Difference WikiPhysics

Difference Between Hammer Drills and Impact Drills

Main Difference

The main difference between Hammer Drills and Impact Drills is that Hammer Drills are used to drill into hard surfaces, whereas Impact Drills are used to fix and remove bolts and screws.

Hammer Drills vs. Impact Drills

Hammer drills are utilized to bore hard-coated surfaces, whereas impact drills are used to loosen or tighten screws. Hammer drills exert force in the direction in which a hole is being drilled. On the flip side, impact drills exert force in the direction of rotation.

The driving force in a hammering drill is electric or electro-pneumatic force. Conversely, the driving force in an impact drill is an electric motor. Hammer drills resemble power drills, which are also called drivers. On the other hand, impact drills are stubby with short head length.

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Hammer drills have 3-jaw chuck or SDS chuck as tool holders. In contrast, the tool holder for an impact drill is ¼ inch hexagonal socket. Hammer drills have an adjustable torque control, which can be managed as required. On the flip side, impact drills have no torque control.

A hammer drill exerts pressure in the forward direction, whereas an impact drill exerts pressure in sideways. An average hammer drill weighs about 4 to 8 pounds. On the other hand, an impact drill weighs lighter in comparison with the hammer drill. Hammer drills have their usage in masonry work, whereas impact drills have woodwork usage in most cases.

Hammer drills are more expedient in piercing holes. Conversely, impact drills are less useful in drilling holes. Hammer drills are less useful in handling nails and bolts. On the flip side, impact drills are more useful in handling nails and bolts.

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Comparison Chart

Hammer DrillImpact Drill
The machine which drills masonry and hard surface is called a hammer drill.The machine which loosens or fix screws, nuts, and bolts is called impact drill.
Working Principle
Hammering action in the direction of the hole is drilledHammering action in the direction of rotation
Driving Force
Electric or electro-pneumaticElectric motor
Pressure
ForwardsSideways
Design
Same as power drillsStubby with a short head length
Tool Holder
3-jaw chuck or SDS chuck¼ inch hexagonal socket
Torque
Adjustable torque controlNo torque control
Weight
4 to 8 poundsLighter than hammer drills
Usage
MasonryWoodwork
Drilling Holes
More usefulLess useful
Handling Nails and Bolts
Less usefulMore useful
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What is Hammer Drill?

Hammer drills have their definite part in annihilating holes in concrete, brick, marble, granite, and other similar brickwork materials. There are predominantly two types of hammer drills categorized as a regular hammer drill and a powerful rotatory hammer drill.

Hammer drill is used to drill holes into sturdy materials like concrete. Hard surfaces like brick, concrete, and masonry work are resolved by hammer drills. The purpose of hammer drills is to set anchors and create holes for outlet boxes. Hammer drill is lightweight and more compact as compared to a rotatory hammer.

Hammer drill is the best choice for drilling holes up to ½ or more. A typical hammer drill is more useful in drilling holes but less useful in handling nails and dealing with bolts. In hammer drills, more pressure is exerted. The loudness of a hammer drill is also more than an impact drill.

Hammer drills work by vibrating in a forward and backward direction. Its motion is periodic or back and forth motion. A hammer drill possesses an adjustable clutch, which controls the force and allows proper spinning of drill along the axis of rotation.

Hammer drills do not find their usage in woodworks, which prefer to use regular drills. Hammer drills have a cam-action, which can also be referred to as the hammering mechanism. In this process, the chuck moves back and forth on the axis of rotation, giving periodic motion. Hammer drills work by an electric or electro-pneumatic force and are powered adequately by cordless technology these days.

What is Impact Drill?

An impact drill exerts pressure or torque in perpendicular direction. Impact drills operate by the same motion, which is required for screwing or unscrewing the fasteners. Installation of a screw requires both torque and forward force. On the other hand, no longitudinal or forward force is required.

Impact drills are also acknowledged as impact drivers that are used for fixing and eliminating screws and bolts in wide-ranging constructions and DIY schemes. Impact drills create a lot of rotational force that enables the driving of the most substantial wood screws effectively. They produce more torque as compared to regular drills.

An impact drill, when struck on the back by a hammer, delivers a sharp, sudden, rotational force. The striking blow from a hammer reduces the hammering mechanism by forcing the impact drill in a forward direction. Impact drills are less useful for slot head screws and most effective for Philips screws because they show cam out phenomenon.

Impact drills are shorter and lighter than hammer drills. There are two categories of impact drills. The first category is a manual impact drill, which practices a heavyweight exterior sleeve around the inner core. When a hammer forays the outer sleeve, torque is delivered on the screw.

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

Key Differences

  1. The tools which drill masonry and hard surfaces like cement, bricks, and marble, etc. are called hammer drills. On the other hand, the tools which aid in loosening or driving the screws that require high torque are called impact drills.
  2. Hammer drills work by hammering action in the direction of hole drilling, whereas impact drills work by hammering action in the direction of rotation.
  3. The driving force in a hammer drill is an electric or electro-pneumatic force. Conversely, the driving force in an impact drill is an electric motor.
  4. Hammer drill resembles with power drills in design, whereas the design of impact drill is designated as stubby with short head length.
  5. A hammer drill has a 3-jaw chuck or SDS chuck as a tool holder. On the flip side, the tool holder for an impact drill is ¼ inch hexagonal socket.
  6. Hammer drills control their torque and adjust them within suitable ranges. In contrast, there is no torque control for impact drills resulting in extensive torque application on the screws.
  7. Hammer drills exert forward pressure, while impact drills exert sideways pressure.
  8. A typical hammer drill weighs 4-8 pounds, whereas an impact drill is lighter than a hammer drill.
  9. Hammer drills are used in stonework. On the other hand, impact drivers have their best application in woodwork.
  10. Hammer drills are more beneficial in drilling holes, whereas impact drills are less beneficial in drilling holes.
  11. Hammer drills are less advantageous in dealing with nails and bolts. On the flip side, impact drills are more advantageous in handling nuts, nails, and bolts.
  12. A hammer drill uses hammer-like action to drill into hard surfaces, whereas an impact drill uses higher torque opportunity to screw in bolts.

Conclusion

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

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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