My first impact driver was a 12v Makita. Actually, it was a set that included a drill and an impact. I was very excited when I got them. With the impact, my life got a lot easier. Pretty soon I realized the limitations of a 12v tool especially when it came to securing a deck ledger board. But the decision to upgrade was made not because of the lack of power but because of the amount of noise my old impact was making.

In a new impact, I was looking for two things. It should be quiet and powerful. The only tool on the market that matched that description was Ridgid Stealth Force. The ad said “half the noise of a standard impact driver” – that was a deal breaker. “With innovative STEALTH FORCE technology, this tool uses a unique hydraulic oil pulse mechanism to make all jobs easier. The RIDGID Pulse Driver is up to twice as fast as standard impact drivers and half the noise”. And this is not just marketing – the tool actually delivers the results. Plus I do not have to charge the battery after each use.

A little later I got a matching drill. The combo works perfectly after 2 years of extensive use and abuse. Both impact and drill were left under the rain couple of times. The only thing that was damaged was one battery – the second survived and works perfectly. The charger survived a direct hit of a large McDonalds Coke spilled on it. The drill was used numerous times to start my son’s go-kart when the starter cord got busted. But all that comes at a price. Just the impact (with two batteries) is $199 at Home Depot.

For those of you who like tech info:

Drive size    ¼ in. Hex
No Load Max Speeds    1000/1800/2400 RPM
Impacts    0 – 1700
Blows    2100
Weight    3.0lb
Motor Type    Brushless
Torque (In-Lbs)    1200
Voltage    18v

 

This is not the most powerful impact but it has enough power for most of the tasks. And it is super quiet. If you need something more powerful you might want to look at Dewalt 20-Volt MAX XR. It is not fair to compare these two impacts because Dewalt uses a more powerful battery and I do not want to turn this post into Rigid vs others battle. But here are couple things to consider. Dewalt costs $20 more at Home Depot and weights twice as much.

One more small detail about Ridgid impact that made my life easier: a dedicated trigger for the flashlight. You do not have to squeeze the main trigger in order to turn the light on.

Bottom line: if someone would give me a more powerful and more expensive impact I would sell it, buy Ridgid Stealth one and have some spare money to spend on my next project: a poker table.