This isn’t by any means a new tool — PopSci mentioned it last year, I believe — but it’s surprising how few people we run into that’ve heard of it. What makes this particular impact driver special is its microprocessor controlled digital clutch, which automatically shuts the drill off when the screw’s been tightened about 1/2 turn — just enough to bring it flush in wood.
It’s got 16 clutch settings, and can deliver a claimed 1,060 in-lbs of max torque — plenty for most driving jobs. In “soft mode” — which saves battery and goes easier on simpler tasks — it can still crank out 711 in-lbs.
Besides its awesome clutch, this tool also features a pretty slick, ergonomically designed grip system, a white LED “spotlight,” and NiHM batteries (for European compliance, but also delivering a little more bang than your average NiCds).
List pricing is $349, though we found it available online for closer to $320. YMMV.
12V Cordless Impact Driver w/Digital Clutch (EY7202GQW) [Panasonic]
Street Pricing [Froogle]