What Is an Impact Driver Vs Combi Drill- Which One You Need

The market is being flooded with sundry drivers makes it a bit confusing while buying one. With so many names that have added to the list, it becomes incumbent to know the key features of every alternative to make the best buy.

Which one would suit your requirement the most- Impact, Combi, Hammer or the conventional one?

If you are new to the field, you would have to choose the right driver for you, and things can seem a bit too confusing. This article talks about impact drivers, and helps you decide the one you need.

Know your Drivers

So, when should you use it? Here is a look at all that you need to know about impact drivers.​

​What is an Impact Driver?

An Impact Driver is an essential portable tool used for drilling holes and driving screws. See the Top 10 Cordless Impact Drivers.

The tool can be used to loosen the screws that are corrosively bolted or to tighten them with torque. However, the purpose behind buying is always for driving screws in.

​Earlier Impact drivers were considered to be specialized tools bought by very few but now their machine-gun-chatter is audible at almost every construction bay.

The reason they are brought is because they generate more torque and concussive blows to drive the screw through the densest of surfaces with precision.

If the project is huge requiring tons of screws to be tightened than Impact driver would serve the site well.

The Impact drivers come both as corded and cordless.

Pros and Cons of Impact Driver​

The Pros

  • Applies greater torque
  • They can also be used to bore big holes
  • Single handed drilling
  • Easy on the wrist
  • Can be used in constrained space
  • Drives long screws

The Cons

  • Makes a lot of noise
  • Is costlier than conventional drill.
  • Uses only hex drill bits
  • Unsuitable for drilling into concrete or masonry.

How Does an Impact Driver work?

The mechanism of an Impact driver is fairly simple. As you switch it on to drive a bolt, the drill begins to rotate. With every ½ turn the internal hammer compresses a spring.

As the spring releases, the energy drives down the hammer, twisting it simultaneously. The active driver produces a continuous shrieking sound as long as the drilling lasts.

How to Use an Impact Driver?

​Impact drivers are versatile to use. They show good results while drilling screws in plywood, while building decks, while installing tile backer board or while installing long screws on any hard surface.

​Impact driver has a collet which accepts ¼ inch hex shank driver bits exclusively. To insert or to release a bit the collet is pulled forward. The point at which the drilling is to be done is marked and the bit is first drilled half way. Then the screw is driven in the surface.

The impact driver uses concussive force to drive the screw into the wood. It has more torque than the conventional drills.

Impact drivers can be used as normal drills when needed.​

What is a Combi Drill?

combi drill vs impact driver

Combi /Combination drill- is a versatile drill that can be used to perform myriad of functions related to drilling at the work sites.

They are referred to as Impact drill or hammer drill in day to day jargon, but feature and functions wise, Combi drills are different.

First of all Combi Drills are expensive than the three.

​Secondly, they can drive screws in concrete and masonry.

Combi drills have hammer settings such that they generate higher impact and rotational force which drives the screws into concrete or masonry. For this, special mason drill bits with a carbide or diamond tip is used in the collet.

As drilling in concrete or masonry requires slow speed and drilling in woods and metals requires high speed- the Combi drill’s two speed functions ensures the speed is right in each case.

The Pros

  • Is used for drilling masonry and concrete along with woods and metals
  • The tool is bigger in size as compared to the conventional drill.
  • Multiple use: drill, hammer, drive

The Cons

  • Expensive than drill and Impact driver
  • The torque speed is less than Impact driver.

Combi Drill Vs Impact Driver

Choosing the right tool is paramount for a high quality performance. It helps to be conversant with the features and functions of respective tools in order to make the best choice. However, the decision depends mostly on the nature of work at hand. Knowing the differences helps in decision making.


So, which one should you choose? A lot depends on what you need. Here is a look at the different factors that determine whether you need an impact driver.​

  • Combi drill can be used to drive screws in concrete or masonry whereas Impact tools can be used only on woods and metals.
  • Impact drills can be operated single handedly because of its compact size. Combi drills require additional support as they are comparatively bigger in size.
  • An impact driver provides almost three times more force than Combi drill. Impact driver delivers more than 150Nm of torque while an 18V Combi drill provides about 50-60Nm of torque.
  • Combi drills are fitted with special masonry drill chuck that is either carbide or diamond tipped whereas Impact drills are fitted with hex chuck with Philips or Pozidrive bits.

Impact drivers can help make your work quicker and easier. Additionally, it can help you improve your work productivity significantly. Now that you know all about it, have you decided about buying one yet?

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Last Updated on July 25, 2021

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