Difference Between Impact Driver and Drill (With Table)

Impact Driver is used to driving heavy-duty screws into wood, steel or drywall with great impact and speed. Drill, on the other hand, is primarily used to drill holes of different sizes into wood, steel or drywall to make a home for screws to be driven in post drill.

Impact Driver vs Drill

The main difference between Impact Driver and Drill is that unlike an Impact driver, a drill can also be used to directly drive screws in if drive tool bits are used in its clutch instead of drill bits. The advantage of an impact driver is its brute strength and exemplary speed, providing a very easy to handle solution if you work with heavy wood beams or steel pieces.

The advantage of a drill is its versatility in function as it can fit a number of drill bits to adjust according to your project needs, providing a one-in-all solution for your shop if you do small DIY projects for home or other accessories.


Comparison Table Between Impact Driver and Drill (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison

Impact Driver



To drive large fasteners/screws into wood, steel or drywall

Primarily to drill holes and to drive small fasteners/screws into wood, steel or drywall


provides high power rotational force at amazing speed

Provides less power rotational force at lesser speed

Torque and versatility

High torque, less versatility in function

Less torque, greater versatility in function

Dual purpose

mainly for driving screws in and out

Mainly for drilling precise holes but also drives screws in and out

Driving Force and drilling action

Driven by concussive force, require less effort by handler

Driven by forward thrust, require more effort by handler

Drill bits used

¼ inch hex-shanked

round and hex-shanked drill bits of diameter ¼ or 3/8 inch

Handling and Compactness

More compact and easier to handle

Less compact and harder to handle


Does not strip screws hence provides precision in screw driving

Strips screws so precision can be compromised if slipped


What is Impact Driver?

Impact Driver is a powerful tool that is used to drive screws in and out of wood, steel, non-ferrous metals, plastics, drywall or concrete with high speed and accuracy and for nut set. (Nut setting is the function of tightening or loosening a nut in its bolt set).

Impact Driver provides high torque output which makes repetitive screw driving tasks while building quick and easy.

To make this tool more compact, an impact driver does not have a clutch, it is only fitted with a chuck allowing only hex-shanked bits to be slipped in and secured, and can be handled more easily with less exertion.

Driven by concussive force, impact drivers are named so because the impact is provided by the tool itself; very less force is transferred to the hand holding the tool and hence requires minimal effort for hard-driven screwing.


What is Drill?

A drill is a versatile power tool that is used to drill holes of varying sizes into the wood, steel, non-ferrous metals, drywall or concrete as well as screw-in fasteners into either drilled holes or directly into the host material.

A drill is equipped with a clutch which accepts an assortment of circular or hex-shanked drill bits that are used for making different types of pocket holes and fitting on various types of screw heads to facilitate screwing fasteners in and out.

The clutch provides the options for either drill or drives with varying speeds and sizes. This piece rotates on the tool and adds bulk to its volume making the drill-less compact, hence harder to handle with greater exertion.

Driven by forwarding thrust, and due to the clutch variation, drills require effort provided by the handler too to effectively drive or drill screws and hence are harder to use than the impact drivers, unless only used for smaller screws and holes.

Owing to its flexibility in function, a drill is a tool that is found in most households, used for various fitting and repair jobs.

Main Differences Between Impact Driver and Drill

  1. An Impact driver drives fasteners/screws into a host medium whereas a drill makes threaded holes for screws as well as direct drive screws into the host medium
  2. An impact driver advantages in strength and speed whereas a drill advantages in a variety of function
  3. An impact driver is limited in the use of drill bits i.e. only hex-shanked bits can be fit into an impact driver whereas a drill accepts a myriad of drill bits of different sizes and shapes including circular and hex-shanked in ¼ and 3/8 inch sizes
  4. An impact driver provides high torque output and can be used for heavy-duty attachments and fastening whereas a drill is comparatively low powered and is used for small projects, fittings, and repairs
  5. An impact driver is compact and precise in its working whereas a drill is adaptable and multipurpose in its working
  6. Impact driver is compact, less in weight and driven at very fast speed so does not strip screws during rotation whereas a drill gets slower in speed when the surface become hard and the screws strip due to resistance



Both the tools, an impact driver and a drill, are handy and very helpful to keep in your workshop. A drill, due to its user-friendliness and multifunction, is more beneficial to keep in households for day-to-day projects, small fittings, and repairs.

An impact driver, due to its power output and astonishing speed, is more beneficial to contractors, builders, and people who are more involved in large scale projects.

Both tools use the same type of batteries and typically require the same level of skill, so a better workman would be able to use both in each of their own better capacity to drive the best and fastest outcome from each tool.



  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/24/1/012016/pdf
  2. https://www.electricianmentor.com/best-compact-drills-for-tradesmen/
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12541-012-0290-1