Impact Drivers vs Impact Wrenches: What’s the difference?

May 19, 2022
Impact Driver vs Impact Wrench

Impact tools are hugely beneficial in most of the tough DIY or repair projects you plan on taking on. In today’s market, several high-quality brands offer a brilliant variety of cordless impact power tools. Here we want to help you decide what tool you need for your job. Should you invest in an Impact Driver or an Impact Wrench?

What is an Impact Driver used for?

Impact Drivers are screwdriving specialists. No matter what screw you are dealing with if it’s a long screw, Phillips, square, or torx screw your impact driver will have no problem tightening them and getting the job done quickly and with little fuss from you. Suitable to work on mainly wood and metal but can work on other materials also. The Impact driver is suited to help you with any DIY or repair jobs you’re doing around the house.

Impact Drivers have a 1/4 inch hex shank receiver that grips small screwdriver bits. With the combination of the high torque and the rotational impact force, you will get the work done more efficiently which is ideal for any large-scale jobs you’re working on. The Impact Driver is lightweight than most other power tools and is easier on your hand and wrist while in use.

MilwaukeeM18 Fuel Impact Driver M18ONEID2
Impact Drivers are screwdriving specalists

Best Impact Drivers to use:

It’s important to have the right power tool for you and the job at hand, here are the 3 best Cordless Impact Drivers we recommend from different brands.

The Mikita 18v brushless impact driver has a slim body and compact length making it suited when you’re working in confined spaces and tight corners. This cordless Impact Driver is powered by a lithium-ion 18v battery. The max fastening torque is 170nm, brushless motor, LED job light, and variable speeds controlled by a trigger with both forward and reverse rotation.

Makita 18V Brushless Impact Driver  DTD155
The cordless Makita 18V impact driver.

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel with One-Key Impact Driver is the most compact, fastest, and most powerful Impact Driver in its market. The new power state brushless motor delivers up to 2,000 in-lbs of torque and it has a 30% faster-driving speed, making its user’s productivity improve and getting jobs done quicker. The Milwaukee Impact Driver is only 4.59″ in length making it ideal when used in tight spaces. The 4- mode drive control provides greater control over output speed and power.

Milwaukee M18 impact driver
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver

The third Impact Driver we recommend is another Milwaukee Impact Driver but this is part of the M12 range. The Milwaukee M12 Impact driver is light weighted but heavy-duty in its application. The 4 mode speed setting is perfect when working on different applications and along with the compact size is great for working in small places. The M12 isn’t as powerful as the M18 but is more powerful can you expect it with 147Nm of torque and has lots of power for all those DIY and construction projects you need to do without any hassle.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Impact Driver
The Milwaukee M12 Impact Driver is perfect for those tight spaces

What is an Impact Wrench used for?

The cordless impact wrench is used for the tightening and loosening of lug nuts and bolts. The impact wrench is heavy duty and would be mainly used on Industrial scale work or in auto repairs. The impact wrench has a big output of power to enable itself to bust a lug nut lose. Impact Wrenches can have up to 1250 ft-lbs of torque power that can loosen a frozen or rusted bolt without much of an effort. They get their immense torque from a hammering mechanism in the motor that delivers extremely strong and quick concussive blows. This creates a huge amount of force which enables them to loosen even the toughest nuts and bolts.

Impact Wrenches have a square 1/2 socket drive with the more industrial-sized wrenches having a 3/4″ and 1″ drive. There would be no need to own a 3/4″ and 1″ wrench unless you’re a professional working on large-scale projects or a mechanic fixing large-scale machinery. The 1/2″ is the most common size Impact Wrench and is more than capable of removing or fastening any lug nuts or bolts.

Apart from changing tires of cars, impact wrenches are used in heavy equipment assembly, auto repair & building, manufacturing of Industrial machines, and construction development projects.

Best Impact Wrenches to use:

Check out our 3 best recommend Cordless Impact Wrenches that we believe will do the best job for you!

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel One-Key High Torque Impact Wrench is highly regarded as the best in class at what it does. It delivers 189Nm of nut-busting torque. This Impact Wrench has a 4-mode drive control that allows the user to move between speed and torque settings to maximize the full use. This Impact Wrench comes with a friction ring reception and a LED light that is 40% brighter than older Milwaukee Impact Wrenches models. The brushless motor provides increased efficiency, last longer, and delivers maximum power. Any nuts or bolts you need fastening or loosened, the 1/2 Milwaukee Impact Wrench will get the job smoothly and you won’t have to worry about using any air compressors.

Milwaukee 1/2 M18 Fuel High Torque Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 1/2 M18 Impact Wrench Nut Busting Torque

Milwaukee does have bigger impact wrenches that you would only use for big industrial jobs or on large-scale development projects. They are the 3/4″ and 1″ impact wrenches. These would be way too powerful for your usual daily use. 

M18ONEFHIWF3-0 Milwaukee impact wrench

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3/4″ High Torque Drive has up to 2034Nm of reverse torque. Its brushless motor outperforms all competitors with 10x more motor life. The Milwaukee M18 1″ DR D Handle Impact Wrench is the world’s most powerful cordless battery-powered impact wrench with 2711NM of torque. Due to the power of both the 3/4″ & 1″ drive impact wrenches you won’t have to worry about using air compressors again.


Looking for a cordless impact wrench for advanced DIY or home auto repair but you don’t have the biggest budget? Then we would recommend the 20V Storm Force Draper Cordless Impact Wrench. It comes in a lot cheaper than many of the big impact wrenches brands but it will be able to do the jobs you need it for. This impact wrench comes with a 1/2 square drive and has a variable speed trigger with a forward/reverse feature and electric brake. Its soft-grip handle and light weight make it comfortable to operate. It has a 1hr fast charge and comes with 4 impact socks 17,19,21 and 23mm which is a great starting point if you want to buy your first impact wrench.

The Draper 20V Storm Force Impact Wrench
The Draper 20V Storm Force Impact Wrench


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