Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver – Which is Best?

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver – Which is Best?

Lately, we have seen many persons that want to fix things on their own both for their car as well as for their house to wonder which tool is best for them. The constant debate is among the hammer drill and the impact driver that both are powerful tools which can make a difference in the way you keep doing things around.

It is usually tough to distinguish between a hammer drill and an impact driver because they look similar in front of the eyes of a novice worker. There may be some differences in the functioning and other additional items you can possibly attach to them, but they are not noticeable in the beginning.

There is a trend that retail stores don’t give much attention in explaining to the public the features and differences between these two tools. This ends up in a mess when people buy the wrong tool, for the task they need it and usually come back and forth to replace it.

To talk seriously, the hammer drill and the impact driver have quite different roles to serve for a craftsman on the worksite. If you need to get the whole picture cleared, you should keep on reading about the features of these world-famous tools.

Impact Driver vs Hammer Drill

The reality is that an impact driver is a tool that is mostly used for driving harder screws which demand a substantial amount of torque, while the hammer drill is adequate for masonry and concrete drilling.

FeaturesHammer drillImpact driver
UsesDrill Masonry and hard surfacesLoosen or drive in screws that require high torque
Working PrincipleHammering blows in the direction of hole being drilledHammering action in the direction of rotation
Drive ForceElectric or Electro-pneumaticElectric motor
DesignRegular hammer drill is similar to power drill/driver.

Rotary hammers are bulky

Stubby with short head length
Tool Holder3-jaw chuck. SDS chuck¼ -inch Hexagonal socket
TorqueAdjustable torque controlNo torque control
Working PrincipleHammering blows in the direction of hole being drilledHammering action in the direction of rotation

What is a Hammer Drill?

A hammer drill is a unique tool that can easily dig holes in the firm and hard materials such as stone and concrete or brick, marble and granite. The two most used types of hammer drills are the regular ones and the more powerful rotary hammers. However, the small differences in the way they function and cool up the two of them are operating almost the same way.

If you open a hammer drill, you will find a rotating mechanism that can push the drill bit forward into the materials. This internal mechanism produces enough torque to insert firmly the drill bit to the concrete or other hardened material. And this is the final goal of these machines, to dig holes where you could never imagine that a screw could be fit.

What is an Impact Driver?

The well-known and reputable impact drivers or impact drills are there to serve a totally different mission than their cousins the hammer drills. You can easily use the impact drivers to loosen or drive fasteners, screws, and bolts into hard materials. There is always the chance to drill holes as well with impact drivers, but they are not so popular for this use.

If you check about their operation style the impact drivers have two distinct ways to drive screws or fasteners into the materials. When the screws needed to be driven are small and lighter the impact driver is using the rotary power of the motor in order to insert the screw forward to the material mass.

On the other hand, the fact that differentiates the impact drivers from the normal power drills is the ability of the former to exert percussive power to drive screws forward with great torque and efficiency. In case the maximum force provided by the driver is not sufficient then the hammering mechanism takes on. The hammering action takes place where the rotation goes and both of them are providing a huge torque output that can easily drive any type of screw-in virtually any type of material.

As you can understand the impact driver uses both hammering and rotational power which makes it a hybrid model between the hammer drill and the regular power drill.

Differences Between The Hammer Drill and The Impact Driver

The two powerful tools are so similar though so different in terms of use, design and working principles.

The main difference remains the use of each tool. It is obvious that you would prefer to have the hammer drill when holes on the concrete need to be opened. Additionally, the use of the impact driver is better when you need to drive rusty bolts and screws out of the materials. You can use both tools for drilling into softer materials like wood, but this is not the primary purpose of such sophisticated machines.

Then it comes the design. No matter how similar they make look like the hammer drill and the impact driver, differ significantly in terms of their construction patterns. The hammer drills are a lot bigger than impact drivers and come with a longer barrel. However, the impact drivers are usually shorter even close to the barrel area so that you can easily distinguish them from others.

The other major point of difference is that the hammer drills are usually equipped with 3 jaw chuck and the even larger rotary hammer drill are featuring SDS chucks that make it easier to apply various kinds of bits. On the contrary, the impact drivers do not have a chuck but a hexagonal socket where you can apply hex-shaped driver bits into

Proposed hammer drills:

1. VonHaus 10 Amp VSR 1/2 Inch Pistol Grip Hammer Drill Kit

This drill has an enormous torque to give you quality holes in concrete and other hard materials. It also has a powerful motor to give you professional drilling and impacting. The ergonomic handle makes it easier for you to hold it at all times. It has also variable speeds to select the right one for the drilling you are about to perform.

2. Meterk 7.0 Amp 1/2 Inch Corded Drill

This is the latest model of Meterk good for digging holes in the concrete or marble materials that are resistant to pressure. It has an advanced drill driving coming up to 3,000 RMP that is a world record on its class. It is also equipped with an easy and safe control switch with automatic spindle lock for safe use.

Proposed Impact Drivers:

1. BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C 20V MAX Lithium Impact Driver.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
Black & Decker - Tools & Home Improvement

This is the impact driver of choice for the majority of the do it yourself novice craftsmen around the world. It is compact and lightweight so that it can be carried with you at all times and give you the chance to perform remote work. It has a massive battery capacity that gives you full operational power for more than 10 hours in a row. It is also equipped with a quick release hex chuck to make it easier to remove bolts and screws from any type of material.

2. Ryobi One+ P236 18V 1/4 Inch 3,200 RPM 1,600 Inch Pounds Lithium Ion Cordless Impact Driver

The Ryobi impact driver keeps on being one of the most admired tools that have been presented on the market. It has a magnetic tray which can keep bolts and fasteners on the unit so that you can have your arms free to work. There is also the possibility of the tool-free bit changing which is very convenient for the craftsmen. The rubber overmold on the handle gives you a secure grip no matter how hard the drilling procedure may become.

To Ensure Quality Drilling.

For quality drilling, the hammer drills are the champions of the category since they use both rotational and hammering force to create holes on various materials. The impact drivers are also precise enough when it comes to screwing special bits or fasteners to softer of harder materials.

Each tool has its own merit for the right craftsman that needs only quality machines to fulfill its promise to its customers. After all, drilling could become the most important task in renovating or repairing a house and the existence of the right tools would either support or banish the workman.

Reassure yourself that you are getting the most out of your tools and make the big selection among the hammer drills and the impact drivers.

What is The Ultimate Tool for You?

If you need the most power you can get out of one of these tools, then you can’t go wrong with a hammer drill. However, if you’re getting a model for occasional home use, you might be better off with an impact driver, since you may not be pushing it to its limits with domestic jobs.

People who are going to be doing a lot of medium- to heavy-duty projects could make use of both tools since they’re useful in different situations. While you can use them somewhat interchangeably on light-duty projects, at the more extreme ends of torque and power, you’ll find that they rapidly diverge in terms of usefulness.

If your budget limits you to purchase just one of these tools, it’s a good idea to get an impact driver. The impact driver can be thought of as a more versatile drill, and it specializes in the things that most people will be doing at home, which is driving in fasteners. However, if you really need to create holes, then you’ll be better off with a hammer drill.

Not to mention that the safety purposes are really important when you are choosing a hammer drill or an impact driver. Make sure that you are choosing the drill with the best rubber handle on the market. The friction that is created between the hands and the rubber handles is crucial for your safety since it can keep the tool to your hands no matter how hard you are pressing against the materials.

Sometimes, the rotating and hammering power of the drill can also create waves that come to your body through your hands. This can be the cause for severe neuron damage and some fine drill are having an extra protection mechanism to avoid this happening.

Final Thoughts

The ease of use is also an important factor for your final choice between the hammer drill and the impact driver. Most of the tools are requiring a special wrench to change all the chucks for the bits but the most sophisticated and progressed models are equipped with special levers. By pressing on them the chucks open and you can adjust any type of bit you want.

Then there is the issue of the movability. The chance to work remote is very important for the owners of the hammer drills or the impact drivers and this is because most of the construction sites are outdoors. The lack of a proper power source creates the necessity to have a tool that is equipped with high capacity batteries which can operate the drill for long working hours.

The existence of a special hard case that comes as a gift from the company to accompany the hammer drill of the impact driver is of great importance for the longevity of the tool. It can make you advocate for one or the other tool since you can easily try to find the one that is better protected for the same amount of money spent.

Finally, the quality of drilling may be the catalytic factor to choose the one tool from the other. Many craftsmen or construction workers are finding themselves confused when buying a tool that doesn’t have the torque to offer them the drilling ability they really need.

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