Cordless Tools

Difference between Hammer Drill and Impact Driver

First and foremost, hammer drills and impact drivers have different purposes. Hammer drills are utilized to drill into hard surfaces such as concrete and cement. On the other hand, impact drivers are used to install and remove screws and bolts.

Both hammer drills and impact drivers are very powerful tools but utilized different principles of action. Hammer drills utilizes a hammer-like action on the drill to drive the bit into certain hard surfaces. Meanwhile, impact drivers utilize higher torque to screw in bolts.

To find out more differences between hammer drills and impact drivers, read on!

The Differences

For the most part, hammer drills and impact drivers differ in three main factors, namely: Working Principle, Design, and Purpose.


When it comes to hammer drills, the recurring blows occur in the direction of the hole that is being worked on. This means that the force is transferred in the axis along the length of the tool or simply the vertical axis. This results to the hammering action, which in turn make the drill chuck to move in and out from the tool’s barrel.

On the other hand, impact drivers, the hammering force is primarily in the direction of rotation. The spring component inside the tool transfers the energy in the same axis as hammer drills. But this force given by the spring component is minimal unlike hammer drills.

To put simply, hammer drills blows in the drilling hole direction, while impact drivers have concussive blows in the direction of rotation.


When it comes to looks, these two tools look really the same. However, if you check closely, you’ll observe some main differences. First, a hammer drill come with a longer barrel and a little bit larger than an impact drivers. On the flip side, an impact driver is usually short and thick particularly around its barrel.

One main difference in their appearance is that a hammer drill come with a three jaw chuck – a chuck is basically the front part of any drill where the drill bits are held in position. Rotary hammer drills which are usually more powerful typically come with SDS chucks.

On the other hand, impact drivers don’t come with any chuck. Rather than that, they come with a hexagonal socket that users can put hex shaped driver bits into.

Essentially, hammer drills are just like regular power drill-driver that has three-jaw chucks to hold the drill bit. Meanwhile, rotary hammer drills are bulkier when it comes to size and obviously weighs more; most of the time, hammer drills are also incorporated with SDS Chuck.

Impact drivers on the other hand are short and thick that comes with a stubby head, and they also come with ¼ inch hexagonal sockets.


The primary difference between hammer drills and impact drivers is their purpose or applications. You’ll go for hammer drills if you’re looking to drill holes into tough materials such as cement or concrete.

On the other hand, you should use impact drivers if you want to over-torqued or rusted screws and to drive screws into tough materials. Both of these tools can be utilized to drill into light materials such as wood.

However, that shouldn’t be the primary reason why you should get one of these tools. You see, if you simply want to drill into wood, then you can simply acquire a standard and cheaper power drill.

Generally, hammer drills are for drilling brick, concrete, and for masonry works as well. On the other hand, impact drivers are for loosening jammed bolts, nuts, and screws. They are also used in drive-in long thick bolts and screws.

Final Thoughts

Each version of drill is for a certain niche, thus everyone can benefit from having both types of these power tools in their tool collection or workshop. But then again, not everyone works on the same budget. This is the reason why some may need to make a decision on which type of tool to acquire.

Generally, if your main purpose is to do masonry job, then hammer drills are your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re planning to do so pro level of construction or work, a rotary hammer is perfect for you because such tools are very powerful and they can even be used as jackhammer.

Impact drivers on the other hand are perfect for driving screws or getting rid of rusted bolts, nuts, or screws. Moreover, impact drivers can also be utilized as a normal drill but you’ll need to get hex shank drill bits.

We hope that this post has provided you all the information that you may need to decide which one to get between a hammer drill and an impact driver.

If this post has helped you, please don’t forget to leave any feedback in the comment section down below. See you in another review!

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