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Impact driver vs drill

A handheld drill is a handy and powerful tool that helps users perform several tasks. It can be used to make holes in steel, wood, concrete, non-ferrous metals, plastics, drywall and so much more. The tool also makes threaded holes for machine screws. 

Impact drivers are fairly new within the market. They are quite similar to handheld drills and perform similar functions. In this article, we’ll take a look at impact driver vs drill to help you know which tool it the right one for you. 

Impact driver description

An impact driver is a high-torque tool used to drive screws and tighten nuts. It is typically light and smaller than a conventional drill, but performs similar functions. Due to its intense power and speed, it’s able to drive screws and nuts faster than a drill. 

Impact drivers can be used to drive the fattest and longest screws with increased efficiency. This is, especially where normal drills cannot. They are also ideal for removing stuck bolts and screws.

Strong sides

1. Intense power and torque blows through very thick material. 

2. Can drive in long screws with minimal effort. 

3. Can be used to remove stripped screws. 

4. Does not strip screws as often. 

5. Smaller size reduces impact on the arm and wrist.

Weak sides

1. More expensive to purchase.

2. Louder than a normal drill.

3. Too powerful and strong for precise and delicate tasks. 

4. Only accepts hex-shanked bits and drivers.

Drill description

Drills are tools used to make holes in concrete, wood, or steel. They are available in two types: cordless or corded. Cordless drills are battery-powered while corded drills are powered by electricity. They are also used to fasten small bolts, nuts, or screws.

Most drills are available with variable speed to help adjust speed accordingly depending on the material you’re working on. Their voltage or amperage also varies. The larger the voltage or amperage, the heavier the work the tool can handle.

Strong sides

1. Multi-purpose tool

2. Great for jobs that need precision and care. 

3. Accommodates a wide variety of drill bits and screws. 

4. Relatively affordable. 

5. Uses a constant torque.

Weak sides

1. Can strip screws

2. Stalls out when used with large or long fasteners

3. Can cause wear and tear on user’s hand or wrist


The decision on whether to pick an impact driver or standard drill lies in the type of task you have. Impact drivers are ideal where extra torque is needed and where fasteners and screws are larger and longer. Standard drills are ideal for screwing in smaller fasteners and where precision is crucial.


Can you use an impact driver as a drill?

Yes. You can use an impact driver to make holes in soft wood and light-gauge steel. You will need a standard hex-shank drill bit if the holes are small or a bit specifically rated for impact drivers where holes are larger than ¼ inch.

Do I need a drill or impact driver?

When working on softer material, you’ll need a drill for that lighter and fine touch. An impact driver is ideal for heavy materials such as concrete, harder wood, and masonry.

Is an impact driver the same as a hammer drill?

A hammer drill puts more force on a bit as it hits the wood or concrete being drilled. An impact driver, on the other hand, increases the force needed to deliver the bit perpendicularly to the material.

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