Drill vs. Impact Driver


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There are lots of cordless tools in the marketplace. Few are as handy as impact drivers and drills. Here’s some great buying advice that’ll help you figure out which of these tools will serve you and your shop the best; impact driver, or drill? Check out this video before you make a buying decision.

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5 Responses to “Drill vs. Impact Driver”
  1. aughtago

    Great comparison , but you missed another option ,I have a similar Bosh Screw driver, it has the clutch like your drill , but has the chuck like your impact. It runs maybe a little slower than a drill, because it is designed to drive screws. It is great for hinges or even pocket hole. It is short and fits into tight spaces and small enough to fit in a a tight cabinet or a tool belt. I have larger Dewalt Drills and impact drivers, but this screw gun is usually the first one i pick up. I’m an electrician by trade and set it to 7 on the clutch, it has a home in my belt when i’m installing switches and outlets in mass.

  2. christopher

    great comparison and I have both and I find there are times when the “torque” of the impact is too much for delicate materials so go with my standard drill.

  3. Robert Bryan

    Your comment that the screwdriver sometimes comes loose in a drill was quick. It could have had a little more info. The screwdriver bit will almost ALWAYS come loose when you are backing a screw or bole out using a drill with a key-less chuck, because it ‘triggers’ the untightening action process. The driver doesn’t use a chuck that needs to be tightened or untightened so it won’t come undone in reverse.

  4. Darwin Witzel

    Good information to help make a selection. I think that you should have both because there are applications for both. This discussion only used #2 phillips headed screws and driver bits. The real power and the think that makes so much difference are star (Torx) head screws and driver bits. Really eliminates cam out and reduces the effort to ensure that the bit stays with the screw. The effort by the user is reduced to resisting the torque generated by the tool which is quite easy to go given the lever arm advantage. Personally I think that for larger screws, at least, phillips heads are obsolete. I just built a shed with typical home framing. My impact driver drove 3 1/8 #9 screws into pine effortlessly. It also drove 4″ 5/16 screws fastening the base plate to the foundation like my dad used to say “like nobodies business” (never really knew what that meant). Anyway super easy. All were torx heads. I like Dewalt.

  5. Don d

    You missed the most important of the triad – the cordless screwdriver. Of the three I use my 12v milwaukee variable speed screw driver the most often. And yes, it will drive a 3″ screw if necessary – I use it for hanging wall cabinets and installing bases as well. I bought my first cordless drill back in 1981 and sold it in a garage sale a few years later as it wouldn’t hold a charge. However I did use a normal 3/8 electric drill for a few decades for driving screws – and did not experience the bit jumping out of the screw head any more than when I use my impact driver. So that is a non issue in my mind. I have seen bozos on the job site using impact drivers for installing door hardware and shake my head. Wrong tool, for sure.
    Keep in mind that the variable speed of both the drill and screw driver for driving screws is a far bigger advantage than 1/2 second of speed that the impact driver allows. /too bad the manufacturers don’t sell the screw driver and drill kit combination instead of the impact. [a lot easier on the ears too… :)]


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