When Not to Use an Impact Driver: Your Helpful Guide


When Not to Use an Impact Driver, An impact driver is a handy tool every toolbox should have. It’s a winner when it comes to driving fasteners through hard surfaces. Yet, while an impact screwdriver is helpful, it might not be the best tool in certain situations, such as drilling holes. This article will highlight some of these instances, so you don’t end up misusing the tool.

What Is an Impact Driver?

Cordless impact driver in a workshop.

Cordless impact driver in a workshop.

An impact driver is a tool that drives bolts and screws into various materials. In other words, the handheld tool works like a traditional cordless drill. Only it works best driving large fasteners, unlike the routine.

Benefits of an Impact Driver

An impact driver fastens two different materials.

An impact driver fastens two different materials.

Higher torque: The rotational force of an impact screwdriver is five times more powerful than a regular drill’s.

Easy to use: The tool is not only smaller and lighter but also has a shorter head for a terrific grip.

Uses vital bits: An impact screwdriver works with hex-shank bits, which are pretty strong and won’t snap easily.

Motor-powered: Most impact screwdrivers run on batteries, and you need little effort to operate them.

When Not to Use an Impact Driver

An impact driver in use outdoors.

An impact driver in use outdoors.

You don’t want to use impact drivers in certain situations, including the following.

  • Situation 1. Drilling Holes

An impact driver cannot drill a hole effectively. The high torque the tool produces could end up over-drilling the spot. The spot might not be as precise, too, as impact screwdrivers have limited control.

  • Situation 2: Working with Non-Hex Shank Bits

These power drivers work with specially designed hex-shank bits, which can withstand the additional torque associated with impact drivers. So, save your regular driver bits (non-hex shank bits) for when you’re using a hand drill.

  • Situation 3: Working with Short Screws

An impact screwdriver works best with large fasteners, including lag bolts. Driving short screws with the tool could snap the screw heads. You’re likely to overtighten these, too, which can crack the fastened materials.

  • Situation 4: Fastening Soft Materials

Due to its high rotational torque, a power drill is unsuitable for driving fasteners through delicate materials, including softwood. Otherwise, it could easily damage these materials.

  • Situation 5: Precision Work

Precision jobs that a hand drill can handle well. The tool isn’t ideal for precision work. It’s just that an impact screwdriver is a tad difficult to control due to its back-and-forth banging action.

How to Choose the Best Impact Drivers

Here are some factors to consider when choosing impact drivers.

An impact driver helps drive a screw.

An impact driver helps drive a screw.

Voltage: The more voltage an impact drivers has, the higher the torque it will produce.

Motor type: Drivers with brushless motors last longer, are more efficient, and generate less heat than their counterparts with brushed motors.

Speed settings: Go for a driver with variable torque settings, so you have an extensive RPM range to explore.

Advanced controls: You might want to grab a driver with a setting that locks the trigger for safety purposes.


I hope this article was helpful, and you’re not going to misuse your impact screwdriver(s) next time. We provide you with the most comprehensive information – you only need to contact us.

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