Impact Drivers vs Cordless Drill: Which Is Best for the DIY Dads?

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Impact Drivers vs Cordless Drill: Which Is Best for the DIY Dads?

Are you a dad who loves DIY projects? With Father's Day around the corner, you may wonder which tool is best for your home project or repair needs: an impact driver set or a cordless hand drill. While both are essential power tools, they each have unique strengths and purposes. Let's take a closer look and figure out what’s the difference between a cordless drill and an impact driver.

Mastering Tough Jobs with Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are powerful handheld tools used for driving screws and fastening nuts into wood, metal, and other materials. They use rotational force and high torque to create a strong, secure hold. Compared to traditional drills, impact drivers offer more power and precision, making them ideal for heavy-duty jobs and DIY projects.

how to use an impact driver

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How To Use An Impact Driver

Using an impact driver set is easier than you might think. Start by selecting the appropriate bit for your task. It should attach to the driver and fit the screw or fastener you're using. After inserting the attachment into the tool's chuck, align the driver's tip with the screw or fastener, and pull the trigger. 

The driver's impact mechanism will deliver rapid blows to the screw or fastener.  An impact driver can quickly drive long screws into tough materials such as hardwood, metal, or masonry. This makes the driving process smoother, faster, and easier so you won’t have to strain your wrist or arm.


  • Power - Impact drivers pack a powerful punch, making driving screws and bolts much easier and faster than a regular drill.
  • Versatility - Many impact drivers come with multiple speed and torque settings. This allows you to adjust the tool to different materials and tasks.
  • Convenience - The compact size of impact drivers makes them easy to handle and maneuver, especially in tight spaces.
  • Battery life - Many impact drivers come with long-lasting batteries, making them great for jobs that require extended use.


  • Noise - Impact drivers can be loud, so wearing ear protection is essential when using them.
  • Limited functionality - While great for driving screws and bolts, impact drivers have limited function.
  • Price - Impact drivers can be more expensive than traditional drills, especially high-end models.  

The Versatility of Cordless Drills

A cordless hand drill is a battery-powered tool that makes holes and drives screws, sets nuts, and tightens small bolts. It simply uses rechargeable batteries to rotate a chuck with no additional force, which holds and spins drill bits or screwdriver attachments. 

how to use a cordless drill

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How To Use A Cordless Drill

Using a cordless drill is relatively straightforward. Select the appropriate bit for your task and insert it into the chuck. Once it's secure, adjust the drill's torque setting to match your working material. Lower torque settings are ideal for materials that require more delicacy, such as drywall. Thicker materials, like hardwood and metal, require higher torque settings.

To use the cordless hand drill, simply press the trigger to start it spinning. You can then drill holes, drive screws, or easily remove fasteners. When you're finished, release the trigger and the drill will stop spinning. 


  • Portability - Cordless hand drills are lightweight and easy to carry. This makes them ideal for work in tight spaces or areas without an electrical outlet.
  • Ease of Use - Without a cord to worry about, cordless hand drills are easy to control and use in small spaces.
  • Flexible - It can handle various tasks, from drilling holes to driving screws and bolts.
  • Battery life - Durable batteries can power the tool for prolonged periods, enabling you to work uninterrupted.


  • Weight - Cordless hand drills can be heavier than their corded counterparts due to the battery, making them tiring for extended periods.
  • Maintenance - Cordless drills require more maintenance than corded models. Tasks such as checking and replacing the battery must be completed periodically. 
  • Malfunction - Cordless drills are more likely to break or malfunction than corded drills. This is because they have more complex batteries and electronics. Dropping a cordless drill or exposing it to harsh conditions on job sites increases the chances of it malfunctioning.

The Power Tool Duel: Impact Driver vs. Cordless Drill

what is the difference between cordless drill and impact driver

While impact driver and cordless drill may look almost the same, they differ in more ways than one. When classifying or choosing between the two tools, it's important to consider the specific tasks you'll be performing. 

An impact drill or driver produces a quick rotary force for heavy-duty jobs, such as screwing medium to large screws into dense materials like hardwood or metal. Most homeowners and professionals invest in an impact driver when dealing with lots of screws. You can use it in installing plywood floors, building wooden structures, and more.

However, if you want a general-purpose tool to drill holes, drive screws, and carry out other DIY tasks, a cordless drill may be a better option. As a battery-operated tool equipped with a clutch, it can drill or drive into softer materials like wood. The clutch also works to prevent you from driving the screw right through the material.

Both power tools also differ in terms of drill chucks and driving bits. An impact driver’s chuck is designed only for ¼-inch hex shank bits, while cordless drills have hand-tightening ⅜-inch for general use or ½-inch chucks for heavy-duty use. If you are working on fragile projects, you can still use the driving bits of an impact driver in a cordless drill but expect less power.

Ultimately, both tools have their strengths and weaknesses, and the right one for you will depend on your needs and preferences.

Which Tool is Dad's Best Bet?

DIY enthusiasts and homeowners alike can benefit from impact drivers and cordless drills. These tools can help with quick repairs and home improvement projects around the house. If you ask which is the best tool to use, it depends on your needs and the tasks you plan on performing. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both tools and select the one which meets your requirements the best.

The best dads deserve the best power tools. Whether he needs an impact driver or cordless drill, they can do it all with the right tools for the job.

This June 1 to 15, get up to 30% off on selected Makita power tools, 40% off on Bosch Power Tools, and 40% off on Black+Decker power tools. Drop by the nearest ACE Hardware store and shop for the drill you need!