Josh Dunlap, production manager of Consolidated Design & Construction Group, in St. Louis, whose crews have used cordless impact drivers for years, says that he recently bought a corded Makita model 6952 impact driver (makitatools.com). The 2.3-amp tool weighs just 3.1 pounds, generates up to 3,200 rpm, delivers 1,062 inch-pounds of torque, has a belt hook, and costs about $200.

Dunlap calls the 6952 an “absolute game changer” because it can drive deck screws all day or sink common self-drilling lag screws without overheating. It also eliminates the high cost of replacement batteries. And, unlike cordless drivers, it never peters out while driving a screw—which, as Dunlap points out, is especially problematic when driving a long stainless-steel screw because you can easily tear up its head or snap its shank when you try to finish driving it. On the downside, the 9-inch-long tool isn’t as compact as most cordless models, and the cord is just 7 feet long.

Makita introduced the 6952 in 2003; recently Porter-Cable introduced the 4.3-amp corded model PCE201 (porter-cable.com). Maybe that signals the start of a new trend. —Bruce Greenlaw is a contributing editor to JLC.