Physics

Difference Between Hammer and Impact Drill

Main difference

The main difference between hammer drills and impact drills is that hammer drills are used for drilling hard surfaces while impact drills are used for setting and removing bolts and screws.

Hammer Drills vs. Impact Drills

Hammer drills are used to drill coated surfaces, while impact drills are used to loosen or tighten screws. Hammer drills exert force in the direction in which the hole is drilled. On the other hand, impact drills exert force in the direction of rotation.

The driving force of a hammer drill is an electrical or electro-pneumatic force. In contrast, the driving force of an impact drill is an electric motor. Hammer drills resemble power drills, which are also called drivers. On the other hand, impact drivers are stubby with a short head.

Hammer drills have a 3-jaw collet or SDS collet as the collet. By contrast, the collet for an impact driver is a ¼-inch hex socket. Hammer drills have an adjustable torque control, which can be managed as needed. On the other hand, impact drills do not have torque control.

A hammer drill presses forward, while an impact drill presses sideways. An average hammer drill weighs about 4 to 8 pounds. On the other hand, an impact drill weighs less compared to the hammer drill. Hammer drills are used in masonry work, while impact drills are used in wood in most cases.

Hammer drills are more convenient for drilling holes. In contrast, impact drills are less useful for drilling holes. Hammer drills are less useful for driving nails and bolts. On the other hand, impact drills are more useful for driving nails and bolts.

Comparison chart

hammer drill Impact drill
The machine that drills through masonry and hard surfaces is called a hammer drill. The machine that loosens or fixes screws, nuts and bolts is called an impact drill.
Operating principle
Hammering action is drilled in the direction of the hole Hammering action in the direction of rotation
Driving force
electric or electro-pneumatic Electric motor
Pressure
Forward Oblique
Design
Same as electric drills Stocky with a short head
Tool holders
3-jaw chuck or SDS chuck ¼ inch hex socket
Torque
Adjustable torque control without torque control
Weight
4 to 8 pounds Lighter than hammer drills
Use
Brickwork Carpentry
drilling holes
More useful less useful
Handling of nails and bolts
less useful More useful

What is hammer drill?

Hammer drills have their ultimate part in annihilating holes in concrete, brick, marble, granite, and other similar masonry materials. There are predominantly two types of hammer drills categorized as a normal hammer drill and a powerful rotary hammer drill.

The hammer drill is used to drill holes in strong materials such as concrete. Hard surfaces like brick, concrete and masonry work are solved with hammer drills. The purpose of hammer drills is to drive anchors and create holes for outlet boxes. The hammer drill is lightweight and more compact compared to a rotary hammer.

The hammer drill is the best option for drilling holes up to ½ or more. A typical hammer drill is more useful for drilling holes, but less useful for driving nails and bolts. In hammer drills, more pressure is exerted. The volume of a hammer drill is also more than an impact drill.

Hammer drills work by vibrating back and forth. Its movement is periodic or back and forth. A hammer drill has an adjustable clutch, which controls the force and allows proper turning of the drill along the axis of rotation.

Hammer drills do not find their use in woodworkers, who prefer to use regular drills. Hammer drills have a cam action, which can also be called a hammer mechanism. In this process, the chuck moves back and forth on the axis of rotation, giving a periodic motion. Hammer drills are powered by an electrical or electro-pneumatic force and now work well with cordless technology.

What is impact drill?

An impact drill exerts pressure or torque in a perpendicular direction. Impact drills operate with the same motion, which is required to screw in or unscrew fasteners. Installing a screw requires both torque and driving force. On the other hand, longitudinal or forward force is not required.

Impact drills are also recognized as impact drivers that are used to set and remove screws and bolts in a wide variety of DIY constructions and schemes. Impact drills create a large amount of rotational force that allows most important wood screws to be driven effectively. They produce more torque compared to regular drills.

An impact drill, when struck in the back with a hammer, generates a sudden sharp rotational force. A hammer blow reduces the hammering mechanism by forcing the impact drill in a forward direction. Impact drills are less useful for slotted head screws and more effective for Philips screws because they exhibit camming.

Impact drills are shorter and lighter than hammer drills. There are two categories of impact drills. The first category is a hand-held impact drill, which drills a heavyweight outer sleeve around the inner core. When a hammer strikes the outer sleeve, torque is applied to the screw.

The second category is a motorized impact drill, which is used as a replacement for screwdrivers for higher speed. They are also used for manufacturing or construction purposes, where a large number of screws may be required.

Key differences

  1. Tools that drill through masonry and hard surfaces such as cement, brick and marble, etc. They are called hammer drills. On the other hand, tools that help loosen or screw in screws that require high torque are called impact drivers.
  2. Hammer drills work by hammering action in the direction of drilling the hole, while impact drills work by hammering action in the direction of rotation.
  3. The driving force of a hammer drill is an electrical or electro-pneumatic force. In contrast, the driving force of an impact drill is an electric motor.
  4. The hammer drill design resembles power drills, while the impact drill design is designated stubby with a short head length.
  5. A hammer drill has a 3-jaw chuck or an SDS chuck as the chuck. On the other hand, the collet for an impact driver is a ¼-inch hex socket.
  6. Rotary hammers monitor their torque and adjust it within the proper ranges. In contrast, there is no torque control for impact drills, resulting in extensive application of torque on the screws.
  7. Hammer drills apply forward pressure, while impact drills apply lateral pressure.
  8. A typical hammer drill weighs 4 to 8 pounds, while an impact drill is lighter than a hammer drill.
  9. Hammer drills are used in masonry. On the other hand, impact drivers have their best application in woodworking.
  10. Hammer drills are more beneficial for drilling holes while impact drills are less beneficial for drilling holes.
  11. Hammer drills are less advantageous for working with nails and bolts. On the other hand, impact drills are more advantageous for handling nuts, nails, and bolts.
  12. A hammer drill uses a hammer-like action to drill through hard surfaces, while an impact drill uses a higher torque opportunity to drive bolts.
Final Thought

A hammer drill is most useful for drilling holes in hard surfaces like concrete or brick. In contrast, an impact drill is more advantageous for handling nails and bolts.

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