top of the range best impact driver 2020

Best Impact Driver for Dry Lining November 2020

Best Impact Driver for Dry Lining March 2020 - Make Your Life Incredibly Easy

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When it comes to discussing politics, the weather, and the news, you are lucky if the modern man will even give you a response.

Get a group of them together, however, and ask them to decide which power tool is better than which, and you open Pandora’s box. Friendship is thrown out the window and loyalties are torn asunder. Just like with a favorite car make or a favorite lager brand, most men have a brand of power tools that they stick too. When you try and tell them that another brand is better, you should prepare yourself for a fierce argument with some potential name-calling. Especially when it comes to deciding what the best impact driver for dry lining is in March 2020.

Here at, our reviewers have over 70 years of combined experience in the drylining industry. Our team has hands-on experience with every brand on the market.

One of the most popular power tools used by dry liners across the country is the humble impact driver. In the past, impact drivers were weak cumbersome things, powered by old battery tech. They didn’t have much power and they were practically useless in any commercial setting.

Luckily, this has changed. With the constant innovation in the power tool industry, especially in terms of battery tech, the impact driver is making a very strong comeback. Whereas before, dry liners would almost solely rely on their screw-gun, nowadays the impact driver is used for almost everything. With their low weight, high power ratio, and long battery lives, they are the perfect versatility tool. They can be used for fixing metal, un-doing screws, and can even fix boards to the wall in a pinch. With this wide variety of uses, it is easy to see why most tradesmen have at least one impact driver in their toolbox.

Who Should Invest in an Impact Driver?


If you are doing a lot of fixing work, like fitting M.F ceilings and stud partitions, an impact driver is the perfect tool for the job. An impact driver delivers strong and quick rotational force, driving screws into the metal with ease.


Even though a good screw-gun is the most important tool for a boarder, impact drivers still come in handy a lot. When you are snagging a room, it is much quicker to fix proud or missing screws quickly with an impact driver, especially if you use a collated screw gun. Using your impact driver is much easier then dis-assembling the collated attachment just to fix a few screws.

Plasterers & Tape + Jointers

For plasterers and tape & jointers, you will rarely be using an impact driver to actually do work. You will however almost certainly deal with plots that have proud or missing screws. When this happens, it is often easier and more cost-effective to just fix the problem yourself with an impact driver, then to find the fixers and wait for them to fix their work.

Impact Driver requirements for Dry Lining (Buyers Guide)

So what constitutes the best impact driver for dry lining? Here is what we look for when we test the best impact drivers on the market:

Motor Type

The first thing we look at with any tool that is powered by a motor is the type of motor and the quality. This is escpecially important when considering the best impact driver for dry lining. Nowadays, we highly recommend looking for a brushless motor model, although you can find cheaper options that do not have a brushless motor, these tools are usually very underpowered compared to their brushless motor counterparts.

A brushless motor system relies on a different type of magnetic component to non-brushless. This removal of the brushed leads to higher efficiency, power delivery, and torque. They will last longer on a charge, driver screws with more power, weigh a lot less and have a much longer lifespan.

Extra Features

When looking at the best impact driver for dry lining, lots of them come with a familiar spec and price, sometimes the only difference is the extra features the tool comes with.

The first feature that makes an appearance a lot, and is a great additional feature, is the addition of an LED light. Tools that have a well-positioned light can be really useful in low-light situations.

Another feature we like to see is a belt hook. As most dry liners use a pouch and belt, being able to hook your impact driver on when not in used is a great touch.


The next thing we look at is how long the tool is going to last the average user. When you are forking out cash for a nice new impact driver, you will want it to last as long as possible before needing replacement

We look at several things when evaluating durability. The build quality, materials used, battery type, motor type, and general brand reputation. Some tool brands, for example, DeWalt, make tools that are really rugged and can handle everything you throw at them.

Price, Performance & Warranty

The final thing we look at when reviewing the best impact driver for drylining is the current price of the unit. We evaluate how strong the tool performs per every £ that you spend. We also check to see what is currently on sale. Sometimes more expensive units are slashed in a sale and becomes much more attractive.

We also take into consideration how good the tool’s warranty is. The longer and more comprehensive the better. Brands like Hilti, have an amazing no question asked warranty, although you have to pay more, to begin with.

The Reviews

Top Pick – Makita 18v Impact Driver

top pick best impact driver for drylining 2020

Our top pick, and best impact driver for dry lining overall, falls to the Makita 18v Impact Driver. What makes it even more attractive is the stupidly reduced price. At the time of writing this, this incredible impact driver is on sale for just over £100, which compared to the full RRP of £559, is more than just a bit of a bargain.

The new DTD171 is Makitas new offering to the 2020 impact driver season, and is their current flagship model, meaning you get a whole lot of tool, for a very attractive price tag. This model comes with a lot more torque then previous models has a strong brushless motor and two dazzling LED lights to give you perfect vision of your work. Inside, the bearings have had an overhaul too, upgraded from a needle system to ball bearings, which reduced wobble.

This incredible impact driver has, even more, to offer too. It has a new control board, which gives you increased control over your tool’s settings.

Choose from:

  • Assistance Mode – This slows the initial drive down to make screwing into wood a lot easier. Once it has sped up to full speed, it stays that way.
  • Bolting Mode – This mode is designed to stop screws from falling off your bit. It will stop before the point that would have sent your screw spinning off.
  • T-Mode A – This mode has been created to help you drive self-drillers into metal. It uses increased torque and speed to get the screws to bite before slowing down to give you control.
  • T-Mode B – Similar to T-Mode A, this mode is designed for self-drilling screws, this time for thicker plates.

The DTD171 also comes equipped with the following 4 pre-set speeds:  


  • 0 Load Speed: 3,600 
  • Impact Per 60 seconds: 3,800 


  • 0 Load Speed: 3,200 
  • Impact Per 60 seconds: 3,600


  • 0 Load Speed: 2,100 
  • Impact Per 60 seconds: 2,600


  • 0 Load Speed: 1,100
  • Impacts Per 60 seconds: 1,100

The quick switch button that is situated just above the trigger allows you to change your mode quickly without having to stop. This is really helpful if you are doing repetitive jobs. You can even program this button to switch between the modes that you actually use.

With the serious overhaul in tech and innovation and with the current incredible price, it is no wonder why the new DTD 171 is our top pick for the best impact driver.

  • Maximum Torque: 180 Nm
  • Impact per 60 seconds: 3,800
  • Max 0 Load Speed: 3,600 rpm
  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Electric Brake
  • 4 Speed Settings 
  • 4 Assist Mode Settings
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Built in light: Yes
  • Belt Clip: Yes
  • Body Length: 116mm
  • Body Weight: 1.2kg

Best Bare Unit – Dewalt XR Bare Unit Impact Driver

Best Bare unit impact driver for dry lining

For those of you on the market for the best value bare unit impact driver, there isn’t much competition for the Dewalt CDF887N XR. DeWalt has a massive monopoly in versatile tools. So much so that we hazard a guess that most tradesmen own at least one DeWalt product and battery.

For this reason, the best value bare unit falls to this DeWalt impact driver body. With an incredible price tag to match an incredible product, we have no worries recommending this as our favorite bare unit.

With reductions in the price across the board thanks to the new flagship model, last years model is still an incredible piece of kit.

This impact driver is the favourite of many tradesmen for a reason, is extremely light, feels great in your hand, and is very easy to use. As well as being comfortable it produces an incredible amount of power for a budget-friendly model.

With over 205nm of torque and a 3000+ RPM you never have to worry about this impact driver letting you down. As well as being lightweight and compact, this impact driver also comes with an LED light as well as variable speed settings:

Mode A – Precision (0000-1000RPM) – For when you need a more delicate touch like screwing in hinges and cabinets.

Mode B – Standard (1000-2800RPM) – For most jobs, this delivers a good amount of power and efficiency.

Mode C – High-Power (3000+ RPM) – This mode is for those tasks that require a bit of power. Long screws are the best example.

This impact driver is the perfect mix. You have power when you need it, long battery life and efficiency, a tiny profile, and some nice variable settings. For the price, there is nothing better.

  • Max Power: 205 Nm
  • Impacts per 60 seconds: 3,800
  • Max 0 Load Speed: 3,250 RPM
  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Electric Brake
  • 3 Speed Settings 
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Built in light: Yes
  • Belt Clip: Yes
  • Body Length: 134mm
  • Body Weight: 0.9kg

Top of the Range – Dewalt DCF888 XR Brushless Impact Driver with battery and TSTAK box

For a few years, DeWalt was happy to ride on the massive success of their DCF887 impact driver, which quickly found its way into most tradies toolboxes.

This year, however, they decided it was time to overhaul their flagship tool, and overhaul it they did.

Their new impact driver is built on the same platform as the last, it looks very similar, but under the hood, there are some massive improvements, as well as some innovative tech.

This impact driver allows you to change settings, monitor device health and even lock the device, all via your mobile phone. Via the app you can control the following:

  • 4 Levels of Adjustable Speed- Control the speed and power settings precisely and accurately via the phone app. You can add drive delay, to give you more control, as well as the LED brightness and how long it stays on for.
  • Battery Alerts – This impact driver will send your phone a message when it starts to run low, preventing you from running out mid-job.
  • Temperature – Check the health of your device, including the device temperature.
  • Lock/Unlock – You can now password protect your tools, stopping them from being powered on.
  • Borrow Mode- You can even set this impact driver to borrow mode. You input their name and the time they are allowed to borrow the tool and the impact driver will turn off if not returned on time.

This is the best impact driver on the market in our opinion. It may have a decent price-tag but it more than makes up for it in innovation and features. This is one cordless impact driver to keep an eye on, and is one of our favourite power tools to date.

This level of innovation is just a sign of the future of the tool industry, and we are extremely excited to see what comes next.

  • Max Power: 205 Nm
  • Impacts per 60 seconds: 3,800
  • Max 0 Load Speed: 3,250 RPM
  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Electric Brake
  • 4 Custom Speed Settings 
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Built in light: Yes
  • Belt Clip: Yes
  • Body Length: 134mm
  • Body Weight: 0.9kg

Best Value Package Including Batteries – Milwaukee Fule 18v

best value package including batteries

One of the other industry leaders in terms of the best impact drivers, if Milwaukee. Their impact driver package is our top pick for those who need batteries as well as their tool and want the best deal.

This cordless impact driver is also one of the most compact impact drivers on the market, making it perfect for smaller spaces and tight work areas.

Don’t let its size put you off however, this tool packs a mean punch. With an incredible 226nm of torque and an RPM of over 3500. This impact driver is made for serious heavy-duty work.

It also comes with a range of variable speed settings:

  • Mode A – Precision
  • Mode B – Sensitive
  • Mode C – Powerful
  • Mode D – Balanced

The battery life on this model is also incredible, with the two batteries you get in this pack you should be able to work all day without stopping by alternating the batteries.

  • Max Power: 226 Nm
  • Impacts per 60 seconds: 4,300
  • Max 0 Load Speed: 3600 RPM
  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Electric Brake
  • 4 Custom Speed Settings 
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Built in light: Yes
  • Belt Clip: Yes
  • Body Length: 134mm
  • Body Weight: 0.9kg

Best Combination Combi Drill + Impact Driver Package – Makita DLX2145TJ Package

best combi drill impact driver package

Our final category is the best combination combi drill & impact driver category. For those that need to upgrade their combi-drill as well as their impact driver this is by far the best package in terms of price and performance.

Included you get Makitas incredible impact driver, a combi drill 2 5.0Ah batteries and a charger, as well as a great box to store them

This is the same impact driver as our Top Pick, with added extras at a really tempting price-tag. Both these tools come with enhanced dust reduction technology, allowing you to work safer for longer.

Both drills also come equipped with 2 strong LED lights to enable you to see what you are doing. The impact driver also has one of the highest torque ratings on the market and the combi-drill has a hammer drill settings and attachable handle for drilling into masonry for hangers.

There is a reason that we voted this the best impact driver 2020, this cordless impact driver packs a serious punch and is one of our favourite power tools.

  • Maximum Torque: 180 Nm
  • Impact per 60 seconds: 3,800
  • Max 0 Load Speed: 3,600 rpm
  • Variable Speed Settings
  • Electric Brake
  • 4 Speed Settings 
  • 4 Assist Mode Settings
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Built in light: Yes
  • Belt Clip: Yes
  • Body Length: 116mm
  • Body Weight: 1.2kg

Impact drivers FAQ

Q: What are brushless impact drivers?

A: Brushless impact drivers are simply an impact driver that does not have a brushless motor. They are more efficient, powerful and last longer.

Q: What is an impact driver bit?

A: Impact drivers come with specifically designed mechanisms for attaching different bits. These bits usually come with a tag like “impact ready” and are treated with black oxide to give them strength,

Q: What is a compact impact driver?

A: A compact impact driver is simply a impact driver designed with a small profile, engineered to help you in confined spaces.

Q: Where should I buy my tools?

A: We like to use amazon, their delivery, prices and returns policy are second to none.

Q: What is the best impact driver for dry lining?

A: Our top pick or top of the range pick are our favourite choices.

What Other Tools Does A Dry Liner need?

If you are just starting out as a dry liner, or if you have been out of the game or a while you may be wondering what other tools you might need. Here are some of the best tools used in the industry today. Pair these with any of our best impact driver for drylining picks and you will be on to a winner.

Drywall Sander

If you are doing tape & joint work you will need a good drywall sander. These machines use friction and sandpaper to leave a smooth pristine finish on tape & joint work. Here are some of the best drywall sanders on the market.

Plaster Mixer

We have come a long way since the days when we had to mix plaster by hand with a stick. Nowadays we have powerful plaster mixers to help us work quicker and more efficiently. Here are some of the best plaster mixers on the market.


Screw-guns have come a long way. With a range of features from cordless guns to collated bits that load themselves with screws, every good dry-liner has a good screw-gun nowadays.


When you need to line up your work to precision, the best way to do so is with a strong and powerful auto-leveling laser.


Carrying pockets of screws is a thing of the past. Nowadays most tradesmen use high-quality pouches to carry their hand tools and screws throughout the day.


For firing metal into concrete or wood, you are going to need a high powered nail-gun. These can come in either electric or gas-powered variants.

Circular Saw

Still cutting wood by hand? Stop! With a circular saw, you can cut through ply and wood in seconds, saving you the RSI injury.


Hopefully, this article has helped you in your search for the best impact driver for dry lining. After reading this, I’m sure you can make your own informed and educated decision on what is best for you.

If not, we highly recommend either our top pick or our top of the range pick, the Dewalt 887 and 888

2 thoughts on “Best Impact Driver for Dry Lining November 2020”

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