Are Impact Drivers Good for Drilling?

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Sharaj

Impact drivers have revolutionized the world of DIY and professional construction projects. Known for their power and efficiency, they excel at driving screws and fasteners into various materials.

However, their capability to drill has also raised the question: “Are impact drivers good for drilling?” In this article, we’ll delve into the pros, cons, and best practices of using impact drivers for drilling tasks.

Impact Drivers: The Basics

Impact Drivers: The Basics

Before we address whether impact drivers are suitable for drilling, let’s understand their basic characteristics and functionality. Impact drivers are handheld power tools designed for high-torque applications.

They utilize concussive rotational force to drive screws and bolts with remarkable speed and efficiency. The primary mechanism behind an impact driver’s action is the impact or “hammering” motion that occurs as the tool engages the fastener.

Can Impact Drivers Handle Drilling?

Pros of Using Impact Drivers for Drilling:

Speed and Efficiency: 12v impact drivers can drill rapidly, making them ideal for tasks that require multiple holes in quick succession.

Compact and Lightweight: Their small size and low weight reduce user fatigue, allowing for extended periods of use without strain.

High Torque Output: Impact drivers generate impressive torque, enabling them to tackle drilling tasks even in tougher materials like masonry.

Ease of Use: The impact mechanism reduces the need for excessive downward pressure, making drilling less physically demanding.

Cons of Using Impact Drivers for Drilling:

Limited Precision: Impact drivers lack the fine control that traditional drills offer, which might be crucial for delicate tasks.

Potential for Overdriving: The high torque can lead to over-penetration or damage if not handled carefully.

Noise and Vibration: Impact drivers can be noisy and transmit more vibration compared to regular drills.

Battery Life: Continuous use of impact drivers for drilling can drain batteries quickly, necessitating frequent recharging.

Best Practices for Using Impact Drivers for Drilling

To maximize the benefits of using impact drivers for drilling, follow these best practices:

Choose the Right Bits: Opt for high-quality drill bits designed for impact drivers. These can withstand the concussive forces and deliver optimal drilling performance.

Use Variable Speed Settings: Many impact drivers offer adjustable speed settings. Start at a lower speed for better control and increase as needed.

Pre-drill Pilot Holes: For more precise drilling, especially in delicate materials, consider pre-drilling pilot holes to guide the dewalt impact driver.

Apply Consistent Pressure: Let the impact driver do the work; avoid excessive force, as the hammering action is usually sufficient for drilling.

Secure the Material: Ensure the material you’re drilling into is properly secured, as the high torque can cause it to spin or move.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Can I use an impact driver for regular drilling tasks?

Yes, an impact driver can be used for regular drilling tasks. However, keep in mind its limitations in terms of precision and control.

Are impact drivers suitable for drilling in concrete?

Yes, impact drivers can handle drilling in concrete, thanks to their high torque output. Use appropriate masonry drill bits for optimal results.

Can impact drivers replace traditional drills?

While impact drivers are versatile, they can’t completely replace traditional drills, especially for tasks that demand high precision.

How does an impact driver differ from a regular drill?

An impact driver’s hammering action sets it apart from a regular drill. It’s designed for quick driving and handling tough materials.

What safety precautions should I take when using an impact driver for drilling?

Wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and ear protection, to shield against noise and debris. Secure your workpiece properly to prevent accidents.

Can I use an impact driver for woodworking projects?

Yes, impact drivers can be used for woodworking, but their power might be excessive for delicate tasks. Adjust the speed and pressure accordingly.


So, are impact drivers good for drilling? The answer is a resounding yes, with a few considerations. Impact drivers are excellent tools for drilling tasks, especially when speed and power are paramount.

Their high torque, compact size, and efficiency make them a valuable addition to any toolbox. However, it’s important to recognize their limitations in terms of precision and control. By following best practices and understanding when to opt for an impact driver versus a traditional drill, you can make the most of this versatile tool.

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