Impact driver or Impact wrench? Which to use? It is most complicated to choose if you are not a professional. At first look, both look alike in design and have a similar function. But remember, they have a lot of differences from their drive style to their uses. I am here to share some common side-to-side differences that will make it easy for you to choose which one you go for. Let’s have a quick and brief comparison.
Impact Driver VS. Impact Wrench the Differences
1. Impact Driver is Small in Size than Impact Wrench
Although the base of both devices is the same, the thing that makes the difference in size is the attachment. Overall, an impact driver is small compared to the impact wrench. If we go into more precision, impact drivers come in light and manageable versions. While the size of the impact driver increases as you choose the power level.
Due to its smaller size and less weight of the impact driver, it is the best tool for beginners. On the other hand, if you are not new to these tools, you can pick an impact wrench for versatile working.
2. An Impact Wrench Has a Higher Torque Than an Impact Drive
An impact wrench can manage torque that can be as little as 100ft/lb or exceed 1000 ft/lb of torque. Depending on the use of torque, the impact wrench has been divided into three types:
In contrast, an impact driver can produce a maximum of 2000 in/lb torque, equivalent to 167 ft/lbs. Though it is much lower than an impact wrench but is suitable for professional use as the ideal torque is 125 ft/lb.
3. Drive Style
Irrespective of the same looks, both have different drive styles as impact drivers (Chuck or collet) can accommodate ¼ inch hex bit. In contrast, the wrench drive is a square-shaped drive that you can attach to a socket. Also, it has various sizes, including ¼, ⅜, ½, ¾, and 1-inch square drives to attach or remove lug nuts. Multiple size options provide more professional usage as you can easily pick the one you need. Moreover, wrench drive has two available styles, i.e., friction ring or pin detent.
If you want to use a tool that you can manage easily because of its lightweight and drive style, then you can pick an impact driver. However, if you need a tool that offers variety and provides professional functionality, then you should choose an impact wrench.
4. An Impact Driver Is Faster Than an Impact Wrench
When it comes to speed, despite the lower torque of the impact driver, an impact driver rotates faster with a speed of 3600 RPM maximum which makes it able to screw or unscrew faster than a manual screwdriver. In contrast, an impact wrench rotates with a speed under 2000 RPM which is more suitable for its efficient working. So, if you need speed then an impact wrench is the suitable option. However, in case, you need speed but can’t compromise on size and weight then an impact driver gives the wanted results.
5. Trade Specific
It will not be wrong if I say impact driver and impact wrench are trade-specific. You should never pick any of them randomly. It is to select one of the two to get desired results. To make the right decision, firstly, define what job you want to perform. If you have just started construction and household repairing, then, an impact driver will be the best option as it is lightweight and easy to use. Moreover, as a beginner, you can easily hold a tool that provides precision.
But if you own an automobile shop where you have to repair cars or want to remove (or tighten) a lug nut, you have to deal with industrial machinery. Then, at that point, there will be no better option than the impact wrench because of its versatility and high power.
6. Way of Working
When you focus on how an impact driver works, you will know that it is used to drill (or loose) long screws (like Phillip, Torx, or square) in different materials such as wood or metal by giving a hammer-like stroke. It is also used to lose nuts by using its high speed. Due to this reason, it is also known as screwdriver expert.
But if you want to fasten or remove nuts and bolts, you have to grab an impact wrench as it is used for tightening and losing hex head fasteners than impact drivers.
An impact driver uses 12V to perform its task and can reach 18-20V maximum. But when it comes to Impact wrench, most commonly it uses 18V, which can go up to 28V. However, exceptions are also there; some compact impact wrench works efficiently with 12V.
8. Power Sources
An impact driver can be cordless or corded. Although, corded impact drivers are most commonly used and readily available in markets and can be seen in construction sites as these are easily portable as well as low weight.
On the other hand, regarding the power source for the Impact wrench, you need a compressor and a hose in addition to the impact wrench itself. Cordless and corded versions of impact wrenches are also available. But, nowadays, cordless impact wrenches are more popular due to no power limitation, and you can carry them anywhere without the availability of any direct power source.
Best Impact Driver and Impact Wrench
1. Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver
Are you looking for the best impact driver that provides the best functionality while coming in a small size? Then your search now ends here as the Milwaukee M18 Fuel impact driver equipped with advanced technology gives you desired utility. While the manufacturer ensures a compact body to make it an easy-to-carry tool.
Many other features make this tool an ideal pick. For example, Milwaukee 2857 has unbelievable power compared to its size as it can remove the 300 ft-lbs which is impressive. Furthermore, in terms of speed, it still leaves other impact drivers behind. It can easily remove or place a screw in 5.84 to save your effort and time.
To ensure maximum control, Milwaukee 2857 offers customization so you get exactly what you want. You can adjust precision mode, trigger ramp up, length diameter, head, LED brightness and LED duration. Milwaukee 2857 is an all-rounder with its advanced features and compact design that makes it an ideal pick for all losing or tightening jobs without putting much effort.
2. Ryobi 18v one+ 1/2.in.
If you are looking for an impact wrench that has the best features yet comes within your budget. Then Ryobi 18v one+ 1/2.in. is the most affordable impact wrench but without compromising on the functionality.
It has a great power that helps you to remove nuts in seconds. Moreover, it has three adjustments in speed which give you full control. Also, it has 300 ft./lbs. of torque to improve speed and saves your time. You can use this tool for all kinds of home tasks without facing any issues. Choose this impact wrench to make your tough tasks easy.
You are now aware that impact drivers or impact wrench are trade-specific. So, you have to ensure the extent of your work, whether you have to drill a screw or grab the nut to repair heavy machinery. You also have to focus on the power source and the required torque. Then, you can easily choose which is perfect for your job, an impact driver or an impact wrench.