What's the Difference Between a Drill/Driver and Impact Driver?
We know you hate to admit it, but maaaaaybe you aren’t 100% sure when you’d need an impact driver, especially when you already have a drill/driver (or three) in your arsenal. Well, here’s a quick and easy pro/con list so you can be sure you’re not working any harder than you need to in the shop or onsite.
- Works great for jobs requiring care or precision
- Applies a constant torque
- Accepts a wide variety of drill and screw-driving bits
- Accepts accessories such as wire-wheel brushes and rotary sanders
- Has a slip clutch that allows you play with the amount of torque
- Relatively inexpensive to purchase
- Can stall when driving long, large fasteners
- Has the potential to strip screws
- Can put strain on the user
- These suckers have some real power
- Powers screws through some seriously dense material with more torque and concussive blows
- Prevents wrist strain because it’s doing more work
- Drives long screws with little effort
- Less likely to strip screws
- Has a short snout for getting into tighter spaces
- Costs more than a drill
- Makes a lot of noise
- Only accepts hex-shanked driver bits
- Isn’t meant for drilling, just driving screws
- Too much of a beast for more precise, delicate jobs
Both of these handy companions are slowly moving towards a frankentool that combines their best qualities, where drills have more power and impact drivers have more versatility. In the meantime, as a general rule, if you’re working with drywall, softer woods, veneers, plastics, or brass screws, stick to the drill because it won’t dent or break the material. If you’ve got a project that requires using a ton of screws, long or thick screws, or driving through dense materials (such as building a deck), save your wrists and some time and go with an impact driver.
Let us know if you have any other tips!