Impact Wrenches and Drivers: The Key Differences?

As a builder who works on both DIY and professional projects, I make sure I have the necessary tools. As I stay updated with the necessary tools, I stumbled upon impact wrenches and drivers, which had me wonder: do I need both or just one of these?

impact wrenches and drivers
OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

Yes, you'll need to know what these tools are about before getting one, which is where I come to help. I decided to do my research on these power tools, as they have their differences! So read on as I show you my data on the impact driver vs impact wrench to help you out.

What Is an Impact Driver?

They are also used for drilling holes into tough materials.

An impact driver is a powerful tool which exerts high rotational torque. Besides that, it's able to hammer blows in axial directions, utilizing an internal impact mechanism, hence the name.

impact wrenches and drivers
jeanvdmeulen / Pixabay

This tool is very useful to own for both beginners and professional builders for its versatility. Basically, you use it to drive fasteners and/or screws into various materials, or reverse the function and get screws or fasteners out of it.

They are also used for drilling holes into tough materials. However, if you'll be drilling masonry, get a hammer drill. This is the main difference between the impact driver vs drill, but that's another story.

What Do You Do With It?

Impact drivers utilize a combination of rotational and percussive power for more efficient results. Because of that, you'll be able to use it during the following situations:

•Loosen and/or tighten screws and fasteners that need high rotational torque (higher than the usual cordless drills)

• Drilling holes in tough materials thanks to its hexagonal shank drill bits

The impact driver is better than the cordless drill because it has no issues when drilling in large screws, drilling it deep into materials easily. Stripping screws or fasteners are also way easier and with less risk of damage to the tool. Plus, they're more comfortable to use, with less fatigue and faster results while doing so.

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What Is An Impact Wrench?

If impact drivers are more powerful than a cordless drill, then an impact wrench is far more powerful than both combined!

An impact wrench, which is also called an impact gun, is another excellent tool that uses high rotation force. It's used to drive lug nuts and fasteners that require such powerful force. If you've had your tires repaired or replaced before, you've probably seen the impact wrench already, the one the makes that "brr" sound!

impact wrench vs driver
vinayr16 / Pixabay

Anyway, impact wrenches are used to remove or tighten bolts, fasteners, and screws. That's actually the similar general purpose as an impact driver! But what makes them both different is the force and power the tools provide.

If impact drivers are more powerful than a cordless drill, then an impact wrench is far more powerful than both combined! Impact wrenches are used if no other tool can extract rusted bolts, frozen nuts, or other difficult-to-remove fasteners.

This is because they are powered through compressed air or electricity. Some can be corded or battery-powered, though.

Impact Wrench Key Features

Here are the impact wrenches' key features to look out for:

1. It provides more rotational torque output compared to an impact driver

2. It's used mostly in automobile industries, best for removing or tightening lug nuts

3. Also used in the metal working industry and production assembly lines

So to put it this way, both impact wrenches and drivers have similar principles. BUT, they have their differences when it comes to practical application.

Impact Wrenches and Drivers: What's the Difference?

Now that you're familiar with what these power tools are, what are their exact and detailed differences? Though they look so similar, there are key characteristics that make them distinct, such as:

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Where It's Used

Like I mentioned, both the impact driver and wrench are used in very different settings. An impact driver is best used for home projects or other professional ones like carpentry and home improvement.

As for impact wrenches, they're best used in particularly special professions. You'd use it in automobile industries or huge construction sites, where a huge amount of power is needed for extremely tough or heavy-duty material.

Who Has More Power?

Again, the impact wrench has way more power than the impact driver, but that doesn't mean everyone will need that power! Here's an idea of how different the power disparity is:

•Impact drivers have a power output of 2,000 inches-pounds of torque.

•Impact wrenches have a power output of a whopping 15,000 inches-pounds of torque!

So there's a very deep difference between both.

Impact Wrenches and Drivers: What Should You Get?

I highly recommend that if you're a beginner or hobbyist, then you invest in an impact driver.

So, what should you get, an impact driver or an impact wrench? That depends on you and what you need!

Take note, impact wrenches are specialty tools, so not all people will need it. It's actually a powerful tool which is only used once in a while when the specific situation requires it. Plus

With that being said, I highly recommend that if you're a beginner or hobbyist, then you invest in an impact driver. Even most professional builders will find more use from an impact driver, as they provide good enough power. Take note, too much power can also be bad for your projects, as there's such a thing as over-tightening!

However, if your job focuses on needing very powerful tools like auto repair, huge construction projects, or machinery maintenance, then an impact wrench is best for you. This will make the job easier and provide accurate results.

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Wrapping It Up

There's a huge difference between an impact driver and impact wrench, and it's best to get one suitable for YOUR individual needs. Rather than getting both, you'll be able to save money and still get your investment's worth for future projects on the right tool. Now the next step is finding the best impact wrench or drill to use for your future projects!

Hopefully, my article on the impact wrench vs driver helped you out. so don't wait any longer and learn more about your power tools now.

If you have any questions or want to share your tips and reviews on impact wrenches and drivers, then comment below. Your thoughts would be much appreciated!

Jeremy D

Editor at TopToolTips.com
Jeremy is the editor at TopToolTips.com where we're passionate about providing you with the best tips about a DIY and the tools to get it done. There are a lot of questions out there asked about all aspects of this topic and that's where we come in, to answer them quickly and helpfully.

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