Thu. Jun 30th, 2022
BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Impact Wrench
BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Impact Wrench

The impact driver is the best example of the significant technological advancements that have been made in power tools over the past several decades. It is a handheld marvel that can drive even the most extended screws with ease into hardwood, and it does so while keeping the screw heads clean and sharp. Read on to make an informed decision relating to the impact driver versus hammer drill.

You can finally say goodbye to stripped fastener heads and screws that are only half-sunk when you invest in an impact driver. When used appropriately for the task at hand, the impact driver is the kind of tool that exemplifies the concept of “the right tool for the right job.”

At first glance, an impact driver appears to be a drill that has been shrunk down and made shorter. Additionally, it has a striking resemblance to its distantly related cousin, the hammer drill. On the other hand, these three tools each have a specific function that they perform in their own right.

UNIMAC Air Impact Wrench Kit 17pc Rattle Gun
UNIMAC Air Impact Wrench Kit 17pc Rattle Gun


It should not surprise that these tools have a lot in common, given that their mode of operation is fundamentally the same. Although each of these three tools is best suited for a distinct function, all three are capable of performing “general tasks” when necessary.

When you have a solid understanding of the differences between the three, you will have a much clearer picture of the tasks that an impact driver is best suited for.

A Drill (Drill Driver):

The traditional drill, also known as a drill driver, is probably an instrument already familiar to you, and there is a good reason for this. If you have a higher-end model, a good drill is still one of the best “all-around” tools because it can drill holes and drive screws. It performs reasonably well against most materials. A good drill is still one of the best “all-around” tools.

These are excellent drills and were designed specifically for that purpose; however, they can also be used to drive screws. This will allow you to screw most fasteners into most materials. Still, more complicated materials or driving many fasteners in rapid succession will cause your typical drill driver to break down.

Hammer Drills:

BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Lithium Impact Driver Kit
BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Lithium Impact Driver Kit

The use of a hammer drill, on the other hand, is recommended when working with stone and concrete. This handheld combination of a drill and jackhammer is designed to drive a bit into concrete and masonry. It simply has too much impact power to be helpful for any other materials.

The hammer drill is comparable to a drill driver; however, it possesses the additional capability to impact while spinning, which is essential for working on masonry surfaces. You can switch between different functions on some hammer drills, including a drill mode, a hammer drill mode, and a driving mode. However, not all hammer drills have these functions (for driving screws).

When used on concrete walls, which would cause standard drills to overheat and stop working, impact drills can make hole after hole all day long; this is where they truly shine.

BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Lithium Impact Driver Kit
BAUMR-AG 20V Cordless Lithium Impact Driver Kit

Influential Factors:

When driving screws and fasteners faster, the impact driver shines and is what sets it apart from the other two options. This is what sets it apart from the other two choices.

A standard drill simply does not have sufficient torque to drive a screw through rigid material. The high RPM also tends to strip screw heads because of the torque generated by the tool itself, the impact driver, on the other hand. The user can use only one hand while driving screws measuring three inches through solid studs.

If you do a lot of DIY projects around the house that require driving any kind of fastener. Investing in an impact driver can save you a tonne of time and effort. After using an impact for the first time, most people never go back to using a drill for driving fasteners.

WHAT impact driver is going to suit me?

When selecting an impact driver, you don’t have a lot of options to choose from. After all, these drivers come in a single form factor, the same as electric drills and other similar power tools that can be held in one hand.

There is only one size of hex chuck that can be used with impact drills, which is the standard 1/4 inch. There are not many noise reduction features either, so whichever model you choose, take some safety precautions and put on some hearing protection.

Makita 18V 2 Piece 3.0Ah Cordless Impact Driver
Makita DLX2131SX5 18V 2 Piece 3.0Ah Cordless Hammer Drill & Impact Driver Combo Kit

Corded models:

These will be able to deal with larger fasteners in rapid succession and are available at a lower cost. They are heavier, and for some people, the inconvenience of dragging around the cord can be outweighed by the weight of the headphones themselves.

There is a time and a place for corded models. Corded models aren’t as popular as cordless models, becoming increasingly common. However, they are not entirely obsolete, mainly if any fasteners need to be driven in. Have a look at the video that follows to get an idea of what a corded impact driver is capable of doing.

Cordless models cost quite a bit more money (driver, battery, and charger), and to use them, the battery needs to be charged first. Cordless models are significantly more practical and accessible to transport than their corded counterparts despite these drawbacks.

Makita DLX2283S 2 Piece 18V 3.0Ah Cordless Brushless Drill & Driver Combo Kit
Makita DLX2283S 2 Piece 18V 3.0Ah Cordless Brushless Drill & Driver Combo Kit

Impact Drivers with a 12V Cordless Battery:

The 12V impact drivers are more compact and smaller than the 18V models. They are better suited for everyday fasteners into materials ranging from soft to medium grade in terms of their hardness level. In most cases, these do not have sufficient torque to drive larger fasteners into more resistant materials (one after another).

Impact Drivers Cordless 18V and Above:

The 18V models (and higher voltage models) are more potent than the 12V models. They can drive relatively large fasteners into materials that are only moderately hard. The use of larger fasteners in rapid succession (one after another) and the heat generated as a result of this will typically be the point at which these 18V+ cordless models reach their limits.

IMPACT DRIVES, Including Cordless and Corded Options

The cordless, battery-powered variety of impact drivers is typically what individuals have in mind when they reference impact drivers. When you need to be very mobile because you will be going all over the place, it is helpful to have a cordless impact driver at your disposal. It is more likely that using a corded impact driver will slow down the process, and it will.

Makita CLX205SAJ 2 Piece 12V MAX 2.0Ah Cordless Brushless Drill & Driver Combo Kit
Makita CLX205SAJ 2 Piece 12V MAX 2.0Ah Cordless Brushless Drill & Driver Combo Kit

Impact drivers with a cordless battery:

It is very convenient to have a cordless tool that can handle the task of driving almost any type of fastener. And cordless impact drivers are capable of driving almost any type of fastener. The cordless models are most effective when used for driving screws into materials with a higher hardness. Still, they also make short work of materials with lower hardness.

When driving a large number of larger fasteners in rapid succession, cordless models tend to get hot, which is bad news for any tool because heat is the enemy of any tool. Suppose you find yourself in a situation that requires many larger fasteners to be secured in a short amount of time. You have options: you can let the tool sit idle between the fasteners. Switch between two different impact drivers, or use a corded model.

The rating of a cordless impact driver is expressed in volts (V), and the rating of the battery, measured in ampere-hours (Ah), is also an important metric.

Impact Drivers with a Cord:

There is a place for corded impact drivers in the workshops and garages of today. Consider purchasing a corded impact driver for large-scale projects and jobs involving assembly. Impact drivers are handy tools to drive or remove even the most tenacious fasteners. As a result, they are necessary to have on hand when working on a boat.

Milwaukee M12FID-202C 12V 2.0Ah 1-4 Hex FUEL Cordless Impact Driver Kit
Milwaukee M12FID-202C 12V 2.0Ah 1-4 Hex FUEL Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Corded models also have a much better gear reduction system than cordless models, staying more relaxed. Still, they also tend to last a lot longer than cordless models. However, in most cases, they are a great deal heavier. The motors of corded impact drivers are measured in amps (A).

An Important Remark Regarding Brushless Motors:

Always consider purchasing a brushless motor for your impact driver if you have the financial means to do so. Brushless motors have a more efficient operation, which results in a significant increase in the amount of time a cordless impact driver can remain in use. Units that have brushless motors are typically more expensive. Still, suppose you use your impact driver frequently. In that case, the increased durability will save you money in the long run and make the initial investment worthwhile.

Additionally, brushless motors produce less heat, lowering the risk of burn-outs. In impact drivers with these supporting features, the battery and the motor can interact with one another. This is to enhance the device’s performance and prevent excessive heat accumulation. The vast majority of forms of intelligent electronic features are also available exclusively to brushless models.

When it comes to impact drivers, there are a few fundamental characteristics that should be kept in mind:

  1. The built-in LED lights illuminate the target area, making it easier to see and aim even in low light or in locations that are difficult to access. Lighting that uses LEDs shine more brightly, but it also helps conserve a significant amount of battery power.
  2. You can fine-tune the amount of force that the impact driver applies to the fastener with the assistance of an adjustable clutch or an electronic clutch. When working with smaller pieces of woodwork, such as cabinet doors and windows. Having this feature available on your impact driver is very helpful.
  3. You will see increased productivity thanks to the keyless chucks and fast-release features that make changing chuck bits a seamless operation.
  4. Even when vibration protection is used, a tool will typically still vibrate quite a bit even after being adjusted to reduce the amount of vibration it emits.
  5. A portion of the shocks transmitted from the impact driver to the hand is mitigated thanks to specialized ergonomic designs and features. Rubberized pistol grips and a well-balanced design will go a long way toward helping you avoid repetitive stress. This is critical for jobs where you will be putting in hundreds of fasteners.
  6. Toggle switches that are simple to operate let you change the action from forwards driving to reverse driving.

They also help the tool last for the entirety of its intended purpose.

Impact drills with a soft start are generally safer to use. When you press the switch on an impact drill with a soft start, the motor gradually revs up rather than immediately bringing on the torque at the maximum RPM. This allows for a more controlled and safer drilling experience. They also help the tool last for the entirety of its intended purpose.

  1. Locks on the neutral switch or the switch itself. Make it so that the battery on your impact driver does not run down by preventing accidental switch presses. At the same time, it is stored, for example, in your toolbag.
  2. These days, most impact drivers come equipped with a soft brake system built right in. The chuck can be immediately stopped from spinning thanks to the brake function. This feature can be highly beneficial to more experienced users as they drive multiple fasteners in succession.
  3. Belt hooks are not strictly required, but in the same way that drills that have them can be beneficial. They can be accommodating if you climb up ladders, scaffolding, or other similar structures.
  4. Charge indicators can be found on cordless models. Which gives you an indication of charge levels left before plugging it in. Some models include gauges on the tool itself. Still, it is generally more practical to have them on the battery pack rather than the impact driver itself. This allows you to monitor the battery’s charge status even when the pack is not connected to the impact driver.
  5. It is always convenient to have a nice carry case. If one is included with the unit, it is even better because it keeps everything in one place.
Milwaukee M18FQID-0 18V Hex FUEL Quite Impact Driver (Skin Only)
Milwaukee M18FQID-0 18V Hex FUEL Quite Impact Driver (Skin Only)


Because impact drivers belong to the same family of power tools as power drivers, the term “Impacts per Minute,” or IPM for short, is frequently used by manufacturers as a point of comparison. IPM is an acronym that stands for “internal hammer blows per minute,” and it does exactly what its name suggests. The IPM determines how quickly an impact driver can pulse. The higher it is, the faster it can pulse.

The vast majority of models will refer to their IPM as their “No Load IPM” figures; this refers to the IPM they can put out while in the air. The range of IPMs typically produced by 12 V and 18 V models is between 1,750 and 3,750, respectively.

If your IPM is higher, you should be able to drive stubborn fasteners in (or out) at a faster rate while maintaining the same torque.


The amount of power stored in a cordless model’s battery is expressed in amp-hours (Ah). The battery will remain usable for a more significant amount of time between charges if its capacity is more significant and its Ah rating is higher.

When it comes to power tools, the most well-known manufacturers almost always include battery packs compatible with all of their other products. This is especially true if you purchased your impact driver as part of a bundle that also included, for example, a standard drill. Bundle deals typically offer a significantly better value than purchasing each component separately.

DeWalt DCF787N-XJ 18V XR Cordless Brushless Impact Driver (Skin Only)
DeWalt DCF787N-XJ 18V XR Cordless Brushless Impact Driver (Skin Only)


When it comes to driving fasteners and drilling holes. The primary advantage that impact drivers have over standard drills is the increased torque force that they provide. Impact drivers have a generous supply of torque, expressed in inch-pounds and a measurement unit. Therefore, this is the primary metric used to measure impact drivers.

  1. Impact drivers that have motors that operate on 12V can quickly produce torque in the range of 750 to 1,200 inch-pounds.
  2. Those with beefier 18V motors can put out 1,350 to more than 2,000 inch-pounds of torque. Which is sufficient to drive even the thickest of fasteners into some of the most complex materials.

Some manufacturers prefer to work with feet pounds rather than inch-pounds, particularly for their more substantial products. For instance, corded models whose motors are rated at more than 9 amps can produce more than 700 foot-pounds of torque.


The most up-to-date impact drivers make an effort to conserve power. By limiting the number of rotations per minute (RPMs) simultaneously delivered. Because of this, the majority of tools have three or more RPM stages, which can be engaged by applying progressively more pressure to the trigger. Low RPM ranges typically go up to 800 to 850 RPMs. Whereas maximum No Load RPMs can be up to 3000 RPMs or faster.

The number of revolutions per minute (RPM) indicates how quickly a job can be completed when it comes to impact drivers. However, in comparison to drills and planers, this is not as significant of consideration for impact drivers. In fact, using an impact driver with an initial RPM that is too high tends to strip screw heads and destroy softwood. This is precisely the issue that you want to steer clear of when choosing an impact driver.


Cordless impact drivers are available in various voltages. Including 12 volts, 18 volts, 20 volts, and 24 volts (and possibly even more). Still, the most common sizes for cordless impact drivers are 18 volt and 12-volt models. The price of corded models can range from 7 A all the way up to more than 9 A.

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