Is An Impact Driver Better Than a Regular Drill? – Find Out Here!

When we need to buy a drill, we can see there are many tools available in the market. Among them, it is a little bit difficult to understand, which one is suitable for your task. Both drill and drivers are the same in shape. But there is a huge difference. It great, if we can use an impact driver instead of a regular drill. So let’s see, Whether impact drivers are better than a regular drill?

Normally, an Impact driver is better than a regular drill because it can use for driving screws and drilling holes in soft materials which we expect mostly. But impact drivers are not able to use effectively for drilling hard materials such as stone, concrete etc.

If you cant invest money in both tools together, you should select one of these. I can help for your selection. So let’s keep reading on!

Impact Drivers Have Impact Mechanisms That Drills Don’t Have.

Is Impact Driver Can be Used As a Drill

Impact drivers tend to be more compact and lighter than regular drills. An impact mechanism is the mechanism of impact drivers as it can drive screws with higher torque. The driver bits are totally engaged with the hex screw head.

The impact mechanism can increase the torque of the tool. Because its force is applied perpendicular to the driver bit. Hence users can use the impact driver for high torque tasks such as fast driving screws.

The ideal torque limit for operating at higher RPM with up to 95% efficiency is 1250 – 1750 in labs. It can deliver two to three times more torque than a drill. The pressure felt on the hand of the activator is minimised. Hence you can operate the tool with a single hand also

The regular drill does not have an impact mechanism. Here we consider rotational movements only in the regular drills. But sometimes we are not able t find such a tool. So we may use a hammer drill for that.

The drill speed is high under this mechanism. Although the speed of the impact driver is low. The torque level of the drill is constant. The torque level can adjust in the impact driver.  Therefore noise is also very high during the impact drill.

Impact Drivers Can Drill Holes and Drive Screws

Mainly the impact driver can be used to tighten or loosen the screws but it can also be used for drilling purposes.

Of course, using impact drills is an option that saves you time and effort because an impact driver is lighter than the hammer drills/regular drill. There’s no need for extra force from the user to operate the tool.

Impact drivers can also be used to drill holes. The impact driver works as a rotational hammering action. It can apply more torque to the driving bit. Therefore it can be used to drive screws, nuts, and bolts. Applied torque can be increased according to the driving material and driving bit.

The cross-section of the drill bit of the impact driver is hex shaped. It was mentioned before in this article. Although the cross-section of the drill bit is circular, those are used for regular drills. The hex shank is used to hold the tool in place instead of the chuck. The special adapter must be used in the impact driver when it is used to drill holes.

Read More About – Why there is a Difference Between Impact Drivers and Drills?

Impact Drivers Can Use Socket Adaptors

The socket adapter is designed to run normal drill bits on an impact driver. The circular-shaped normal drill bit cannot be put into the hex shank of an impact drill.

You can simply do a practical experiment to get an idea for this. Accordingly, when you want to drive the screws, you have to push the screws and use a screwdriver. You have to push, or slip, to grasp the rotational force by hand. But in reality, the thrust is less than the rotational force. But you alone cannot screw more than the force of thrust.

Impact Bits Are More Stronger Than Drill Bits

As mentioned earlier, the special hex shape of the drill bits used for impact drills is due to; They have the ability to withstand high torques at low RPMs. Normal drill bits are circular in shape but operate at low torque at high RPMs. In addition, the thickness of the shaft of both drill bits also affects the strength of the drill bit.

The impact driver drill bit has a narrower shaft than the regular drill bit. The narrower shaft, excess stress is removed from the bit’s tip and released into that shaft. It has a larger surface to dissipate the pressure. This design is useful to impact drivers to have a much larger torsional strength than a regular drill bit. As a result, it allows the bit to rotate even when the torque is high. And also the impact exerts a lot of stress on the drive bit.

On the other hand, the regular drill bits have a thicker shaft and it doesn’t allow the stress to be removed from the bit tip. Therefore, the regular drill bit will break when using it to drill on tough materials. Therefore this impact drill is made more robust.

Impact driver bits have greater ductility than standard drill bits. Bits with this property are more flexible and allow more pressure to be applied. It is essential because it usually deals with high torque drives. However, these bits are not infinitely flexible and are limited by metal fatigue.

Metal fatigue is when a metal is constantly reshaped to a point where it breaks. This is what you can see with impact driver bits. The bit tips are slowly damaged until they reach a point where they are no longer useful when the screws are used too many times to tighten them too much. This is an inevitable consequence of using bits.

Impact Driver Can Use Effectively for Drilling Soft Material

Simply put, an impact drill can be used to drill a soft material very efficiently. But the impact driver does not have a hammer mechanism, so it is less efficient at drilling harder materials. So let’s find out what this hammer mechanism is.

The hammering mechanism applies along the drill bit. Under this mechanism, a drill bit can move forward and backwards with its chuck while drilling a harder material. When using a hammer mechanism with a drill, the material can be crushed into small pieces during drilling.

The hammering mechanism is measured by BPM (Blows Per Minute). Normally more than 20,000 BPM hammer drills are available in the market. The SDS( Slotted Drive System) drill can also be identified as a hammer drill.

A simple and basic hammering mechanism is a clutch-based hammer mechanism. And also; there is a piston-based moving mechanism. It can be identified in the rotary hammer drill and SDS hammer drill.

The modern hammer drills are with a gearbox. Therefore it can change the speed and torque. Although an impact drill cannot change the speed or torque. Therefore, an impact drill is not suitable for drilling harder materials.

Unlike an impact drill when using a hammer drill, the user’s ability to tear must be high. The power of the user’s hand also contributes to the success of this process.

Read More About – Can I Use Impact Driver For Drywall Jobs?


When considering both impact driver and regular drill, it is very important to have an impact driver for both driving screws and soft material drilling. But it is not good for using a hard material such as drilling stones and concrete etc.

So I strongly recommend you to buy an impact driver with an adaptor as drill bits can be used on that. So it will be a considerable solution if you cant invest in both tools at once.

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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.