Confusion over types of drivers

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 08-21-2019 09:55 PM 256 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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5666 posts in 3727 days

08-21-2019 09:55 PM

No, this is not about driving a car; it is about the difference between a drill/driver, impact driver and impact wrench. Some appear to be confused over which one to use for a certain job.

A drill/driver is an electric drill that also has a clutch mechanism that allows you to vary the torque for driving screws. They can drive many kinds of screws, bolts and nuts, depending on the end fitting used. It can drive phillips head screws, slotted head screws and nuts up to about 1/2” maximum using a socket adapter. It has a key or keyless chuck, usually 3/8” or 1/2” capacity. It is basically a wood working tool.

An impact driver is another wood working tool that doesn’t have a drill chuck, but accepts 1/4” hex shank bits that can drive screws and nuts with a socket adapter. Drill bits with a 1/4” hex shank are available for light drilling for pilot holes before driving screws.

An impact wrench as the term “wrench” suggests is designed to use impact sockets to drive nuts and bolts with a hex or square head. It comes in 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” sizes. They also come in much larger sizes and are used in heavy trucking and construction. They are usually pneumatic powered and they are now available in electric and hydraulic powered models. They are not considered a wood working tool, although it might find a use in timber construction. They have much greater torque than the impact driver and are generally not interchangeable. You would use an impact wrench to work on your car, and an impact driver when building furniture, but not the reverse.

I hope this clarifies the difference between the 3 tools and which one to use.

1 reply so far

View farmfromkansas's profile


125 posts in 98 days

#1 posted 08-22-2019 04:21 PM

I have found that the small impact driver works well to remove screws from my motorcycle. Those screws are impossible to remove with a screwdriver or drill-driver.

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