If you have been adding to your tool collection, chances are you might come across different varieties of impact tools.
This includes two of the most popular ones: impact driver and impact wrench.
While both can be useful for projects like building furniture and laying decking, they each have their own specialty. So, how are they different?
An impact driver is basically used to drive screws into materials like metal and wood.
On the other hand, go for the more powerful impact wrench to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts.
In this post, I will help you understand the differences between an impact driver and impact wrench.
What are Impact Drivers?
While it may resemble a regular drill, an impact driver is definitely more powerful.
You can use it on tough materials including wood, metal, and brick.
It is because an impact driver can generate a high torque, which is needed to handle these materials. Usually, you would measure the torque in in.lb.
A standard impact driver would have a range between 1500 and 1800 in.lb in torque.
In addition, this power tool is excellent because it is designed to minimize reactionary torque.
This means your wrist will not be twisting due the power of the drill when operating, making it much more comfortable to use.
Impact Driver Pros and Cons
Generally, the impact wrench is suitable for use in everyday projects and home DIYs. It can easily drill long screws into furniture, for example.
The design is quite compact so the tool can fit into tight spaces. Not to mention that they are usually lighter than regular drill and can be inexpensive to purchase.
I also love the impact wrench because it is very flexible. There are a ton of options for the bit shape and sizes! You can simply choose the right one to suit your project.
However, you will need to buy additional bits as the regular ones used in other drills are not compatible here.
Another obvious drawback of the impact driver is that they can be really loud, which means you might need to consider when and where you are using it.
They also do not come with a clutch to stop the tool once it passes a certain torque.
Be careful when using an impact driver as you might overdo it and drive the screws in too deep.
- Flexible and can change bits
- Quite compact for tight spaces
- Minimal kickback
- Can be inexpensive
- Might be too powerful
- Loud noise
- Different bits from regular drills
Read more: Grinder vs. Sander
What are Impact Wrenches?
On the other hand, an impact wrench is more often used to loosen and tighten bolts.
They also look quite different from an impact driver: much smaller and chunkier, although they provide more power too.
It is better suited for heavy-duty jobs on cars or other large objects. For this power tool, the force comes in ft.lbs.
There are four different types of impact wrenches depending on how it is powered.
Corded and cordless are the two basic types, while a pneumatic impact wrench operates on compressed air supply.
This one has incredible speed. Finally, the hydraulic type uses a fluid mechanism and is less common than the others.
Impact Wrench Pros and Cons
The best thing about using an impact wrench is that it has been made to minimize wrist strain.
This ergonomic design makes it very comfortable to use, even when you are trying to accomplish hard tasks and deal with tough materials.
The four different types of impact wrenches also mean you can choose the best one to suit your purpose.
Moreover, this power tool can generate extremely high power.
While this feature is great for loosening even the toughest bolts, it does make it less suitable for home projects and everyday tasks.
Amateurs should also refrain from using it because of the sheer power and force, which can be dangerous.
- Extremely high power to loosen tough bolts
- Fast and efficient
- Available in different types for different uses
- Not suitable for DIY projects
- Can be noisy
- Not ideal for amateurs
So, which of these power tools do you think you need?
If you are an avid artisan or mechanic, you might need to use both an impact driver and an impact wrench for different tasks.
But if you’re simply looking to complete easy projects at home, a simple impact driver may be all you need!