How To Use Impact Screwdriver

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 15, 2022
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Removing the screws is not always a simple task. Think about the situation when the screws are too tight because of deterioration, and you cannot remove them using a manual hand screwdriver. Trying with higher force can damage both the screwdriver and the screws.


You need something to save you from that situation. Luckily, an impact screwdriver can help solve the problem. Now, you may wonder what to do with an impact screwdriver in such a situation and how to use it. No worries, we are giving you a step-by-step process of using an impact screwdriver.

Process of Using An Impact Screwdriver

1. Selection of Bit

Before using an impact screwdriver, you should select a bit that matches the screw. To do this, you must have that specific screwdriver tip in your toolbox. So, it would be better to buy all the necessary bits which you use very often.

However, after selecting the desired bit, place it on the tip of the impact screwdriver. After that, you need to place the tip on the screw which you want to loosen or tighten.

2. Choice of Direction

When you are placing the impact screwdriver tip on the screw slot, put firm pressure. Keep an eye on the direction so that your impact screwdriver faces the same direction as the screw. You need to make sure that the screwdriver is straight enough to fit the slot of the screw.

To ensure that this step is perfectly done, you can hold the impact screwdriver steadily and move the body of the screwdriver for at least a quarter turn after keeping the bit firm on the screw slot. In this way, your impact screwdriver will face the right direction.

3. Freeing The Snapped Bolt

Generally, the screw extractor comes with a tapered opposite directional thread that was locked when the screw was tightened. As a result, the bolt can be snapped because of deterioration, and increasing the pressure anticlockwise can cause more hardening of the thread.

To avoid such issues, you should use locking pliers to create pressure on the extractor thread. Sometimes, a hand tap may work as well. Anyway, after using these methods, only a little pressure will make the snapped bolt come free.

4. Application of Force

Now the primary task is to give force to the screw. Try to rotate the impact screwdriver with the strength of one hand and use the other hand to hit the back of the impact screwdriver using a hammer (like one of these types). After a few hits, the screw will most likely start to be tightened or loosened. That means the jammed screw is now free to move.

5. The Screw Removal

Finally, we are talking about the removal of the screw. As the screw is already loosened enough, now you can use a simple screwdriver to remove it completely from its place. That’s it! And, you can also tighten the screw more using the same process by the opposite directional force. However, now you can put your impact screwdriver back into its place for resting until you need it again!

Are The Impact Screwdriver and The Impact Wrench Same?

Many people feel confused about the impact screwdriver, electric impact driver, and impact wrench. However, they are not all the same. Each of them is considered a different tool and used for a separate line of purposes.


You already know a lot about the impact of a screwdriver. It is a manual screwdriver tool that is used to free a frozen or jammed screw. Besides, you can use it for tightening by using it in the opposite direction. However, the basic mechanism of this tool is to create a sudden rotational force when striking on the back. So, hitting the impact screwdriver after attaching it to the screw slot causes a sudden pressure on the screw to make it free. As the whole process is being done manually, it is called a manual impact driver.

When it comes to the electric impact driver, it is an electric version of the manual impact screwdriver. You don’t need to use any striking force using a hammer since batteries power this tool. You need to follow the same process for attaching with the screw but don’t need any extra tool for controlling it manually. Just push the start button, and your task will be done using sudden rotational force.

Though the impact wrench comes from the same tool family, its usage is different from the two others. Generally, an impact wrench is used for heavier types of machinery and big screws. Because the impact wrench can provide more rotational force and supports a variety of big nuts. If you look at the two other types, these tools don’t support many bit types like the impact wrench. So, the impact wrench is a good choice only if you have heavy machinery or need it professionally.


A manual or hand impact screwdriver is a simple and inexpensive tool that doesn’t require a lot of professional skills. We have discussed the use process of this screwdriver to help you out in emergency needs. Just make sure that you are following the procedure correctly.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.