Impact Driver vs Drill Driver Vs Hammer Drills

While you’re confused about choosing between Impact Driver or Drill Driver, let’s tell you, you need both. Though they look identical, the operations are a way different. Below, we’ll elaborate you, why you need both.

Well, if you’re on a strict budget and going for either one at this moment, we’ll show you which one you should pick first according to your profession and works.

Remember, We don’t endorse any specific brand here; the article is strictly about Impact Driver vs. Drill Driver vs. Impact Driver.

The Differences


While they look the same, they have many differences in construction.

The drill driver comes with a chuck or keyless chuck, but the impact driver comes with a collet. The demerit of the collet is, it only accepts drill bits with hex shanks. Whereas, the drill driver’s chuck has claws that can work with any drill bits making it versatile.

Even though you put a driver tightly, the chuck can loosen under allowed torque. As a result, there’s a chance that the drill bit will fall out. Well, an impact driver, the collet locks the driver and prevents falling out.

Always read manufacture manual before using drill, driver or accessories. 

The drill drivers weigh lower than the impact drivers. The latter one doesn’t come with a clutch making it compact than the former one.

Drill drivers consist of two gears(slower mode with higher torque settings for drilling and faster mode for driving screws and fasteners) whereas impact drivers have only one gear. So, you have to variate the speed using triggers while working with an impact driver. The standard drills have a clutch, so that can regulate the torque.


The fundamental difference between these two tools is the motion. While the drill drivers use rotational motion, the impact driver uses the same rotational motion but with an additional hammering action. The hamming action performs both downwards and sideways.

There are two benefits of this,

Firstly, the hammering action and higher torque of impact driver help to drive longer screws. If you’re working with a drill driver, you’ve to put addition arm force while driving longer screws. Whenever the impact driver faces resistance, it produces the hammering action to eliminate extra arm force required to drive longer screws over any material. Surprisingly, this effect is automatic.

Secondly, the hammering action prevents the drive bit slipping from the screw head.

Most of the impact drivers fall under 12v to 20v. As a layman we can say, more voltage rating equals to more powerful and faster. Since the impact drivers have higher torque, they finish the work more quickly.

Impact drivers produce 3 times more torque than cordless drill drivers.  

Since drill drivers have a clutch, it allows the power drill driver to stop driving below specific torque. This prevents shatter of the screw in the material due to the extra pressure given by the drill driver. Howbeit, the impact driver doesn’t have any clutch; you’ve to stop the driver with your own precision.

Drill drivers deliver best for precise driving screws and drilling holes. Though you can use impact driver as a drill using ¼-inch hex drill bits, it’s not ideal to use them for high precision drilling tasks. The hammering vibration often makes the hole oval shaped instead of round.

It’s not recommended to use impact driver to drill hard surfaces like concrete, dense etc.


On a comparative voltage, standard drill drivers cost significantly less than the impact drivers.

What is Hammer Drill?

The hammer drills are almost identical to regular drills in operation. The only difference is, the former have hammering action which adds extra power.

The hammering force applied directly to the bits which help bits to penetrate the surface. Next, the spiral spinning force of the drill bits helps to out debris from the hole in making.

Well, hammer drills are heavier, and it’s advisable to use them for tough surfaces like stone or concrete and with masonry bits. Furthermore, hammer drills are costlier than regular drills.

Which one to select?

If you’re an occasional DIYer or this is going to be your first purchase, go for drill driver. Because, with casual work, you need a tool that can operate in multiple ways; the drill driver does the same. You can turn your cordless drill into a screwdriver in no time just with one set.

Remember, the battery power is the crucial metric while judging the power of any drill driver or impact driver. With lower Ah batteries, you’ll face difficulties while driving screws deeper with both the tools.

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