Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill (Which Do You Need?)




Impact Drill

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When it comes to drills, you need the tool that will get the job done right, the first time. Deciding between an impact drill and hammer drill can help.

When your next home improvement task requires the use of a high-performance drill, you may need to decide if an impact drill is your new best friend.

Today, we have power drills suited to jobs of all sizes, with varying levels of available speed, torque (twisting force), and source of power (battery vs corded).

DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)
Worker using Impact Drill

The toughest part of your choice will be deciding whether an impact drill can do the job or if a hammer drill is necessary as well.

Thankfully, the decision is made easier when considering to the nature of the task at hand. Before you head to the store, you’re going to need to have a few things in mind.

Job Checklist – What’s Involved?

Take a good look at the task you’re looking to complete. You can help your decision on which power drill is right for the job by planning the job out ahead of your shopping spree.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much space do I have to work in?
  • What kind of materials will I be drilling into?
  • How many times will I be drilling into each one?

Each question helps you narrow down the choices available when you visit the power drill section at your local home improvement store.

Impact Drill

Impact Drill 101

Welcome to the fastest and most ideal power drill for securing screws, fasteners, and bolts with precision.

This remarkable product is available in a range of sizes but generally tends to be more compact and easier to fit into tight spaces.

Its clever design also allows for easier use, as the this drill is designed to utilize both strong rotational force and a hammer-like action when necessary to ensure a screw is placed exactly where it needs to be, and no further.

“…impact drivers typically deliver two to three times more turning force (torque) than the average drill/driver.” – Popular Mechanics, 2017

For those who would rather not waste their time, this can certainly speed up the process of getting fasteners in place without stripping them of their threading.

Hammer Drill 101

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
Dewalt Hammer Drill

A hammer drill is not recommended for most jobs. This product is larger, heavier, and more cumbersome to operate, but it can also serve a singular purpose better than any other power drill; it is ideal for drilling into brick, concrete, and block.

While an impact drill is able to activate a hammer-like action when necessary, a hammer drill incorporates a full-time focus on utilizing a hammer-like action to help break up the surface you are drilling into.

Such an ability means it can smoothly and easily take on the task of paving the way for the use of a standard power drill, but it cannot serve the same purpose as a standard power drill.

The hammer drill’s action, if used to secure fasteners, can easily damage or strip a fastener’s threading completely, rendering that screw or bolt useless.

For this reason, among others, a hammer drill is better for creating new holes for fasteners to be placed in by the use of a standard issue power drill.

Pick Your Drill(s) and Complete Your Task

Whether you need the raw drilling power of a hammer drill, the sheer precision of an impact drill, or a combination of both, we’ve got you covered.

Our site is full of comparisons and recommendations on the latest and greatest in power drills for today’s home improvement and DIY population. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions, or search our blog for more great content. We’re here to make sure you make the best decision for your next project!

Carl Sheffer

Carl Sheffer


Hey y’all! Thanks for dropping by my site and checking it out. I enjoy sharing any helpful insights I’ve learned over the years in my adventures. If you enjoy working around your home and yard as much as I do then you’ve come to the right place. Cheers!

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