Impact Drill Vs Hammer Drill: Which Is Better?

impact drill vs hammer drill cover image cover image

Impact drill vs hammer drill, a decades long question! If you are confused between the two like I used to. well, the mystery is solved in this article. And yes, they do serve different purposes. 

A hammer drill can drill into sturdy materials such as concrete and cement, while impact drivers help install and remove bolts and screws. While both tools possess similar power, their mechanisms of action are different. 

So, what makes both these tools different? What is an impact drill used for? And how do hammer drills applications differ from impact drills? This impact vs. hammer drill guide will help you answer all such questions.


Impact Vs. Hammer Drill


Impact Drill

dewalt impact drill
An impact drill, also known as an impact driver, is one of the most commonly used power tools for driving screws and bolts. They come with chucks with ball-bearings that are easy to change, as opposed to jaw-style chucks on standard drills. 

With these chucks, you cannot use round-shank drill bits, but they can work with an impact drill driver. Impact drills often have shorter lengths and are stubby compared to standard drills. 

Further, you can spin a clockwise or counter clockwise fastener with an impact driver. Nevertheless, when a fastener exhibits resistance, the impact driver automatically switches to a rotating anvil.

The strikes on an anvil refer to as impacts. Some drivers can deliver as many as four thousand impacts in a minute. Every effect increases the bit’s rotational torque, enabling the tool to drive larger and longer screws than it would with no anvil. 

On the other hand, it is also possible for speed to mislead the operation of an impact driver. It is because it does not rotate in a steady and constant direction. 

A little bit of forwarding movement is made on the bit before it twists backward quickly. To make sense of it, consider it a couple of steps forward, then a step back. By doing so, the driver bit tip does not slip, reducing the chances of stripped fasteners.



  • Offer better handling
  • drive bolts faster
  • Smaller in size
  • Easy to carry
  • Potent



  • No adjustable chucks
Brands like Dewalt, Makita and Milwaukee , among many others provide a great range of Impact Drills.

Hammer Drill

miluwakee hammer drill


A hammer drill is a power drill designed for drilling through hard surfaces. The hammer drill resembles a standard power drill, including triggers, speed controls, and chucks, but its size and power are greater.

In addition, similar to a power drill, the hammer drill also rotates in both clockwise and counter clockwise directions. It has an additional hammer setting to operate an internal drill mechanism. 

The hammer hit the rear of the chuck. A force applies to the drill bit and the drilling target in response to these hits. Each time you strike the bit, you punch it forward. There are hammer drills capable of making up to 45,000 blows per minute. 

Moreover, hammer drills can be either battery-operated or corded in general. In this day and age of lithium-ion technology, battery-powered tools are famous mainly for their portability, even though corded tools may possess greater power.


  • Can work on hard surfaces
  • Better torque
  • High speed
  • Powerful
  • Multipurpose



  • Require careful handling
Same as Impact drills, brands like Dewalt, Makita and Milwaukee , among many others provide a great range of Hammer Drills.


Difference Between Hammer Drill and Impact Driver


Here is the difference between a hammer drill and an impact drill/driver.


Impact drivers use hammers and anvils to execute the work. Most impacts come equipped with two hammers, while a few may have three. In response to the movement of the motor on the tool’s hammer plate, a spring compresses, pushing the anvil and hammer plate aside. 

The gap between the plates is only visible for a short time, allowing the spring to accumulate potential energy. During this time, the anvil plate slides past the hammer plate before they collide again because of the spring’s kinetic energy. 

Consequently, torque and downward force develop due to the hammer hitting the anvil and transferring force onto the bit for turning the fastener. Rapid repetition of this process occurs with the impact driver. 

Besides, we determine the impact rate using tools’ IPMs or BPMs, which can reach 4000 in an 18-volt impact driver. As a result, the mechanism of hammer drills differs more in kind than in degree. However, this difference causes less torque and forward force than the impact drill. 

In the case of hammer drills, there are also two plates, but instead of hammers and anvils, they function the same way as putting checkers next to each other. A tooth slides between the bearings during drilling, pushing the drill upright and backward.


Hammer drills are handy when drilling into concrete, masonry, and other hard materials. These drills are not suitable for woodworkers, most of whom use standard drills.

On the other hand, impact drivers often serve for driving screws and removing screws during home improvement projects. It is also possible to use impact wrenches during auto repair work. 

Users can select which setting to use when using a hammer drill, unlike impact drivers, where the impact anvil engages by itself. Despite disengaging the hammer setting, impact drivers remain in good contact with fasteners compared to hammer drills.


So, Impact Drill Vs. Hammer Drill: Which is Right for You?

Both impact and hammer drills seem similar, but they have a few differences. There is usually a considerable difference between impact drivers and hammer drills regarding size, length, and weight. 

The impact driver’s size is smaller than the hammer drill. In addition, it also has lighter weight. So, if you want a portable tool, you must prefer an impact driver. Also, because they are smaller and lightweight, impact drills are more convenient to use in tight places. 

On the other hand, Hammer drills are often equipped with more speed and torque, giving quick results. So it depends on your needs whether you should use an impact driver or hammer drill.





Impact drills and hammer drills both have their advantages and disadvantages. Also, both of these tools have different purposes and work differently. Therefore, choosing between an impact driver and a hammer drill will not be a problem. 


You can use hammer drills to drill into concrete and other hard surfaces, while impact drivers commonly help to drive and remove screws. Hopefully, this article has helped you learn impact drill Vs. Hammer drill difference