The secret battle: impact wrench vs hammer drill

The differences between an impact wrench, traditional drills, and hammer drills aren’t very clear for those who rarely need more than one tool. In this article, we’re going to address their performance, and compare an impact wrench vs hammer drill.

Let’s characterize each tool first, before heading into the comparisons.


I’d say that next to everyone has a drill at least. Perhaps you remember how they were before: bulkier, corded, roared like a lion and lacked a multitude of conveniences.

Indeed, after shedding pounds and acquiring better mechanisms, drills are better than ever! Much of their performance hasn’t changed at all, however.

Drills are affordable, being much cheaper on average; they are dependable, considering that their operation is not very complex nor reliant on delicate mechanisms; and they’re versatile, at least when it comes to menial tasks such as drilling holes or driving screws.

When we’re faced with more specific tasks, however, drills fall flat. There are scenarios in which a drill simply won’t do, and we will talk about that later in the article.

You can find drills in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as voltages; some have monstrous 20v batteries that can last hours, some are smaller, quieter, and more precise.

The 20v cordless drill can help you a lot in maintaining your car and removing the lug nuts.

As with all tools, the best drill is the one that suits you the best! Bigger isn’t always better.


A hammer drill is pretty much a drill, just with a little extra touch – hammering action!

Have you ever smacked the back of a drill with a hammer to help drive the bit further in? That is basically what a hammer drill does, albeit with much more efficiency and might. When you use one of these, it’s basically like having a jackhammer, furious and loud.

The purpose of these drills is simple: plowing through concrete and masonry. Many models in the market feature both a “normal” and hammer mode. So, you can go from fast hammer-action to conventional drilling with a simple switch.

For those who work with masonry, hammer drills are a blessing. You might feel like the tool is going to snap, but they’re built to withstand the work! The good ones, at least.

They’re often heavier and larger, cordless, feature multiple speeds, accept a variety of bits, and can plow holes/drive fasteners into almost anything.


When you’re using a normal wrench, and not even all your strength will do the job, you use an impact wrench.

This socket wrench power tool delivers a massive torque output with virtually no effort required by the user – Impact wrenches provide the necessary force in cases where your own strength won’t cut it, such as in assembling and disassembling tasks. Those who have tried to get a rusty nut out will surely understand what I mean!

While they share some resemblance with drills, impact wrenches provide mighty, high-speed, impacts that deliver high torque through a hammer action. Such explosive bursts can loosen or tighten, depending on the needs of the user. Compressed air or electricity is the usual fuel to power their motors.

They’re perfect for those who work with cars, be it professional, hobbyist, or just a prospective mechanic guy who likes to have a complete toolbox – if you’re the later, I suggest electric impact wrenches over air-powered, as the latter requires an air compressor: an amenity you probably won’t be carrying out on the road.

Removing wheels with an impact wrench is a walk in the park, and so is bolting/unbolting just about anything!


Let’s review a fine specimen of both worlds: an impact wrench and a drill driver.


Those who work, be them contractors or conscious home-owners, have learned to trust DeWalt’s products, and for good merit!

DeWalt’s DCD791B 20v Max XR is a powerful, high-speed power tool that can deliver up to 2,000 RPMs, as well as plowing through masonry work – It does not fear anything, and it can be of use in almost all scenarios you might need a drill, to not say all. 

The patented DeWalt Brushless motor can provide about 57% more run time than other drills, and its high-speed transmission, variable speed settings, onboard LED lights, and superb hammer mode will ensure that you don’t switch to a different tool for a different project.

This 20v bad boy is also cordless, a trait much more appreciable for contractors or those who work in construction-related trades. You can carry it around the house, outdoors, in the garage, or your patio, allowing DIY homeowners to perform their tasks outside, eliminating the abrasive dust emissions.

As much as I love this drill, however, I must warn the very occasional DIY craftsman – If you’re not going to be working somewhat regularly, or you just want to repair things every once in a while, this drill might be an unneeded investment: Its price goes from $110 to $140, not as expensive as other premium tools, but still too much if not really needed.


Porter-Cable’s impact wrench can shed up to 3,960 inches/pounds worth of torque and offers up to 1,650 RPMs to drive large fasteners – perfect for heavy applications.

This impact wrench can be considered to be one of the most famous battery-powered impact tools of this year.

While it sounds impressive and powerful, you’d be surprised to know that this wrench is cordless and weighs around 5 pounds without the battery. You can get a myriad of extensions/reducers to adapt your work, thanks to its 1/2″ hog ring, allowing easy socket changes.

Some people argue that electric wrenches can’t match the potency of air-powered wrenches, but the PCC740B stands ready to prove them wrong – It won’t shy away from a 6 or even 8 lug diesel truck, that’s for sure!

The price is acceptable, while not entry-level by any means, it stands in the price range of $100-180; Want my advice? Don’t pay more than $130. Anything between $100-130 is acceptable for what it provides, but if you go above that, you might as well purchase a more powerful tool, from a “better” brand.


Hopefully, you know understand the subtle differences between conventional drills, hammer drills, and impact wrenches!

A bountiful toolbox is as valuable as the usefulness of the collection, so make sure you pick the correct tools for you – that is, the ones that work for you the most!

The little electric impact wrench vs drill ought to help you get some insight, but there are several, quality options out there. Don’t rush it! Get a tool that will give you the most for your buck. Nothing sucks more than shelling some cash on a new tool that you have no use for, or even worse, that doesn’t work at all!

I hope this review helped you find what option suits you the best, good luck!

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