Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

Impact Drivers

Final Thoughts

Even though other impact drivers have more power and speed, we find the Festool TID 18 impact driver in our hands more frequently than other models. There’s a feeling of refinement and quality in the design that makes for a pleasant screwdriving experience. On paper, it might make more sense to choose something different. However, if you enjoy the tool you’re using, it’s a good purchase, and the Festool TID 18 is one of our favorites.

Overall Score 4.6 Pro Review

Get it Online

Acme Tools

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Review


Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Finds the Sweet Spot Between Performance, Size, and Quality

With the launch of the Festool TID 18 impact driver, our German friends are touting a long service life. It’s packing a an “extremely robust hammer mechanism” to go along with a new generation of Festool EC-TEC brushless motor.

We put it through our series of tests to see how it compares to the best cordless impact drivers available.

Pros

  • Well built, refined feel
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Quieter than most standard impact drivers
  • Loosened 4200 in-lbs in our testing
  • 3 speeds plus self-tapping screw mode
  • Excellent bit holder design (yeah, we really are stoked about it!)
  • Comes in a Systainer

Cons

  • Premium pricing
  • Not as much fastening power as other 18V options

Recommendation

Even though other impact drivers have more power and speed, we find the Festool TID 18 impact driver in our hands more frequently than other models. There’s a feeling of refinement and quality in the design that makes for a pleasant screwdriving experience.

On paper, it might make more sense to choose something different. However, if you enjoy the tool you’re using, it’s a good purchase, and the Festool TID 18 is one of our favorites.

SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

Festool TID 18 Cordless Impact Driver Testing

Speed

Festool specs their impact driver at 3200 RPM no-load speed. That’s right where we expect to find professional-level impact drivers, though there are some that reach a couple of hundred RPM higher.

About the heaviest load we expect from our impact drivers is a 1/4-inch ledger screw or timber screw. Driving into glued-up 3/4-inch OSB subfloor (our baseline material for consistency), the TID 18 averaged 356 RPM.

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Review

It’s on the lower side for this particular test, and we might opt for a light-duty impact wrench when we get to those 1/4-inch fasteners instead.

For more standard screws such a drywall or deck screws, it’s a speed demon that makes us grateful for a long trigger pull and 3 speeds to maintain control.

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Review

When you’re running self-tapping screws, there’s a T-mode that comes into play. It senses when the screw makes the transition from metal into the wood and automatically adjusts the speed so you avoid overtightening. With fewer sheared screw heads, you have fewer mistakes to redo.

Torque

Torque is an interesting spec on today’s impact drivers. With some touting 2000 in-lbs or more, the Festool TID 18 impact driver’s 1593 in-lbs may seem a bit weak.

However, we find that once you hit more than 1600 in-lbs, you start breaking adapters pretty frequently when you’re using sockets.

Setting up our torque rig, Festool had a surprise in store for us. Measuring with our Gearwrench digital torque wrench, it took 1524 in-lbs of torque to break its average fastening effort. It’s a mark that’s on the low side of our other 18V models’ range.

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Review

But when we tested breakaway torque, this mild-mannered impact driver showed off its Superman muscles by loosening the hardened bolts we set to 4200 in-lbs!

What we end up with is an impact driver that has relevant fastening muscle for most fasteners under 1/4-inch in diameter with a hard-hitting reverse torque that can loosen stuck nuts and bolts better than some compact impact wrenches.

Noise Level

Impact drivers are noisy tools by the nature of the hammer and anvil mechanism that makes them great at their jobs. Aside from hydraulic models, the Festool TID 18 impact driver is one of the quieter ones.

We measured it at 95 decibels (A-weighted, slow response), putting it just above Kobalt’s XTR and making it the second-quietest we tested.

Realistically, 95 decibels still isn’t quiet and you’re going to want some hearing protection, though.

Size and Weight

What this Festool impact driver lacks in comparative power, it makes up for in size and weight.

With its 5.1-inch head length and 7.5-inch height, it’s one of the most compact models available. Makita’s XDT16 and Milwaukee’s 2857 have heads that are about a 1/2-inch shorter. From there, Festool is hanging out with the compact elites that leave most other impact drivers feeling bloated.

The TID 18 is solid in the weight department as well. It weighs 2.1 pounds bare and its 4.0Ah compact Li-HighPower battery brings it up to 3.4 pounds. It’s definitely on the lighter side of what’s available.

The design balances the weight well and makes it easier to use no matter what your angle of attack is. A comfortable grip and contoured handle also help this impact driver to have fantastic overall ergonomics.

SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

Additional Feature Notes

Festool has most of the features we look for on an impact driver.

  • Brushless motor
  • 3 speeds (electronically controlled)
  • Assist mode (self-tapping screws)
  • LED light (bottom placement)
  • Belt hook (reversible)
  • One-hand bit insertion

It is missing a couple of items, but they’re certainly not deal-breakers.

  • Smart controls
  • Spring bit ejection

We really like Festool’s bit holder. On either side just above the battery, there are magnets that allow 1/4-inch bits to securely stick. It’s big enough to hold a 2-inch bit on each side or up to four 1-inch bits total.

It holds the bits well enough that short drops and knocks won’t send them falling to the the floor.

As usual, Festool packs everything into a Systainer, ensuring everything has its proper place in a case that locks onto other Systainers and CT vacuums.

Price

Festool products typically have a premium price thanks to its quality build. As a bare tool (Basic), it runs $199. The standard kit (Plus) adds two 4.0Ah batteries and a charger, running $349.

You can also get it in a set with either the T18+3 cordless drill ($549) or the PDC 18 percussion drill ($599)

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Options

BasicPlusSet T18Set PDC18
TID 18 ImpactTID 18 ImpactTID 18 ImpactTID 18 Impact
Belt ClipBelt Clip2 x Belt Clip2 x Belt Clip
SystainerSystainerSystainerSystainer
Rapid ChargerRapid ChargerRapid Charger
2 x 4Ah Batteries2 x 4Ah Batteries2 x 4Ah Batteries
T18+3 DrillPDC 18 Perc Drill
FastFix ChuckFastFix Chuck
Aux Handle90º Chuck
Aux Handle
$199$349$549$599

The Bottom Line

Even though other impact drivers have more power and speed, we find the Festool TID 18 impact driver in our hands more frequently than other models. There’s a feeling of refinement and quality in the design that makes for a pleasant screwdriving experience.

On paper, it might make more sense to choose something different. However, if you enjoy the tool you’re using, it’s a good purchase, and the Festool TID 18 is one of our favorites.

Festool TID 18 Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Festool TID 18
  • Power Source: Festool 18V battery
  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 1200/2000/3200 RPM
  • Max Torque: 1593 in-lbs (180Nm)
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs. bare, 3.4 lbs with 4.0Ah battery
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $199 bare, $349 (kit)

Check more Festool products by clicking here!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas Hirth

You pay for the name ridiculous