Impact drivers and impact wrenches are becoming popular for both DIYers and professionals. The two tools have simplified most tasks, thanks to their different uses. However, their difference in design makes the two tools perfect for different types of users.
One tool is a perfect option for homeowners, and the other is ideal for professionals. Knowing the difference between the two tools makes it easier to purchase and, more importantly, saves money and time.
However, impact and wrench drivers have similar users. For example, some homeowners may require a certain level of power from a tool.
The question of which is better between an impact driver and impact wrench is unnecessary, especially if you know why you are buying any of them. You can check also Impact Driver vs Drill
What Is An Impact Wrench?
An impact wrench is an electric tool primarily used to drive nuts and fasten them. Therefore, there must be a need for a higher rotation force in all the two cases, largely unavailable in similar tools such as impact drivers.
Due to the uniqueness and specific uses, the impact wrenches are mostly in mechanic shops, car repair shops, and private garages with extensive need for more powerful machines.
Commonly known as the impact gun, the tool makes unique sounds among all electric devices. For example, the ‘brrr…’ sound makes the impact wrench a unique and easily identifiable tool. You can check also best cordless right angle impact wrench
What Is An Impact Driver?
An impact driver works as an impact wrench but rotational. The electric tool exerts pressure rotational but with measured torque compared to the other tool. Thanks to its well-balanced pressure, anybody can comfortably use the impact driver, even if it is their first time using impact tools.
Thanks to its simplification, you can find an impact driver anywhere. For example, you can get one in a professional repair shop. Also, homeowners and DIYers have impact drivers, thanks to their many uses and simplicity.
There are two uses of impact drivers. First, they are unmatched in loosening and tightening fasteners. Second, the electric tools have an unmatched ability to drill holes. You can check also how to use a cordless drill as a screwdriver?
Impact Wrench Vs Impact Driver Comparison Table
Mostly heavier but compact
Mostly compact and lighter
Up to 2000 RPM
More than 3600 RPM
Mostly less power compared to impact wrenches
Requires more time to master the tool
Easy to use, even with less knowledge on electric tools
Both corded and cordless models
Both corded and cordless models
Larger range for performance
Lesser range for performance compared to impact wrenches
Difference Between Impact Driver & Impact Wrench- Which Is Better For You?
The two tools are similar in many ways. They are both unmatched, thanks to their high-torque capabilities. However, they have many differences and uses. Some of the key differences between the two include:
Speed is the main difference between the two tools. In an ideal world, an impact driver is faster compared to an impact wrench. Some impact drivers have speeds of up to 3600 RPM. However, the speed depends on the driver’s brand. On the other hand, impact wrenches have speeds of up to 2000 RPM. The pricier the tool, the faster it is, compared to a standard one.
Easiness to use
There is a significant difference in terms of usability. On the one hand, an impact driver is easy to use, and you do not need extra knowledge. On the other hand, however, an impact wrench requires more knowledge, mainly if you have never used special and heavy tools. However, if you are uncertain about a machine’s functionality, it is advisable to do a background study on the functionality to avoid accidents.
The two tools have different torque power. If you are working on a project that requires more strength in torque value, an impact wrench is a perfect buy. On the other hand, you can get an impact driver if your project does not have more power. Apart from the primary distinction in torque value, brands design impact drivers that work fine for users interested in more power, especially those transitioning to professional tasks.
The power sources are the only feature that the two tools do not have a difference. Due to the need for efficient tools, they all have corded and cordless models. In addition, the availability of more options regarding power makes them ideal for professionals and DIYers. You can check also best pocket screwdriver
Which Is Better Between The Two?
The answer to the above question depends on the user. It also depends on why you are buying any of the two tools. Here are the two ways to know which is ideal for you between the two.
If you are a professional or you need more power in your tools, the impact wrench is the perfect tool for you. Also, if you are a car enthusiastic and contemplating between the two tools, the impact wrench is a better option than the driver wrench.
If you are a homeowner looking for a tool for basic home projects, the driver wrench is an ideal buy for you. In such projects, you will not need a tool to drive hundreds of pounds, and therefore, this tool is a perfect option. You can check also What Size Impact Wrench For Automotive Work?
The Limitations Of Impact Drivers And Impact Wrenches
Although the two tools have redefined how we work as professionals and ordinary homeowners, they have different limits. Here are some of the major disadvantages of each tool.
When not to use an impact wrench
Even with its impressive strength and built quality, there are some key projects you should not use impact wrench as the main tool. Some of them include:
Drilling screws into wood and metal
One of the key projects you should not attempt with impact wrenches is drilling screws into wood and metal. This is because the drilling task requires a certain level of balance, which is hard to attain when using an impact wrench.
The home renovations are primarily basic. When impact wrenches are used in certain basic renovations, it is easy to overpower other tools, making the renovations unbalanced regarding tools’ strength. Therefore, instead of using impact wrenches, it is advisable to use impact drivers.
Besides the two scenarios highlighted above, you should avoid impact wrenches in lighter tasks. The main reason why the tool may not be perfect for these types of tasks is the weight. Instead of using a heavy and intricate tool, you should consider using an impact driver.
When Not To Use An Impact Drivers
Like impact wrenches, there are specific projects you should not attempt when using an impact driver. Some of the main ones include:
To loosen or tighten bolts nuts.
While impact drivers are unmatched when driving screws, they are not the best option when loosening and tightening bolts and nuts. Due to the power, they may not do a perfect job in loosening or making nuts and bolts tighter; instead, use an impact wrench.
In projects requiring heaver machines
On some special occasions, you may need powerful alternatives, especially when working on professional tasks. In such cases, it is wise to avoid impact drivers for obvious reasons. Instead, it would be best if you considered impact wrenches for better results.
In some professional tasks
Renovations are broad, but it is advisable to avoid impact drivers in professional renovations in some cases. There are two reasons why you should consider an impact wrench. First, most of the tools come with better handles. Second, you can use impact drivers for different projects in the professional sphere.
Safety Precautions When Using Impact Wrench And Impact Driver
Since the two tools have a lot of power that may hurt people around you, you need some safety precautions. Some of the things you should consider when using any of the two tools include:
Make sure you know how to use the tool
Even if you have experience using any of the above tools, it is advisable to go through the user manual once you take the impact tool out of the box. In some cases, different brands may have differences in placing some functionalities on the tools.
Wear protective gear
Like other electric tools, it is advisable always to wear protective gear when using impact wrenches and impact drivers. For example, you should protect your eyes, hands, feet, and the rest of the body. If possible, use professional protective gear as opposed to any available option.
Work in less crowded places
In most cases, you are more likely to work in a secluded place. However, if you must work in the presence of people, ask some to leave the area until you finish. While the chances of accidents reaching the other people in the workshop are minimal, it is advisable to take caution before anything else.
If you are using a corded impact driver or impact wrench, it is advisable to check the electric connection before starting the work. This routine is vital because you may be working with an impact tool with faulty connections, causing more accidents.
If you have a cordless impact wrench or impact driver, ensure it is fully charged. But, again, the primary goal is to work with a machine that is at its optimal.
Source Of Power For Impact Drivers And Impact Wrenches
The two tools, impact wrenches, and impact drivers, have an almost similar design for power use. Some of the available options include:
The corded impact drivers and wrenches are more popular than other options. The tools, in this case, must be connected to an electric outlet in order to work with them. However, there are tons of advantages of using corded tools.
Corded tools, for example, are easy to use. Also, they are easy to carry because they do not have lithium batteries. The third reason why you may consider the corded tools is the price. They are cheaper compared to other alternatives.
Unfortunately, corded impact drivers and impact wrenches are not reliable in places without electricity. Also, due to their engineering, the tools may not be as secure as cordless, mainly because of having many wires in the working spaces.
Cordless impact drives and wrenches are more advanced compared to most corded tools. Since you do not need to connect the device to a power source, it is easy to work with it. Also, cordless tools are ideal for professionals.
There are tons of advantages of using cordless tools. For example, the tools are convenient, even in places with no electricity. Also, as a user, you only need to charge the tool, thanks to the lithium battery.
Even with the endless advantages, cordless tools have two disadvantages. First, they are heavy because of the lithium battery. Second, they are expensive due to the complex engineering. You can check also the best cordless ratchet wrench.
If you are not interested in cordless or cord tools, you may consider hydraulic impact wrenches and drivers. Instead of using electricity, the two tools use a water mechanism to create pressure which is then used to drive nuts or make them lose.
Unfortunately, there are not many companies designing and making hydraulic impact drivers and wrenches. Also, the tools may not be ideal for DIYers and inexperienced users. However, when used, they are reliable and perfect for professional work.
What Should I Look At When Buying An Impact Driver Or Impact Wrench?
If you are in the market to buy an impact wrench or impact driver, it is advisable to make the right decision because the tools are expensive. Some of the factors you should consider when buying your next tool between the two include:
The tool’s brand
While many generic brands are making impressive tools for DIYers and professionals, branded tools are still unmatched. First, buying from a known brand guarantees that the warranty is well-looked at, compared to a generic brand.
Besides warranties, most branded impact drivers and wrench machines are easy to repair. So in case the tool breaks outside the warranty period, any professional can easily fix it faster without charging more than you can afford.
One of the best things about electric tools is the growing technology. Tools are becoming better each year, making tasks easy to complete. Therefore, you should pay attention to the tools’ technology before buying any of the above tools.
For example, some brands in the impact category have LED lights for working in darker places. In other cases, some impact drivers and wrenches have Bluetooth features that make them more compatible with other tools.
However, when buying tools in terms of technology, it is important not to get carried with the specs and forget the key features. The goal is to make the work easier and less complicated. If a feature makes it hard to incorporate a tool into your tools, it is not worth the investment.
Availability of accessories
One of the most ignored aspects when buying electric tools is the availability of accessories. For example, you should only buy an impact tool if you can get extra bits locally instead of always importing some if you have a project at hand.
Other parts such as spare batteries should be available, either by the company or affiliated stores. Therefore you should only get tools that have readily available tools. Alternatively, the package should come with all the necessary accessories if they are not available in your city.
The weight of the tool
The weight is one of the key things to check when working on a new impact driver or impact wrench. In some cases, you may need a heavier tool and others a lighter tool. Regardless of your preference, the tool should match your preferred weight.
What is the best weight for impact wrench and impact drivers? The best weight is the one that works better for you. For example, if you are used to using heavier tools, you should look for a similar tool.
One of the most key advances in this niche is the battery. A lithium battery allows you to work for longer hours without the need to plug it into a power source. However, there are many battery aspects you should pay attention to when buying an impact wrench or impact driver.
For example, the battery’s size and efficiency should be the first key consideration when investing in an electric tool. So, first, ask the sales representative questions such as the battery life of the impact tool. Second, ask for details such as the expected charging cycles before replacement.
Besides the efficiency, the battery of a tool affects its weight. However, an ideal lithium battery should not affect the tool’s weight negatively. Instead, you should shop for an impact tool that has a balanced weight after adding a battery.
The two tools are heavy and lethal if not used correctly. It is, therefore, advisable to buy a tool with many safety features for the sake of the people around you. Also, a safer machine has minimal breakdowns.
The main safety features you should consider when buying impact drivers and impact wrenches are two. First, the tools should have an automatic shut-down feature to avoid overcharging the tool. Second, it should have a mechanism to prevent more dust into the machine’s interior.
The Best Brands Designing And Making Impact Drivers And Impact Wrenches
Are you looking for the best brands in these two categories? Thanks to the advancement in electric tools, there are tens of brands making the two tools. However, here are some of the best ones, thanks to their history in making electric tools and diversification:
Makita is a Japanese company but with footing across the world. The company was one of the first international companies to put money into the research and making of cord and cordless impact tools. Currently, Makita makes both impact wrenches and impact drivers.
Why is the company reliable? There are two reasons why this is an ideal brand for your next impact wrench or impact driver tool. First, it has some impressive options for both professionals and hobbyists. Second, the company offers one of the best warranties for professional and premium tools.
Milwaukee is a premium brand making some of the best impact tools for professionals. All the tools by the company are also prestigious, meaning you can use them if you want more than just functionality in a tool.
Besides being a prestige brand, the company has some of the best offerings for hobbyists transitioning to professional work. Thanks to their target market, you can get different impact tools for all types of projects.
The only disadvantage with the Milwaukee brand’s tools is that they are expensive compared to some alternatives. However, the tools are durable, and in most cases, you get what you pay in terms of functionalities and efficiency.
Bosch is a German company making some of the best impact drivers and impact wrenches. All the tools by the company have an assurance of quality, durability, and efficiency. Interesting, the tools from the german company are also perfect for professionals and hobbyists.
Besides the efficiency of the tools, the company also has impressive policies on warranties. Regardless of where you buy the Bosch impact tools, you will get a reasonable warranty for at least one year. Furthermore, if the tools develop a problem out the warranty period, the tools are reparable in any professional workshop repairing electric tools.
DeWalt is one of the best brands on this list. Founded in the 1920s, the company has redefined many aspects in making and designing tools. Currently, the company makes both impact drivers and impact wrenches for all types of users.
Besides its diversification, the DeWalt has unique offerings in terms of warranties. Even though these tools rarely break, the company has warranties for DIYers and professionals if the electric tools fail or break down.
While impact drivers and impact wrenches are often used concurrently, they are not the same. Impact wrench, for example, is heavier and ideal for professional tasks. On the other hand, impact drivers are mostly usable in renovations and DIY projects.