Impact Drill vs. Hammer Drill for Concrete

You would need drills for several reasons; it could be for some indoor DIY repair, or for some outdoor projects like construction. If you are conversant with these tools, you would know that there are different types of drills, and two of the familiar drills are the impact drill and the hammer drill.

The use of drills could be puncture holes through a material, or to drive screws into them. Now the main difference between these tools are their uses; they have separate performances depending on their function.

For this review, we would discuss the difference between the impact drill and the hammer drill to decide on which of them would be proper for drilling through concrete.


Let’s begin this comparison by discussing both drills and how they work.

Impact drills

For a screwdriver to screw or unscrew fasteners, they have to exert perpendicular pressure and forward motion; that is more of the way the impact drill works. You should know that the impact drill applies only torque, while your movement and balance during your work would determine the forward motion.

Compared to the other types of drills, the impact drills have more rotary impulses. Another difference is that while you use the impact drill, they don’t seize or twist your hand when they intercept a resistance; these qualities make them perfect for screw driving.

Some features of the impact drill include

  • Nonreactionary torque
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 1/4 hex bit adapter to hold attachments like screwdriver bits

Hammer drills

Apart from rotating, the hammer drill, on the other hand, is built with modes, the regular drill mode, where they can be used as a regular drill with no hammer action, and the hammer drill mode. The hammer drill mode has a forward force that hits like it is hammering on the material you place against the drill bit.

Instead of just rotating like a screwdriver, the hammer drill has a forward and backward movement on rotation, which is why they can easily be used to drill through masonries such as cement, bricks, concrete and other similar materials.

Some features of the impact drill include

  • The forward and backward movement to drill into masonry
  • Multiple speed settings
  • Heavier and larger
  • Accepts a wide variety of bit sizes and style.

Speed comparison

If you are comparing the speed and torque of both drills, you should know that the hammer drills are built with two jagged shafts going against each other to create a forward and backward movement while they spin.

When the hammer actions is turned off, the hammer drill has a smooth flow and a higher torque than the impact drill, so they can be used for screw driving activity, but we do not recommend you use a hammer drill to drive screws because even the lowest speed level of the hammer drill can damage your screw. But when the hammer action is turned on, the impact drill has more torque because the mechanism in the hammer drill experiences friction, as well as a longer path of rotation that would reduce the speed of the tool. On the other hand, the impact drills experience an excellent flow to give enough torque that would enable them to drive fasteners.

Weight comparison

The to and fro additional movement of the hammer drill already explains the tool as more complicated compared with the impact drill. Being a complex hammering tool, it has more parts than the impact or the regular drill, so the hammer drills are heavier. Also, most hammer drills are cordless, and in addition to their weight would be the weight of battery they carry, while the impact drills are compact and they have lightweight. You should also know that the hammering action would need to be matched with special drill bits for a smooth drilling operation.

Their Uses

The choice of drill you would get all comes down to what you need to do with them. The impact drill is what you should get if you need to drive or remove screws during construction or a DIY project. Using an ordinary screwdriver to drive long screws into studs or Mansory materials may pose a problem, that is where the impact drill comes in. For example, driving into concrete backer boards, or building a deck where you would have to drive several long screws.

The extra torque provided by the impact drill would make the job easier and faster. The hammer drill, on the other hand, excels when you have to drill into masonry materials like cement, concrete, stones, bricks or motors. So, if you need a tool to drill through wood or metalworks, you should rather get a regular drill.

Final verdict

If you have been following this article, you would know that we mentioned the actions of a hammer drill as a rotation as well as a consistent forward and backward motion, while the impact drill only rotates. Consistently rotating the drill bit around the wood of metal would finally get you through it, but concretes require enough pressure pushed into them; that is why the hammer drill is a better tool for concrete. One other thing is that while you use your tools, you should also attach the right drill bit to them, for drilling concretes you should equip your machine with a masonry bit.

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