In this week’s Impact Driver Speed Challenge, we pit the heavyweights of the industry against each other – DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. Our objective? To determine which of these professional-grade impact drivers reigns supreme in terms of speed. To perform the test, we measured how quickly these models could sink 8-inch RSS Rugged Structural Screws into ¾ inch OSB. This material ensured a level playing field for all contenders. So, are you rooting for the Milwaukee 2853, DeWalt DCF887, or Makita XDT16? Let’s find out how your favorite impact driver fared!
You can find the impact drivers mentioned in this article by following the links below:
- Makita XDT16: Makita XDT16 Product Page
- DeWalt DCF887: DeWalt DCF887 Product Page
- Milwaukee 2853: Milwaukee 2853 Product Page
To conduct this test, we utilized GRK RSS Rugged Structural Screws. These screws are 3/8″ in diameter and 8″ in length, providing a favorable alternative to larger lag screws. Designed for faster installation and penetration, these screws are an ideal match for impact drivers. Additionally, we selected 3/4″ OSB as our test material. Although not as hard as LVL, this layered OSB offered the stability necessary for a fair and accurate assessment. To ensure fairness, we utilized freshly charged 5.0Ah batteries for each tool.
A Brief Comparison of Specs and Features
Before diving into the results, let’s briefly compare the basic specifications and features of these impact drivers.
DeWalt DCF887: The DCF887 is a 3-speed model with a maximum speed of 3250 RPM, 3600 strokes per minute, and 1825 in-lbs of torque. DeWalt used this model as the foundation for the DCF888, which includes Tool Connect functionality.
Makita XDT16: The XDT16 stands out as the lightest and most compact driver among the three competitors. It features 4 standard and 4 assist modes, boasting a top speed of 3600 RPM, 3800 shocks per minute, and 1600 inch-pounds of torque.
Milwaukee 2853: As a third-generation M18 Fuel impact driver, the Milwaukee 2853 is only marginally longer than the Makita XDT16. Sporting 4-speed settings and an assist mode, it offers a top speed of 3600 RPM, 4300 impacts per minute, and a remarkable 2000 inch-pounds of torque. It serves as the basis for the Milwaukee 2857 One-Button Impact Driver, which incorporates smart controls.
The Speed Test
The speed test was straightforward. I timed how long it took each impact driver to sink the screw head flush with the top of the material. We performed the test five times and calculated the average. If any issues arose, such as a protruding screw or accidental interference, we redid the test to ensure accuracy.
Results: The Fastest Impact Driver
Now, let’s delve into the results and see how each impact driver performed.
During the initial tests, all three drivers started strong, thanks to their fully charged batteries operating at maximum voltage. However, as they continued working, they adapted to the nominal voltage. Despite DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee providing us with two 18V tools and one 20V max tool, they all initially functioned at 20V max before settling at 18V nominal. If you’re curious about the distinction between 18V and 20V Max, be sure to watch our accompanying video, where we break it down for you.
DeWalt recorded an impressive time of 7.28 seconds in the first attempt, while their slowest time was 9.57 seconds. After crunching the numbers, the average time for the DeWalt DCF887 was 8.41 seconds.
Makita started slightly slower, with a time of 7.68 seconds in the first attempt. However, it displayed more consistency throughout the tests, finishing the final attempt in 9.59 seconds. This resulted in an average time of 8.49 seconds for the Makita XDT16, mirroring the margin of error for DeWalt.
Milwaukee’s first test broke the record at an astonishing time of 5.32 seconds, while its slowest time occurred during the middle test, at 6.43 seconds. Examining these figures, it comes as no surprise that the Milwaukee 2853 M18 Fuel tops the list with an average time of 5.84 seconds.
Confirming the Results
To ensure the accuracy of our findings, we conducted additional confirmatory tests after allowing the tools to rest for a period. These tests consistently yielded similar results, reaffirming the initial outcome. Furthermore, we tested the impact drivers with smaller 1/4″ x 6″ RSS screws, and the Milwaukee driver still outperformed the competition significantly.
While Milwaukee’s strength was evident in our strength challenge, where it broke the adapter, it also displayed its superiority in this soft-torque tightening test by maintaining a higher speed. As for DeWalt and Makita, their final results were so close that the margin of eight hundredths of a second fell within the timing error. Let’s not underestimate their performance, though – all three brands prove to be remarkably fast. As we continue to test more impact drivers on our rig, we’ll be able to see how these three brands stack up against other contenders.
If you have any questions or feedback for us, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Thank you for joining us, and as always, happy tool hunting!
About the Author
Austin Holloway – Video Expert
With unbridled creativity and an unwavering love for baseball, Austin takes charge of all the fast and furious action you see on the Pro Tool Reviews Youtube channel. Behind the camera, he captures breathtaking footage, and in front of it, he makes the PTR team shine.