Cordless Impact Driver vs. Cordless Drill


A debate has been raging in the world of power tools. People are wondering what's better for their needs, a cordless impact driver or a cordless drill. In all honesty, both of these tools have separate advantages and disadvantages and they each certainly have their place. However, when the comparison is performed objectively, it's clear that the cordless impact driver has many advantages over its conventional drill counterpart.

The first place you have to look at when comparing these two power tools is the basic way that each works. A cordless drill works by applying consistent torque, while a cordless impact driver works by delivering increased torque in the form of rapid, high impact blows, to the tune of thousands per minute. This impact system only kicks in when necessary if more torque is needed to continue with a task, before which time it works the same as a standard, albeit more powerful, cordless drill.

The powerful repeated impacts are what end up driving the screw, but unlike hammer drills the hammering is all internal and the bit doesn't have any hammering motion allowing it to maintain contact with the work piece resulting in a powerful driving tool. In fact, impact drivers are renowned for being extraordinarily easy to work with. There is no kickback you have to deal with and you won't need to strain to keep your tool in place. Instead, you can easily hold on with just one hand, letting the tool take care of all of the hard work for you.

With more speed and power, you'll find that there are few things that your impact driver is not up to the task for. You'll be able to easily handle everything from installing ducts and cabinets to building decks and driving screws and fasteners into drywall and concrete. The diversity of the impact driver is where it shines the most when compared with the drill, which is limited in its capabilities.

Another important consideration for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers is battery life. Cordless drills eat up more battery when they require more power and torque. However, cordless impact drivers function from a consistent, even keeled power supply that won't drain the battery to generate more torque. The result is a longer lasting tool that will keep you working at your best as long as you need to be.

It's also essential to look at the physical qualities of each of these two different tools. Cordless impact drivers are significantly smaller than cordless drills. The many inches you save translate into increased flexibility for getting into tight spaces. The smaller size and the different internal mechanisms also mean that your impact driver will be much lighter than your cordless drill.

The light weight will enable you to keep powering through a job for hours on end without needing a break or feeling any discomfort. You'll be able to easily handle and control an impact driver with just one arm, leaving the other arm to support yourself on a ladder or steady a cabinet, for example.

Is There Anything that Makes a Cordless Drill Better than an Impact Driver?

Considering all of the above advantages of cordless impact drivers, you may be wondering if the standard cordless drill still has any place in your toolbox. One thing you may want to consider is where and when you will be performing your work. Cordless impact drivers are by nature very loud, and if you're working on the weekend around the home and are just fixing small odds and ends from time to time, it may be a tradeoff you're not ready to make.

Additionally, cordless drills maintain a finer touch than their more powerful cousins. If you don't need any heavy duty tasks completed, and speed isn't a concern because you only need to make a few occasional repairs, then the finer touch and control of a cordless drill may be your preference.

Cordless Impact Drivers vs. Cordless Drills – Who Wins?

For the majority of people, a cordless impact driver will be able to handle everything that their old cordless drill could do. In addition, you'll be opening up the doors to a variety of new tasks that you can complete and take care of with ease. With more speed and more power, all bundled into a package that’s smaller and lighter than the average drill, your cordless impact driver will soon become your new best friend.