Can a hammer drill be used as an impact wrench?

A hammer drill and an impact wrench are both important power tools for a handyman, professional, and even a DIY enthusiast. Independently, they perform different and specific tasks. But can a hammer drill be used as an impact wrench? It depends on the hammer drill itself. A traditional hammer drill is not ideal for driving screws. However, modern cordless hammer drills come with different modes including a driver mode that you can choose from and use to drive screws.


Can a hammer drill be used as an impact wrench?

How to use a hammer drill as an impact wrench

Put on your protective gear and protective glasses before starting. Ensure you have the right drill screws and that the power machine is charged. Also, locate where the mode and power switches are and turn off the power switch if it’s on. If it’s corded, plug it into a socket when the socket is switched off. Click the driver mode and then turn it on at the socket, then turn the power tool away from you and switch it on. You can use your hammer drill to tighten and loosen bolts and nuts. When you’re done, make sure it switch it off.


Hammer drill vs impact wrench

You may be wondering what these two power tools mean, how do they differ? Impact wrenches are not your average tool at home. They have a smaller and sturdy look but are very powerful and are only used to tighten or loosen bolts and nuts. They usually pack a lot of power with their force being measured in foot/pounds. This power tool can handle larger screws faster and easily with more efficiency than a regular cordless drill/driver. They’re commonly used by mechanics during car racing due to their speed and power as well as in assembly lines by construction workers.

A hammer drill is designed for drilling holes into tougher materials like bricks, rocks, masonry, and concrete. A hammer drill comes with 3 modes – hammer, drill, and drive that you can select from and use as a regular drill/driver when the hammer mode is turned off. The drill uses rotational force to generate a more powerful force like a hammer hitting the back of the drill to dig deep. All these functionalities make this power drill not only powerful but also heavy.


Types of impact wrenches

Impact wrenches are available in four forms – cordless, corded, air-powered (pneumatic), and hydraulic impact wrenches. A corded impact wrench is simply a power tool that has to be directly plugged into a power outlet for it to work while a cordless impact wrench uses a rechargeable battery instead just like you would charge your phone.

Pneumatic impact wrenches use a compressed air supply that discourages their use at home and you can remove lug nuts very fast using Pneumatic impact wrenches. This instead makes them great for car races where speed is key both on and off the tracks. Hydraulic impact wrenches use a fluid mechanism that relies on a low-pressure hydraulic power source. They have a more ergonomic design with an aim to make it easier to use and reduce fatigue despite them being heavy and loud. However, they aren’t commonly used as the rest of impact wrench types.


What else can I use instead of a hammer drill

You may want to consider other alternatives for home use or DIY projects. You can use a nut runner (Pneumatic nut runner), an impact wrench, or a pulse tool to deliver the same torque to the fastener. An impulse wrench uses a clutch which might not however be accurate over time with torque application. A nut runner and a pulse tool, on the other hand, use hydraulic pressure to drive the fastener.


Merits and demerits of an impact wrench

Merits Demerits
Produce a higher torque It is expensive
Compact and powerful It’s noisy
It has a minimal kickback It can’t be used to drill holes


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should go for, an electric impact wrench or an air-powered impact wrench?

An air-powered impact wrench is ideal if you frequently use an impact wrench as they are more powerful and last longer. However, they’re expensive and need constant access to compressed air pressure which makes them ideal for frequent use. An electric impact wrench is more preferable and enough to meet your needs at home. It can also be used infrequently.

Do I need a special socket for use with an impact wrench?

Yes. You can use any socket with an impact wrench as they may shatter in the process. There are impact sockets designed to deal with the intense power that an impact wrench holds. They’re coated with black oxide to prevent corrosion and are stronger than regular sockets.


So in final conclusion, can a hammer drill be used as an impact wrench? Impact drivers are great for tightening and loosening bolts and nuts since they’re designed specifically for that. However, an impact driver is expensive and may not be a worthy investment if you don’t frequently use it, especially at home. A hammer drill is an alternative but not an ideal one for tightening and loosening bolts and nuts. You can go for the alternatives which are cheaper, more quiet and affordable.