won’t work in an impact driver.

Features

Material

The outer shell of Bosch drivers is made of tough, impact-resistant ABS. The batteries are lithium-ion.

Color

All Bosch drivers use the same color scheme: blue with red triggers and red directional buttons.

Batteries

Bosch impact drivers with 12V batteries are the “home” versions of Bosch cordless power tools. They are lightweight and charge quickly — perfect for the weekend warrior doing some DIY projects around the house. These batteries are normally rod-shaped and fit into the bottom of the handle.

Tools with larger and heavier 18V batteries are the company’s professional-strength drill/drivers and impact drivers. These are large, rectangular batteries that detach from the bottom of the handle of the tool. They are exposed at all times.

A combo kit of small power tools

This kit gives you two small power tools for the price of one: a 12V drill/driver with speeds up to 1,300 RPM and a 12V impact driver with speeds up to 2,600 RPM. The drill/driver is small, compact, and easy to handle in a tight spot and overhead. The impact driver is equally small but robust and rugged enough to last for years to come. The lithium-ion batteries in the handles recharge quickly, in about 30 minutes.

Torque

The more torque an impact driver can deliver, the better suited it is for working with concrete, masonry, and metal. The smallest 12V impact drivers, whether from Bosch or any other maker, come with around 260 inch-pounds of torque. The largest 18V impact drivers have around 1,650 inch-pounds of adjustable torque. There may be some minor variations between manufacturers, but these figures are a good starting place. Of course, you should check the specs of any tool before you buy.

RPM

The revolutions per minute (RPM) will only apply if you’re purchasing a combination set or you intend to use the impact driver as a drill also.

Any automotive project — working a car engine, changing tires, loosening bolts — will be easier to finish with an impact driver than a drill/driver.

Bosch impact driver prices

Inexpensive: If you want to spend in the low range, budget $120 to $140 for a Bosch impact driver. Here, you will find 12V combination kits that have both a drill/driver and an impact driver. You will also find some 18V kits with just the impact driver. Looking for something cheaper? You’ll find a few bare tools with no battery or accessories for under $100. However, these tools require you to already have the battery and charger in order to use them.

Mid-range: The medium price range is from $140 to $165. Here, you’ll find high-quality 12V impact driver-only kits and lower-end 18V impact drivers.

Expensive: The high price range for Bosch impact drivers encompasses anything above $165. Here, you’ll find 18V combination kits with both drill/drivers and impact drivers.

DID YOU KNOW?

The torque created by an impact driver is normally two or three times greater than the torque produced by a drill/driver. This allows you to drive large bolts more precisely than with a regular drill.

Tips

  • Drill/drivers and impact drivers are complementary tools. Use a drill/driver to drill pilot holes. Then, use the impact driver to sink long bolts deep into posts and decking.
  • Impact drivers don’t have an adjustable clutch for the most part, so there is a learning curve associated with them. Practice on some scrap material to become accustomed to the feel of the driver before you start using it on a live project.
  • Changing the bit on an impact driver is different from changing the bit on a drill/driver. There is a collet that has to be pulled back to release the 1/4-inch hex bit, then pushed forward again to clamp it in place.
  • When you are removing a frozen bolt or nut, start slow. Gradually increase speed until the bolt or nut begins to move. Slow down and continue backing it out until it is loose enough to finish removing by hand.

A combination kit of pro tools

This set comes with an 18V 1/2-inch drill/driver and an 18V 1/4-inch hex impact driver, two 18V batteries, a charger, and a soft carrying case. The drill/driver is tough and compact, weighing only 3 1/2 pounds. The impact driver has 1,500 pounds of torque and 3,200 RPM. The battery life is impressive, and charging takes just 20 minutes. This is a professional tool kit that is ready for the workplace.

Other products we considered

We like the Bosch 12V Max 1/4" Hex Impact Driver Kit. It has two batteries so one is always ready to use, as well as a charger and a soft carrying bag. Weighing only 2.1 pounds (without the battery), it is compact and lightweight while still delivering 930 inch-pounds of torque and 2,600 RPM. A built-in power gauge lets you know how much charge is left in the battery.

We also like the Bosch 18V 1/4" Hex Impact Driver Kit. This is a professional-grade impact driver that uses a hammer-and-anvil system to concentrate 1,400 inch-pounds of torque to the tool, not you. It has a compact design and weighs just 3.2 pounds without the battery. It includes a battery, charger, and carrying bag. An LED light provides illumination while you work.

Before purchasing an impact driver, take a hard look at what kind of work you’ll be doing. Small home projects don’t usually require as much torque as larger projects or day-to-day construction work. Plan accordingly.

FAQ

Q. What is torque?
A.
Torque, or “moment of force,” is the turning effect of a rotational force applied to an object. It is how much twisting force is being applied, the rate of change of the angular momentum of an object. Common examples of torque are turning a key to unlock a door and pushing the door on its hinges to open it.
 

Q. How is torque measured?
A.
Torque is measured in foot-pounds or inch-pounds. A torque of 90 foot-pounds would result from a 1-foot long wrench with 90 pounds of force applied perpendicular to the wrench. That same torque, measured in inch-pounds, would be approximately 1,080 inch-pounds.
 

Q. Is torque important for drills and impact drivers?
A.
Torque isn’t especially important for driver/drills since they are simply boring holes or driving screws into wood or other soft materials. Torque becomes very important with impact drivers when you need to tighten bolts to a specified point or loosen bolts that have become frozen. It is also important if you are drilling into tough masonry, concrete, or metal.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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