Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver

impact wrench vs impact driver

impact wrench vs impact driver

There’s a great resemblance between impact wrenches and impact drivers, but the differences lie in their specific purposes and power. If you don’t know the difference between impact wrench vs impact driver, you could end up wasting a lot of precious money because you won’t be able to use the device you’ve bought.

If you want to use your money judiciously and use just the tool that’s right for your needs, it’s imperative that you learn the differences between these two devices.

Impact Wrench vs Impact Driver


A powerful product that delivers an impressive torque of about 2500 lbs to 7500 lbs per inch, the impact wrench is also known by the monikers impactor, air gun and torque gun. Watch it rotate to see the great downward force it gives out.

On the other hand, an impact driver gives out a sudden but forceful rotational power whose strength increases when greater force is applied. However, unlike the impact wrench, the impact driver does not give out a downward push. However, manual impact drivers can make a downward motion when hit with a hammer.


Thanks to an impact wrench’s capacities, it can be successfully used to remove nuts, bolts, shocks and lug nuts. It also has wide applications in industries where steel beams and girders are bolted together. Vehicles requiring heavy-duty works will also gain greatly from this device. Its power is so vast and great that it can install and remove fasteners very easily.

The impact driver’s inherent capabilities render it easy to take on carpentry projects and any smaller uses. Since it applies force smoothly, quickly and flawlessly, it is the driver of choice of cabinetmakers and mobile home owners. Screws can easily be driven into any material easily without any fear of the heads being stripped off.


Their functions being different, the sizes of the impact wrench and impact drivers vary. For light commercial uses and for home use, it’s best to go with socket sizes of ¼”, ½” and 3/8″. Larger models of these devices are used strictly by industries. For impact drivers, attachments are available in sizes of ¼” and 3/8″.

User Experience

For best results, operators of impact wrenches should have several years of experience in using this device. However, for using impact drivers, no training for immediate use is necessary.

For ease of comfort when using these devices, both are alike and equal since the operator hardly ever feels the torque delivered by these tools.

The Verdict

For projects that require the use of either an impact wrench or impact driver, consider the deliverables such as torque. In such cases, it’s best to go with an impact wrench. Irrespective of its bulkiness and high cost, it helps with easy installation and removes fasteners in barely a few seconds. Because of its multitude of uses, mechanics see the impact wrench as a big investment.

If you’re in the market for a device that delivers force seamlessly, go in for the impact driver. Not only can you execute small and DIY projects, but it can also fit into the narrow spaces that impact wrenches cannot. However, it cannot produce the downward force that impact wrenches can.

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Author: John Clax

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