Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver- What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by TechChecking

A DIY project manager must have some tools that will help him complete the projects successfully. Suppose, you are renovating your home or trying to reconstruct your yard, you need tools like impact wrenches and impact drivers. Choosing an impact wrench vs impact driver is one of the primary options for a homemaker or DIY manager.

To do these kinds of hard jobs, a good set of power tools are inevitably required. But you need to know which one needs to purchase. In this article, I will let you walk through the whole understanding of the impact wrench vs impact driver. You will have a clear concept.

A power tool with a rotating blade can do a lot of work. It helps you complete the projects. These power tools help you build furniture, lay decking, fix broken objects, or working with trim pieces, and so on.

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

Are Impact wrenches and Impact drivers the same or different? If you are a very starter, you need a bit of time to understand which one is which?

Well, recognizing and understanding an impact wrench vs impact driver is not a big deal. If you want to do some practical projects either for you or for the office, you yourself can choose and pick the best one for you.

One funny thing is that some people get confused meaning impact wrench and impact driver same because they start with the same word ‘impact’.  When it is impact wrench vs impact driver, they may be puzzled.

However, the two terms ‘impact wrench’ and ‘impact driver’ are not the same and are completely different. They work differently too.

Core Differences between Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

It is really important to know the main differences between impact wrenches vs. impact drivers. Let’s know more about it.

Impact WrenchImpact Driver
Impact Wrenches are used to drill long screws into wood, hardboard, or metalImpact Drivers are used to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts
Mostly used for renovations and DIYMore used for car reparations
Impact drivers have a ¼” hex colletImpact wrenches have a ½” square drive
Easy to use and handleMore powerful and heavier

What is an Impact Wrench?

impact wrench (impact wrench vs impact driver)

An impact wrench is used to loosen or tighten up nuts and bolts from a vehicle or anything. Though they look a little smaller and stubbier, they are, in fact, much more powerful. Impact wrench uses ft. lbs (foot-pounds) to measure their force. They are supposed to deal with a huge amount of power.

One of the most common and exciting examples of an impact wrench is its use during car races – particularly in the case of pneumatic impact wrenches. They work efficiently, powerfully, and at a lightning speed.

Besides, impact wrenches are used by construction workers or in assembly lines. As they are used in heavy-duty and machinery use, you may not want them for your average home renovation task.  


impact wrench

Types of Impact Wrenches

You can run the impact wrenches in four ways:

  1. Corded
  2. Cordless
  3. Pneumatic
  4. Hydraulic

Corded – in this system, you must run this impact wrench by plugging it into an electrical outlet that needs electricity to work. This is very powerful and efficient.

Cordless – a cordless impact wrench requires batteries that allow the impact wrench to run uninterruptedly. The battery power indicates its capacity.

Pneumatic – it is air-powered impact wrenches that allow you to remove lug nuts with incredible speed. You can see it in race mechanics. This process works by using a compressed air supply – which makes them less than ideal for home use.

Hydraulic – using a fluid mechanism creates a low-pressure hydraulic power source. These are not as commonly used as the other types.

Pros of Impact Wrenches

  • Huge amount of force
  • Easy grab and non-slip handle
  • Ergonomic and well-designed
  • Handy and comfortable
  • Reduce the risk of wrist strain
  • Perfect for heavy-duty construction work

Cons of Impact Wrenches

  • Not ideal for use at home
  • Not suitable for amateurs
  • Very noisy

What is an Impact Driver?

Impact Driver (Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver- What's the Difference?)

An impact driver is a kind of power tool that is able to penetrate wood, aluminum, hardboard, and other materials as well. It exerts high rotational torque that blows in the axial direction using an internal impact mechanism. To be honest, an impact driver is a very useful tool either for personal or professional use.

An impact driver is great for home improvement projects. So, what is an impact driver for? Well, an impact driver is used to drive screws and fasteners into the material. You can reverse the switch and it will work like that.

However, Torque is measured in inches and pounds (in. lb). In an impact driver, the ranges are from You can do the work very easily that you can’t even believe it. This tool reduces the risk of wrist twists.

So, in a word, we can deduce that an impact driver is used for drilling holes in tough materials. However, if you want to drill masonry, please remember, a hammer drill is a right tool.

impact driver

Pros of Impact Drivers

  • Very powerful to completing the task
  • A ¼” standard hex collet to keep drill bits in place
  • Flexible and easy to handle
  • Compact to fit into tight spaces
  • Fairly affordable
  • Lighter than regular drills

Cons of Impact Drivers

  • Accidents may happen due to powerful force
  • Noisy during use
  • Can’t use the same bits from your regular drill

Things to Consider While Buying an Impact Wrench and an Impact Driver


Brand matters. A good-quality and reputed brand always try to keep their fame by producing quality products. They focus on customer satisfaction and produce good products. Besides, they offer an attractive warranty.

Generally, you may think that buying from a reputed brand may cost more, but, in fact, it is worth it. You can try any branded product with good reviews.


Quality is one of the best mentionable features of a product. Good quality enhances durability. If a customer enjoys a product’s durability with satisfaction, that user must come back again to that brand. Once you are able to make a customer into a user, the product would be great. A producer cannot bring a customer back only by serving advertisement, a good quality product can.

Safety Features

A product may have some additional features that may entice the customer more. Some safety features, especially when it is about construction or repair work, can make a big deal. Safety features can be, for example, an automatic cut-off in case it gets too hot, or an automatic shut-down of the battery charger once the battery level is full. Dustproof is an additional feature to run the product to last longer.


The weight of a product matters too. If an impact wrench and an impact driver are very heavy, they must be tough to handle. So, the average weight of a product would be ideal. On the other hand, an excessively lightweight impact wrench may break or get damaged in a short time. So, a user would consider how much the weight should be. Be careful before purchasing the product.


The battery of an impact wrench or an impact driver is one of the most important factors to consider especially when it is a cordless power tool. The more power the battery is, the more time the tool can serve for the work. The battery power depends on the capacity of the power of the product.

Most of the time, companies don’t provide batteries with power tools with rotating blade. In that case, you must have to purchase the battery separately. However, you need to have knowledge of it to buy the battery.


Sometimes companies provide various kinds of accessories to entice customers. Most time, a bag, a blade, or a case is provided. Check out which accessories are available and given free with them.

Advanced Technology

This is a modern era and technology is advanced so far. There is no sector that technology hasn’t touched in that sector. Engineers improve technology and generate innovative ideas. LED lighting system, LED lights for multi-functions, and a lot of good features provide lucrative options for impact wrench vs impact driver.

In addition, Bluetooth connectivity, battery power, and other features are under modern technology. Though you need to pay a little extra, you can have the product easier and more enjoyable.

Some Safety Tips of Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

Any power tool is always risky if you cannot handle it. A power tool is run by either electricity or a battery and this is why it produces huge power from it. Especially if an impact wrench or an impact driver is run by electricity, you must have to be too much careful. However, besides this, you have to keep your eyes open on other matters too.


To protect your eyes efficiently from flying debris or dust is important. Safety glasses can protect you from this. That’s why you must use good-quality safety glass so that no debris can harm your valuable eyes.


During use, these kinds of power tools with rotating blades like impact wrench or impact drivers create huge noise which may damage your hearing power. To protect from this high-decibel noise, wearing earplugs is a good solution. Earplugs will help you protect from damaging your hearing in the long term.

Clothes and Jewelry

We make one of the usual mistakes in wearing clothes and jewelry that can suck machines and put us in danger. Dangly jewelry, ties, or anything could be under it. So, be careful about what you are wearing during your work.

Manual Instructions

Reading every instruction in the manual guide can help you avoid any accident especially if you are a starter. Knowing and familiarizing the instructions that come with your power tools can ensure your safety.

Maintain Your Tools Before Work

Cleaning and maintaining your power tools is really important. Make ready your tools before use. If not properly taken care of, you may fall into grave danger because due to lack of cleaning, tools can be jammed and accidents can happen. So lubricating and cleaning the impact wrench and impact driver will keep them working properly. You can know more here.

Which Brand Should I Choose?

Some brands produce great quality tools. As brands matter, some best brands’ products are still satisfactory to the customers. Let’s see what brands I can go for.


Founded in 1923 by Raymond E. DeWalt. They are now manufacturing and selling hundreds of products including impact drivers, saws, drills, and such electronics products. DeWalt offers quality products and good warranties.

No products found.

No products found.


Originated in Japan in 1951. Makita Company produces different kinds of electronic products and they offer quality products. They offer 3- a years warranty for the customers.

No products found.

No products found.


Founded in 1924. Milwaukee Company has been providing tools and accessories with fame all over the world. They produce different types of tools and electronic products.

No products found.

No products found.


A very reputed brand. Commits solid promises and keeps their word. Their main object is to satisfy the users with quality products. They also produce different types of products.

No products found.

No products found.

Frequently Asked Questions (Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver)

1. Are impact drivers supposed to wobble?

Yes, impact drivers can wobble while you use them. This is natural.

2. Do impact drivers wear out?

If an impact driver is overused, it is very possible to wear out. So yes, impact drivers can wear out if it is overworking. But if you use the impact wrench or impact driver in the proper way, you shouldn’t run into problems.

3. Do impact drivers need special bits?

Yes, you cannot use the same bits you would use for a regular drill.

4. Do impact drivers have a clutch?

No, but you must have to be very careful while using an impact wrench or impact driver in case you turn a screw too far.

5. Do impact drivers have variable speeds?

Yes, of course. The variable speeds depending on the battery or on the power it can bear. Most models do have variable speeds.

6. How much do impact wrenches cost?

It depends on quality, company, types, and other specifications. However, if you want to take a decent and cordless impact wrench or impact driver, they must be very expensive ones and they can be even a few hundred dollars at least. On the other hand, if you want an impact driver with cords and run with electricity, it might cost you less.

7. How long do impact wrenches last?

An impact wrench or driver can last long how much depends on how carefully you are using the product. Proper care, attention, and regular upkeep can last the product a good few years. If you don’t use the impact wrench or driver much, it will serve you longer than you think.

8. Will an impact wrench break bolts?

No – if they are used properly, they shouldn’t break bolts.

9. Where can I find an impact wrench and an impact driver?

First of all, you can find an impact wrench and an impact driver in a hardware shop around your home. However, if you want to purchase it online, you can easily buy it from They sometimes offer discounts as well.

Last Words

I have tried my best to show the differences between an impact wrench vs impact driver. They are surely quite different and so do their working procedure. Impact wrench vs impact driver is a good topic for starters. You must choose the tool which you are going to need. These heavy-duty power tools are highly recommended for DIY work, professional use, and renovating-type jobs. So, pick as per your need. Hope you learn something from here.

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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