Impact Driver Vs Electric Screwdriver

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 18, 2022
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Impact drivers and electric screwdrivers both are used for loosening or tightening screws and nuts. Both tools have some similarities as well as differences. After going through this article you will have a clear idea about the working mechanism, pros, cons, and application of both tools.


So, let’s go…

Working Mechanism

Impact Driver

The impact driver creates rotational force with the spring, hammer, and anvil. When the motor turns the shaft the hammer rapidly rotates against the anvil. This creates a huge impact force.

Electric Screwdriver

The electric screwdriver consisting of a battery, motor, gearbox, and chuck has an electric circuit inside it. When you pull the trigger a switch inside of the tool’s casing conducts electricity from the rechargeable battery to the motor and the circuit is completed. Then you can work with your electric screwdriver.


Impact Driver

  1. You cannot drill into all sorts of materials with an ordinary screwdriver but if you use an impact driver you won’t have to face this problem – you can drill into all sorts of materials using various types of screws needed for your project. If you need 4 types of screws you don’t have to change the driver every time you change the screw.
  2. Since the impact driver impacts with high torque, it is a perfect tool for any kind of heavy-duty work or working with hard material.
  3. Unlike the other screwdrivers, the impact drivers don’t break the head of the screws and set the screws right to the flush point perfectly making a beautiful finish.
  4. You won’t have to apply high muscle force during driving the screws to any material because high rotational force is already available. So, you don’t have to experience much strain on your muscle and can work for a long time.
  5. You can work with the impact driver using only one hand and your other hand will remain free. So, you can hold other workpieces with another hand which is great flexibility during work.
  6. Since the combined driver and hammer facilities are provided by the impact driver there is no need to hammer the screws afterward that other less efficient screwdrivers require.
  7. You can comfortably work in areas with poor lighting using an impact driver as most impact drivers come with a light incorporated with it.

Electric Screwdriver

  1. The electric screwdriver is designed to give you comfort while you work holding it with your hand. You can work for a long time with less effort using an electric screwdriver.
  2. You can control the torque of the electric screwdriver and can make a delicate finish using it.
  3. Since you can do a range of tasks with an electric screwdriver you don’t have to experience physical strain to change the tool. You also can complete the tasks much faster ensuring perfection using an electric driver because of its high speed.
  4. The varying speed offered by the drill gives you comfort and control during work.
  5. The reverse action which is known as the hallmark feature of the electric driver allows you to insert and remove screws quickly.
  6. An electric screwdriver is a cost-effective tool as you can do a range of jobs with this single tool.


Impact Driver

  1. Impact drivers are extremely powerful but they don’t have torque control. So, if you need a delicate finish there is a high possibility to damage the screws or the working surface.
  2. Regular screwdriver bits may get damaged easily due to the high torque. So, you may need to buy impact bits that are specially designed for impact drivers like these.

Since the impact drivers have hexagonal quick-release chuck you cannot use 3 jaw chucks with the impact driver. So, you have to purchase the hexagonal chucks for the impact driver. Purchasing specially designed drill bits and chucks will increase your cost.

  1. The impact drivers are expensive. So, you should have a good budget to buy the tool.

Electric Screwdriver

  1. If you have to work in a place where electricity is not available the electric driver won’t come to any use. Moreover, if load-shedding is frequent in the work site the progress of your work will be hampered. On the other hand, if you want to use a cordless screwdriver and you have to do a heavy-duty job then the cordless driver cannot serve your purpose well as it is not very powerful.
  2. Since the length of the cord has a limitation your capacity is limited by the closeness to the power source.
  3. It is an expensive tool and so anyone with a low budget hardly can afford it.


Impact Driver

To do heavy-duty work where high impact force is required impact drivers are used. One can drive long deck screws or carriage bolts into wooden posts, fasten concrete screw anchors into block walls, and drive screws into metal studs using an impact driver.

Electric Screwdriver

Electric screwdrivers are used for light-duty work. Since it has a manageable size and you can control its torque it is an ideal tool where maintaining accuracy is the priority for example – to manufacture electronics or medical devices an electric screwdriver is an ideal choice.

Final Words

Impact driver and electric screwdriver both are widely used tools. Each tool has its pros and cons and is used for different purposes.

Both tools are available in the market with amazing features. You can choose an electric screwdriver or an impact driver based on the type of work you are intended to do with the driver.

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.