Best Impact Drivers of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide Review

Are you looking for the best impact driver? If so, you’re in the right place. A great impact driver will be exactly what you need to get any project completed.

Whether it’s a home improvement project, automotive project, or other purpose, a great impact driver may be exactly what you need to attach or detach even some of the most stubborn screws that no manual screwdriver can deal with.

To help you find the best one, we’ve listed ten of the best impact drivers currently on the market. Before we get to the list, we will talk about what an impact driver is and what it’s used for. We’ll also talk about how they work and explain why the ten we’ve hand-picked made our list.

Comparison Chart of the Best Impact Drivers

PRODUCTDETAILS
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DEWALT DC825B

  • Best overall impact driver
  • Includes an anti-slip comfort grip
  • Made from high-quality materials
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Milwaukee 2462-20

  • Includes an ambidextrous belt clip
  • Runner-up for best overall impact driver
  • Powered by RedLithium batteries for superior power
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Makita XDT111

  • 1,460 pounds in torque
  • Best impact driver for the money
  • Variable speeds of up to 2,900 RPM
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DEWALT 20V DCF885C1

  • Powered by a 20V battery
  • Best cordless impact driver
  • Built-in LED for better visibility
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DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCF887B

  • Best brushless impact driver
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • It comes with variable speeds
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Bosch 25618-02

  • Best ¼ Impact Driver
  • Speeds of up to 2,800 RPM
  • Up to 1,500 in-lbs of torque
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Makita XDT13Z 18V

  • Best Makita Impact Driver
  • Delivers 1500 lbs in torque
  • Up to 3400 RPM in total speed
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DEWALT DCF885M2

  • 2,800 RPM
  • Best DeWalt Impact Driver
  • 20 Volt Lithium-Ion Battery
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DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max

  • Best 12v Impact Driver
  • Delivers 2,450 RPM of power
  • Compact and lightweight design
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Milwaukee 2753-20 M18

  • Best 18v Impact Driver
  • Powered by an 18-volt battery
  • Made from high-quality materials
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What is an Impact Driver and What is it Used For?

An impact driver is a high-powered screwdriver. They are used for tightening and loosening screws of any size. They also have the ability to tighten and loosen all kinds of nuts and bolts. Often times, they can be versatile enough to be used as an impact wrench.

How Does an Impact Driver Work?

An impact driver can be powered by either electricity or high-pressured air. Either way, it creates additional torque using three parts of the impact driver: the anvil, spring, and hammer. The motor will allow the shaft to turn faster and allow for maximum tightening to ensure that the screws or nuts stay secure.

Why Did Certain Impact Drivers Make Our List?

We’ve chosen these ten impact drivers and added them to our list based on a few factors. Mind you, we didn’t choose these at complete random. There were a few things that stood out most to us. Here are a few reasons why they made our list:

Most of Them Are Affordable

Whether you’re on a budget or have some money to play around with, most of these impact drivers are some of the most affordable you can find on the market. In fact, you’ll be able to afford a great quality impact driver at a price that fits your budget. This way, you won't have to settle for an impact driver that is crappy in quality and performance.

Able to Perform Many Tasks

While there might be impact drivers that will excel at one application or another, most of these impact drivers were designed to do most general purpose applications. So if you want something that will be great for not only for household improvement projects but also for automotive projects, then a versatile impact driver might be what you need.

Built to Last

Here’s the thing you need to know about impact drivers, they are built solidly enough to last you a long time. Regardless of whether it is a cordless or a corded impact driver, if you take really good care of it over time, the impact driver will definitely serve you well in the long term.

Quick Take: Best Impact Drivers

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best impact drivers:

1. DEWALT DC825B
2.
Milwaukee 2462-20
3. 
Makita XDT111

Review of the Best Impact Drivers

The following is a list of the top ten best impact drivers currently on the market. As you go through each one, you should consider making a note of any features and characteristics that stand out. This way, if you have a good idea of what your ideal impact driver looks like, you may find one that’s close enough.

Now, let’s kick off the list with our best overall choice for impact drivers:

Best Overall:
DEWALT DC825B

DEWALT DC825B 1/4-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver (Tool Only)

PROS

  • Super-durable build
  • Excellent for contractor use
  • Powerful right out of the gate
  • Easy to drive fasteners and screws
  • Surprisingly compact and lightweight

CONS

  • Will not strip out screw heads
  • It might be a little pricey for some users
  • May not be appropriate for heavy-duty work

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were quite satisfied with this impact driver. They were quick to call it a really powerful tool that packs a lot of speed and torque for almost any project. One user said he often uses this for light and medium-duty home improvement projects, as well as a few woodworking projects he does as a weekend hobby.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This impact driver is a powerful tool that is compact in size and also light in weight. So it’s not as bulky and heavy, as some power tools usually are. This means you’ll be able to carry it with you almost anywhere. If space-saving and portability are two things you look for in an impact driver, you may want to consider giving this one a much closer look.

Who Will Use This Most

This will probably be used mostly by homeowners who want a power tool around the house that will get a lot of projects and even small tasks completed in a much faster time. If you want an impact driver that is packed with a lot of speed and torque, this puppy might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Bottom Line

The DeWalt DC825B ¼-Inch Cordless Impact Drill might be one of the best in the business. It proves itself worthy of such a title with its overall power and performance. If you need to get the work done in no time flat, this impact driver will be what you need.

Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 1/4 Inch Hex Shank 12 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless 2,500 RPM 1,000 Inch Pounds Impact Driver w/ LED Light and Fuel Gauge (Battery Not Included, Power Tool Only)

PROS

  • Super-powerful driver
  • Battery life is quite long
  • Really durable construction
  • Lightweight and compact in size
  • Excellent for most light-duty and medium-duty projects

CONS

  • The battery may take a while to charge
  • May not be suitable for heavy-duty jobs
  • May not be suitable for screws an inch long or over

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were happy with the impact driver and how powerful it was. They loved how much torque it came with and how fast it could screw in screws or tighten bolts. One of the other great things they were satisfied with was the driver’s portability and storage size. This would be perfect if you’re a contractor that’s on the road a lot doing project after project.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This impact driver is powered by one of the longest-lasting batteries out there. The RedLithium battery is proven to have a lot more power and longevity compared to your regular lithium-ion batteries. So it will definitely give you a lot more battery life to work with. On top of that, it’s an awesome impact driver that works really well whether you're a left-handed or right-handed user. This impact driver does not discriminate. So long as you get the job done, you’re golden.

Who Will Use This Most

This will make a great contractor tool. If you’re a homeowner that needs a good power tool that can come quite in handy, this might be a really good choice, as well. No matter who you are or what you do, this impact driver won’t disappoint in the tasks where you need this driver most.

Bottom Line

The Milwaukee ¼-Inch Hex Shank Impact Driver is a do-it-all kind of tool for all your light and medium-duty needs. Don’t be surprised if this ends up being one of the most versatile power tools you’ll ever own, especially when you want to tighten screws, nuts, or bolts.

Best for the Money: 
Makita XDT111

Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit

PROS

  • Super-fast operation
  • Really sturdy and durable
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • It can have the ability to last you years or even decades
  • The battery charges pretty quickly, typically in about 15 minutes

CONS

  • Rubber may peel off over time
  • It may be hard to swap out other bits
  • Drive feature may not activate until it reaches enough torque
What Recent Buyers Report 

New buyers were quick to say that they got more than what they paid for with this impact driver. They considered this one of the most ergonomically-friendly impact drivers on the market. Once they put it to use, they managed to screw and unscrew all kinds of screws and bolts. One user said this is perfect for putting together or disassembling HVAC systems.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Makita Impact Driver proves itself to be one of the most reliable and powerful budget impact drivers on the market. Never mind the price tag for a moment. This puppy can go quite fast and delivers an insane amount of torque. So it can be one of those do it all impact drivers that will get any job done, whether a light-duty project or something that’s more heavy-duty. Oh...and did we mention the battery is easy and quick to charge? Once you have it plugged in for a good 15 minutes, you’ll have a fully-charged battery ready to go, so you’ll never have to delay any of your projects due to a dead battery.

Who Will Use This Most

This might be a construction worker’s kind of impact driver, since it can handle some heavy-duty stuff (like HVAC-related work). So if you’re a contractor in search of a really sturdy impact driver that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything quite like this anywhere else.

Bottom Line

The Makita XDT111 Cordless Impact Driver is so powerful, you’d swear they should charge more for this. But for your sake (and the sake of your wallet), it’s pretty darn affordable. If you need an impact driver that will give you more than that you pay for, this could be right up your alley.

Best Cordless Impact Driver:
DEWALT 20V DCF885C1

DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)

PROS

  • Great for auto repair work
  • Excellent for beginner users
  • Super-powerful right out of the gate
  • The battery is powerful and can last you quite a while
  • Perfect for home improvement projects like deck building

CONS

  • It does not come with a belt clip
  • Some say it should have variable speeds
  • The battery may be difficult to charge at first

What Recent Buyers Report  

New users were pretty satisfied with the impact driver. Most were able to buy this as one of their first-ever impact drivers. For most users, this was an impact driver best-used for home improvement projects while others used it for various automotive projects. One user said that despite being considered a starter model, it’s quite powerful and speedy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This impact driver is powered by a 20-volt battery. So to this point, it’s an impact wrench that will use quite a bit of power. Not to mention, it can last you quite a while, in terms of longevity, so you might not have to switch batteries for a long time. Aside from that, it’s a nice impact driver that will be great for your standard home improvement and renovation projects. But you can also consider it useful for so many purposes.

Who Will Use This Most

This is designed to be a starter impact driver. So if you’ve never owned one in your life, this might be a good one to start with. Plus, it’s the kind of impact driver that is powerful enough to handle simple tasks in and around the house. It may be one of the best tools you’ll have in your workshop or garage. Use this for a few years or until you decide to upgrade to a more powerful impact driver. For the time being, this one won’t disappoint.

Bottom Line

The DeWalt 20V Max Impact Driver is the kind of tool you can rely on for almost any light-duty or medium-duty project. If you want an impact driver that is newbie-friendly and easy to use, this could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Best Brushless Impact Driver:
DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCF887B

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Impact Driver Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed, 1/4-Inch, Tool Only (DCF887B)

PROS

  • Ridiculously lightweight
  • Great for saving a ton of space
  • Great for working with sheet metal
  • Easy to change speeds for each and every project
  • Does a great job allowing driving the screws into wood

CONS

  • Batteries are not rechargeable
  • Belt hook not included, despite the box saying so
  • Sometimes you may need to hold down the reverse button to unscrew or unfasten something

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, new users were quite pleased. They were quick to point out how light and compact the impact driver was. They managed to use it at different speeds, depending upon which projects they were working on. One user said he uses it for automotive and even some metalworking. He added that fastening and unfastening screws was easy and had just enough torque to keep it secure.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the main things that makes this impact driver stand out is the ability to allow you to adjust the speed of the motorhead. If it is a little too fast for you, you can always bump it down to a slower speed where it is a bit more comfortable for you. Plus, you also have some bright LED lights you can use for when you’re working with little to no light within your surrounding environment.

Who Will Use This Most

This will possibly be used for some heavy-duty usage (like metalworking). But all in all, it could stand out as one of the many general-purpose impact drivers that can get any job done. All you have to do is make the right adjustments so it can work out just right for you. If you want something fast, powerful, and easy to adjust, this impact driver will check off those “what to look for” boxes.

Bottom Line

The DeWalt 20V Max XR Impact Driver might be exactly what you’re looking for if you need an impact driver that is small, but tough. Even better, you have all kinds of speed at your disposal to work with. Whether it’s around the house or at your workshop, this might be a really reliable tool that can tighten or loosen a lot of stubborn screws, nuts, and bolts.

Best ¼ Impact Driver:
Bosch 25618-02

Bosch 25618-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Bag

PROS

  • Super-lightweight
  • Bits and sockets are easy to add on
  • Super-powerful, right out of the gate
  • Ergonomically-friendly and comfortable
  • Compact in size, can save you a ton of space

CONS

  • It might be a little louder than expected
  • May wobble around a bit if you hold it down long enough
  • It doesn’t have enough torque to handle heavy-duty tasks

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were able to quickly attach and detach screwdriver bits faster than some of the other impact drivers they had tried. Furthermore, they were quick to conclude that this driver was quite powerful and pretty fast for most projects. One user said this had a great deal of torque and he was confident enough to know that everything would stay fastened and secure once his projects were finished.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the things that makes this impact driver stand out most is the inclusion of not one, but two, extra batteries. Yes, they do last you a while but it’s quite the convenience knowing it will save you a ton of money, as well. So once you’re done with one, you can switch on the other in a blink of an eye. Of course, let’s not forget that this is also quite compact and lightweight making it easily portable. That’s always a plus if you’re a contractor clocking in the miles and going from one place to the next. So many projects throughout the day call for the use of reliable tools like an impact driver.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be a great compact tool for contractors or even homeowners that tend to do a lot of light-duty or medium-duty projects. No matter which type you are planning, you’re bound to want this impact driver that probably has the highest speed and torque so far. If you want something that will give you a little bit of oomph and makes sure every screw, nut, and bolt are nice and tight, this bad boy might be your kind of impact driver.

Bottom Line

The Bosch 18-Volt Lithium ¼ Hex Impact Driver might be lightweight and compact, but make no mistake about it...it can pack quite a punch. Who said big things never come in small packages? If you want something built to last, which give you a little more torque than any impact driver you’ve ever used, the Bosch Impact Driver will rise to the occasion and will leave you impressed.

Best Makita Impact Driver:
Makita XDT13Z 18V

Makita XDT13Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver, Tool Only,

PROS

  • Really fast operation
  • Superior torque power
  • Compact in size, saves a good amount of space
  • Does a good job removing lug nuts on most vehicles
  • Great for small, simple tasks like installing a mailbox

CONS

  • No manual included
  • Motor spin may feel like it’s cheap
  • Forward/reverse switch may be a little quirky at times

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers report that the RPM on this impact driver was pretty fast. Not to mention, they were able to secure screws, nuts, and bolts much faster and tighter than other impact drivers and wrenches. One user said he uses this impact wrench for removing the tires on his Silverado truck. After a brief bit of hesitation, he was surprised to see that it worked like a charm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For something that is small and compact in size, it can deliver quite a bit of torque compared to some other impact drivers. However, Makita is known for making some pretty reliable and long-lasting power tools. So you probably won’t be shocked by how much this impact driver, in particular, can deliver. If you want something that is great for portability and will give you all kinds of power and speed to work with, you’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to give this impact driver a closer look.

Who Will Use This Most

This impact driver would be a homeowner’s dream, especially with all that speed and torque that’s included. They were able to quickly secure almost any screw or lug nut without ever worrying about keeping it loose. So, if you want something that will securely fasten even the most stubborn screws and bolts, this could be one of the best impact drivers you can use. It will also come in handy if you need to unscrew something that is torqued at a slightly heavier weight.

Bottom Line

The Makita XDT13Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver might be one of the most reliable go-to impact drivers on the market for any homeowner or auto mechanic. If you don’t want to leave any screw or bolt loose, this impact driver will likely be the kind of tool that delivers consistent results.

Best DeWalt Impact Driver:
DEWALT DCF885M2

DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 4.0-Ah, 1/4-Inch (DCF885M2)

PROS

  • Battery life is pretty lengthy
  • The battery charges pretty fast
  • Great for home and auto projects
  • Really powerful tightening and untightening
  • Compact, saves a lot of space on your workbench

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers point to the impact driver’s ergonomically-friendly design as one of its best attributes. They were able to use it for various projects and for longer periods of time without ever having to worry about hand strain and fatigue. They were able to tighten and loosen screws and bolts rather quickly. The torque power was good enough to easily tighten and secure many screws, nuts, and bolts with no looseness to speak of.

Why it Stands Out to Us

DeWalt is considered to be one of the most reliable brand names when it comes to power tools. If reliability is one of the things you look for in an impact driver, the DeWalt brand might be something worth considering. Not only that, they made some pretty tough tools that are built to last you years or even decades.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be perfect for all kinds of projects, either in your home workshop or your garage. You will be able to perform simple tasks like building a birdhouse or installing new tires on your car. So it’s as close as you can get to a do-it-all impact driver. If that’s what you want, this DeWalt impact driver is the best possible choice.

Bottom Line

The DeWalt DCF885M2 20V Max Lithium-Ion ¼-Inch Impact Driver Kit will likely be the best option that the DeWalt brand has to offer for impact drivers. If you want to get to know a brand that might be considered one of the top names in power tools, DeWalt will show you why they are one of the most trusted on the market with their reliability, power, and versatility.

Best 12v Impact Driver:
DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max

DEWALT DCF815S2 12-Volt Max 1/4-Inch Impact Driver Kit

PROS

  • Really durable construction
  • The battery can recharge quite fast
  • Fast RPM for fastening and unfastening
  • Small in size, does a good job of saving you a lot of space
  • Excellent for all kinds of simple construction and hobby projects

CONS

  • May wobble around a bit sometimes
  • May not tighten bolts all the way down
  • Socket heads may be a little difficult to change at first

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were quite satisfied with the impact driver. More importantly, they were pretty happy with how useful it was in many home improvement or construction tasks. One user said he was using this for various projects, like installing a new deck in his backyard and installing a new door on his garage. Throughout each project, he was able to tightly fasten nuts, bolts, and even those pesky long screws.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Many recent buyers were looking for an impact driver simply for the purpose of home building projects. They were fortunate in finding one with this DeWalt impact driver. One user said the battery lasts a surprisingly long time and can charge pretty fast when it needs to. Overall, they are quite satisfied with the torque and speed of the impact driver that won’t let any screws or bolts come loose.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be used mostly by homeowners who want to get in touch with their DIY side. So if you want to do a lot of building projects on your own time or if you’re a hobbyist that needs a reliable power tool to satisfy your fastening needs, this could be exactly what you need for every project you plan on taking on.

Bottom Line

The DeWalt 12V Impact Wrench might just be the best impact wrench for any home improvement or hobby project. Not to mention, it’s got some pretty good speed and torque that will make sure that every project is finished in the quickest amount of time possible.

Best 18v Impact Driver:
Milwaukee 2753-20 M18

Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel 1/4 Hex Imp Driver tool Only

PROS

  • The trigger is nice and smooth to pull
  • Lightweight, allows for easy portability
  • Great for cars and home improvement projects
  • Small and compact, can fit in most toolboxes
  • Drives a little faster than most compact impact drivers

CONS

  • Battery life might be a little suspect
  • May randomly stop working at times
  • Bits and sockets might be tough to change out sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were impressed with the impact driver. A majority of the new buyers were using this for the purpose of home improvement projects. Meanwhile, another portion was using this for automotive work like tire changing and even some “under the hood” maintenance. They also stated that while lightweight and compact, they are confident it would be durable enough to last them a few years.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, we bring back the Milwaukee brand for a quick look at one of their impact drivers. Like DeWalt, Milwaukee has proven to be one of the best brands on the market for power tools. Not to mention, they make some pretty sturdy tools known to last a long time. In fact, many customers have reported that after a decade, their Milwaukee power tools still work as if they were just out of the box. Aside from that, it’s an impact driver that allows for fast, smooth operation with every project.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re looking for a great impact driver to start out with, you want something with a good amount of power and torque. Nothing too powerful or too weak, but just right. If that’s a perfect description of what you’re looking for in an impact driver, you know for a fact that this Milwaukee impact driver will fit the bill.

Bottom Line

The Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel ¼ Hex Impact Driver might be one of the first impact drivers that you’ll start out with. Once you give this a spin, you’ll be impressed with how quickly it can tighten all kinds of screws, bolts, nuts, and everything in-between.

How to Use an Impact Driver

Using an impact driver is easy if you know how to do it. If you don’t know how to operate one, you’re not alone. The following are some brief instructions on how you can use an impact driver for any of your projects that may require one. They are as follows:

  1. Remember, the position of the slider bar will determine which direction the bit will go in. Be sure that it’s in the right position if you need to turn it clockwise for tightening (counter-clockwise for loosening). 

  2. Pull the trigger to see which direction the motorhead is going in. 

  3. To add on a bit, pull the colloid forward and add on the bit of your choice. To unload it, slide out the colloid and detach it.

  4. To screw in a screw, attach the screw into the bit and place it facing downward into the material (wood, metal, etc.). Apply downward force using the other hand if you’re drilling downwards. If you are screwing in horizontally, then apply horizontal force.

Conclusion

The best impact driver is out there for you. Now all you need to do is find one that will be great for all your home improvement or automotive projects. You’ll need something that is fast, powerful, and good enough for you to make sure everything is nice and tight so things won’t fall apart.

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions. These will help you better understand how impact drivers work. Be sure to use this as a guide so you can find the best impact driver to fit you best. Here are the following questions:

What is the Difference Between an Impact Driver and a Drill?

The answer is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to the functionality between the two. A drill is used for drilling holes, while an impact driver will be best-served as a tool to attach screws.

What is the Difference Between an Impact Driver and a Hammer Drill? 

A hammer drill is a handheld jackhammer to perfectly describe it. It will usually work to hammer down nails and stubborn screws. Meanwhile, the impact driver (as explained before) is used for the purpose of quickly fastening screws in place.

What is the Difference Between an Impact Driver and an Impact Wrench

An impact wrench will have a lot more torque and impact than those that are considered impact drivers. In fact, your average impact wrench will have about six times more torque than an impact driver, which will have at least 2,200 pounds of torque.

What is a Brushless Impact Driver? 

A brushless impact driver will have magnets embedded in the motorhead. This will allow for easier attachment and detachment of driver bits. Plus, they generate less friction compared to brushed impact drivers.

What is a Hex Impact Driver?

A hex impact driver will have a collet that will hold your driver bits in place. Usually, these hex impact drivers are designed to handle a bit more force than standard impact drivers. 

Can You Use an Impact Driver to Remove Lug Nuts?

Short answer: No. The reason being is because lug nuts are usually tightened at such a high amount of torque that a standard impact driver won’t have enough torque to remove them. 

Can I Use Regular Bits in an Impact Driver?

Yes, you can fit most drill bits into an impact driver. In fact, most impact drivers are so versatile, that they are not only able to screw in screws, but they have enough power and torque to drill simple holes. Remember, some drill bits may not fit properly depending on the collet size or design.