hammer drill vs impact driver

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver Working Process

When it comes to electrical equipment, there is a lot to carry because first-hand and more innovative equipment always comes in the market. However, in recent times, power drills are one of the widely used power tools by woodworkers.

But, even power drills are now available with a variety of unique skills. You might be facing a dilemma in deciding if you should purchase an impact driver or a hammer driver.

If you need to purchase either an impact driver or a hammer driver, then this guide will assist you in picking the right tool because we did an in-depth discussion on hammer drill vs impact drill.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

What is a Hammer Drill?

best corded hammer drill for concrete

Regular power drills will not be enough to get the required result when drilling on hard surfaces like concrete or any building materials work or renovating a house.

So, if you are looking to drill on hard surfaces like concrete or bricks, a hammer drill will be an ideal solution. The task of drilling on hard surfaces will be much more comfortable with a hammer drill.

The hammer driver is a bit bulky and big force drill. Driving into hard surfaces is straightforward with this power tool since its hammer-like action delivers a straighter frontward force on the drill head.

Either you will get an electro-pneumatic or cam-action hammering from a hammer drill. Because of hammer drills 3-jaw chuck, both hex, and circular bits are accepted. It means a hammer drill is universal.

Key Feature:

  • Universal drill since it accepts both hex and round bits.
  • Versatile because you can perform a wide range of tasks using a hammer drill.
  • Comes with an adjustable clutch option.
  • The best choice for drilling on hard surfaces.
  • Delivers accurate and required force.

What is an Impact Driver?

1/2 inch drive impact wrenchIf you are a woodworker, you might have to deal with tasks like bare screw bits and congested screws. These may seem like regular fastening or bolting jobs, but the majority time, regular drills cannot handle these tasks.

The necessity for more robust drills and some more powerful tools for drive work has led to the development of the impact drill.

In fact, an impact driver and a traditional driver are quite similar; the only difference is impact driver comes with an impact gear system.

While screwing, this gear mechanism increases the torque when the motor reaches a specific level of resistance.

Impact driver only accepts hex shank bits and therefore limits the ability to adjust multiple drill bits. Compared to a traditional drill, the impact driver can produce extensive power. Also, controlling this tool is straightforward. For this reason, it is an ideal tool for screwing, fastening, and driving bolts.

However, in some solid ingredients, it exceeds the case of running a large, long screw.

Key Feature:

  • For driving long and big fasteners, an impact drill is the best choice.
  • Lightweight that you will not feel hand fatigue working with it for an extended period.
  • The compact design makes it suitable for beginner woodworkers.
  • Delivers extraordinary non-reactionary torque.

Comparison Chart: Hammer drill vs Impact drill

Below is a quick comparison chart of impact driver vs hammer drill:

Hammer Drill Impact Driver/drill
Best for Hard surfaces and drill masonry. Tighten or loosen screws that require massive torque.
Working process Hammering the side where the hole is being made. The action of the hammer in the direction of rotation.
Drive force Electro-pneumatic. Electric motor.
Design Similar to a regular hammer drill. Hammers’ drills are heavy. Head length is short.
Tool holder 3-jaw chuck, SDS chuck. 1/4” hexagonal socket.
Torque Variable and controlled torque No controlled torque

In-depth Discussion between a hammer driver and impact driver

The main difference between a hammer drill and an impact driver is – uses, design, and working process.


Hammer drills and impact drivers are not designed for accomplishing a similar task.

You will make a hole into a hard surface like concrete using a hammer drill. On the other hand, if you will need fastening or loosening any over-torqued screw on a tough surface.

Besides, you can use both types of drills on the wooden surface, but this is not the main reason for purchasing any of these drills. For drilling into wood surfaces, a regular drilling machine is enough.

Hammer drill: Will deliver the best result when drilling on tough surfaces like concrete, masonry, etc.

Impact driver: Long and large screws can be driven into hard surfaces smoothly using an impact driver. Also, if any screw, nuts, or bolts gets jammed, with the help of an impact driver, you can easily loosen it.


Both drills are similar to look at in terms of design. But upon the intent look, you can find out key differences.

The barrel in the hammer drill is longer and bigger. On the other side of the coin, the impact driver’s handle is short, thick, and sturdy.

You will also find another key difference in their design.

Hammer drill comes with 3 jaw chuck. Do you know what chuck is? The chuck is especially the front portion of a hammer drill where bits are placed.

Instead of a chuck, an impact driver contains a hexagonal socket where you can place hex-shaped driver bits.

Hammer drill: The design is similar to a regular power drill. It has 3 jaws chuckle to handle materials.

Impact driver: Short head. It is equipped with a ¼” hexagonal socket.

Working Process

In the case of hammer drills, repetitive blows occur in the direction of drilling with the hole. This means the force is moved along a vertical axis or axis with the length of the hammer driver. Because of this hammering action, the drill chuck moves to and fro from the barrel.

However, in terms of an impact driver, the hammer force is mainly towards rotation. It has a spring inside it that is responsible for the impact system. This system transfers energy to the vertical axis. The truth is, compared to a hammer drill, this force created by the spring is too minimal.

Hammer drill: The hammer blows in the direction of the drill hole.

Impact drill: Hits simultaneously towards rotation.

Hammer drill or impact drill: Which drill to pick for your project?

You can accomplish different types of tasks using each variety of drills. Each of them comes with unique characteristics. So, a woodworker can be benefitted by keeping both of the drill types in his/her tool shed. However, I do admit that the budget varies from person to person and may have to make decisions about how this kind of drill should be adopted.

If you need to do masonry-type work, you have to pick a hammer drill. While you require fasting or loosening any bolt, screw, or nuts in a construction site, an impact drill will be the best choice.

For a homeowner or a DIY enthusiast, both drills are useful. However, between these 2 power tools, I would pick an impact driver instead of a hammer drill. Few reasons are behind this decision which are discussed below.

Firstly, in terms of price, impact drivers are cheaper than a hammer drill. It is significantly essential because you will require a hammer drill-less frequently than an impact driver for completing any home improvement or DIY project. More using a power tool means it is getting more efficient while you spend less.

Secondly, without any trouble, you can rent a hammer drill from your nearest store because you may not require a hammer drill frequently since it is a specialty tool for drilling on concrete. How often do you drill on a concrete surface? A lot of stores are out there that are offering to rent power tools, and you can return them after you finish using them.

But if you are continuously handling tasks related to masonry or concrete, then no doubt that without a hammer drill, you can’t finish the project successfully.

You have to know what your project is and what type of work you need to handle. Ask yourself, and you will understand which type of drills do you need to pick for your project.

Wrap Up

I believe, through this article, you have got everything that requires making a precise decision since you have got a clear picture of the role of both drills on different surfaces. Also, the main differences are the most highlighted points in this article. After reading this article, you will never search for the topic on google typing “hammer drill vs impact driver.”

Both the drills are useful for specific reasons. And you can’t accomplish similar projects smoothly and efficiently using only one drill. So, learning about the project requirement is significantly essential while picking any of the exercises.

Be noted; the right tool will allow you to accomplish a project proficiently as well as you can save time too.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family if you find it useful.