Review: NoCry 20V Cordless Impact Driver Kit

How does this Impact Driver perform? We take a look and put it to some tests here.

Description

This is a relatively compact cordless impact driver designed for home DIY or professional work. It is rated at 120 ft-lb (160 N.m) of torque. Along with the tool itself, you will get one 20volt battery, a belt clip, fast charger, and a very nice soft carrying case.

The rechargeable 20V 3.0 Ah lithium-ion battery is supposed to fully charge in about 1.5 hours with the included NoCry fast charger. My first recharge took about that long although I did not set a timer.

It is rated at having speeds of up to 3000 max rpm. The 1/4 inch quick-change hex chuck will fit all hex-shank bits. The 3 bright LED “no shadow” work lights all work together to give you plenty of light on the screw, bolt, drill bit that you are working with.

The NoCry impact driver kit comes with a 4-year limited warranty, covering you in case there’s an issue.

Review

Unboxing revealed a nice soft black and red zippered case with a charger, batter and the driver itself – all secured with velcro strips.

The Impact Driver feels solid, weighing in at 1780 grams (just under 4 lbs) with the battery attached. This is slightly heavier than the RYOBI 18V Impact driver reviewed here. The hand grip is comfortable and allows you to squeeze the trigger and change direction easily. Some tools have hard to press forward-reverse sliders and holding the trigger for long periods of time become uncomfortable. I like the grip and the mass of the impact driver which make it easy on the hands especially for big jobs.

The driver will rotate until it meets resistance before the impact driver starts hammering away. One of the few issues I found was the strong electrical/plastic smell when it runs. It doesn’t feel hot even after prolonged use, but the odor is similar to heated electrics. It makes me wonder how long it will work.

I bought a set of impact rated driver bits which included socket adapters. I decided I would measure the tightening torque on my cars’s wheel lug nuts.

Torque Testing

I loosened a couple of lug nuts with my cross-bar wrench. The car specs say that they should be tightened to 100 ft-lbs (1200 in-lbs). This NoCry Impact driver is rated at 120 ft-lbs so I tightened them up until the lug nuts stopped turning.

I took my torque wrench and calibrated it (which I do frequently) and set it to 80 ft-lbs. The lug nut started to tighten very easily. So I decided to back off the torque wrench setting to 40 ft-lbs and work my way up to see how tight it was. I moved to a different nut and started tightening. The wrench clicked at 40 so I increased it to 50 ft-lbs. The lug nut moved easily, so it had tightened to somewhere between 40 and 50 ft-lbs. Not 120 ft lbs!

The third loose nut had only tightened to 45 ft-lbs. So I repeated the test and sure enough all three lug nuts would only get 45 ft-lbs using this impact driver.

I tightened all three nuts to 100 ft-lbs then tried to remove them with this Impact driver. No go. They did not even budge.

In another test, I took a 4″ 5/16 lag bolt with a 1/2″ bolt head and drove it into wood. The driver took about 30 seconds before the bolt stopped when the head hit the wood. I could easily turn it with my torque wrench set at 20 ft-lbs. I found the same with machine threaded bolts and nuts where a 3/8″ bolt and nut only tightened to about 35 ft-lbs.

As it turns out, the impact driver is not designed to deliver a constant torque and therefore will not be able to tighten anything to its rated torque (120 ft-lbs in this case.) I have to assume the rating is meant for instantaneous torque applied with each impact. So don’t expect an impact driver to tighten or loosen anywhere near its rated torque.

I did not test how long the battery lasts because these tests were spaced days apart. The 3000 mAHr rated battery delivered its power faithfully and I really loved the smart gauge on the back to tell me how much battery is left.

Recommendation

I like the feel of this impact driver. It has a good weight and it is comfortable to use. I am disappointed in the torque it delivers. I am not sure how NoCry came up with the 120-ft-lbs rating, but my unscientific tests show it does not tighten or loosen to anywhere near that rating. This is similar to my results when I reviewed the RYOBI 18V Impact driver.

I would still recommend this NoCry Impact Driver to the homeowner-handyman. It’s fast and makes short work out of long screws, nuts and bolts, and any screw type fasteners.

One word of cautionDO NOT USE FOR TIGHTENING AUTOMOBILE WHEELS. They will not be tight enough unless you further torque them with a proper wheel wrench. The NoCry Cordless Impact Driver is fine for speed screwing each lug nut on (or off once loosened).

Pros and Cons

Pros: Good grip, good turning speed, Battery charge indicator lights, Lights up work area without shadow, Includes belt clip and carry case. Great Tech Support experience when I told them of the heated odor. They offered to replace it no questions asked!

Cons: Rated torque seems to be lacking. No variable torque settings means you can over-drive your fastener if you are not careful. It has an odor of heating electronics that doesn’t appear to affect performance.

Where to get it:

My Rating:

3.5 / 5 stars     

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