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Updated November 2022
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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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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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Buying guide for Best Bosch impact drivers

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.

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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.

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Expert tip
Carefully assess your needs for a drill driver/impact gun based on future goals. Buy more power than you think you may want because, otherwise, you may regret not having that power later.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

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.

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."
STAFF
BestReviews

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.

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Expert tip
Store batteries in a cool, not cold or hot, area for longer-lasting charges.
BestReviews Home Improvment and DIY Expert

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.
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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.

Expert tip
Lithium batteries do not need to be fully charged. They will rebound well when partially charged too and you can get back to work faster.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

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.

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