Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill: what is the difference?

Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill

Some of the people have confusions about the difference between impact drills and hammer drills. One of its reasons is that there are so many companies and brands, introducing their products. Market is full of competitors. Ranges of options that can be selected or chosen are countless. When we have to make a decision whether to purchase or use a hammer drill or an impact drill, there is need to study them a bit deeply. Understanding the basic differences between these drills and the purpose of each can help you make the best choice for your particular needs.

There are situations when the impact drill solves the problem very easily as compared to hammer drill. On the other hand, hammer drill can do something that even the best cordless impact drill can’t. These drills are more powerful than standard cordless drills. There are few things which are important to be considered. After knowing all these factors, we can understand the subject. It will enable us to be in a position to have necessary basic concept. All of these factors are explained in details below.

Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill infographic
Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill Infographic

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Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill

Purpose of usage:

First of all, it is so much important to understand the requirements to be fulfilled. What do we want to be done? After addressing and answering this question, almost half of the job is done. As the name implies, hammer drill should be used when there is a need to drill into the hard object or surfaces like bricks or concrete etc.

On the contrary, when there is a need to drive the fasteners, nails and screws, impact drive is used and it is the best option there. When need to drill the holes, impact drill is the one to look for. One thing must be kept in mind, never use the impact drill when working on wooden items. It can cause sudden increase in the pressure and damage the equipment while working on fasteners to be drilled out.

Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill

Manner or method of operation:

Well, whenever there is a talk related to the difference between impact and hammer drills, process or manner of operation must be there. It can never be skipped by any means. How hammer drills work? Pressure required by hammer drill is much more than that of impact drills. Hammer drill also make much more noise due to high pressure. There is a clutch, to avoid too much application of pressure. It can be adjusted accordingly. The vibration of hammer drill is back and forth. A piston compresses air to create the hammering effect.

hammer drill operation

Impact drill looks just like a cordless screw driver. There is no need of high power in normal operation. However, it has option to use higher power whenever needed. That is the reason why impact drills don have an adjustable clutch. It is a safety, just to prevent unnecessary power usage for a simpler work. It doesn go back and forth; rather its movement is like rotary motion.

impact drill operation

Cordless drills can be used without any restrictions, thus we can call them multipurpose or multirole products. User can get a second battery along with the cordless tool. Just put the one on charging, while working with the other one. One of the major differences between a standard drill and a cordless drill is the amount of torque the tool sends to the fastener. Torque and effectiveness are directly proportional. By taking stress away from the operator, more torque increases the effectiveness of the drill.

Design or Appearance:

Hammer and impact drills also differ in the outlook and design. The shape of hammer drill is like pistol with long nose. Even a person having not much information related to these, can just tell you in one look, which one it is. Hammer drill is heavy and have large size. Its drill chunk can hold different sizes and types of bits, according to the requirements. It is very easy to insert or remove the bits. No tool is required to do that. Hence, we can say that hammer drills are very much universal when it comes to driving bits.

Now we see impact drills, their size is relatively small. One more difference to be noted, hexagonal socket is used here as compared to the chunk in the hammer drills. In this way, impact drills are a bit specific.

impact drill lightweight design


This factor is important because the need of drills can be anywhere. We have to keep moving them here and there as needed. Hammer drills are heavier and bulky. On the other hand, impact drills are less in weight and less bulky.

A buyer should try to get a cordless hammer or impact drill instead of a corded one. The advantage of cordless drills is that these are lighter in weight and easy to carry.


We can never ignore the cost factor in any industry. There is money behind every thinking and action. Hammer drills are much expensive than impacts drills. However, it again depends upon the requirements. But hammer drills are necessary if hard and tough drilling is to be done.

Impact drill vs hammer drill for concrete

We know that concrete is very hard and tough surface to be drilled. Whenever a hard surface is encountered, what comes in mind is hammer drill. These drills plow through even concrete and masonry. On the other hand, impact drills might be useful for the other simpler or easy tasks, but certainly not when it comes to deal with a hard surface like concrete.

hammer drill for concrete
Hammer drill for concrete

Hammer drill is by far the best option to be kept in the working toolkit, when you do a lot of the work with masonry. Hammer drills create impact blows in addition to increased torque. If you are mounting studs to concrete or drill a hole for a structural screw, the best hammer drill does the job faster. One more thing to note is that hammer drills do the job with much less wear and tear on the bit. A hammer drill blowing action is more suited for boring into solid concrete quickly, in addition to more torque.


Finally, we can say that there are great variations via this comparison battlefield of hammer drill vs impact drill. These variation factors are appearance or design, price, specific usage, weight, purpose and operating procedures. For everyday general and home usage, impact drill is the perfect choice as compared to the hammer drill.

For buyers, if it is not necessary to use the hammer drill, try to go with impact drill. As stated earlier, impact drills are easy to carry, have small size and off course less weight. Most of the work can be done quickly and efficiently with impact drills.

I am Caio Resende, Welcome to Power Tool Lab! It is a blog dedicated to all polular power tool and accessories including new, best for sale, expert reviews and guides. Whether you are a DIYer, Hobbyist, or professional contractors such as electricians and plumbers, I will provide you all the latest news and professional reviews for all your favorite tools and Brands. Our mission provides great perspective from many different end users.

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