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09 Best Cordless Drills for Auto Mechanics 2022 [Impact or DRILL?]

How long will your cordless drill last in a zombie apocalypse? This is the type of question you need to ask yourself before you buy one.

If you are a professional auto mechanic, selecting a highly reliable cordless drill is far more essential than having one with lucrative specs.

Fortunately, you are at the right place to hunt for the best cordless drills for auto mechanics.

Before you buy a drill, make sure you don’t need to buy an impact driver.

Cordless Drill or Impact Driver???

A cordless drill is more for drilling into materials. It can drive screws with greater efficiency but is not recommended for nuts.

On the other hand, cordless Impact Drivers are designed for busting lug nuts, opening jammed rusty bolts, etc.

Use a Drill When

  • Working with wood, drywalls, plastic, or other soft material.
  • Applications where extreme torque is not required to tight or lose bolts.

Use Impact Drivers When

  • Working with wood or metal. (Lower Speed setting is required with specialized impact-resistant drivers and drills)
  • Applications where extreme torque is required to tight or lose bolts, like in Automotive Industry.
  • Working with larger diameter bolts and nuts (Larger than 1/4″)

BUY a KIT of a drill and impact driver if you can AFFORD it.

Best Professional Drill Drivers for Auto Mechanic:

Below are the best Professional drills for auto mechanics. These products are not cheap but high quality.

Editor's Choice
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit (DCD996P2)
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
  • Torque: 60 (720
  • Two 5AH 20V Li-Ion Batteries
  • Carrying Hard Case
  • Handle & Charger
Tough Built
Makita 18V LXT Hammer Driver Kit (XPH12T)
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Torque: 40 (530
  • Two 5AH 18V Li-Ion Batteries
  • Carrying Soft Bag
  • Charger
Value for Money
Ryobi One+ 18V Hammer Drill  Kit (P1813)
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Torque: 62.5 (750
  • One 4AH 18V Li-Ion Batteries
  • Carrying Soft Bag
  • Charger

Best Professional Impact Drivers for Auto Mechanic:

Below are the best Professional Impact Drivers for auto mechanics. These products are not cheap but high quality.

Editor's Choice
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Wrench (DCF880B)
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • SizeL 1/2 inch
  • Torque: 150 (1800
  • Tool Only
Tough Built
Milwaukee M18 Impact Wrench (2861-20)
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs
  • Size: 1/2 inch
  • Torque: 450 Fastening
  • Tool Only
Value for Money
BOSCH 18V Impact Wrench (GDS18V-221N)
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs
  • Size: 1/2 inch
  • Torque: 210 (2520
  • Tool Only

Best Low Budget Impact Drivers for Auto Mechanic:

Below are the best budget Impact Drivers for auto mechanics. These products are not cheap but high quality.

Best in Class
AVID POWER Cordless Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch
  • Torque: 330 ft-lbs
  • Light Weight
  • 3.0 AH Battery & Fast Charger
  • 4 Pcs drive impact sockets
  • Tool Bag
High Quality Build
NEIKO 10878A 20V 1/2
  • Torque: 300 ft-lbs
  • Light Weight
  • 4.0 AH Battery & Fast Charger
  • 4 Pcs drive impact sockets
  • Hard Case
Low Price
AOBEN 21V Cordless Impact Wrench 1/2
  • Torque: 295 ft-lbs
  • Light Weight
  • 4.0 AH Battery & Fast Charger
  • 6 Pcs drive impact sockets
  • Hard Case

Details of Each Drill and Impact Driver!

Now let’s get into the details of each tool to further learn about them. We will start with the professional Drill Drivers for auto mechanics.

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit (DCD996P2):

Dewalt’s DCD996 is one of the flagship models with all premium features like 3-speed settings, brushless motor, and premium built.

The 3-speed drivetrain is not standard and quite helpful. Even the top brands like Makita, Milwaukee, and Ryobi do not offer it.

This drill is compact yet delivers brute torque, which is enough for most applications.

Dewalt’s DCD996 is a time-tested drill announced in 2016 and has a broad fan base. DCD996 comes with a solid side handle, the chuck holds the bits firmly, and the electronic clutch is impressive.

Besides that, the 3 LED setup comes with an adjustable brightness feature. Even the low brightness setting is brighter than most of the drills out there.

DCD996 is going to crush everything which comes in front of it.

Editor's Choice
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit (DCD996P2)
9.6/10Our Score
  • It's a Workhorse — great value for the price.
  • A lot of torque and Long Lasting Battery (5 Amp)
  • It has a 3-LED setup for shadow Free Vision.
  • It comes in a premium hard case. 
  • There are complaints of loose batteries, which can be a manufacturing fault in a few units.
  • A little heavier than Impact Driver, so if you want to get one, get the impact wrench. But, the heavyweight helps in drilling and stuff. Lol.
  • A little hard to select speed mode 2.

Many users are not happy with the build quality of this line, but still, that is bearable. Overall, it’s an awesomely powerful tool.

2. Makita 18V LXT Hammer Driver Kit (XPH12T)

Makita XPH12T is a compact Hammer Drill powered by a smooth brushless motor and a two-speed, all-metal gearbox. There is a mechanical button for speed adjustment.

Many people like this more than their on-off blister buttons, which are quickly breakable and tend to crack. Like most other drills we have recommended, it comes with a metal belt hook, a cool LED, and a keyless 1/2″ chuck.

This drill weighs just 4.2 lb with a battery, resulting in an incredible power-to-weight ratio. This kit comes with two 5 AH batteries and a quick charger, which can juice it up in around 45 mins, one of the best in class.

Further, with the help of Makita Star Protection Computer Controls, battery life is guaranteed to extend as star protection avoids overcharging and discharging.

There are a few issues with this model. Further, a few people complain about the drill getting stuck in Hammer Position, and some are not like the chuck quality.

Alternate: Get this Makita XPH07MB if you need more torque. Makita XPH07MB comes with twice the torque rating.

Tough Built
Makita 18V LXT Hammer Driver Kit (XPH12T)
9.5/10Our Score
  • A very Good Drill with a small size and a lot of torque
  • Perfect daily driver.
  • High-Quality Matika Grade
  • Bad quality Chuck (This problem is particular to this model of Makita and arrives when abused or operated at total capacity for most of the jobs)
  • A few people have complained that it got stuck in Hammer Mode. 
  • A little louder than Milwaukee or Dewalt drills.

3. Ryobi One+ 18V Hammer Drill Kit (P1813)

Ryobi P1833 provides a fantastic 300-foot-pound of torque, which is excellent for removing small vehicle lug nuts.

It comes with a 3-speed all-metal gearbox, and an anvil detect pin, ensuring a secure socket grip. P1833 is an excellent and lightweight tool for home and professional use.

A few people might disagree with its professional usage, but since it is lightweight and will do all small tasks, it can be a great companion.

This tool weighs 3.5 lb with the 4 AH battery installed, making it one of the lightest in class. It has an ergonomic and textured grip, which is very comfortable and reduces vibrations.

Like Dewalt, it has a 3 LED light setup for bright and shadow-free vision in dark spaces. The battery is sufficient and comes with a Fast Ryobi Charger.

Value for Money
Ryobi One+ 18V Hammer Drill  Kit (P1813)
8/10Our Score
  • It is a compact tool with the right amount of torque.
  • Premium build quality.
  • Great for loosening lug nuts of cars and other small vehicles.
  • It is highly suited for automotive work, having a much lighter weight than other competitors in the market.
  • Ryobi has got an excellent customer support team and service.
  • It might have a nasty burning smell when used at high power for a long time.
  • Recommended for use under the 250 ft-lbs torque requirement.

This drill is robust, comfortable, and professional-grade. We believe that considering this drill’s weight; its power is significantly higher than other competitors in the market.

It provides a noticeable constant torque under high pressure, and due to its build design and motor design, it is much more efficient and doesn’t heat that much. Some features like the magnetic tray and belt clip make it stand out and easier to use. 

Giving light on its drawbacks: Some people complained about its chuck, but it doesn’t need to happen with every other customer; there are only a few.

The other issue about the loud, high-pitched noise is troublesome for a few, and others don’t find it a problem. Overall, this drill performs well considering its price, weight, and the amount of power it provides.

Professional Impact Driver!

4. DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Wrench (DCF880B)

This version of the Dewalt Impact wrench is a newer and improved version of old longheaded impact wrenches.

The grip on this tool is anti-slip, which makes it very easy to control. The most significant advantage of this tool is its enormous torque. It is a perfect tool for an auto mechanic.

Although it is designed to be used by professionals, mainly mechanics, you can still add it to your home tools collection.

The Kit (DCF880HM2) comes with two batteries, both rated at 4AH, and a quick Dewalt charger to juice it up in less than 30 mins.

Operating this wrench has been made a lot easier with Hog Ring, which helps change the tool quite easily and quickly.

The 3-Led setup gives you a shadow-free vision, which even comes with a 20 Sec delay once you release the trigger so that you can ensure the job is well done.

The hog ring risks losing at high speeds, or the tool can drop down. It would be best if you were a little careful while using it.

Editor's Choice
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Wrench (DCF880B)
9.5/10Our Score
  • It's very compact
  • Extremely Powerful to remove Lug Nuts 
  • It has a 3-LED setup for shadow Free Vision.
  • Perfect for cars
  • Not recommended for torque above 150
  • Not recommended for trucks, SUVs, and Heavy Duty Job
  • It comes in a cheap carrying bag, but that is not a big issue.

I suggest preferring small size over more torque if you rarely have high torque requirements.

This product is helpful if you mainly deal with new and small vehicles. If you need a more powerful tool, we suggest getting a DeWalt DCF899M1.

Alternate: Get this one if you need more torque: Dewalt DCF899M1

5. Milwaukee M18 Impact Wrench (2861-20)

2861, a mid-range Impact wrench, is a capable tool good enough to fill the gap between an ultra-compact small tool and an oversized heavyweight.

It’s a perfect example of a highly maneuverable tool with specs leaving an impact.

Milwaukee 2861 is the best example of a perfect balance of size, weight, and deliverable power with 600 ft. lb of nut-busting torque and 450 ft. lb of fastening torque at 6.7 inches long and weight around 5 pounds with a 5AH battery.

It comes with a 3-Mode Speed control with a max RPM of 2400. This tool’s motor powering is state-of-the-art PowerState brushless designed by Milwaukee for their M18 Fuel lineup.

Redlithium Battery and RedLink electronics help to prevent the tool from overloading, overheating, and extending its operational life.

Tough Built
Milwaukee M18 Impact Wrench (2861-20)
9.4/10Our Score
  • Very Powerful and Compact - everything you will need in a small package
  • Same size as DeWalt DCF880HM2 and three times more torque
  • Speed and Power Selector option
  • Suitable for mid-size vehicles like pick-up trucks, SUVs, etc.
  • If you are seriously into the heavy-duty job, buy the alternate below, which is high torque. 
  • Not recommended for Heavy Trucks

Alternate: Get one of these if you need more torque

  1. Milwaukee 2767-22

This tool might not work in the extreme (above 450 torque requirements but is ideal for most applications due to its size. We suggest preferring small size over more torque if you rarely have high torque requirements.

Milwaukee 2861 series is an excellent replacement for air impact wrenches.

6. BOSCH 18V Impact Wrench (GDS18V-221N)

This impact wrench by Bosch comes with a Core18V platform that utilizes 27100 Li-Ion cells, which are more efficient than the standard 18650 Cells.

The little extra efficiency reduces the weight, increases the overall max output, and will make your life much easier. With a weight of 2.77 lbs without battery and an additional 1.15 lb for a 4 AH battery, this tool is a perfect candidate for the mid torque category. Its head length is just 6.4 inches, and a 1/2 inch socket shaft.

This tool is rated at 221 ft. lb of torque and a fantastic 3400 No-Load IPM plus 2400 RPM. GSD18V-221 comes with Auto Bolt Release feature.

This function senses the required power from the tool and stops the cordless wrench whenever the power output goes down significantly. It makes sure the nut does not fall out.

Value for Money
BOSCH 18V Impact Wrench (GDS18V-221N)
9.3/10Our Score
  • A high-quality cordless wrench powered with an efficient brushless motor delivers a fantastic amount of torque.
  • Auto Bolt release function to prevent accidentally dropping bolts and nuts during removal.
  • Bosch’s hammer and anvil system delivers great impact energy
  • It comes with CoolPack 2.0 heat-management system, which helps extend battery lifetime and runtime.
  • This impact wrench is new in the market and hence lacks user endorsements.
  • Other than needing a high torque application, this is a fantastic tool.

Recommending this drill was a hell of a challenge. It has all of the quarks and valuable features as all other drills we have recommended but lacks user endorsements as it is relatively new.

This impact wrench is an excellent choice despite being new to the market. Bosch is a reputable brand, and we are confident that this drill will perform as expected.

Budget Impact Driver!

7. AVID POWER Cordless Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch

This wrench has a unique friction design instead of a bearing ball, which can hold sockets more tightly.

It has a powerful motor providing a max tightening torque of 3,983 in-lbs and a max loosening torque of 4,465 in-lbs.

Like all other cordless tools, it has a variable speed switch and bright LED lights.

Work perfectly for removing lug nuts from cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, and trailers. It can’t work on highly jammed nuts.

Comes with a 3.0 AH Battery & Fast Charger in the box. Extremely cheap and affordable.

Best in Class
AVID POWER Cordless Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch
9.3/10Our Score
  • In-expensive
  • Tons of reviews and a more extensive user base
  • High output torque like expensive brands
  • Free Accessories
  • Fast Charger
  • Built quality is a little cheap.
  • Not for continuous professional use
  • Low quality accessories

You will get a cordless impact wrench, 4Pcs drive impact sockets, tool bag, 20V Max Lithium-ion battery, fast charger, and user manual.

8. NEIKO 10878A 20V 1/2″ Cordless Impact Wrench

Neiko cordless impact wrench has an output torque of 300 ft-lbs. The strong motor maintains an impact frequency of 0–3,500 bpm with a no-load speed of 0–3,000 rpm to deliver high performance.

Comes with a forward/reverse switch, variable speed trigger, and 1/2″ socket size. It’s powered by a 20V Li-Ion battery and a fast charger.

The power wrench’s ergonomic body features a belt hook at the base for easy tool standby.

A rubber surface handle creates a secure grip with a high-grade ABS shell to keep your automotive projects moving.

High Quality Build
NEIKO 10878A 20V 1/2
9.2/10Our Score
  • Larger Battery (4.Ah)
  • Great build quality
  • High torque output
  • Compact and Slim
  • Not for professional daily use
  • Low quality parts
  • Still a little expesnive

This set includes an impact driver wrench, a 20-volt 4.0-amp-hour lithium-ion battery, a 2.4-amp ETL-approved fast charger, a sturdy storage case, and four sockets in the following sizes: 7/8″, 3/4″, 21 mm, and 17 mm.

9. AOBEN 21V Cordless Impact Wrench 1/2″ Driver

Aoben impact wrench is powered by a brushless motor making it very powerful and light weight.

This wrench has a maximum of 295 ft-lb output torque and a top speed of 3000 rpm. It comes with a variable speed switch and a quick stop feature.

The cordless impact wrench comes with a 4.0 Ah battery and fast charger.

Low Price
AOBEN 21V Cordless Impact Wrench 1/2
8.9/10Our Score
  • Powerful Brushless Motor
  • 1/2" Square Driver
  • Max 300 Torque ft-lbs (400N.m)
  • 4.0A Li-ion Battery
  • 6Pcs Driver Impact Sockets
  • Fast Charger and Tool Bag
  • Not for professional use
  • Battery life is not so good

This set of products includes one impact wrench and six impact sockets, each with 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 22mm, and equipped with a 4.0A battery, a charger, and a package for convenient storage and carrying.

Additional Read:

  1. How Long Do Dewalt 20V Batteries Last? [TESTED]
  2. Charge Milwaukee m18 Battery Without Charger [Avoid THIS]
  3. How to Drill a Square Hole in Wood?