Impact Driver Vs Hammer Drill – Why they are Different?

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Impact driver Vs. Hammer drill has many differences. It is about the mechanism, usage, cost, power consumption, and many more. If you do not know these tools, I can guide you to describe them all in detail for your successful buying step.

Impact driver and hammer drills are different due to usage and mechanism. Impact drivers are with rotational hammering mechanism, and it will be easy to drive screws. Hammer drills are with a hammering mechanism along the drill bit. That can drill hard materials easily. Combi drill can do all in one.

Mechanism, usage, parts, and many more are different from each other. Most probably powered battery can be the only common part as well as a motor. So let’s see what is the hammer drill and impact drivers are? Keep read on!

What is an Impact Driver?

An impact driver is a fastening tool. That can drive screws and fastening nuts and bolts easily. The impact driver is with impact mechanism, which is a rotational hammering action.

That is the simple way to explain that. Some tool uses different kinds of mechanism. But overall, it looks like a rotational hammering action.

The rotational hammering action has increased the torque of the tool rather than the hammer drill or regular drill. Therefore it is a great option to use as a screw diver.

What is the IPM rate?

The inside hammerhead punches the anvil. It pushes the teeth of the hammerhead. And then the anvil starts to rotate. This action is done many times per minute.

The rate of this action is called Impact Per Minute (IPM). The more rate is suitable for usage. When you buy an impact driver, you can see the IPM rate with the tool.

When the impact action is activated, you can hear the noise. The impact diver noise is a bit loud. When the tool works on no-load conditions, the hammerhead and anvil rotate together. It is like a regular drill.

Speed and Torque of the Impact Driver

Speed is deprotonated to torque. When the speed is decreased, torque is increased. And the speed increase will increase the torque due to constant power. Normally impact drivers need more torque to drive screws. Hence it has low speed and high torque. Sometimes you can adjust the torque of the impact driver.

More than that, the chuck, and drill bits are also different. You can check all in detail below.

What is a Hammer Drill?

When considering the regular drill, there is only rotational movement. But hammer drills have hammering action, which is along the drill bit. There is a hammering action to apply more force to the materials. Hammer drills are mostly used for hard material drilling such as concrete, bricks, and stones. Due to this hardness, you will need a special drill bit.

According to the hammering action delivered, there are SDS, SDS plus rotary hammer drills, etc. These hammer’s action is more powerful, and the mechanism is based on the pistons. Sometimes it directly hit the drill bit. Those tools are widely used in construction and for household use; you can use a bearing-based clutch hammer drill which is suitable for DIY projects.

What is the BPM rate?

The rate of the hammering action is measured by the Blows Per Minute (BPM). When you buy the hammer drill, you can see this value. The most value is the best.

How does this affect drilling? When you are drilling the hammer mode drill bit, it will break the material into small parts. When this rate is high, you can drill quickly. There are specialized hammer drill bits that are designed for especially hard drilling.

What are the Differences Between an Impact Driver and a Hammer Drill?

I can summarise all in detail below. Check it and read more. So, let’s start!

Impact DriverHammer Drill
Main UsageDriving screwsDrilling Holes
MechanismImpact MechanismHammer Mechanism
SpeedLowHigh
TorqueHighLow
Mechanism rate IPMBMP
ChuckHex ShankChuck (keyless)
Used forWood fixingConcrete, Metal, brick
Wood and Stone Drilling
Drill bitsHexagonalCircular Cross-Section
Difference Between Impact Driver and Hammer Drill

There is a difference in impact driver as well as hammer drill also as well as you can find many differences here. Each difference has been designed for these specified tasks.

Usage Difference Between Impact Driver and Hammer Drill?

Impact Driver

Impact drivers are used for driving the screws. There is a way to use this. Normally, impact drivers are not allowed to control the torque. With the trigger, you have to control the torque. If the torque is increased, the screws will be more penetrate the material. Hence it should be used carefully. If you need to control that, you have to buy a drill driver (combi drill) for that. It allows controlling everything, which is more costly than the impact driver.

There is a hex shank in the chuck, so you will need hexagonal cross-section drive bits.

Impact drivers do not provide any extra force to the hand. It can be handled single hand easily.

Hammer Drill

The hammer drill is used to drill high-strength materials. The hammer action is activated when you push to the tool. There is the additional force that will receive to the hand or wrist. So you will not handle it with a single hand. Sometimes, there is a support handle that can hold more. You must hold it properly. Else it will hurt to hand.

Chucks and Drill Bit Difference Between Impact Driver and Hammer Drill

impact bit hammer drill bit
Impact Driver Bit and Hammer Drill Bit

Impact Drivers

Impact drivers have to handle more torque. Because the driving screws need more torque. Therefore, chuck and driving tools are also designed to resist that. There is an amazing engineering technology that has been used. Due to the torque, there is a torsion. To reduce the torsion, the driver bit has been designed as a hexagonal one.

If we need to change the bits, we can do it easily with a magnetic chuck. The drive bit is mounted by the bearing ball inside the chuck and magnet. Hence, we can change the driver a bit quicker than a drill bit.

Hammer Drills

Hammer drills have a chuck. The chuck is keyless, and it can be tightened with a hand.

Drill bits are of two types. Normally, drill bits are for wood drilling, and the special drill bits are for concrete drilling; concrete drill bits have double or quad drill bits. The end is with the carbide tip. That will help to high-speed drilling without melting the drill bit.

Wood drill bits are made with high-speed steel. These bits should sharpen well and maintain the proper angle for efficient cutting.

High speed is suitable for wood cutting.
Low speed is suitable for metal and concrete, bricks, and stone drilling.

Can I use Impact Driver as a Hammer Drill?

The impact driver can’t be used for the hammer drill because of the mechanism. Impact drivers have rotational hammering mechanisms, and hammer drills have hammering action along the drill bit. Therefore hard drilling needs hammering force along the drill bit. So the usage is impossible.

But you can use it as a regular drill. For that, you will need the chuck adaptor to mount the drill bit.

Do I need Both an Impact Driver and a Hammer Drill?

You will need both tools. Because the impact driver hammer mechanism and hammer drill hammer mechanism is different. Due to this, you will not be able to use a single tool for all. Otherwise you will need a drill driver (combi drill), Which combines all these tasks.


Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.


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