Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver – Which is Best?

impact wrench vs impact driver

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver – Which is Best?

Following the progress of society, there are many circles that are succeeding the one each other to bring more innovations to our hands. There is a huge revolution brought by tool companies that have lately introduced both the impact wrenches and the impact drivers which have completely replaced the older standard electric drills and other torque wrenches.

The world has been driven by the strong desire of the people to have a lot more efficient tools that can guarantee accuracy, results, and comfortability. This is what made the use of the impact wrenches and impact drivers more popular than ever before to the general public as well as the specialized population of the persons working in woodworks and carpentry.

Since a lot of attention has been shown to the impact wrenches and impact drivers the majority of the tool companies has emerged their production lines to the side of these kinds of tools. Instead of spinning like standard drills the impact wrenches and drivers are operating in a similar way as they take advantage of the use of successive rotational blows so that the torque which is generated can be multiplied by many times. Let’s have a look at the special features of each type of tool separately.

What is an impact driver?

The world has evolved enough to see the impact drivers virtually on every workplace nowadays. There is a chance you could purchase an impact driver from any retailer available on the market and enjoy high-quality drilling all the time. There is also the possibility to identify their functioning by the special sound they are producing when drilling.

The impact drivers compared to the standard drills have enormous torque. This is an advantage that cannot be easily overseen. In reality, that means you can use the impact driver which is a small tool to dig a big hole or drive a bigger screw a lot easier than before. The impact drivers are also providing great versatility which is a prerequisite for the tools of such broad use.

In case you need to operate an impact driver like a normal drill then you simply have to add some bits and your work is done. You can even work one-handed and even stretch when the working position dictates so. The hammer mechanism that is apparent in every impact driver gives you enough forward pressure so there is no need to exert lots of effort to direct the screw wherever you want it to be inserted.

What is an impact wrench?

The impact wrench is sometimes referred to as the impact gun having lots of other names as well for craftsmen that are using it on a daily basis. This is the tool that all the Do it Yourself people are having in their arsenal of weapons. This happens because there is always the chance to reach the rusty bolt that resists in popping out of the hole or fixing a project where numerous screws and bolts are required to be loosened and tightened at the same time.

There is no other way to perform successfully such tasks other by using an impact wrench. Not to mention that modern impact wrenches are extremely safe to use operating with comfortable handles that are made to avoid any serious injury while working.

The impact wrench is also generating a huge amount of torque similar to the impact drivers. They are more powerful than the normal drills and can ensure that you can dig special holes in extremely strong and firm materials such as metals and concrete surfaces.

There are pneumatic, hydraulic and electric types of impact wrenches that deliver rotational motion which helps in producing rapid impulses that can break virtually any known material. The pneumatic impact wrenches need an air compressor to work and are generally more powerful but this is a special difference from the impact drivers that cannot adjust an external energy power to assist their task.

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

FeaturesImpact wrenchesImpact drivers
VersatilityCan be used anywhereThere is a great versatility in their use especially in drilling
SafetyThey offer great safety to the userThey are among the safest tools on the market
AccuracyVery accurate drillingOne of the most accurate tools
Working principleRotational impulses succeeding one the otherDirect pressure to the point you need the power
Suitable forCarpentersWoodworkers and manufacturers
Type of operationElectric, pneumatic or hydraulicOnly electric
Comfort of useVery comfortable less effort neededPortable machine with lots of ease on its use

Differences between impact drivers and impact wrenches.

The impact wrenches, as well as the impact drivers, are tools that are related in the way they produce their toque and how they operate. But in reality, they serve different purposes for craftsmen.

All come down to what you really need in your workplace and depending on the nature of your work. Let’s say that your projects are mostly about creating wooden artifacts then you probably need an impact driver. It is easier to connect steadily two pieces of wood by inserting long screws through their thickest ends.

Sometimes the impact drivers can also be used the exact way the impact wrenches are used. With the right type of bits attached to the driver, you can use it to screw bolts and lug nuts. With the impact driver, you can do both mechanic and carpentry tasks.

When talking about the impact wrench then your options are limited to loosening and fastening nuts, bolts and screws. The average impact wrench delivers, of course, more torque than the average impact driver (usually at least 5 times more) which sometimes can be used as an advantage to tighten the rustier screws that you may encounter.

There is also the incident of the sudden loss of handle with the use of impact wrenches. This is done because of the intense rotational motion of the chuck that usually comes with an unstable grip on the handle. That is why it is extremely difficult if not impossible to drive screws through wood or other material by the single use of an impact wrench.

On the other hand, impact wrenches may not be enough for you to perform all the usual automotive and mechanic chores you may want. The impact wrench may overkill the modern screws, bolts, and nuts of your brand-new car, except if you are driving a 30-year old working truck.

Another possible drawback of the impact wrench could be the source of power. Since the most powerful type of impact wrench is the pneumatic one then there is always the need for a competent air compressor that you must always carry with you. On the other hand, the cordless impact wrench models are more expensive than other types and their batteries don’t last as long as they should. Their torque is also limited compared to other types of impact wrenches.

Impact wrenches:

1. DEWALT DCF899B High Torque Impact Wrench

Offers superior torque with a great handle. The safety of the user is legendary, and the LED light is offering extreme visibility when working. It is extremely lightweight and can be carried virtually anywhere.

2. Porter-Cable PCE211 7.5 Amp 1/2″ Impact Wrench

Porter-Cable PCE211 7.5 Amp 1/2" Impact Wrench
PORTER-CABLE - Tools & Home Improvement

A widely available wrench that has a long cord to make you work remote. It comes with a 3-year limited guarantee and produces an acceptable amount of torque adequate for any professional use. It has a rubber handle that can improve the safety of the worker

Impact drivers:

1. DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4″ Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4" Impact Driver Kit
Dewalt - Tools & Home Improvement

It is the only cordless driver with enhanced battery life and enormous torque. It is a lot compact to fit in any tiny area and is also lightweight and extremely portable. There are also 3 LED lights to ensure proper vision on the working surface.

2. Makita XDT131 Cordless Impact Driver Kit (3.0Ah)

It has a special lightweight design that makes it distinctive among the competition. It also features a durable all-metal gear housing plus an entire body made of plastic for great versatility when working. It comes with a rapid charger with clear LED indications and a 3-year limited guarantee to make it desirable by most craftsmen.

Final thoughts

It remains sure that most of the professionals would need the impact driver more than you are going to need the impact wrench. This, of course, refers to the average person that needs to perform some automotive and home furniture repairs using always the same tool.

On the other hand, an impact wrench is a powerful tool that is going to be needed only by special mechanics in their workplaces. The huge amount of torque produces is good only for industrial heavy-duty use that a regular wrench could never deliver.

The use of an impact wrench is limited to loosening and fastening nuts and removing screws. It doesn’t offer the ability to drive screws or drill holes, making it basically a glorified one-trick pony. Sure, it’d be nice to own one, but an impact wrench would probably succumb to rust long before the average DIY-er can make regular use out of it.

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