If you can spend this much on a cordless drill, and need to complete big projects with large fasteners, the top-rated Bosch 26618-01 outperforms other impact drivers in reviews with its combination of massive power and precise control. While other impact drivers can be tough to control -- you risk stripping screw heads, for example -- experts say the 18-volt Bosch's multiple speed and impact settings provide great control. Owners are impressed with the Bosch's ability to effortlessly tackle myriad tasks (one uses it to loosen the lug nuts on his Mack dump truck) and its ability to run for hours on a single charge.
The Bosch impact driver comes with two Li-ion batteries and a 45-minute charger, but This Old House magazine finds that the batteries recharge in 30 minutes, on average. For a budget pick, consider the 12-volt DeWalt DCF815S2 or Milwaukee 2450-22 (*Est. $140), both of which get high marks from pro testers and everyday owners.
Popular Mechanics and This Old House magazine both include the Bosch 26618-01 in their latest impact driver comparison tests. Woodworker's Journal recommends this tool, but doesn't mention any testing. HomeDepot.com and Amazon.com each post a handful of owner reviews for this model.
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The Bosch 26618-01 earns a 4.5-star rating here, making it one of the best of the nine impact drivers tested. Roy Berendsohn calls it "the most likely to survive a drop off a ladder," thanks to its rubber nose and handle, but it's "larger and heavier than comparable products" and "its speed/impact selector switch is hard to budge."
Review: Impact Driver Comparison Test, Roy Berendsohn
2. This Old House magazine
Sal Vaglica doesn't pick any favorites among the 16 impact drivers tested here, but some clearly perform better than others. Vaglica lists test results in detail -- number of screws driven per charge, etc. -- and praises the Bosch 26618-01 for its bright LED task light, super-controllable slow fastening setting and more.
Review: Tool Test: Impact Drivers, Sal Vaglica
3. Woodworker's Journal
Sandor Nagyszalanczy explains several different types of new impact drivers and other drill/drivers, recommending the Bosch 26618-01 as a versatile impact driver.
Review: Lithium-ion Drill/Drivers on the March, Sandor Nagyszalanczy, February 2012
Twelve customers have reviewed the Bosch 26618-01 here, giving it almost perfect ratings. Owners brag about its power and usefulness, both for building tasks and in the auto shop.
Review: Bosch 18-Volt Impactor MultiFunction with 2 Fat Pack Batteries and Charger 26618-01, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
With half a dozen owner reviews posted, the Bosch 26618-01 maintains a nearly perfect rating. One customer knocks off one star for the tool's stiff switch and a small tear in the rubber-like material around the chuck.
Review: Bosch 26618-01 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Impact Drill/Driver Kit, Contributors to Amazon.com