Two popular tools for drilling screws and other fasteners are drills and impact drivers. While they’re both useful drilling tools, their substantial differences affect the tasks they can perform and how efficiently they work. Learn three differences between drills and impact drivers to choose the best tools for your work.
Drills Are More Versatile
Drills can operate in forward and reverse directions, making them suitable for driving and removing fasteners. Drills also bore holes, efficiently cutting and removing material such as wood, metal, and plastic.
In contrast, impact drivers are specifically designed for driving fasteners into tough materials. They use rotational impact force to drive into hardwood, knots in wood, metal, and concrete.
Drills Work More Precisely; Drivers Deliver More Torque
A significant difference between drills and impact drivers is how much torque they deliver. Drills offer lower torque than impact drivers. However, drills typically have adjustable speed settings that the user controls. The operator can adjust the speed depending on the material’s composition, the task, and how far along they are in the drilling process.
Impact drivers deliver immense torque and work more efficiently than drills when driving large fasteners and working with dense material. The higher torque makes the impact driver a less precise tool than a drill, and few impact drivers have variable speed settings.
Impact Drivers Are Compact and Lighter
Most drills are larger and heavier compared to impact drivers. The added bulk makes them less maneuverable in tight spaces. Drill chucks can accept various drill bit shanks, including triangle, hex, and straight shanks.
In contrast, impact drivers are more compact and lightweight, improving maneuverability and access to confined spaces; this streamlined design reduces fatigue during prolonged use. Impact drivers have a smaller collet that only accepts bits with hexagonal shanks.
When deciding between a drill and impact driver, consider the action you need to take, the materials you’re working with, and the torque required. A drill may be better for tasks that primarily involve boring holes or that require versatility. If you frequently need to drill heavy-duty fasteners into dense materials, you will likely prefer to use an impact driver.
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