When Not to Use an Impact Driver

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In this article, we will be answering you all a very commonly asked question – When Not to Use an Impact Driver? You can know the answer to it along with detailed explanation about impact drivers, what is an impact driver, how does an impact driver work, advantages and disadvantages of impact driver and so on. Keep reading further to know more.

What is an Impact Driver? 

An impact driver is a driller that has no speed settings or selectable settings. This is a great tool but you cannot use it if precision is what you need. You can however, use impact drivers for DIY Projects in which the size and location of the holes is less important than the torque needed.

You can use an impact driver to loosen the screws from rusted surfaces. Impact drivers are very useful with such rough surfaces like jammed metal. These drivers are not similar to the conventional 3-jaw chuck and are hexagonal in shape.

Use of Impact Driver

An impact driver has multiple uses. In some cases, of drilling operations you might not even need an impact driver while in others, it would become essential to use an impact driver.

Some of the uses of an impact driver can be mentioned as –

  • For drilling into hard surfaces.
  • To drill self-threading screws.
  • Drilling onto jammed metal surfaces.
  • For Losing over-torqued screws.

When Not to Use an Impact Driver

How does an Impact Driver Work?

An impact driver is a cordless tool that is very useful in drilling into hard surfaces. If you want to buy an impact driver or already have one and want to know how does impact driver work, then read here.

The first step in the working of an impact driver is combining rotational motion. This rotational motion is responsible for creating high torque. The process of hammering will help in screwing the nails faster.

A strong motor is installed. It comes with a peculiar spring loaded hammering mechanism which paves the way for lifting up and rotating. After this, the spring pushes it down for creating a rational and high torque.

When Not to Use an Impact Driver

As mentioned before, an impact driver does not have the option of speed or selectable settings. It is basically an all or nothing tool. Thus, if you need precision in your work, then impact driver is not something you should be using.

Impact drivers are mainly meant for driving. However, they can be used to drill as well in case of an urgency. These drivers are majorly used for driving fasteners instead of holes. Given below are the situations in which you should not use an impact driver –

  1. Do NOT use short screws with impact drivers.
  2. Do NOT use Non-Hex Shank Bits with impact drivers.
  3. Do NOT use impact drivers on soft materials.
  4. Do NOT use Impact drivers in case of precision work.
  5. Do NOT use impact drivers for drilling holes. 

Different Principles of Impact Driver: Impact Driver vs. Hammer Drill

Now that you know the working mechanism of an impact driver, you might get slightly confused about the difference between Impact Driver and Hammer Drill. So here are a few differences between the two that will make the picture clear for you.

An impact driver offers screw 50 times a second. It is known to work 5 times faster than any other drill drivers and hammer drills. With an impact driver, you do not get a setting to change the torque. Also, an impact driver will allow to make use of just a ¼” hex-shank drill. Hence, impact drivers are suitable for driving the screw.

Now coming to hammer drills, these can be used to drill holes into the bricks, rocks, and concrete. These drills let you turn off the hammer function through a settings option. You can also change the driver bits for the torque needed. The other drills and drivers are lighter than hammer drills.

Advantages of Impact driver

  • Impact Driver Bits – Impact Driver Bits are known to be very strong for performing drilling operations. One can get the deepest and fastest torque from 1/4″ hex-shank drills and driver bits.
  • Higher Torque – Torque is one of the most essential features that can blow around 50 times to loosen the screw. If you do not know, impact drivers are 5 times more powerful than other drill drivers. To get the results faster, you can always go for Impact driver.
  • Easy to use – Impacts drivers are pretty easy to use. One can hold them for a long time and it is also very much lighter than hammer drills. Also, it comes with a shorter head than most cordless drills and this it will give you a better grip. It is also very easy to be used in small tighter spaces.
  • Less Recoil – Impact drivers have a better recoil control than many other types of drills. This feature gives the user the best control over impact driver.

Disadvantages of Impact Driver

  • Lack of torque power.
  • Expensive as compare to other drills.
  • The magnet system for holding the screw is weaker as compared to other drills.
  • An impact driver cannot hold different drill bits. For that, the accuracy required is lesser than other drills.

How to Choose the Best Impact Driver

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of Impact Driver. Given below are a few tips that can help you choose the best impact driver –

  • The most crucial thing you need to consider while buying an impact driver is the Voltage and torque capacity.
  • Do not forget to check the battery life of your impact driver.
  • Another major feature of an impact driver is the speed of your too.
  • Also see that you have enough information about the motor or your impact driver before making a buy.


Is it safe to use an Impact driver?

Yes, if used with the proper safety and guidelines, it is absolutely safe to use impact drivers. By wearing safety glasses, keeping your face, hairs, hands away from the tool while using and using the tool on appropriate places, it will be safe to use impact drills.

What is the average speed range of an impact driver?

If we consider the top brands of impact driver, then we get an average speed range of 2500 rpm on average.

When should you not use an impact driver?

As mentioned in this article, you should not use an impact driver if you are looking for precision. You can use this tool in projects where the size of the hole or the placement is less critical than the amount of torque needed to do the job. You should not use an impact driver for drilling into hard materials like concrete or brick.

Can I use an impact driver for small screws?

Impact drivers cannot be used for anything that will not take over-torqueing well. This includes fragile materials or screws. The impact drivers are known to be a little more compact than drills. So they can be used while working in tighter places.

Do you really need a impact driver?

Impact drivers can be very helpful in case you have a deck to build, or a plywood subfloor for installing. You can use it for tasks like screwing a tree house together. It basically can be a great help with wood screws. But if you want to drill holes and drive nails of medium size then a regular drill would be recommended.

Why does an impact driver click?

An impact driver clicks or bangs but it is not the clutch that you hear. The sound comes from the hammer mechanism striking inside the tool.

Can you use impact driver as screwdriver?

Without an adapter impact drivers cannot be used to drill holes. They offer a larger amount of torque and are also lighter and smaller than general drivers. So they can drive screws more efficiently.

Do Impact drivers have torque settings?

No, Impact drivers do not have torque control. Hence, the only way to adjust the amount of torque being delivered is using the speed control trigger.

What is the torque range of an impact driver?

The range of torque is usually between 100Nm to 200Nm (1800 lbs.)

Final Words

I hope with the above article, you all could understand When Not to Use an Impact Driver. In case you have any questions for us regarding the above topic, feel free to ask us in the comment section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, do let know what other machinery topics you want us to cover for you.

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