Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver – #1 Guide on What Tool You Need

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This Dweller Power article about Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver topic would be a great read for all of us Drilling Enthusiasts.

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver – it’s a common question between newbies, and truth be told even seasoned users add to the confusion with the terms. People just sometimes have a hard time knowing which is which – and I really can’t blame them – when you see these two sets of Power Drills, their resemblance to each other is too similar to notice a difference.

We even know of a few good friends of mine mistakenly purchasing one for the other. Talk about YIKES! Good thing Amazon Prime has a return policy.

However, we need to address this because knowing the difference between the issue between Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver, for this will not only ease  the confusion- it might also prove crucial for your project’s success!

So let’s get to it!

Short Version / TL;DR

Don’t have time to read through the article? Don’t worry, we get you – here’s a brief rundown on our Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver guide:

If you are working in a specialized part of drilling – or simply drilling through tough materials that needs some packing power to put a hole in, like concrete walls, concrete flooring, and other forms of masonry then, the Hammer Drill is for you. It’s direct. The hammer drill is tough. It drives like nothing you’ve ever used.

Regarding Impact Drivers – it’s not made for drilling but for driving in screws with a rotational force while exerting high level of torque. But, like Hammer Drills, Impact Drivers can punch through hard concrete and masonry to drive your screws in.

Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison table for Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver to easily tell you which is which:

FeaturesHammer DrillImpact Driver
MotorElectric or Electro-PneumaticElectric
Motor Power2,000 – 3,000 RPM2,000 – 3,500 RPM
MethodHammer Blown MotionDrills/Drives Screws
ControlTorque ControlHigh Torque, No Control
Chuck3-jaw/SDS chuck1/4-inch Hex Socket
Best OnDrilling MasonryDrilling Hard Surfaces
Best ForLight to Heavy Construction WorkWoodworking, Carpentry, Masonry, Light Construction

Don’t have time To read? No worries!
Below are our top picks for your convenience

Dweller Power’s Best Pick

Best Corded Hammer Drill in the Market

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver DeWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill
Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver - #1 Guide on What Tool You Need

DEWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill

  • 10-Amp Motor
  • Dual System: Hammer Drilling
  • 2 Speed Range
  • Soft Grip Handle

Dweller Power’s Best Pick

Best Cordless Impact Driver in the Market

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX Impact Driver
Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver - #1 Guide on What Tool You Need

DEWALT DCD791D2 20V MAX Cordless Drill

  • Brushless Motor
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • No Load Speed
  • No Memory

What Is A Hammer Drill?

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver Hammer Drill
Hammer Drill | Photo Courtesy by Unsplash.com

These are the most action-packed power tools you can find on a market today. You don’t have any time to waste so they are designed to get your work done in the fastest possible way.

As the name suggests, it’s a Drill that is not just for drilling material. It revolutionizes the way you work. You can even use it to hammer through solid surfaces with this powerful equipment.

The hammer drill’s pulsing action lets you pulverize the toughest materials. You’ll feel the power in every swing. Its high-speed engine spins up faster, delivering maximum performance at all times.

The Hammer Drill is specifically designed for rock, concrete and masonry drilling. It has a hammer function that creates high-low impact movements which greatly improves hammer drills’ penetration power.

When power matters, this tool delivers. A hammer drill can bore through rock and concrete without slowing down. With its light weight, it can be operated with one hand for extra leverage.

What adds to a Hammer Drill’s packing power is that it relies on a powerful motor. The motor is so efficient that tough materials will not even be considered a problem. It can achieve the project in time.

When To Go For A Hammer Drill?

If you are working on projects or will be working on projects that deals with drilling through hard material, mostly concrete, wood, and metal – your Hammer Drill is the best for this.

Don’t worry about the tough jobs, your Hammer Drill will get you through the hardest and toughest projects

There is a lot to consider when choosing a drill for the home or workplace. You must not only look at price, wattage and battery life but also the force that can be generated. The last place you want to be is with a drill that can’t go through the tough materials that require drilling. Do not settle and accept anything less than what you deserve.

Hammer Drill Pros & Cons


  • Best for Hard Surface and Material
  • Some models have a Drill and Hammer Function
  • Has a guide handle for ease of control


  • Very Loud and Noise amplifies depending on surface
  • Heavy – needs strength for efficient use
  • Not a necessity for a hobbyist or DIY work

Hammer Drill Recommendation –
DeWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver DeWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill
Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver - #1 Guide on What Tool You Need


  • 10.0 Amp motor delivers increased drilling performance
  • Patented DEWALT built motor design generates 50 percent more power with increased overload protection for added durability
  • Dual mode: hammerdrill / drill for versatility in masonry, wood, or steel drilling applications
  • 2-Speed range for high speed drilling or high torque applications
  • Soft grip handle and two-finger trigger for increased comfort and greater control. Metal gear housing for jobsite durability and increased reliability


DeWALT has been around for a while, and they’re known for their high-quality products. The DWD520 Hammer Drill can be a good solution for those who need to get an electric drill that offers a hammering mechanism. It has the power you need, but it also features an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use. If you’re ready to start shopping, check this out!

DeWALT is a power tool maker with over 100 years’ worth of experience to its name. This DeWalt drill is designed to be strong enough for any job you can throw at it.

This drill is capable of delivering up to 56,000 Blows Per Minute. When its hammer feature is used, you’ll find it to be one of the most powerful hard-hitting drills around.

The DWD520 beats out the competition in almost every way. The high power DeWalt motor packs a punch, and with 50% more power than similar drills, the performance definitely stands up to its claims.

The DeWALT DWD520 1/2″ Hammer Drill is designed for high performance and versatility. It sports an all-metal transmission for durability and longevity. Its dual speed feature, 0 – 3,500 RPM and 0 – 1,200 RPM can be used for regular drilling as well as hammer drills.

The DeWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill kit is perfect for drilling in concrete, masonry, and stone. The eight-pound tool features a maximum speed of 1400 RPMs and a variable speed trigger for precision control. A 360° locking side handle and a steel depth rod are included to ensure drilling precision while protecting your safety. It’s just what you need for your next big job.

When it comes to our Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver review, this is by far the most sought after Hammer Drill in the market, making it the best for all kinds of budgets and project scope. 100% Dweller Power recommended!

Hammer Drill Tutorial for Beginners

What Is An Impact Driver?

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver Impact Driver
Impact Driver | Photo Courtesy by: Unsplash.com

Imagine a small rotating screwdriver in your hand- but has the spins as fast a Formula1 Car’s tires. That’s a good description of the power an Impact Driver has. It is powerful enough to drill through woodwork, various kinds of metal and even masonry. An Impact Driver relies on high torque which is the essence of its function and design.

The way the Impact Driver works is that it applies rotational impact with a hammer and anvil mechanism. These are best for driving screws and other types of fasteners – depending on the size of the fastener, you might need an Impact Wrench compared to an Impact Driver

Specs wise, It has a standard ¼” hex socket/collet to keep drill bits secure. Similar to a drill, you can buy different bits in many assorted shapes to be ready for multiple types of work

Noise is something to consider with Impact Drivers – with how the motor powers the drill it is quite noisy, and the noise gets compacted depending on the type of material you are drilling.

Technical Terms: Torque is the amount of twisting force being applied to rotate something. It can be measured in both inches and pounds. An Impact Driver’s torque usually ranges from 1500-1800in.lb. Some can even reach 2100in.lb! Impact Driver with their machine operated torque reduces the risk of torque which can manually happen if you use a manual screwdriver.

Caution: Impact Drivers lacks a clutch – a threshold of some sort that limits your torque once it reaches a significant level. Not having a clutch may make the user overdo their drilling. It is highly recommended that you practice using an Impact Driver with a few screws and plank of wood to test the torque

When To Go For An Impact Driver?

If you find yourself working around the house, in DIY projects, or with your woodworking/carpentry projects now or in the future – this is an essential Power Drill to get your fasteners tight and in proper place.

Hammer Drill Pros & Cons


  • Versatile All-Around Tool
  • Flexible – Can adapt to whatever the project needs
  • Portable
  • Significantly Lighter compared to Power Drills


  • Overwhelming Power to inexperienced users – please practice before actual work.
  • Noisy- Noise amplifies depending on surface.
  • Variety of Bits does not come in one package. Purchase is needed separately.

Impact Wrench Recommendation –

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver DEWALT DCF887B 20V MAX Impact Driver
Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver - #1 Guide on What Tool You Need


  • DEWALT built brushless motor, Compact, lightweight design for tight spaces
  • Variable-speed trigger, no load speed 0 to 1000, 2800, 3250
  • Same runtime and power in a lighter, shorter Package compared to DCB200
  • No memory and virtually no self-discharge for maximum productivity and less Downtime


For our Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver review, we present you this Impact Driver from DeWALT, the DeWALT MAX XR DCF887B! By far this has the best reviews overall in Amazon as well as having the best price range for all kinds of budgets and projects.

The DeWALT MAX XR DCF887B is an excellent addition to the legendary range of cordless tools. Featuring a versatile drilling and driving design, it’s more than capable of competing with more expensive handheld drills in its category. It certainly won’t dissatisfy long-term DEWALT fans.

The DeWALT MAX XR DCF887B is ideal for getting all kinds of jobs done around the house, especially those which require a good amount of drilling.

The DeWALT 20V Max XR DCF887B will charge into your mind. It will never give up. It has laser like focus. It knows how to hold a screw, and it won’t let go till the job is done.

Additionally, this impact driver asks a significantly higher price than many comparable competitors. This could be an issue for some users who don’t yet possess DeWALT 20V MAX batteries.

The DCF887B 20V MAX XR is a high-torque impact driver with an exceptional level of torque. It felt great to use, but if you want more than average torque, then look elsewhere. It has no problem displaying it’s power when dealing with screws and bolts for whatever use needed.

The MAX XR DCF887B offers classic DeWALT performance, but at a bit of a premium. It is not the best value nor the most powerful option for someone building a set of cordless tools from the ground up, but is definitely a great choice if you already own some DEWALT batteries.

The DeWALT DCF887B 20V MAX XR Impact Driver adds power to your existing DeWALT batteries. The best value for the price, this impact driver is a great addition to your collection. The DeWALT DCF887B is the perfect all-around impact driver.

Impact Driver Tutorial for Beginners

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Drill Bits Should I Use?

This would be an obvious answer. Regarding Drill Bits, the type of material the drill bit is made for is often in the packaging and/or labelling. If you need drill bits for concrete, find the one with the label concrete.

Note however about the size of the drill bits, Hammer Drills and Impact Drivers both have different types of chucks. Hammer Drills have 3-jaw/SDS chuck, while Impact Drivers mostly have a 1/4-inch hex socket

Can I use a Hammer Drill as a Regular Drill?

A short answer would be yes- most Hammer Drills have switches to pick which type of Drilling you will use, often these are labeled as ‘Hammer’ or ‘Drill’

Can you drill into concrete without a Hammer Drill?

Yes – you can use an Impact Driver for this. However, you would need specialty drill bits and some patience because the power of an Impact Driver is significantly lower than a Hammer Drill. Impact Driver’s are not really suited and made for drilling into concrete, more so thicker types of concrete.

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver
Final Thoughts

To conclude this topic about Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver, a Hammer Drill uses rotational force, but creates a more powerful hammering or pounding force to drive the screw straight down, as if you were driving a hammer into the back of the drill. 

Similarly, an Impact Driver also uses rotational force, but it’s coupled with bursts of quick force in the direction of the rotation, which helps to drive the screw.

Most Hammer Drills also accept the same drill bits but require a special carbide-tipped bit specially designed for masonry work. Impact drivers do not have an adjustable chuck and can only be used with ¼” hex-shank drill and driver bits. Bits should be impact-rated to stand up to the force of the impact driver.

Regarding for which use,

Hammer Drill: Get this if you want to drill bricks, concrete, and other masonry work. We recommend the DeWALT DWD520 Hammer Drill as being the most sought after Hammer Drill in the market.

Impact Driver: This is the ideal power tool for driving screws or removing corroded screws, nuts and bolts. In addition to that, it can also be used as a regular drill, but you will need hex shank drill bits. We recommend the DeWALT DCF887B 20V MAX Impact Driver for this.

We hope you found the needed information regarding this Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver article for you to think about.

This ends our Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver Discussion.

Lastly, we urge you to always remember that you don’t need a great set of Power Drills. You need the right one. The right power drill will see you through the best projects. Nothing is impossible with dedication, practice, and patience, and better yet – choosing the right power drill.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

Love our Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver guide? Leave a comment or drop us an email at dwellerpower@gmail.com, and we will get back to you as fast as possible!

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