Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill For Concrete

Photo by Charles & Hudson

The difference

Drills are generally used for making punctures or for driving screws into surfaces like concretes. They are designed with tool cutting attachment or driving tool attachment. Very commonly, they are used in woodworks, constructions, concrete surfaces, DIY projects, space missions, and also in medical practice.

Impact drills and hammer drills are types of drills and this post will expose you to the difference and comparison between the two tools and of course how to make a choice depending on functionality.


Impact drills are suited for power driving in hard tasks. They are high tech devices which makes them the perfect drill type for your hard tasks like driving strong bolts and tough screws. They can also be used on the tough or hard parts of a machine that is to light for hammer drills to be used on. Impact drills are specially designed for heavy tasks that require strong torque and rough handling.

Hammer drills are however a stronger version of a regular cordless drill. The hammer drill works by hammering into the rotating bit. A hammer drill is made with a specialized hammer that can be used for drilling into concrete or masonry, brick, cement, and other closely related materials. You can turn the hammer mode off so that only the drill can be used. Hammer drills vibrate back and forth.

The way they work

While hammer drills vibrate back and forth, impact drills are entirely different as they do more of rotating. The impact drills act as a cordless screwdriver when used to drive a light-duty fastener. Impact drills apply their rotatory impulse of working when there is a higher opposing torque. An example is when you are using an impact drill to drive a larger and longer fastener.

Mechanical workers oftentimes ask questions about which type of drill to choose between impact drills and hammer drills. Or about which of the two they need more. To be able to make a choice sometimes depend on the material you will be working with.

Impact drills are basic tools for driving long and big screws into sturdy and rugged material like concerts or masonry, drywall, studs, and other tough surfaces. Impact drills are much more powerful than your standard and a regular cordless drill.

Hammer drills serve the sole purpose of drilling holes through concrete. The two drills have ways in which they vary from each other depending on functionality, specification, materials used for, and other factors.

Things to consider

An important difference between impact drills and hammer drills is the type of bits they work with. Impact drills have a locking collet which can accept only hex-shanked bits. About the bits factor, hammer drills are quite very universal. They have a 3-jaw chuck that accepts both round and hex bits.

If you are to consider the size before choosing, most people often prefer to work with light tools to avoid getting worn out easily. Impact drills are much more compact and lighter. They are generally used to drive fasteners or screws or bolts and drill holes. Hammer drills, on the other hand, are used for a wide range of materials, as stated earlier, they are universal. They can also be used to drive fasteners when used with an appropriate power screwdriver bits. Something that is not quite likable about the hammer drill is the size, they are larger and heavier than non-worthy hammer drills.

To consider the manner of operation of these two drills. The direction in which the two apply additional force when performing their twisting action differs. Impacts drills increase force exertion perpendicular to the bit. Also, they work in a rotatory manner, appears more like a cordless screwdriver unless when more power is required. Impact drills don’t have an adjustable clutch that can prevent too much power, especially when doing a small job.

Talking about hammer drills, when drilling a material, they exert a greater force directly into the bits. They use more pressure than impact drills. It works like you are hammering a drive into a hard material, giving out a loud sound. Hammer drills vibrate back and forth unlike the rotary movement of the impact drill. They also have had an adjustable clutch to regulate the amount of power applied when working.


Some of the best impact drills are DeWalt DCF887B 20-volt MAX ¼”, Makita DT03Z 12-volt cordless impact driver, and Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Li-Ion 18-volt impact driver.

For hammer drills, there is the DeWalt DCD996B MAX 3-speed 20-volt hammer drill and Bosch HDS181A-01 18-volt ½” compact impact driver.


I do hope that this post clears the confusion you might have had on impact drills and hammer drills from the past. I’ve covered what each of the drills does and how they work, also with examples of the best ones you can buy for your drilling, fastening, and the other functions that these tools perform.

3 Comments on “Impact Drill vs Hammer Drill For Concrete”

  1. You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really one thing which I feel I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am having a look ahead to your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt to get the grasp of it!

  2. This is an excellent article. I am very pleased to read your article I was searching for a perfect hammer drill for concrete, and this is a fantastic blog. Thanks, and keeps sharing 🙂

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