Cordless Drill Vs Impact Driver | Comparison

If you are looking for the difference between cordless drill vs impact driver, then you are in right place. Here we will break down all info about them and tell you which one is the best.

Cordless Drill Vs Impact Driver

Virtually everybody saw both cordless drill and impact driver and We know that lots of people often use these tools on regular basis but there is still confusion in the mind of DIY owners and homeowners that what is the difference between these two. So! here we will discuss both of these tools do and how and when to do use them.

Both cordless drill and impact drivers are rotary tools and in gun-shaped and they are used for turning different types of bits, but how they turn those bits can be extremely different.

Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is basically a spinning machine. The basic cordless drill uses a chuck and jaws to clamp down on the shaft of a drill bit.


The motor of the drill applies constant torque to spin that bit. This means this drill is great for boring out holes where a fast constant rate of spin is necessary to keep cutting through woods smoothly and they can be used with a huge variety of drill bits.

Drill Bits

The cordless drill can be used with a variety of drill bits such as standard twist bits, paddles twist bits, Forstner bits, holes saws, and many more. But what is more, interesting is that drills can also be used for driving bits as well, by that I mean is that bits are specifically used for driving fasteners. Those bits include Philip bits, flat heads bits, star bits, square bits, even nut riders.

Impact Driver

For a long time, the cordless drill was the only tool that people reach for when they wanted to drive fasteners. So there is no reason to be surprised because there were not any other tools that can do the job effectively like the cordless drill was doing until the impact driver came along.

Impact Driver Just Use For Driving Fastners

The impact drivers just use for driving fasteners and that is their primary function and the amazing thing is that even though they are smaller they deliver way more force than the standard cordless drill. So how do they do it?

The Real Differnce

The real difference between cordless drill and impact driver is that how they engineered and how the impact driver transfer that force. Like we said before that drill is just a spinning machine and the jaws rely on friction to hold the shaft of the drill in bit space but in impact, drivers are a far more complex tool. The impact driver spins too but it can also sense resistance, so as you begin driving a fastener the tool will turn the bit like a drill but when resistance increases it will activate another mode which you can say super mode.

Super Mode

So when the impact driver will sense resistance it will disengage the motor bit and then re-engage the impact driver when spinning over and over again in a fraction of seconds. So instead of the tool applying constant torque, it only applies it in little quick bursts. The net effect of this is that it drastically reduces the amount of force that gets transferred into your arms but it amplifies the force that gets transferred into the drill bit.


So this makes it far more effective and easier to hold and operate but it makes it far more attractive driving fastener than a drill. The impact driver can drive really big fastener that you would never even attempt to use a drill on, certainly not with pre-drilling.

Problems With Cordless Drill In Terms Of Driving Fasteners

If we talk about the driving fastener then there are some issues with a cordless drill. This tools apply constant torque, so the moment you pull the trigger the bit will immediately start spinning and the only thing that keeping the drill bit in the head of that fastener is your hand and your wrist and your arms so your muscles and the joints have to counteracts with the drill and if they fail to do so you will get something called camming out.

Camming Out

The camming out is the problem that every DIY user knows and hates. It happens when the drill slips out from the screw heads spins around real fast and makes a mess of bit slot. When this happens you have a screw that can no longer be driven in or back down. So it is the most frustrating thing when you driving fasteners.

Why Impact Driver Is Good In Driving Fastener

When it comes to driving fasteners then impact driver is the first thing you should pick because with the impact drivers the problem you are facing with the basic cordless drill will never gonna happen.

Disengagment Feature

The disengagement feature of the impact drive prevents rapid binding and as a result the stays right in the slot where you want it. I really can not overstate what game changer it really was for the construction industry.

Before impact drivers came along if you want to send in a bigger fastener even say a three-inch screw you had to pre-drill every hole then either switch bits and drive a screw or keep another drill on hand with a driver bit in it and even then it was still difficult to drive two fasteners if the food was really hard or the drill bit you used was too small. But power in little impact driver tool made all those problems to go.

3 Inch Screw

The impact drivers are very strong and they can drive easily drive a three-inch screw into many types of woods without any pre-drilling. The internet is full of videos where peoples are using the impact drivers to drive really big fasteners and the crazy thing is that it will still not that hard on your arms, it is just hard on the tool but the tool is designed to handle that stress.


Impact drivers have such a power absurd power quotient for their size they are really nothing sort of miracle. They are also used very frequently in automotive trade for tightening bolts and nuts where they sort of act as a portable air wrench that’s how much power they have.

Things To Keep In Mind About Drawback Of The Impact Driver

  • They Require Special Bits
  • You Can Drill Holes With Drivers
  • Impact Drivers Are Not Great For Drilling

Impact Driver Requires Special bits

The impact driver requires their own special bits. The normal driving bit is not meant to handle the torque stress that an impact driver delivers, they will just break or they will just snap, the impact drivers bit are specially enginerd. They will often have colorful bands around the neck and sometimes the neck will look really skinny. They also have a hex shank and to load them you have to push them into the driver and collect them to unload them you will put the sleeve disengage the collect and slide the bit out.

You Can Drill Holes With Drivers

Technically you can drill holes with the driver but to be honest you should pick a cordless drill. Because you have to buy drill bits that have hex shank and are therefore made to go into an impact driver call it. Smooth shank drill bits and even slot shank drill bit will not go in there.

Impact Drivers Are Not Great For Drilling

This is the fact that Impact Drivers are not great for drilling if you are a serious kind of driller then you should know that drilling requires a constant speed and torque for effective drilling and your standard cordless drill is way better than for doing that.


Cordless Drill Vs Impact Driver Which One Is Best?

If you will take my opinion then my opinion is 40% for impact driver and 60% for a cordless drill, because the cordless drill is really good at drilling and boring holes but it can not drive faster than well but it can do just fine but when it impacts drivers they are really good at driving fasteners but they can not dill that wells or boreholes.

There are a bunch of people who have custom made drill which they use for both drilling and driving and for boring holes but if you have a drill and driver then why you are doing both things with one thing because drill can not drive a fastener and the driver can not boreholes so use them what they are truly made for.

The good thing is that these two tools are now frequently packaged together and they come in 18 volts or 20 volts sets they are not that expensive and the new ones are way more efficient than the old drills and drivers. If you want to buy them at a good price then check the product that we have added for you after doing lots of research. Our recommended picks have the most positive rating in drills and drivers at a very reasonable price.

Hope you have found something interesting in this article about cordless drill vs impact driver! Thank You!

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