What is the Difference Between an Impact Wrench and an Impact Driver?

While both impact wrenches and drivers can be fairly useful tools, they are actually different from each other, and may help serve different purposes. However, there are also some similarities between them, which may actually be confusing, especially for beginners, to find out which tool they should be going for.

This is especially true given that they do seem to be working on pretty much the same principle. Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 1/4 HexHowever, despite that, there do seem to be many differences too, and we will be taking a look at them in this article.

Torque Ratings

One of the biggest differences between an impact driver and an impact wrench seems to be that the latter comes with much greater torque than the former. This is especially true when it comes to larger tools such as the 18V ones.

To be precise, the average torque range for 18V impact drivers seems to be 1300-1400 in-lbs, while that for 18V impact wrenches may well be 3800-5800 in-lbs. However, something important to note here would be that the difference is usually way less for smaller tools. For instance, when it comes to 12V tools, the torque difference between an impact driver and an impact wrench may be just around 150 in-lbs.

The Weight Difference

Perhaps not one of the most important differences for many, it may surely matter for the beginners out there. The best impact drivers are usually more compact and lightweight than impact wrenches, which tend to be bigger and heavier. It obviously makes the former more portable than the latter, though it may not really matter if you’re using them for different purposes.


When it comes to the uses, the impact driver is usually used for doing screws stuff as well as lag bolts while working on wood construction, though only to a certain extent. It also tends to come with a hex quick connect socket, usually the size of ¼”. It’s usually used as a one-handed tool. It’s considered to be a perfect replacement for cordless drills, as it’s considerably more convenient to use and usually does a better job.

On the other hand, an impact wrench may come in different sizes such as 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and more. They are usually used for mechanical tasks, as well as for some more complex tasks such as timber bolting.

Leave a Reply