Test Mode Tools Logo

Impact Driver Vs Impact Wrench

If you’re someone who is into DIY home improvement projects, you might know how handy an impact driver and a wrench can be. Now, the two tools might look similar, but they serve different purposes and have different features.

At times, it can be confusing to figure out which is which, and you might end up buying the wrong tool. To save you from a mistake, we have prepared a detailed comparison between these two impact tools. Read on to find out more.

What Is An Impact Driver?

An impact driver is essentially a screwdriver specialist used to drill holes on the desired surface or drive screws into the same.

Due to their internal mechanism, impact drivers are capable of producing twice as much torque as a cordless drill. This is why you must be careful while tightening screws with an impact driver.

Besides, an impact driver does not have the same forward thrust as a hammer drill. Its collet accepts specific bits (precisely ¼-inch hex driver) with a compatible shank. You don’t get the same results from a regular cordless drill.

Here is a list of pros and cons for better understanding:



What Is An Impact Wrench?

It is a power tool that serves the basic function of fastening or loosening bolts and nuts. This tool can cover a wide range of performance levels, and you can choose from a collection of numerous specialty versions.

On a compact model, the most common size would be ⅜-inch, but if you’re looking for an even smaller wrench, you have the ¼-inch square drive.

Impact wrenches can be air-powered or electric. While the air-powered type comes with an air compressor, the electric one comprises an electric motor that can unfasten tight nuts and screws.

Most electric wrenches use a ¼-inch, a ½-inch, or a ¾-inch square drive that needs to be attached to a socket. In terms of force, the air compressor is much more aggressive than a socket.

For a high-scale job, you might prefer a ¾-inch or 1-inch drive impact wrench as they are industry-level and can tackle heavy equipment. If you’re thinking of basic utility work, a 7/16-inch hex collet is always a better option than a ¼-inch one, as it takes specific bits designed for the collet size.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of impact wrenches that you might want to consider:



Comparison Between Impact Wrench Vs. Impact Driver

Now that you know the meaning of an impact wrench and an impact driver, let’s draw a comparison between the two. To ensure that you make the right decision, we did an in-depth analysis based on various factors.

Let’s check out these factors so that you can make the correct choice while purchasing:

Aspects Impact Wrench Impact Driver
Speed Slow Faster
Power Less power More power
Usage Professional jobs DIY or minor fixtures
Torque Exceptional torque of over 1000 ft-lbs Can deliver up to 167 ft-lbs
Size Heavier Lighter
Level Of Comfort Bulkier and can affect your wrists More comfortable to hold
Budget Will cost less Costs more


The speed of power tools is measured based on the number of rotations a drill makes in a minute, i.e., Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). From this point of view, impact wrenches are usually slower than impact drivers.

A good quality impact driver can deliver up to 3600 RPM, whereas an impact wrench might give you under 2000 RPM. Impact drivers are more focused on providing speed rather than power.

However, if you need a wrench that delivers higher RPM, you can check out pneumatic wrenches, which are mostly used in garages. This type can deliver an RPM as high as 8000.


Another key criteria to consider when you’re shopping for a wrench or screwdriver is the power. Cordless impact drivers are highly preferred because of the power voltage, which can range from 12V to 18V to 20V.

You can find various options that can give you better control and higher power. In short, you need to pick something that fits the requirements of your project or job.

In the case of impact wrenches, the air-powered version rules as it can comfortably tackle heavy-duty jobs in garages or at home.


Both tools are powerful and deliver quick results, but the user experience might not be the same in both cases. Impact drivers are ideal for DIY projects or installing minor fixtures. They are easier to maneuver from different angles and effortlessly drive screws into place. They are versatile and can fit into tight spaces.

On the other hand, wrenches are ideal for loosening or tightening screws and can be too powerful for a basic household job. In short, impact wrenches are more suitable for professional jobs.


Impact wrenches provide exceptional torque, reaching over 1000 ft-lbs. On the other hand, impact drivers are no less. You can find drivers that have 18V and 20V of power that can deliver up to 167 ft-lbs. However, for a DIYer or even a garage job, you don’t need more than 200ft-lbs.


The size of power tools is an important factor as you’d be working with them for long hours. Both tools can be compact, but impact wrenches are typically heavier than impact drivers. Due to higher power output, an impact wrench can feel bulky on your hands.

One exception is the pneumatic impact wrench, which is even lighter than an impact driver as it lacks a motor.

Level of Comfort

As mentioned earlier, impact wrenches are bulkier as compared to impact drivers. They can stress your wrists and fingers if held continuously for an extended period.

Drivers, on the other hand, are more comfortable to hold and lightweight. Besides the weight, both tools can create a lot of noise. So, remember to cover your eyes with protection gear while working.


Wrenches, being more powerful, cost higher impact drivers. On average, the price for a wrench starts at around $180, while a driver can be bought for $100. If you want to buy premier models, wrenches can go up to $500, and a driver will cost you about $250.

Which Is Better: Impact Driver Or Impact Wrench?

Both tools perform diverse functions, and they are exceptionally good at their respective jobs. While an impact driver can seamlessly drive hefty screws with great torque, an impact wrench is equally competent in removing lug nuts from vehicles as well as bolting down industrial equipment to the ground.

Similarly, impact drivers can be maneuvered in tight corners, while a wrench is capable of uprooting corroded nuts. You may go through the list of pros and cons for both to decide which tool will best suit your needs.

Whether you’re a DIYer or a garage specialist, a screwdriver and a wrench are two of the basic tools that you’d need to install fixtures or for hammering!