Impact Driver Vs Cordless Drill – What Are The Differences?

Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by Sharaj

The war among power tools is getting more intense after the introduction of specialized tools. One of the thrilling ongoing rivalries is between cordless drills and impact drivers.

The former is popular among the homeowners and professionals alike, but a steady rise of impact tools is challenging its monopoly.

As a user, you can deploy both of them depending upon the requirements. So, it’s better to understand the differences and usage.

Drills vs Impacts: Differences

There are lots of marginal differences between these two powerful tools. Today, we will describe each one of them; then you will understand why both of them complement each other and why experts recommend to include these two in a tool arsenal.

Dimensions: To start with, impact drivers are compact and has a small footprint than a cordless drill. However, the former packs more punch when we talk about driving screws. And it’s the reason why impacts can reach confined spaces, unlike drills.

If we compare the dimensions of Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 and Dewalt DCF887M1-GB, you will see that the second one is a compact impact device when compared to the driller.

Torque control: A typical drilling device has an adjustable clutch that allows you to adjust the clutch, whereas impact tools has no such function.

Torque control function saves fasteners from being overtightened and material from potent damages. Some of the high-end impact tools like Dewalt DCF887M1-GB come with torque change settings, but they are costly.

Chuck design: Drilling devices use a keyed or keyless chuck to accept bits. However, an impact tool has a hex like a chuck to accommodate hex-shaped bits.

Working motion: Impact devices uses rotational and hammering motion to go through materials. On the other hand, an average drill either rotates clockwise or anticlockwise. Some of the variants also involve the hammer motion, but they are sold as hammer drills.

Power: Due to dual motion, impact tools delivers brute force that can overtake any resistance while driving the screws.

Drill also has some high power inside, but due to the difference between power generation and transfer, such devices are comparatively less potent than impacts.

Ease of use: Contains a lot of power, still impact tools are easy to use and convenient to operate. All thanks to the concussive action that transfers all the power to the screw, not to your wrists.

Cordless drilling machines are also easy to use, but there are kickbacks and jerks involves, especially when it gets stuck due to an unexpected resistance.

When to Use a Cordless Impact Driver?

Among all the questions related to cordless drill and impact sets, this one is the most famous.

As we already discussed that an impact tool uses hex bits because these are the only connectors that withstand its mechanism.

When you have to take some screws through-hardened wood or any other surfaces that are tough to crack, including metal, masonry, and concrete, an impact tool is useful. Especially when the screws are longer than average size.

Can impact drivers remove lug nuts?

Another question that most of the users ask. In terms of technical aspects, yes you can use an impact driver to loosen lug nuts. But, if we talk about a real-time scenario, you will NOT be able to do that. There are a few reasons why you cannot:

  • Lug nuts are rusted, stuck or frozen
  • Due to overtightening during the last servicing, they might be stuck

Apart from that, the time and environmental conditions make it tough for an impact driver to remove lug nuts. So, you can remove the lug nuts using an impact tool, but buying one of those only for your car will not be a good idea.

Because you might occasionally need a more powerful device to break the attitude of stubborn lug nuts. An impact wrench like Dewalt DCF899N-XJ will be a better solution.

Can you replace a traditional Drill with an impact driver?

Traditional drills are one of the most useful power tools because of its versatility. Keyless or keyed chuck associated with drills accepts a wide range of bits.

Hence, you can use drilling devices to fasten screws, drill holes and complete various types of professional or in-house projects. A drill also comes with a torque control clutch that allows you to set the thrust according to the material.

On the other hand, impact tools are ruthless machines that can tear apart a soft object if you don’t use it in the right manner. So, the answer is a big no. You cannot replace a traditional drill with one of the impact tools.

Top-Rated Cordless Drill: Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill

The cordless combi drill from Bosch is made to deliver. Whether we talk about design, power, runtime or ease of use, PSB 1800 LI-2 roars ahead of all the regular cordless drills. Keyless chuck, multiple torque control settings, and two-speed gearbox are some of its features only available with expensive drills.

It is also a lightweight tool that you can use single-handedly. Handling a massive drill from a ladder or at a place where you cannot use both the hands is dangerous as well as inefficient. It’s the reason why weight deserves special attention while you choose a drilling machine.

Two included batteries, charging base and the case adds to its price value. Overall, it’s an excellent tool for a variety of tasks. Let us see how.

Other specifications:

Using a Syneon Chip and 18V batteries with lithium-ion technology, the Bosch drill generates a torque of 39 mm, which is comparably lower than the impact drivers. But when you combine the power with drilling and impact drilling, you will get all-round performance with satisfactory results. As it’s a combi drill, you can also use it as an impact driver.

Syneon Chip is an innovative technology that manages the coordination between the battery, engine and internal gears for optimum power transfer. With such an intelligent component, the tool can deliver the amount of energy required different project or task requires. The charging time of the device is only one hour, as it has a fast charger included.

Due to its low gravity of 1.3 kg and compact built, it effortlessly goes into small areas. It’s comfortable to hold grip keeps your wrists safe from the extra strain. Keyless chuck with the Auto-lock feature allows you to change the bit very easily and fast. With such functions and features, this impact device is useful in a wide range of applications and materials.

Bosch PSB1800 comes with twenty factory-built torque and drilling patterns. Its two-speed high-quality gearbox provides efficient power transfer and smooth running.

There are some LED lights as well, which adds to the convenience. It comes with a spare battery as well, so you can enjoy endless runtimes. These are the reasons why Bosch PSB 1800 is one of the best cordless drills you can purchase.

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