Run the triple option for more impact
Triple Hammer 18-volt 1∕4" impact driver kit (with two 3.0 Ah batteries and charger), no. WH18DBDL2, $345; bare tool, no. WH18DBDL2P4, $200
Hitachi’s Triple Hammer driver uses a unique mechanism with three hammers and anvils (other impacts use two) to create greater torque options for different fasteners. It does this via four driving modes: three different speeds using three impacts per motor rotation, and one at high speed using only two impacts per rotation. (In this mode, the hammer skips every other anvil, creating a greater “windup” for more force.)
In use, this tool feels just like a traditional two-hammer impact, light with a short head that fits easily into tight spaces. It has all the power and speed I expect from an impact driver, able to sink 4"-long lag screws with ease. But, like most other impact drivers, it’s loud: 92 decibels, well above the threshold where you should wear hearing protection. It also vibrates more than I expected during heavy use.
Note: Shortly before this issue went to press, Hitachi Power Tools changed its name to Metabo HPT. This impact driver, and all other Hitachi-branded tools, will transition to the Metabo HPT branding over the coming months with no other changes, according to Abby Levy, marketing director.