Impact Wrench Vs Hammer Drill – Detailed Comparison

Impact wrench vs hammer drill – what are the key differences? An impact wrench and hammer drill are similar tools in many ways. Both are designed to provide high levels of torque and can be used for various applications. However, some key differences between these two tools.

Many people might not know the difference between an impact wrench and a hammer drill. Let’s discuss these tools’ key differences and help you to determine when each is the best tool for the job.

Impact wrench vs hammer drill

What is an impact wrench?

An impact wrench is a power tool that delivers a high-impact force, making it ideal for loosening or tightening bolts and nuts. The force is generated by a hammer that strikes the anvil of the wrench, creating a high-impact blow.

This makes the impact wrench ideal for applications that require a lot of torque, such as automotive repair. Impact wrenches are available in both air-powered and electric versions, making them highly versatile.

In addition to automotive uses, impact wrenches can also be used for construction, home improvement, and plumbing.

What is a hammer drill?

A hammer drill is a power tool used to drill holes in hard materials such as brick, concrete, and stone. It usually works by using a rotating drill bit to create a hole, and at the same time, it also delivers quick, forceful blows to the material to break it up. This makes it ideal for drilling through rigid materials that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible to drill with a regular drill.

Both cordless and corded model hammer drills are available on the market, and they come in many sizes and power levels to suit different needs. When shopping for a hammer drill, choose one that is powerful enough to handle the material you will be working with and has the features you need.

For example, if you are doing a lot of drilling in concrete, you will want a model with an impact function. And if you plan on using the drill in tight spaces, look for one with a compact design. Hammer drills are versatile tools that can make many jobs easier, so it is worth finding a suitable model for your needs.

Impact wrench vs hammer drill – comparison

Precision and control

An impact wrench delivers its torque in short bursts, which makes it ideal for projects that require precise control. By contrast, a hammer drill produces a continuous stream of torque, making it better suited for projects that require sustained power.

As a result, the impact wrench offers you more precision work and control than a hammer drill.


When choosing between an impact wrench and a hammer drill, it is essential to consider the task and what you will use the tool for.

An impact wrench is ideal for highly demanding jobs where removing a lot of nuts and bolts is crucial within a short time. It can be used for garages, construction sites, plumbing, and other tasks requiring high torque.

On the other hand, a hammer drill is ideal for drilling holes in rigid materials. It can be used for drilling, removing tile, or breaking up concrete.

Speed and torque

When it comes to speed and torque, the hammer drill is the clear winner. Impact wrenches use higher rotational impact to remove fasteners.

In contrast, hammer drills use higher forward impact to drill holes in the hard materials. It has more torque and can drill through more rigid materials faster.

The hammer drill is the better choice if you need a tool for heavy-duty drilling. The impact wrench is a better option if you need a tool for working with nuts and bolts.

Size and weight

When looking at the size and weight of an impact wrench and a hammer drill, it is clear that the hammer drill is heavier and larger. This feature makes it better suited for demanding tasks such as drilling through concrete.

On the other hand, the impact wrench is smaller, lighter, and better suited for tasks such as loosening and tightening bolts and nuts.


An impact wrench and a hammer drill are both powerful tools that deliver a lot of torque. However, they work in different mechanisms and are suitable for different tasks.

An impact wrench is powered by a hammer that strikes the anvil of the wrench, creating a higher torque.

A hammer drill is powered by a rotating drill bit that creates a hole.


The impact wrench is typically less expensive than the hammer drill. The impact wrench is a better option if you are looking for an affordable and powerful tool for lug nuts and bolts.

You may also like: Can I use chrome sockets on impact wrench

Impact wrench vs hammer drill – comparison table

Impact wrenchHammer drill
TorqueShort bursts torqueContinuous stream torque
PurposeLoosening nuts and boltsHoles in hard materials
Best forAutomotive worksConstruction works
Precision and controlMore precision and controlLess precision and control


Can you use an impact wrench to remove screws?

An impact wrench is a power tool commonly used to remove and install lug nuts on tires. You can also be used it to remove screws, although this is not its primary function.

To remove a screw with an impact wrench, you need to use a socket attachment that is perfect for the screw head. Then, fit the socket over the screw head and turn the impact wrench in the opposite direction of the screw.

The torque from the impact wrench should be enough to loosen the screw and allow you to remove it by hand. In some cases, however, the screw may be so tight that the impact wrench is not strong enough to loosen. In this situation, it is crucial to use a drill or another power tool to remove the screw.

Can an impact wrench drill holes?

An impact wrench uses a hammering action to generate high levels of torque, making it much easier to remove stubborn bolts. While an impact wrench is not designed for drilling holes, it can be used in a pinch. The hammering action of the tool can cause it to slip, resulting in inaccurate holes.

Can an impact wrench drill holes

For best results, use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the desired hole size. Start with low torque and gradually increase the torque until the hole is drilled. Always keep a firm grip on the impact wrench to avoid losing control. With a bit of practice, you can drill holes with an impact wrench.

However, remember that this is not the tool’s primary purpose and that other drills are better suited for the task.

Can you use a hammer drill as a regular drill?

A hammer drill is a specialized tool that is designed for drilling into hard materials, such as concrete. The drill produces a rapid series of hammering blows that create tiny holes in the material.

These holes can then be used to insert anchors or screws. Although a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill, it is not ideal for this purpose. The hammering action of the drill can damage softer materials, such as wood, and it is also more likely to cause the drill bit to slip.

For these reasons, it is best to use a regular drill for general drilling purposes and reserve the hammer drill when you need to drill into more rigid materials.

Is a hammer drill the same as an impact drill?

Hammer drills and impact drills are both standard tools that are used for drilling holes into various materials.

Hammer drills use a percussion mechanism to create holes, while impact drills use a rotary action. As a result, hammer drills are better suited for drilling into harder materials, while impact drills are more effective for softer materials.

Another key difference is that hammer drills typically have shorter lengths than impact drills. This makes them more maneuverable and better suited for tight spaces. Ultimately, the choice of drill depends on the specific task at hand.

Can you use screwdriver bits in the impact wrench?

Yes, You can use screwdriver bits because the impact wrench is designed to deliver high torque. This high amount of torque is what allows the screwdriver bits to be used in the impact wrench.

Now, there are some tips that you should follow when using screwdriver bits in the impact wrench. First, select the correct size of the bit. Second, always use a bit holder when using screwdriver bits in the impact wrench. And lastly, be careful not to over-tighten the screw, as this could damage the bit. These tips will help you use screwdriver bits in the impact wrench without any issues.


Finally, the key difference between an impact wrench and a hammer drill is the type of power they use. An impact wrench uses torque to loosen or tighten bolts, while a hammer drill uses percussion to break up hard materials. Impact wrenches are typically used for automotive work, while hammer drills are more commonly used in construction or home improvement projects. If you’re not sure which tool is suitable for the job, consult with a professional before making a purchase.

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