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How to choose the right voltage

Shop for Cordless Impact Drivers

 
The power of the impact driver depends on the voltage The power of your cordless impact driver largely depends on the voltage of its battery. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the tool will be.

Cordless impact drivers are available with voltage ratings from 10.8 to 18 volts.

The voltage of a impact driver is often written on the battery The voltage of a cordless power tool is often printed on the side of the tool itself, or on the tool’s battery.

Choosing the right voltage

Voltage dictates the screw and material the impact drive be used with With other cordless tools such as drill drivers or screwdrivers, the voltage you choose usually dictates the size of screw and toughness of material that the tool will be able to get through.
Low voltage impact driver being used on metal However, because cordless impact drivers are, in general, much more powerful, even the low voltage models can tackle tough materials such as hardwoods and soft metals.

As a result, the voltage you choose for your impact drive simply dictates how quickly you can drive screws into tough materials.

Stopwatch Quite simply, an 18 volt model will be able to insert or remove screws and drill holes faster than a 10.8 volt model, but it will probably be heavier. This is because higher voltage batteries usually contain larger cells, making them bigger and more weighty.

That extra power is also likely to increase the price of the cordless impact driver.

Consider the following when deciding which voltage rating you need:

Wonkee Donkee says "To ensure you select the right tool for you, think about the qualities most important to you and make your decision based on those."

How much work do you want to do?

impact drivers being used on wood, plastic and metal Most cordless impact drivers are capable of driving small and large screws into a variety of materials such as hardwood and softwood, plastic and soft metal.
High voltage cordless impact driver Quite simply, a higher voltage model should be able to drive a larger quantity of screws before the battery needs recharging.

How much are you looking to spend?

Expensive cordless impact driver Keep in mind that the higher the battery’s voltage, the more expensive it is likely to be.

14 volt tools are very popular with users because they provide a decent amount of power without the price tag of an 18 volt model.

Low voltage cordless impact driver and a piggy bank You should also think about how you may wish to use the tool in the future. If you buy a low-voltage tool just to save money, you may have problems in the long run when trying to complete more heavy-duty tasks.

How important is the tool’s weight?

Weight of a cordless impact driver Typically, higher voltage tools weigh more than lower voltage ones.

If you are only going to use the tool occasionally, then its weight may not be an issue. However, if you are planning on using the tool for long periods of time, a heavy tool can put excess strain on your arm and wrist.

Holding a heavy cordless impact drive at height You should also consider the kind of work you are going to be doing with the tool.

Working in awkward spaces such as in the rafters of a roof, where the tool will most likely be held over your head, will also become extremely tiring if you are working with a heavy tool.

Wonkee Donkee says "With great power comes great responsibility...oops I mean weight!"

Do you have any other cordless tools?

Cordless impact driver set with batteries Cordless power tools made by the same manufacturer that have the same voltage are usually able to share batteries.
Corldess wrench impact driver and a cordless impact driver So for example if you already have a 14.4v DeWALT drill and you want to purchase an impact driver, choosing a 14.4v model by DeWALT will mean you’ll have more batteries to share between the tools.

 

Note: If you are planning on sharing batteries between tools, double check with the manufacturer before you purchase to ensure they are suitable.

Voltage summery

The power of the impact driver depends on the voltage WONKEE DONKEE says…A higher voltage cordless impact driver will generally be more powerful and will allow you to drive screws and drill holes more quickly, when compared with a lower voltage impact driver.

However, the higher the voltage, the heavier and more expensive the tool is likely to be.

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