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Difference Between Impact Wrench and Impact Driver

Many people may get confused between an impact wrench and an impact driver. Read more to know difference between impact wrench and impact driver.
Written by Noah McDonnell
Last Update: August 23, 2021

An impact wrench yields high torque output while an impact driver is what will make you forget about a drill press under when you need torque output twice as much a drill press can deliver. So, what did you get? Any final thought about the ‘impact driver vs impact’ wrench debate? Even professional woodworkers and expert DIYers often get confused about the difference between an impact wrench and an impact driver.

Both impact wrenches and impact drivers look similar and serves almost similar purposes. The two tools are not on the same side when it comes to more detailed and special craftsmanship. To explain the differences between them, we have brought the “impact driver vs impact wrench” argument into light so that beginners and experienced professionals do not have to get confused while choosing the better of the two.

Difference Between Impact Wrench and Impact Driver| Which Impact Tool Do You Need?

Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are specialized power drills. This highly versatile tool can drive screws into the thickest of materials with ease. This power tool packs in a highly powerful motor which produces a greater torque than regular power drills. With the help of bit rotation and concussive blows, this power tool can drive screws into places where one of the best power drills can’t. DeWalt impact drivers are one of the best impact drivers that you may find. These impact drivers accept hex shaped driver bits, and the driver bits can be placed into the input feed of the impact driver. Professional woodworkers and craftsmen prefer the use of the impact wrenches as these enable them to drive hundreds of screws in no time and with no effort.

Impact Drivers

Impact Wrenches

An impact wrench is another power tool which is used mainly in the automobile repair industry. It is mainly used for loosening or fastening a socket or a nut. This tool is a lot heavier and harder to operate when compared to a regular mechanical wrench. The tool has a heavy-duty motor inside, which can produce enough torque to pull out a very old nut within seconds.

Impact wrenches are one of the favorites for most professional repairman because of its high versatility and huge torque. This powerful tool can produce six times the torque produced by a high-end impact drill and the torque numbers to a maximum of 13,000 in-lbs., which is more than enough to loosen tight and rusty nuts.

Impact Wrenches

High-quality impact wrenches can come in three varieties

  • Corded Impact Wrenches which run on electric power. These electric impact wrenches provide much more torque than a cordless impact wrench. This tool is recommended for people who need to loosen a lot of screws in a short period of time, without the hassle of wasting valuable time waiting for the power tool to fully charge itself.
  • Cordless Impact Wrenches are another high-quality impact wrench. This power tool is highly versatile and highly mobile. The cordless impact wrenches are one of the best choices to make if you don’t want the hassle of wires blocking your way.
  • Air Impact Wrenches are one of the eco-friendlier options when you’re considering to purchase such a power These air-powered impact wrenches are highly versatile and can be used in any conditions without the tension of having to search for an electrical connection or a socket for charging the tool.

Which One Should You Choose?

Probably, this is the only important answer you need out of the “Impact driver vs impact wrench” argument. Well, it depends on what you need. Each power tool serves a different function, which is why it may be very easy to decide. We must know that impact drivers are used in driving screws through hard surfaces and impact wrenches can be used for fastening or loosening screws.

  • If you’re a professional woodworker and you require quite a lot of screwing, you may choose the impact drivers without any sort of hesitation.
  • If you’re a professional automobile repairman and you need to fasten and loosen nuts every so often, you should consider purchasing an impact wrench.

A Useful Thing to Keep in Mind

Although the impact driver is a highly specialized power tool, it might be used as an impact wrench as well. Some of the best impact driver manufacturing companies often produce simple adaptor bits that can change the ¼ inch hex drive socket into a ½ inch square drive. This enables the tool to fasten or loosen nuts just like the impact wrench. This is why the impact drivers can be used as an impact wrench, but this might not be ideal due to the fact that the impact drivers can’t produce enough torque to loosen nuts of bigger size. If you require just a few small nuts to be loosened or fastened, you may surely go ahead and purchase an impact wrench.

A Useful Thing to Keep in Mind


Both the impact wrench and impact drivers are different tools with totally different functions. This is why you must choose the power tool which best suits your needs. People often recommend purchasing a high-quality impact driver as this tool can serve both the functions of an impact wrench and an impact driver.

If you do a lot of fastening and loosening, you must always consider using an impact wrench because it is specialized in doing this particular task. There are hundreds, if not thousands, other power tools which may be essential for the job you do, and you must ensure that you are using the best tools. These tools will not only save you time but also effort enhancing your overall productivity.

About the author

Noah McDonnell

A Garden Equipment Specialist

Noah here! Mow, blow, trim, prune…That’s all I do and love to do every day. Being proud of a large garden, I take pride in growing and nurturing plants of a wide variety. So, my familiarity with blowers, mowers, saws and pruners is nothing surprising. These appliances are good except on occasions when I detect signs of malfunctions. Gardening is a rewarding job as long as you know how to make peace with the tools. Buying a set of equipment every year is, by no means, a pleasant thing to do. therefore, I enjoy helping people use their gardening tools appropriately, take care of them, and ensure that everything goes without a large investment. Got an issue to seek remedy for? Well, check out my posts and become educated instantly!

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