What Are The difference between Drill drivers & impact drivers?

If you come to think of it, among all the home improvement tools a hammer drill is the most common tool. On the other hand, an impact drill is considered as an upgraded version of the tool. You can say both of the tools are the same and works alike, and you can drill screwdrivers on any materials using both drivers. But even after all these similarities what’s the difference? Today, we are going to talk about hammer drill vs impact driver. If you have any confusion about these tools, we hope at the end of the content you will know them all.

What is a hammer drill?

A hammer drill is mainly a power tool also known as percussion drill. This tool is mainly used by professionals to drill any hard materials. Mainly a type of rotary drill with impact mechanism, a hammer drill generates hammering motion. When operates, it will provide a rapid succession of short hammer thrusts.

What is an impact driver?

An impact driver is a high-torque tool. This tool is primarily used for driving any screws or tightening different sized nuts. Not only that but this tool is lighter and shorter than drill drivers. Using this tool is easy in just about any area.

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Impact driver vs hammer drill – What’s the difference?

Though they look alike, they do have differences. For many people who have a lot of confusion on this matter needs to know about them. Now in this part of the content, we are going to talk about them. So, make sure you check them all out.


Every tool has a specific purpose before its construction. For any light purpose, a cordless drill along with a great clutch is required. By light working purpose we mean that if you need to drill a hole in 50 years or way back walls, you will need a cordless drill and great clutch. On the other hand, an impact driver is mainly for heavy projects. The impact driver has a strong torque. The main purpose of an impact driver is to drive large fasteners. You can drive long screws and with the help of an adapter, driving lag bolts is easy.


Hammer drill mainly features a cam-action or percussion hammering mechanism. In the percussion hammering mechanism, two sets of toothed gears will mechanically interact with each other to hammer any screwdriver. In the meantime, it will rotate the drill bit. When equipped with a masonry bit, hammer drills can drill into stone, concrete, brick or mortar. On the other hand, mainly an impact driver is used to loosen larger screws. Corrosively frozen, over torqued nuts or screws can easily be loosened with an impact driver. The impact driver mainly consists of a heavy outer sleeve surrounding an inner core. The inner core is splined to the outer sleeve. When a user the outer sleeve using a hammer, the tools downward force works on the spline so that it produces turning force on the core.


The main difference between a drill driver and an impact driver is the clutch. A hammer drill comes with an adjustable clutch. The adjustable clutch helps you not to over-torque or damage fasteners or screwdriver bits. But the problem is with the impact driver. They do not offer any adjustable clutches.


Hammer drill and impact driver is identical with each other. But there are differences too. A hammer drill is like a mini jackhammer. Large in size, the hammer drill has a drill chuck which can easily take different types of bits and sizes. In contrast, the impact driver is short in size. The hexagonal socket is located in place of a chuck. You can easily hold an adapter into where the bits may be attached.

Weight and size

One of the major differences between hammer drill vs impact driver is the size and weight. Hammer drill is larger in size and weighs a lot. It is a corded tool. If you compare it with an impact driver than the tool is much shorter and lighter than the hammer drill. Also, another thing to be noted is that an impact driver is a cordless tool and Drill Press Table.

Manner of operation

The manner of operation is also a key difference between the two tools. When it comes to hammer drills, the tool uses more pressure than the impact driver. Anyone using this tool can feel the pressure as like a hammer it hitting very fast at random, and driving into the hard material. The hammer drill will vibrate in a back and forth motion. The adjustable clutch will define the limit of applied pressure. On the other hand, impact drivers work in a rotary fashion. Because of the special mechanism, the cordless tool can apply a lot of pressure. But one of the downsides is that it does not feature an adjustable clutch. For this, when you are finishing any small job, controlling the force is impossible.


For any tools, the expense is a huge factor. Hammer drill is always more expensive than the impact driver. Because of the construction and user features, hammer drills are expensive. But an impact driver is lighter, compact and has less restriction. Along with some of the downsides, an impact driver cost less than a hammer drill.

Some important FAQ

  • Hammer drill vs impact drivers – which tool is the best choice?
  • This is a tough question to answer. One thing for sure, this is not about one tool being better than the other one. It depends on your workplace and the purpose of your work. For professionals, the hammer drill is a must. But a hammer drill has some restrictions. On the other hand, an impact driver is lighter, easy to carry. You can use the tool anywhere you want. In my opinion, a cordless driver tool is a better choice for regular working purpose. The impact driver is always cordless so it is shorter in size and lighter. So choosing the impact driver is a good choice. But as I have said earlier, all depends on your working purpose and workplace.

  • Can I use a hammer drill on my house?
  • If your house is under construction than the answer is yes. But if it’s not, the answer is no. Hammer drill is like a mini jackhammer. The impact it creates may harm your house.

    Final Verdict

    Just reaching the final verdict, all we can say is this both the tools are complementary. They both have a significant difference in their function, manner of operation, and many more. This content was not about showing you which tool is better. Rather it was to show you the difference that makes them apart from each other. Hope you have no confusion about the matter anymore. Whether it is a hammer drill or an impact driver, you need both the tool depending on your work.

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