Ridgid - R86034K Hyper-Lith X4 18v 1/4 in. Cordless Impact Driver (Rating: 5)

I have been debating on picking up an impact driver for quite some time. I have a nice 14.4v Dewalt cordless drill and figured why would I also need an impact driver? After doing some extensive research and reading reviews online, I landed on the Ridgid impact driver offered by Home Depot. With a current price tag of $169, it's less expensive than some of the other brands which was appealing to me as this felt a little more like a "want" purchase instead of a "need". After using this impact driver extensively over the past few months, I think this drill has secured its place in the "need" category for my workshop.

This little powerhouse is very light, comfortable to hold, and when I need light, the LED light is placed much better than my Dewalt where the chuck casts a shadow on the hardware. I do not do much building in the dark where I need the additional light, but fortunately I know it's there if I need it. The speed with which the chuck spins takes a little bit of getting used to. If you're not careful, it will take off on you. This driver will bury a screw into a 2×4 and keep going all the way through if you keep the trigger engaged.

I primarily use it to drive in screws (regular phillips heads and also square head pocket hole screws). The quick release bit change is fast and efficient. With the speed of the head, I wouldn't recommend it on any fine woodworking projects, but for workshop projects and outdoor applications, the speed and power is great. The impact action is a life saver on certain projects. As an example, I secured some french cleats made out of ¾" plywood on my walls in the workshop to hang some cabinets. The driver had no problem driving 3" screws without a pilot hole directly into the studs with one hand while I was standing on a ladder. I was sold on the power of this drill from that day forward.

The weight of the product to me is the most appealing aspect. I can use this drill for 8 hours and not have any soreness in my wrist. It will not take the place of my other cordless drill, but for basic driving in of screws, its primary job, it does it incredibly well. I can't offer a detailed review of this product in comparison to other brands, but I can say, for the cost/benefit, it's hard to imagine another impact driver performing much better (or at least enough to justify the added cost). The only potential downfall with this particular one was the fact that it only came with one battery. The battery life is very good and the charge time is very quick, so I've never had an issue planning ahead a little if I know that I will need the battery life. There's an on board battery indicator as well which also lets me know I won't run out of battery during a critical point in assembly.

Overall, I would consider this a great addition to my shop.