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12V Impact Drivers...which One?

 
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:28 AM   #1
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12V Impact Drivers...which One?


What's up fellas...
I'm back from the dead and am putting a shop together after having lost 10G's of equipment in a 100 year old flood when I lived out west for a few years.

Over the past few years, I've transitioned from tradesman to management and am now running jobs down in New York City so I haven't been using tools anywhere near as much as I used to.

I have to repopulate my stable all over again and right now, to start out with, I'm looking for a good 12V impact driver. I've looked at all the YouTube video reviews and read as much as I could online, but I need to know from the "source" (guys in the field), what brands can I trust today?

I loved my old Bosch PS21, but I remember Bosch going through some ownership changes and having some quality issues, although I hear their new Freak is a beast.

The other considerations? DeWalt & Milwaukee.

I thought about getting an 18V, but it defeats the purpose of wanting something compact. I have a Dewalt 20V Max driver right now, but I'm going to be building a lot of stuff soon and shelving and am leaning towards the Bosch PS41.

What are you guys workin' with?

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Old 08-10-2019, 12:35 AM   #2
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


several manufacturers make compact 18v impact drivers.

i still lean towards makita....

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Old 08-10-2019, 02:03 AM   #3
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


I tried the Dewalt 12 V When looking for a compact impact driver a couple of years ago.

Although smaller, It didnít have enough power for my liking. It is slow. I gave it to my wife.

Two months ago, I bought the Dewalt 20v Atomic, presuming it was smaller. The impact is almost exactly the same size as the other 20v driver.

Iím currently thinking about trying the new 12 V Xtreme by Dewalt. With larger batteries, presumably it has more power than the original 12 V impact.

Positively, you can charge the batteries on the same 20 V charger that you have.




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Old 08-10-2019, 06:04 AM   #4
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Milwaukee m12 surge if you're looking for compact but powerful

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Old 08-10-2019, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
several manufacturers make compact 18v impact drivers.

i still lean towards makita....
i really like my compact 18v also /makes sense for me .
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


The Milwaukee 12v was great and my go to bc of its size but the hydraulic 18v with compact battery is nearly the same depth and more quite.


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Old 08-10-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


My 12v impact is stronger than my 18v surge. The surge can be a little wimpy at times. Fine for running normal screws, but can whimp out on 10 inch timberlocks and such.

The 12 usually is fine with them, though the regular impact is much better.

But if I had one set, it would probably be the 12v, as it is cheaper and will do anything the 18v will do. The 12 drill/hammer is actually better than the 18v drill/hammer for drilling lots of holes. It's faster.

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Old 08-10-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Ill put in another vote for the M12 fuel. Theyre just solid tools and they keep getting better for the money. I had debated between Milwaukee and Makita years ago but have no regrets in the end going the Milwaukee route. Very wide range of tools on the 12 and 18 volt platform and i swear the fuel 12v have more power and torque than alot of regular 18v on the market now. Its crazy how much the technology keeps advancing every year, getting more compact and powerful.

What tools exactly are you gonna be using? And for what purposes? Ive started mixing the M12s and M18s fuel and regular depending on how often i use each tool. Hell, the M18 fuel impact has too much power for alot of the stuff i do but man the sawzall is a beast for heavy demo. The 12v hackzall is the reason i always stayed with the M12 line though. I abosolutely love it for plumbing work. Be ready to shell out a little extra $ for the high capacity batteries and wait for them to go on sale, but again, they keep getting more powerful and compact each year. HD has the Fuel impact/driver combo with batteries and charger for $229 but have seen em as low as $169 on amazon. The M12 fuel driver even has hammer drill function that packs some punch for a 12v. Can get through stucco and tile no problem. Bottom line, if you want good quality and a wide range of tools on the same platform Milwaukee is a safe bet. I dont wanna hafta carry 5 different brand chargers and batteries so it works for me. Go to about any jobsite around here and for cordless youll probably see about 50% milwaukee in guys bags, 25% makita, and the other 25% a mix of ryobi (cheap hacks) and the higher $ brands (rigid, hilti, dewalt, ect.)

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Old 08-10-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


I have shame in saying my 12volt kit is Ridgid because the price of the 12v drill-driver and impact at 99.99$ can't be beat. Add to it the JobMax that I can use the right angle impact and drill and multi tool head and the jiggy head and the 3/8ths inch ratchet head and IMHO nothing beats this 12volt kit.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Another vote for Milwaukee if you want 12v
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:02 AM   #11
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinDB View Post
The Milwaukee 12v was great and my go to bc of its size but the hydraulic 18v with compact battery is nearly the same depth and more quite.


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Milwaukee just released a hydraulic 12v Surge. It's an outstanding little driver. I bought 2 of them.


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Old 08-11-2019, 10:51 AM   #12
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


I like the 20 volt Dewalt products and don't use any 12 volt right now but if I went that route I would seriously consider Bosch since they make a real cool power plane and compact router for their 12 volt system.


Might be something to consider depending upon the type of work you are (or will be) doing.

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Old 08-11-2019, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
Milwaukee just released a hydraulic 12v Surge. It's an outstanding little driver. I bought 2 of them.


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Must be why H.D. recently had a good deal on the old style. $199 for the impact/hammer drill kit with a free 6 ah battery.

I guess if I don't know what I'm missing then I'll be happy with the conventional impact.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:19 PM   #14
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Okay, here's where I'm at...
It's undeniable that Makita makes some of the best drivers around and that Milwaukee has stepped up to the front of the line consistently. That's a given.

My ties to the Bosch are for sentimental reasons because I bought their first 10.8v impacts and I brutalized them and they never let me down. Everybody on the site ended up getting them when they saw me running rings around them with their heavier full size 18v's for simple screwgun tasks.

DeWalt? DeWalt used to make the best screwguns on the market. I have an older DCD780 20v that's still kickin' butt and taking names. However, the only thing DeWalt I'd get today would be 20v tools because I'm also interested in getting their 20v chainsaw to clear out my hunting grounds seasonally and it's always better to have spare 20v's when I get a DeWalt hunting jacket. That's 3 "tools" right there that I can use 20v's for.

So, that leaves me in between Bosch & Milwaukee.

Now, something I should've done was to post what I was planning to do with them. I'm not going to use them for production work, just DIY stuff in the shop which at max would be driving 3" wood screws through 2X stock & sheet goods so I don't need the latest and the greatest with all the bells & whistles.

The most obscene work I'd do might be driving lag bolts in either 2X stock or possibly directly into tree trunks if my buddy called me out to build him a tree stand (I hunt from the ground, no stands, no blinds), but even then, I'd pre-drill whatever I was going to drive.

So, light duty is the key here. It came down to the Milwaukee & the Bosch 12v's. From what I've seen, they are neck & neck in performance for the Milwaukee models in the same price range, but I know that the Bosch is a proven platform and can regularly be bought in combo kits (driver/impact driver) for $99 routinely so that's getting 2 tools for Milwaukee's one tool.

Also, I know for a fact that their customer service is top notch. I lost the remote to my Bosch radio and emailed them asking where I could buy another one and within 24 hours (no exaggeration) they mailed me a new one no charge.

If I were going to use it in the field, I'd definitely go with the M12 hands down, but it'll be like using a Ford Raptor to commute with when all I need is a Honda CR-V really.

Either way, I'm only getting one tool in 12V. After this, everything'll be 18-20v from here on in for cordless so there's no worries about brand loyalties here.

Thanks for all the advice. It really helped me confirm my choice. I want to believe that it's going to be a Bosch PS41 combo, but don't be surprised if I end up going with the Milwaukee after all.


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Old 08-11-2019, 09:48 PM   #15
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Quote:
Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
My 12v impact is stronger than my 18v surge. The surge can be a little wimpy at times. Fine for running normal screws, but can whimp out on 10 inch timberlocks and such.

The 12 usually is fine with them, though the regular impact is much better.

But if I had one set, it would probably be the 12v, as it is cheaper and will do anything the 18v will do. The 12 drill/hammer is actually better than the 18v drill/hammer for drilling lots of holes. It's faster.

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They donít advertise the inch pounds of torque for the surge, if I remember from the salesman it was less than 500 on the m18, vs 1200 on the regular m12, surge is great for smaller fasteners, but if I could only have one impact, it would not be the surge
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:13 PM   #16
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


The amount of torque isn't what makes a compact impact better or worse. Anything bigger than a deck screw or headlok There's better tools for that. What makes the surge so appealing is how quiet and smooth it is. Too much torque is not good for driving screws. It has a tendency to stress and weaken just below the screw heads.

With the surge it drives smoother and faster than the original impact. The newest Milwaukee m18 may have its place, but not as a screw driving impact. Imo of course.


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Old 08-11-2019, 10:33 PM   #17
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Great post Mike,, I'll be installing a kitchen on Wednesday driving a lot of 2Ĺ" screws with my soft impact. It works great and so much better with my head in the cabinet.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:26 PM   #18
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
The amount of torque isn't what makes a compact impact better or worse. Anything bigger than a deck screw or headlok There's better tools for that. What makes the surge so appealing is how quiet and smooth it is. Too much torque is not good for driving screws. It has a tendency to stress and weaken just below the screw heads.

With the surge it drives smoother and faster than the original impact. The newest Milwaukee m18 may have its place, but not as a screw driving impact. Imo of course.


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Which is why Iím happy Iím not limited to only having one
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:24 AM   #19
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


I just pulled the trigger on a DeWalt 20V MAX DCF885L1 for $99.

It came with a 3.0Ah battery, charger & case. While there were some good options for around the same price, in the end, this one had the most bang for the buck and tons of great reviews compared to the DeWalt models that came after the DCF885.

Being "Made In The USA" was just a little plus.

Why not the Bosch 12V Combo for the same price? Because I already have a pretty stout 20V DeWalt cordless drill. I didn't need a smaller drill and 20V is always better than 12V for an impact driver.

While I'll miss the much smaller & more compact size of the Bosch, let's face it...I'm not out there making a living screwing with a gun anymore.

I'm a weekend warrior when it comes to tools now so I'm not going to get fatigued from using it occasionally. Plus the weight difference is negligible for the power output at 2.1lbs for the 12V Bosch vs 2.8lbs for the 20V DeWalt.

On top of all that, Amazon offered me next day shipping so it should be here tomorrow just in time for the aforementioned weekend. I checked the local Lowe's & Home Depot. They didn't have anything.

So, next on my DeWalt list will be their heated hunting jacket and their 20V chainsaw because both are the best of their kind and after that, I'm probably done with DeWalt.

I definitely will have to jump on that Milwaukee FUEL bandwagon.

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Old 08-15-2019, 10:35 PM   #20
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Re: 12V Impact Drivers...which One?


I have the 12v dewalt kit, but I use it solely for pickup/finish work. Itís perfect for installing drawer faces, towel bars, etc. I use a 18v makita for actually building stuff


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