Ask any homeowner and they most certainly have a power drill in their toolbox for routine home repairs and DIY projects. Impact drivers are a fairly new tool on the market that are quickly having people compare the impact driver and the drill.
While both tools look relatively similar side by side and have many of the same functions, there are some distinct differences between the two.
Let’s take a look at the impact driver vs drill.
This article will compare the two tools and tell you what you need to know to make sure you use the right tool for the job.
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So what is an impact driver?
An impact driver is a specifically engineered tool designed to do one job: drive screws
It does so with intense speed and power that you won’t find in a traditional power drill
An impact driver does not accept a keyless chuck, instead it uses a collet that uses hex-shanked driver bits
Impact drivers can drive even the longest and fattest screws in with efficiency, where a regular power drill may stall out.
Impact Drivers are Ideal For:
- Driving screws quickly and efficiently
- Driving thick screws into hard wood
- Removing screws or bolts that are otherwise stuck
Learn more about cordless tool batteries here.
Cordless drills have been in home toolkits for years, so most home owners will at least know what one looks like, and how it works.
- A cordless drill has an adjustable clutch that acts as a (not so accurate) torque limiter, and its chuck is able to take both round and hex bit types.
- It is designed to provide a smooth spinning action to the bit being used
Cordless Drills are Ideal for:
- Drilling holes
- Driving Screws
- Tightening or loosening bolts
The Difference Between a Drill and a Driver
Let’s take a look at the differences between impact drivers and drills:
First Glance: you may not recognize the difference between a drill and an impact driver, however, there are many differences that allow them to stand apart.
Size: For starters, a traditional drill is usually a bit bigger when compared to an impact driver. Drivers are typically smaller and more compact, although they pack a more powerful punch.
Clutch: A standard drill has an adjustable clutch which allows you to adjust the torque when drilling or driving, whereas compared to an impact driver which does not. The adjustable clutch on a standard drill prevents fasteners from being overtightened and damage to the drilling surface.
Chuck: The head of a standard drill includes a keyed or keyless chuck. Impact drivers, on the other hand do not have a chuck, instead they have a collet that accommodates hex shanks. In order to withstand the force of an impact driver, impact-rated hex bits are required.
Power and Speed: The impact driver can deliver more power in quick burst, which results in more torque. This action happens automatically when the driver meets resistance. Cordless impact drivers typically come with one gear, however, there are more advanced models available that have up to three gears.
Drills can have quite a bit of power behind them, but they transfer this to the chuck in a different way which does not have the brute force behind it that a driver does.
Action: The cordless impact drill uses the powerful combination of bit rotation and hard hitting blows to bust through even the thickest or toughest of surfaces. Impact drivers can deliver up to two to three more times power when compared to a traditional drill. A cordless drill simple turns clockwise or anti clockwise, although some do have an optional hammer option.
Ease of Use: Despite its intense power, the driver manages to be easy and comfortable to use. The concussive action of the driver transfers much of its power directly to the screw, not to your hand or wrist. This allows you to drive in screws with incredible force and accuracy without compromising your arm.
The cordless drill is a simple tool that is easy to understand and use. On occasion, you may find that if a drill bit gets stuck in the material being drilled then the tool itself may spin resulting in injuries to the hand or wrist.
Drill vs Impact Driver: The Pros and Cons of Each
When you are determining which tool to use for your next home improvement or DIY project, it can be helpful to know the pros and cons of each tool.
We break it down here for you:
Impact Driver Pros
Impact Driver Cons
Each of these tools offers their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Determining which one to use for your next project will depend on what exactly you need it for.
As a general rule:
if you are only going to buy one of these tools, the drill will provide you with more versatility for everyday use.
Drills are great for:
- working with drywall
- soft woods
- plastics as the drill won’t bend or break the material.
If you are looking at working on a job that requires lots of drilling through dense materials or with long, thick fasteners, consider investing in a cordless impact driver to save you some time and wrist pain.
Both the drill and impact driver are great tools to have in your tool box to bring out when duty calls.
We hope that this article helped you understand the differences between these two drills and when to use a drill vs impact driver.
Which Tool to Use for Your Next Project
Now that you understand the differences between a traditional power drill and an impact driver, which one should you use for your next project? The answer to this question depends on what kind of project you are working on and for what purpose you need a drill.
Standard power drills are primarily used for drilling holes and screwing in small fasteners. An impact driver is designed for screwing in large fasteners. Screws that are longer can be driven in much easier with an impact driver.
A traditional drill is better suited for jobs that require precision. Considering an impact driver is not well suited for tasks that require precision, it should be used for jobs where the placement of the hole is not crucial, but extra torque is required.
A cordless impact driver can easily blast through dense wood or metal, while a traditional power drill may be stopped in its tracks.
Pricing last updated on 2021-04-15 at 00:02 / affiliate links - Details