Removing or driving fasteners in cramped spaces is easy with the new Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver thanks to its compact head size of only 3-1/2″ and 700 in-lb of torque. This handy tool comes with lithium-ion battery power, a variable-speed trigger, 1/4″ hex quick chuck and a compact size that will surely make it one of the go-to tools in your collection.
Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver Features
The Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver arrived in a well designed cardboard box that had a nifty lift top lid that let you peek inside the package to see what was in the box. The impact driver came neatly organized in a zippered nylon carry case that had heavy elastic and Velcro enclosures to hold the tool and accessories in place. The lid of the case has a zippered mesh pocket for the product manuals and other literature. This set includes the NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver (Model No. 320.17562), one 12V lithium-ion battery (Model No. 320.11221), 12V lithium-ion 30 minute quick charger (Model No. 320.10006), 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/8″ impact grade nut
driver bits, impact grade screwdriver bit, and the owners manual. The overall body of the impact driver is made of gray ABS plastic and has black rubber overmold on the handle for comfort and to ensure a good grip. We are glad to see more manufacturers offering battery level indicators. This tool is no exception, as you activate the trigger, there is a lighted battery level indicator located on the back side of the handle above the battery that turns green (full), orange (half full), or red (empty). There is also an LED work-light above the trigger that lights up when the trigger is depressed. The bummer with this LED work light is that it only comes on when the motor is running. A better design is to have a two-stage activation so that when the trigger is first pulled, the LED work light comes on and then, when you depress the trigger more, the motor engages. This way you can use the tool as a makeshift flashlight when needed.
Bit changes are fast and easy with the 1/4″ quick connect collet. The forward gear housing is aluminum which should help out with the long term durability and the plastic frame comes around it to protectany work surfaces it comes in contact with. The reversible toggle switch lets the direction of rotation be changed from forward to reverse and also a lock trigger position when the switch is in the middle. An electric brake is integrated so that the motor stops almost instantly when the trigger is released. Air vents are located in the side of the handle to keep the motor running cool. We suggest making sure that your hands do not block these so that the air can flow and get to the motor to keep it cool. The Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver is well balanced very well and, even with its somewhat bulky handle, still fit our hands pretty well.
Testing and Use
To test and review the Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver, we put it through a variety of jobs. One of tests was to drive a pile of 3″ deck screws into a piece of 4×4 pressure treated pine. The impact driver drove the screws in easily and we had no trouble avoiding any stripping of the heads. An impact driver is more effective and less likely to strip screw heads out than a regular drill because it gets its power from an internal mechanism that delivers hammer blows to an anvil that transmits that power to the bit. With up to 3400 beats per minute this tool makes driving screws nearly effortless, with almost no fatigue, since nearly all the torque is delivered directly to the fastener and not to the operator. The impact driver worked great for installing some counter tops and cabinets because we were required to drive fasteners where there was not much room to work. We didn’t feel completely confident using this tool on small sized fasteners because even with the slightest trigger squeeze it had the bit spinning faster than we really needed. For driving any length drywall screws, deck screws or lag bolts, this quick of speed was not a problem at all. The toggle switch that changes the driving direction also seemed a little bit loose which made accidentally switching directions possible. This happened to us a few times and was more apt to happen when we had gloves on then when we used the tool bare-handed.
To test the Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver’s lag bolt driving ability we drove a handful of 1/4″x3″ lags into our 4×4 pressure treated pine post. To start, we drilled a 1/8″ pilot hole and then we drove the bolts flush in to their heads without any trouble. Seeing how easy that was, we decided to push it further and tested driving 3 more 1/4″x3″ lags into the 4×4 without a pilot hole. These also were set flush all the way to the head. When driving the lags, or even the other types of screws, the noise level got pretty loud. If you plan on using this type of tool for any extended amount of time, we suggest using some hearing protection. The 1/4″ quick connect chuck made for speedy bit changes. The LED work light also seemed to be positioned well and was bright,but as we had a hard time lighting the work area prior to spinning up the tool when working in dim spaces. If you want to use the light to find the screw – imagine your disappointment to find that the head will be spinning when you do so… We did like the fact that this impact driver only weighs a little over 2 pounds, which should make it easy to use for extended amounts of time without feeling fatigued. We were a little disappointed that the kit only came with one battery, but we were pleasantly surprised at how many fasteners this impact driver would do on a single charge. Even when the battery did run out of power, the 30 minute quick charger had the battery back in business fast enough (and it doesn’t hurt that Craftsman released its new QuickBoost charger this year).
The engineers at Craftsman did a fantastic job of combining the functionality of a right angle drill with an impact driver. The Craftsman 17562 NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver represents whatmight be an industry first with their design and from what we can tell, they engineered a great tool. This impact driver proved to be very versatile when working in cramped spaces and for some projects it’s a must. For our Performance rating, we give this impact driver an 8/10 due to its unique place in the market, its compact size and the fact that it comes with plenty of power. For our Value rating we gave the this tool a 6/10 which is above average. Had this tool come with an additional battery and a slightly better trigger/light control, it would have definitely scored another point or two. It is not every day that we see a new and unique tool and the Craftsman’s NEXTEC 12V Right Angle Impact Driver is both. If you have situations that have you working in cramped spaces then you need to run over to your nearest Craftsman dealer and pick one of these up.