The Best manual impact driver can be used to substitute for a power impact driver in a variety of situations.
Keep in mind that a manual impact driver performs the same function as a power impact driver but without the finesse and speed that the power impact driver provides.
In a moment, we will be taking you through some of the best manual impact drivers and the features that put them on our radar.
Top Best Manual Impact Driver
- Best Overall: Lisle 29200 hand Impact Driver
“The Lisle tool features a unique design and comes pre-packaged with a bit holder and five extra bits.”
- Best Budget: Tekton 2905 Manual Impact Driver
“The Teknon tool has a durable material, ergonomic design, and multiple driver bits.”
- Premium Choice: Klein Tools 70220 Manual Impact Driver
“The Klein tool has a rugged design, multiple bits and is excellent for frozen screws.”
- Capri Tools Manual Impact Driver
“The Capri tool features a steel housing, slip-resistant handle, and is compatible with 1/2 -inch sockets.”
- Astro Pneumatic Tool 9517 Hand Impact Driver
“The Astro tool has an excellent design, great torque output, and high-grade finishing.”
- Gearwrench Hand Impact Driver
“The GEARWRENCH tool has a reverse action feature, 4 driver bits, and is great for professionals.”
- Alltrade 648002 Dr. Impact Driver
“The Alltrade tool is lightweight, has a premium finish, and is protected by a plastic case.”
- ABN Manual Impact Driver
“The ABN tool has an ergonomic design, a bit adapter, 4 driver bits, and a plastic storage case.”
- Ares 70006 Manual Impact Driver
“The Ares tool has 4 driver bits, a non-slip knurled grip, and a corrosion-resistant finishing.”
- AKM Hand Manual Impact Driver
“The AKM tool has a non-slip grip, 2 screw extractors, and 8 impact grade driver bits.”
10 Best Impact Driver Review
The manual impact driver niche is another workshop tool category with a variety of tools from different manufacturers.
While most manufacturers claim to have the overall best manual impact driver. Others assert their product is the best manual impact driver for specific situations like working on an old engine or a motorcycle.
We will go over the numerous impact drivers available, ultimately putting to rest the topic of what the best manual impact driver is.
1. Best Overall: Lisle 29200 hand Impact driver
It’s not every day that a Lisle tool takes the top spot as the best tool in its category.
The Lisle 29200 hand impact driver is rated as the overall best manual impact driver due to its combination of class and efficiency.
The Lisle 29200 tool weighs approximately 1 pound and comes in a complete kit that includes the tool, a bit holder, a case, and five additional bits.
The extra bits are a #1 Phillips bit, a #2 Phillips bit, a #3 Phillips bit, a #4 Phillips bit, and a 3/8 inch straight slot bit.
The tool has a one-of-a-kind design that conveniently delivers over 200 ft. Lbs of shock torque, depending on the severity of the impact.
Its efficient design makes it perfect for loosening rusted or frozen nuts, bolts, and screws.
However, the one place that the Lisle brand missed the mark was in the driver bits. The driver bits often break easily upon impact and tend to twist when used to loosen relatively hard nuts.
We also discovered that some products had a faulty socket holder that fell out after repeated use.
The tool itself gives excellent value for money, so we recommend purchasing an additional set of high-quality driver bits in addition to the tool.
The above combination will provide you with the best manual impact driver experience possible.
- Efficient tool
- Comprehensive tool kit
- Poor quality bits
2. Best Budget: Tekton 2905 Manual Impact Driver
An excellent tool at a great budget is more than anyone can ask for. The Tekton 2905 Manual Impact driver conveniently answers the call for the best manual impact driver on the market for a low budget.
The ergonomic design of the Tekton 2905 includes a comfortable handle that promotes a non-slip grip.
The tool is made of chromium-vanadium steel, making it durable and suitable for various work situations.
The Teknon tool itself has a weight of 1.75 pounds which reduces fatigue on the arm when used over long periods.
The Teknon 2905 is shipped together with some additional parts, which includes: 2 pieces of 5/16 inches hex shank Phillips’s screwdriver bits (#2, #3), 2 pieces of 5/16 inches hex shank slotted screwdriver bits (5/16, 3/8 inches), a 3/8-inch drive bit chuck and a storage case.
The most enjoyable feature of the Teknon tool is that it was designed for both loosening and tightening operations, although the markings on it make it a little challenging to navigate at first.
One of the Teknon tool’s main selling points is its ability to work with a variety of different driver bits.
Overall, the Teknon 2905 is a great tool and can easily loosen frozen or rusted screws without damaging them.
However, its major flaw is in its driver bits, which have been reported to be soft and brittle.
The bits damage easily upon contact with tough screws and bolts. A quick solution for this would be to buy additional tougher bits for extended use with the tool.
Other than that, it’s an excellent tool to have in your toolbox at a relatively fair price.
- Comprehensive kit
- Soft driver bits
If you are looking for a manual impact driver with class, then you should be looking at the Klein brand to meet your expectations. The Klein tools 70220 manual impact driver is our pick for a premium choice tool.
The Klein tool has a lengthy stretch of about 7 inches and a breadth of 3 inches. It has an internal spring-loaded helical design which is protected by a steel casing.
The steel casing is comprised of heat-treated high-grade alloy steel for increased strength. The quality of the steel housing makes it rugged and contributes to its weight of approximately 2.15 pounds.
The tool comes together with a 3/8-inch square drive fitting adapter suitable for 5/16-Inch hex bits and a plastic case for storage after use.
Also included in its shipment are two hex screwdriver bits with regular slotted tips and two (#2 ,#4) Phillips hex screwdriver bits.
One of the tool’s selling points is how easily it reverses direction when loosening or tightening screws.
The tool can easily deliver over 200 ft Lbs of shock torque thanks to its sturdy and premium build. Its efficient design also makes removing tough screws a piece of cake.
We used the tool repeatedly on many occasions to remove rusted nuts, and it came through without issues.
However, it still has a minor flaw which is in its protective case. For a tool of such incredible strength and design, we would have expected a metal case to help protect the device better.
A quick fix for this issue was to purchase a custom-made case to ensure its longevity after use.
- High-grade alloy
- Variable bits
- Rugged tool
- Easily reverses direction
- Plastic storage case
4. Capri Tools Manual Impact driver
Capri has made a name for itself in the workshop tool market. As a result, it’s no surprise that they have another fantastic tool in the form of the Capri Tools Premium Impact Driver Set.
They may not have the best manual impact driver on the market, but the tool is definitely worth its salt.
The Capri Tools premium impact driver is 12 inches long and weighs 3.32 pounds. It has an all-steel construction housing which is majorly responsible for its relatively heavyweight.
The tool is shipped together with a ½ to 5/16-inch drive adapter and a set of 8 screwdriver bits.
The manual impact driver has an ergonomic design with a slip-resistant handle that promotes use over long periods.
The design also has a double-layer hand protection feature which protects the hand from impact due to hammer strikes.
A dual-direction feature for tightening and loosening screws makes the impact driver a must-have in your toolbox.
Another impressive feature of the Capri tool manual impact driver is its compatibility with 1/2-inch square drive sockets and 5/16-inch Hex bits.
Overall, the Capri tools manual impact driver is an excellent piece of workshop equipment, except for its inferior driver bits, which necessitate purchasing additional driver bits to get good value for money.
- Versatile use
- Hand protection feature
- Ergonomic design
- Dual direction
- Inferior driver bits
5. Astro Pneumatic Tool 9517 Hand Impact Driver
The Astro brand may not be a household name in the workshop tool industry, but they certainly know how to make an impression.
The Astro Pneumatic Tool 9517 hand impact driver is a one-of-a-kind tool packed with excellent design and features.
For starters, the Astro pneumatic tool has a high-grade alloy body that efficiently converts hammers blows into rotational force.
Its sturdy design delivers sufficient torque required for breaking free rusted or frozen bolts and screws.
Its incredible torque makes it ideal for brake disc retention screws and other weather-exposed fasteners.
The tool is shipped together with fourteen 5/16″ hex bits consisting of flathead, Philips, and hex head sizes.
However, we would advise purchasing additional driver bits alongside the tool as some of its driver bits tend to shear when used over short periods.
The Air powered hand impact driver weighs 2.6 pounds and stretches through a length of roughly 8.86 inches.
- Great torque
- Comprehensive toolkit
- Efficient design
- Inferior driver bits
6. GearWrench Hand Impact Driver
The GearWrench brand is yet another uncommon brand that has surprised us with their GEARWRENCH 1140D hand impact driver. Some DIYers have voted it the best manual impact driver on the market, but it has a few minor flaws that didn’t sit well with us.
With a length of 8 inches and a weight of 1.5 lbs, the Gear wrench tool has an impressive, sturdy appearance.
The tool comes in a six-piece kit that includes the gear wrench tool, a 3/8-inch square drive adapter for 5/16-inch hex bits, and four Phillips driver bits.
The tool itself has a standard 3/8-inch square drive, and the Phillips bit sets consist of #2 and #3 Phillips heads slotted as 6 and 8 and 8 and 10, respectively.
The gear wrench has a reverse action function that is useful for tightening screws and bolts.
The standard screw movement is ideal for loosening frozen and rusted nuts that are difficult to remove or could be damaged by a power tool.
Various automotive professionals have recommended the gear wrench tool as an all-around solid tool with a very durable finish that gives it a long lifespan.
Aside from the lack of instruction manuals and the limited number of driver bits that come with it, it is an excellent tool.
- Reverse action
- Durable material
- Solid design
- Limited driver bits
7. Alltrade 648002 Impact Driver Kit
The Alltrade is another brand that has made a name for itself in the workshop tools niche with its magnificent Alltrade 648002 ½ inch impact driver kit.
The Alltrade tool spreads itself at a length of 7.5 inches and a thickness of 1.25 inches. The tool’s intricate mechanism is housed in an aluminum casing which makes it a highly durable tool.
Its weight of about 1.45 pounds is also due to its aluminum material of construction. The Alltrade tool was built to exceed all tool standards and has been the go-to manual impact driver for most professionals.
The tool kit includes two Phillips and two slotted chrome vanadium steel bits, making it versatile.
It also features an efficient design that easily converts hammer blows into high torque impact force. This phenomenon accounts for its success in a variety of situations where other tools fall short.
The incredible features packed into the Alltrade tool make us wonder why a less durable plastic case was given. This eventuality remains one of the most significant flaws of the brand, along with its confusing left and right markings.
- Variable tool solutions
- Durable finishing
- Efficient design
- Plastic storage case
- Confusing markings
8. ABN Manual Impact Driver
The ABN brand is well known for its trademark premium finishing of workshop tools which can be seen in its ABN manual Impact driver set.
For starters, the ABN manual impact driver has an ergonomic design with a knurled handle that provides a firm grip. Its chrome-plated steel design ensures increased strength and resistance to corrosion.
The ABN impact driver comes in a tool kit consisting of a handheld impact driver tool, a bit adapter, 2 36mm Philips’s bits #2 and #3, 2 Flathead bits (8mm x 36mm and 10mm x 36mm), and a plastic storage case.
The ABN tool is Compatible with other 1/2-inch sockets and bits, which makes it a versatile tool to have at your disposal.
Its dual-action feature makes it easy to loosen and tighten screws in either direction. It also has single letter engravings “L” and “R,” which makes identification a breeze.
The efficient design of the ABN tool easily converts hammer blows into high torque force. The resultant high torque force is capable of driving screws 20 degrees in either direction.
The only significant drawback you might experience is its weight of about 2 pounds due to its steel and chrome plated finishing.
- Premium finishing
- Ergonomic design
- Firm grip
- Multiple driver bits
- Relatively heavy
9. Ares 70006 Manual Impact Driver
When it comes to the manufacture of workshop tools, the ARES brand is one of the most well-known.
They made their presence known to the public once more with their magnificent beast of a tool, the Ares 70006 Manual Impact driver.
The shipment from Ares comes in a complete kit consisting of a 3/8-inch chuck, two Phillip bits (#2 and #3), two flat bits, and, of course, a 3/8-inch impact driver.
The intricate mechanism of this tool is housed in a corrosion-resistant chrome-plated finish which makes it perfect for rugged conditions, while the non-slip knurled grip promotes use over long periods.
Its efficient design turns screws through a 20-degree rotation in either direction upon application of hammer blows to its posterior end.
The reversible features of the Ares tool also make it a must-have for Savvy- DIYers.
Although its standard bits are made of Impact grade alloy steel, the tool is best purchased with an additional ARES 70013 Impact Bit set to ensure prolonged usage.
- Impact grade steel-bits
- High torque Impact
- Multiple bits included
- Durable finish
- Relatively heavy
10. AKM Hand Manual Impact driver
The discussion on Manual Impact drivers won’t be complete without mentioning the AKM brand and their fantastic AKM Hand Manual Reversible Impact Driver Set Extractor.
If you own a motorcycle or an engine with rusted or frozen screws, then this is the tool to have in your possession.
The AKM hand impact driver comes in a complete package which includes 1 impact screwdriver, 1 ½ inch impact driver adapter, 2 pieces of #3 Phillips drill bits, 2 pieces of #2 Phillips drill bits, 2 pieces of drill bits slotted as 8, 2pieces of drill bits slotted as 10, a #3 screw extractor and a #4 screw extractor.
The driver bits packaged along with the Impact driver are made of impact grade S2 high alloy steel, and their various head shapes make them ideal for various situations.
The Impact driver has an ergonomic design with a non-slip knurled grip which promotes continuous use. Its best feature might just be the corrosion-resistant chrome-plated finish that gives you the confidence to work under the rain and in other harsh environments.
The one thing that seems out of place with this tool is its protective case which is of inferior quality compared to the rest of the tool. Purchasing an additional protective case alongside the tool should give you all-around protection for an extended period.
- Impact grade bits
- Durable chromium finish
- Versatile driver bits
- ½-inch driver adapter
- Sub-par protective case
If you’re still undecided about which hand impact tool to buy for your toolbox, you should probably keep reading to learn some pointers that will help you decide.
Manual Impact Driver Buyer’s Guide
What to Look for When Buying the Best Manual Impact Driver
We’ve taken the time to identify a few factors that will help you decide which impact tool to buy.
Variety of bits
Most manufacturers package various impact driver bits alongside the manual impact driver tool.
The most common bits found in this scenario are the Phillips #2 and #3 driver bits. Other common styles include the flathead bits and the slotted driver bits.
Driver bits are just as important as the tool itself because they contact the screw and turn it.
Getting a manual impact driver with different types of bits included in its package would save you the cost of purchasing extra bits each time you come across a new job.
But if you have the budget, it would be advisable to buy a more durable pair of impact grade bits alongside the tool.
The tool’s construction material will determine the type of scenario in which your Manual impact driver can be used. Some materials are corrosion resistant while others are not.
Using your tool in an environment it was not designed for may shorten its effective lifespan.
Your best bet would be to go for a tool with a chromium steel finish or any other tool that is corrosion-resistant.
These materials are pretty rugged and would give you the confidence to carry your work tool everywhere, irrespective of the environment.
Grip and Design
Have you ever tried using a non-ergonomic tool to work?
The sheer fatigue alone and discomfort encountered after a long period might send shivers down your spine the next time you try to work with it.
Most manufacturers design their tools using an ergonomic design that promotes comfort on the arm.
Others also give their tools a non-slip knurled grip to promote ease of use over long periods.
We have identified some of the tools that feature these designs in our review, so be sure to take a quick look at them while making your decision.
“Safety first” is the motto of every workshop and workplace. The importance of safety while working cannot be overemphasized.
Manufacturers like the Capri brand considered safety by incorporating a double layer hand protection feature in their impact driver to help protect inexperienced and experienced users.
Another essential tip would be to purchase a pair of heavy safety gloves to help reduce the impact of accidental hammer blows on the hand.
Other features that have a salient role to play in your choice of an impact driver are the quality of the protective storage case, the quality of driver bits, and dual motion features.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a Manual Impact Driver Work?
A manual impact driver is a tool that consists of an internal spring mechanism encased in a heavy metallic outer sleeve.
The outer sleeve is made of a tough metal to ensure it withstands the impact from the hammer blows.
The Manual impact driver works by converting the impact from the hammer blows into the rotational force used to turn the screws.
The degree of rotation of the screw is determined by the impact of the blow and the forces holding the screw in place.
Manual Impact drivers with an efficient design and premium construction material have the highest conversion rate when it comes to converting hammer blows into shock Torque.
How to Use a Manual Impact driver
Before you get started with your impact driver, the first thing to do is to prepare your work tools and the work surfaces. Consider cleaning the screw surface if it has dust or dirt in it to ensure proper contact.
Another essential step is to prepare the right driver bits suitable for the desired job and, most importantly, prepare your safety gloves.
The thicker the safety gloves, the better protected your hand is from accidental hammer blows meant for the driver.
After preparing your tool and your work surface, it’s now time to use your manual impact tool.
Attach the driver bit and the impact tool firmly into the screw and ensure tight contact between the two.
Grasp the tool firmly with your hand; left if you are right-handed, and right if you are left-handed.
At this point, you want to apply downward pressure to the tool while also applying a rotational force in the desired direction. Left for loosening and right for tightening, although the impact tool is used chiefly for loosening operations.
Hit the top of the impact driver with your hammer, giving it a few blows till you feel the screws begin to break away. Ensure your safety gloves are on to reduce the impact of accidentally striking your hands.
If your driver bits do not engage tightly with your screw, consider applying a valve lapping compound to the tip of the driver bits.
The lapping valve compound would help tighten the grip between the screw and driver bits and ensure the job is completed without the bits slipping out.
Related Post: Best Corded Impact Wrench.
Like most workshop tools, there is a slew of manual impact drivers available from different manufacturers, with each of them claiming to deliver the best results.
Our team of experts went through the task of testing the various manual impact drivers to save you the stress of going from one disappointing tool to another.
After rigorous testing, we concluded that the Lisle 29200 manual impact driver was the overall Best Manual Impact driver available in the market.