Panasonic released some new tools this week, in particular a new 1/4″ Impact Driver that works with the company’s new 14.4V and 18V batteries. Both batteries also now come in 4.2Ah capacities, which begs the question: Are these tools going to win the award for longest run-time over all other Impact Drivers on the market? We think they just might, though as we’ve found in recent testing, run-time and torque are two completely different aspects of a tool and high accomplishments in one area do not necessarily yield the top results in the other. Still, the new EY75A1LS2G 1/4″ Hex Cordless Impact Driver Kit has a versatility about it that is new to the market. While many tool manufacturers have dropped down to more compact 12V products, Panasonic has lagged in this area, which perhaps explains the movement towards accepting dual voltage on their newest tools.
Editors Note: Check out our 18V Cordless Lithium-ion Impact Driver Shootout
Panasonic EY75A1LS2G Cordless Impact Driver Features
The new cordless impact driver has variable speed and three power settings that make it handy for heavy-power or fine-control jobs such as HVAC installation, auto repair, deck building, lag bolt or more sensitive finish fastening applications. The New Panasonic EY75A1LS2G has a High/Hard setting, which is best for heavy driving jobs such as setting lag bolts, tightening large bolts and nuts or driving long screws. In this setting, it delivers 0-2500 RPM (no-load) and 1370 in. lbs. of torque with 0-3000 impacts/minute (IPM). The Medium setting is suited for driving self-tapping screws and conduit clip fasteners, delivering 0-1400 RPM, 1150 in. lbs. of torque and 0-2800 IPM. Then, for more delicate fastening jobs that require controlled power and finesse, such as installing hinges on cabinets and fastening wall plates to electrical boxes, the Low/Soft setting delivers 0-1000 RPM, a much reduced 230 in. lbs. of torque and 0-2000 IPM.
The new Panasonic EY75A1LS2G impact driver uses an electric brake to stop the 1/4″ hex quick-connect bit instantly in all modes. A built-in LED light shines from the bottom of the tool just atop the battery to illuminate the work area. The tool is reasonable in weight, coming in at just 3.5 lbs. with the 4.2Ah battery, and it measures just around 2-3/8″ wide x 9-1/2″ tall and 5-5/8″ long. The tool comes with a built-in belt hook.
Here’s how the modes break down:
- 1,370 in.lbs. torque
- 0-2,500 RPM
- 0-3,000 IPM
- 1,150 in.lbs. torque
- 0-1,400 RPM
- 0-2,800 IPM
- 230 in.lbs.torque
- 0-1,000 RPM
- 0-2,000 IPM
The tool uses a brushless motor, and has a durable switch and sealed control circuits in both the tool body and battery pack. How do we know this and why do we care? Well, the tool is IP56-rated which means the tool has withstood demanding laboratory tests of working in extremely dusty work environments and the effects of water getting sprayed on the tool by powerful jets. This is one of those ratings that we actually think is significant in real-world usage.
What Is the Big Deal with IP56?
The IP rating is established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is outlined in IEC 60529. It assigns a rating to the enclosure’s ability to keep potentially damaging solid foreign objects (dust and contaminants) and water out of the tool under increasingly difficult conditions. The dust protection test subjects the tool to a very dusty environment and the Panasonic achieved a dust protection level of five out of six levels; the sixth level is for completely dust-tight tools. Similarly, the water protection test put the tool up against increasing levels of water exposure and Panasonic attained a six out of eight levels rating, withstanding the effects of powerful water jets.
But the big deal with this new tool, aside from the increased battery capacity, is still the dual voltage feature. The tool can be powered by Panasonic’s 18-volt or 14.4-volt 4.2Ah LS Li-ion battery pack. Interestingly, Panasonic also built vents into the battery case so water can easily drain out of the battery pack in the event it gets wet. The battery charges to 80% capacity in 65 minutes and fully charges in 80 minutes.
The EY75A1LS2G kit comes with the EY75A1X tool, the EY0L81B charger, two 4.2Ah Li-ion battery packs and a hard plastic carrying case.