Skil 20V Brushless Impact Driver Enters New Territory as a DIY Tool
We’ve had the chance to review several of the new Skil tools since their relaunch and they’ve all performed exceptionally well for their price. The brand is marketing itself toward the latest generation of DIYers but catching up with some Pro brands in the process. As the dust settles from our shootout, it’s clear the Skil 20V brushless impact driver (model ID573902) is something much different from the Skil brand of a few years ago.
The two main performance areas we test impact drivers are speed and torque. Head over to our Best Impact Driver article to get the details of our testing methods.
Skil 20V Brushless Impact Driver Speed Under Load
With having said all those nice things during the introduction to the article, it feels a little strange to start off with the one category where the Skil 20V underwhelmed. The Skil ID573902 impact driver might be plenty powerful, but fast it isn’t. Under load, it only produced 307 RPM, placing it in the last place for our 18V impact driver shootout.
That’s not a huge surprise, though. We tested the no-load speed at 2555 RPM—well under the 3200+ RPM of the fastest models. Several impact drivers make the trade-off of downshifting in speed to gain an advantage in power.
Skil ID573902 Fastening Torque
With the fastening torque, we started to see the performance ramp up. The Skil 20V brushless impact driver generates an average of 2,049 in-lbs of torque when fastening down hardened nuts. This performance earns a mid-pack finish just behind Makita’s XDT16 that was the overall winner.
The Skil 20V brushless impact driver breaks nuts loose like that’s what it gets paid to do. In our testing, it crushes a category-winning 4200 in-lbs of torque. For some perspective, the Milwaukee and Kobalt models both tied for second place at 3600 in-lbs of torque.
The overall power that Skil brings to the table keeps up with Pro brands easily, so there’s no reason to shy away from the general jobs you’re already using an impact driver for. However, that slower speed means it’s going to take a little longer to drive timber screws or small lags than some of the other brands.
Weight and Footprint
This Skil impact driver weighs in at 2.5 lbs without the battery. The battery another pound, bringing it up to 3.5. It’s another mid-pack finish, beating out names like Bosch, Metabo HPT, and Ridgid.
Ideally, we like our impact drivers to be as compact as possible so that they can fit into tighter spots. You’re looking at 5.7″ for the head height and 8″ tall without the battery attached. There are definitely some more compact models available, but Skil does reasonably well against its Prosumer/DIY competition.
Ergonomically, the Skil brushless impact driver feels pretty good in the hand. The compact battery doesn’t throw the tool off balance at all and the handle has a nice form-fitting curve to it.
How Loud is the Skil 20V Brushless Impact?
At 102 dB(A), the Skil 20V brushless impact driver is right in line with the majority of its peers. Only 3 drop below 100 decibels and 3 others rise above 102. On the charts, it ties for 11th place, but it’s nowhere near deal-breaker territory.
Skil PWRCore 20 Brushless Impact Features
Compared to Pro models, there aren’t a ton of bells and whistle for Skil’s brushless 20V impact driver. It’s a bit more attractive against the DIY brands. Here’s what you can expect:
- 2-speed brushless motor with blister button mode changes
- Slow starting precision mode for wood fastening
- Single LED (I’d love to see the LED light halo from their 12V brushless model make the final cut)
- Belt hook
- No one-hand bit insertion or ejection
The Skil 20V brushless impact driver retails for $149 with one battery and charger. Like all of Skil’s new cordless tools, it has a 5-year warranty on the tool and a 2-year warranty on the batteries and charger.
The pricing is in line with Craftsman and Ryobi, though Ryobi doesn’t have a kit option for their brushless impact driver at the moment. These premium “Prosumer” tools are creeping up on entry-level Pro brands prices as they creep up on Pro-level performance as well. There’s a significant gap to homeowner level DIY tools in both price and performance as well.
The Bottom Line
This early sample of the Skil 20V brushless impact driver surprised us by crushing 4200 in-lbs of breakaway torque but it otherwise fairly average in the wide view of 18V impact drivers. Narrowing that focus down to the DIY competition, it competes well in performance but loses ground thanks to its somewhat larger footprint and weight.
It’s an impact driver that feels more Pro than DIY with a lower price than Craftsman and it’s the only DIY brand that dares to throw a 5-year warranty on the tool. Just keep in mind that there may be a few minor tweaks before the final product hits the market.
Skil 20V Brushless Impact Driver Specs
- Model: Skil ID573902
- Power: 20V
- Speed (no load tested): 0-2555 RPM
- Bare weight: 2.5 lbs
- Weight (w/battery): 3.5 lbs
- Dimensions (LxH): 5.7 x 8.0 in.
- Warranty: 5 years on the tool, 2 years on the batteries and charger
- Price: $100