Impact Driver Vs Impact Wrench: Get The Best Tool For Your DIY Projects

The impact driver came into existence a lot later when compared to the likes of the impact wrench and similar such power tools. Those days there were two options from which one had to choose- the torque wrench and the standard electric drill.

For drilling, driving, and fastening, the electric drill was the one people opted for. On the other hand, the impact wrench was useful in automotive repair and restoration like removing lug nuts, frames, chassis bolts etc.

With the launch of the impact driver in the market, it changed the whole dynamics of how these can be used to extract maximum benefits. These sleek and compact designs were able to deliver more torque than a standard drill.

It became a lot more convenient to use these giant impact heavy wrenches. So there lies the difference between these two popular tools. Lets’ delve on some points in the discussion of Impact Driver vs Impact Wrench to understand it better

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Cropped image of a man's hands grabbing a tool from his toolbox

General Overview

Impact wrenches are heavier and bulkier when compared to impact drivers. These wrenches produce more torque which helps in execution of certain workflow a lot easier.

Impact wrenches are mainly used for loosening and fastening sockets which is made possible from a square drive of 1/2 “. Impact drivers are mainly used to drive in screws and for this, they use ¼” hex drivers.

Adapter bits are available in the market which would help you convert a ¼” impact driver to a ½” square driver.

For example, a Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless impact driver boosts of 2000 in lbs of torque. The M18 ½” range delivers a solid punch of 13000 in lbs. These kinds of powers are required for in-house jobs. Impact drivers make their “impact” felt in situations where standard drills lack the power.

But impact wrenches end up overdoing certain things which are for general purpose use like driving screws, drilling holes etc. These wrenches do the work of high-end torque wrenches for bringing out tight sockets.

The sound you hear when you pass by a car mechanic shop is mostly that of impact wrenches. The functioning of both impact drivers and impact wrenches bear a lot of similarities since both use rotational blows to maximize the amount of torque.

If you need to remove a bolt struck at some awkward place then it would be almost impossible to loosen it with a standard socket wrench. In the end, you have to take the help of a sled hammer and keep banging on the wrench until its breaks apart.

Uses

The majority of users whose work with these tools is limited to their homes would not need the use of an impact wrench. Removing lug nuts and bolts does not need the kind of torque output that these wrenches are known to provide.

The old way wrench is the alternative if someone is willing to use a wrench but does not want to invest in an impact wrench which costs a considerable amount. Impact drivers are convenient to be used in and around your home premises.

PORTER-CABLE PCE210 Impact Wrench via Amazon

These are more compact and powers a considerable amount of torque, more than what a standard cordless drill is capable of. The one great “pro” of this device is that it is a very eco-friendly product and is more suitable for the environment.

In the age of rising temperatures in the environment due to global warming, we should encourage the use of such tools. Impact drivers have the necessary torque required to remove lug nuts from cars.

Some Of The Popular Impact Drivers

Milwaukee 2656-21 M18 Cordless 1/4” impact driver

This is probably the best impact driver doing the rounds in the market. The batteries powering this product from Milwaukee are known to the best and can last long hours after one charge.

They charge at a lightning fast pace and would last as long as you would like it to. It delivers a whooping figure of 2200in lbs of torque which is quite unbelievable considering the sleek design and user-friends goals of this product.

Power Jointer via http://www.woodsmithtips.com

Milwaukee 2656-21 M18 1/4" Hex Impact Driver via Amazon

Makita XDT111 ¼” cordless impact driver

This may lack the performance levels of the Milwaukee but still it is a product to trust on. It comes at a great price for the kind of features it offers.

It delivers a figure of almost 1500 in lbs of torque which is more than sufficient to perform your general home and automotive requirements.

Circular Saw via http://www.woodesigner.net/

Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver via Amazon

DeWalt DCF885C1 20V Max ¼” impact driver

 It comes loaded with a battery capacity of 20V Max which is a great addition in a device that comes with such a price bracket.

This compact battery would not get a lot of heavy-duty use from this tool after one charge. For powerful tools as these, it would be better to go with the bigger 4.0 amp batteries. The torque figures are not bad either, standing at 1400 in lbs.

Hand Saw via woodandshop.com

DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4" Impact Driver via Amazon

Some Of The Popular Impact Wrenches

Ingersoll Rand 231C ½”

With the standard ½ inch square drive, this is a great addition to your tool kit. It packs unbelievable figures of 5000 in lbs of torque at a not so exorbitant price.

Since it is a pneumatic range, naturally you would have to get hold of an air compressor to run this tool. The Ingerson Rand 261 is the elder sibling in this range which comes with a staggering torque figure of 13000 in lbs.

Power Jointer via http://www.woodsmithtips.com

Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench via Amazon

DeWalt DCF880HM2 cordless ½” kit

This kit is available with two 4.0 amp batteries with the wrench delivering about 1800 in lbs of torque. It is the most bankable wrenches doing the rounds in the market with almost the same torque figures.

Circular Saw via http://www.woodesigner.net/

DEWALT DCF880HM2 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Kit via Amazon

Porter Cable PCE210 ½” corded

It is a corded product so may not be as convenient as the cordless options discussed above.

With a price tag of less than 100$, you can add a practical device to your armory. The torque figures of 3000 in lbs make it a better deal than many of its rivals in the market.

Hand Saw via woodandshop.com

PORTER-CABLE PCE210 Impact Wrench via Amazon

Final Verdict

From the above discussion, it may be concluded that impact wrenches are more powerful than impact drivers.

But, on the other side, many typical DIY’ers would not find much use in the high torque figures that these devices can come up with. For the daily average user, impact drivers are a more practical solution.

About the Author Maria Stark

I'm an undergraduate research assistant for Luxury Home Stuff. I help people to choose the best products and buy the right one.

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