Impact Driver Vs Cordless Drill – Why You Need Both

A powerful tool is a very common item that present in the kit of a worker. During Construction work or typical DIY stuff, often we need to use powerful tool to drill through or drive hard materials. The hard materials can be as strong as concrete, brick walls and even solid wood. However, it isn’t an easy job to do that. Impact Driver is something very fascinating that can generate huge amount of power and drive through the material. On the other hand, cordless drill is also traditionally used to do that and is quite useful as well. Both of the tools are popular and often both are found in the toolkit of a construction worker.

Both of the tools are used for almost same purposes, however, the spectrum where these are used are different. We often end up in a situation where we need these tools. But what exactly these tools do? What are the differences between a cordless drill and an impact driver? Which one should be preferred? There are so many questions that come in the back of our mind. In order to get our mind clear about these tools, we need to understand what these are and how are put to work. A comparative study between the two tools would be more than helpful who are yet to decide which one to go for.

So, here is the comparative study of Cordless Drill and Impact Driver.

Difference between Impact Driver and Cordless Drill:

There are functional differences between these two and that make them the tool for two different spectrums while working.


Higher torque is always sought after when a tool is bought. The Cordless Drill provides good amount of torque to drill through the hard materials. However, the efficiency may be questioned at times. The torque may not be adequate every time, especially when the material is stronger. However, the impact driver provides higher torque and betters the performance of the cordless drill.

The Impact driver has a unique functioning style. It gives a very high speed rotational strike at the material or object. The rotational strikes nudge the fasteners along the material to drive through. It also prevents the spinning of the screw while nudging the fastener, which is very common in basic drills. This is one of the major advantages of the impact driver. This is very different than a Hammer Drill however. Hammer drill strikes from the rear to push the bits into the object.

The X Factor:

How many times have you seen that you get stuck by a hard patch while drilling? Well, that is a common thing in drilling. The traditional cordless drill can do good, but when the hard patch comes, you need to put extra effort. Basically, one needs to muscle it through. If you are working for long time, you might sometime give up. However, the cordless drill does not really generate heavy sound.

On the other hand, the cordless impact driver creates huge sound and the ear protection is recommended. But the extra muscle is not required with this tool. One can smoothly penetrate the hard patch thanks to the rotational strike of the tool.

Clutch Factor:

Impact Driver does not really have a clutch. What does that signify? Absence of clutch simply makes this tool compact. So, if you can even drill those close corners which were not possible to drill with a traditional drill. But it also limits the bits’ spaces for the impact driver. The fitting of the bits into the tool also becomes a bit difficult job.

In order to understand the difference between these two specific tools, let us understand the specifications of best cordless drill and impact driver in the market.

Top rated Cordless Drill : Makita XFD 131

This is one of the best rated and user preferred cordless drill. The highly efficient drill has a dual range of speed with a controller. The drill has two variable ranges of speed transmission that is from 0-500 rpm and 500-900 rpm. The torque is quite impressive for this drill as well and produces around 400 in.lbs of maximum torque. The brushless motors are used which enhances the efficiency even more and increases the battery life.

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The tool is also quite compact in size and reaches the corners. The ergonomic design of the handle makes it one of the best drills in the market. The power generated by this traditional drill is very effective. The switch of control can regulate the speed and that makes it easy for the end user to effectively use this tool.

The light weight of the drill is also an added advantage. Drilling at awkward angle isn’t a pleasant job if you have a heavy drill in your hand. This is however known for the comfort gripping and the light weight.

If you are looking to strike precise targets with this drill, then this is a good addition in your arsenal. The moderate power with easy handling makes it an effective tool. However, it would not provide you the enough muscle if you are looking for a heavy job.

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Opinion on Cordless Drill:

A cordless drill can be used for precision purpose. It may not have enough torque for drilling through hard objects, but this can be very useful for normal materials. Even the brick walls can be penetrated with this tool. At times, a bit of muscle power needs to be used, but the small drill is a good to have tool especially when you are working in home renovations. If the job does not require huge power, then this is the best to have, as you can have precise drilling.

Top-Rated Impact Driver : Makita XDT16Z

The Makita Impact Driver is known for the brute power and huge amount of torque that it generates. This Impact Driver also uses the brushless motors which is electronically controlled. The greater control helps this tool to nudge the fastener and find the optimum speed.

There are three variable speed transmission with 800 rpm being the maximum. There are 4 Speed motor associated with the tool which can be used to increase the speed by multiple times. The torque that the Impact Driver generates is in the range of 1600 in.lbs. The higher amount of torque coupled with high rotation speed, the Impact Driver can offer real strength and power. It can basically muscle through very strong objects.

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There is Assist Mode added to this particular tool. The Assist mode helps the screw to remain at place during drill. It also holds the different screws. But the best part is that it has Reverse rotation technology. This simply has the auto stop feature in it. As the fastener loosens, the rotation and impact also reduces in order to bring the stability. This can also ensure that the precision of the Impact Driver is quite high.

The handle is ergonomic and a comfortable grip has been used so that end user can comfortably handle it. The weight is on the lighter side for this tool. Considering the effective design and comfort along with the light weight, this best Impact Driver can be a great asset for anyone.

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Opinion on Impact Driver:

If you are working in a construction site or any other places where you need hard power to muscle through the objects, then don’t ignore the Impact Driver. This is not only powerful but also can be used comfortably. The greater control and variability add advantages on it. The precision technique obviously gives more to the end user in terms of sharp drilling. The compact size and the light weight further prove the worth of the tool. It can generate power and can be used even in sharper angles and awkward corners. The ergonomic handle and the comfortable grip make it easy to use for the end user as well.

Can we replace Traditional Drill with the Impact Driver?

As we head towards the conclusion, this becomes mandatory to answer. All jobs are not same and every work does not really need the power that Impact Driver brings. The power is uncalled sometimes, but the precision cannot be ignored. There are only 30%-40% of work which require brute power of Impact Driver, but rest can be handle preciously and smoothly with the Traditional Drill. The cordless drill is easy to use, and is obviously cost effective. Hence, even though some of the work of Cordless drill can be bettered by the Impact Driver, but cordless drill cannot be replaced entirely by the Impact Driver.


An Impact Driver is obviously capable of handling all the functionalities of the Cordless Drill. But the worth of Impact Driver will be underestimated if you try to use it as a replacement to the cordless traditional drill. The Impact Driver is required to do the job which needs muscle power and this tool can generate some good power to penetrate even strongest of the objects. But the cordless drills should not be ignored either. Your sophisticated and not so very strong material like brick walls respond better to drills, as less power can increase the precision more.

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