Impact Driver Vs. Impact Wrench For Automotive: Pick The Right Tool!

Are you confused about which tool is best for your needs, impact driver or impact wrench? Purchasing tools for your job or home is a hard task but, this article will illustrate the primary difference between the impact driver vs. impact wrench for automotive works.

Most people get stumped while choosing a widget. The appliance is the tool for our daily requirements. If you are doing a mechanical job or need to change your car tires or engage with automobiles, you will be familiar with the Impact wrench and driver. You will search for that tool that is most suited and perfect for your routine needs.

Although the Impact driver and impact wrench have many similarities, they have key differences too. We need to know these differences to make our selection most beneficial and worthwhile. So, let’s jump into it


Impact Driver And Impact Wrench: What Are These?

Is an impact driver the same as an impact wrench? Not completely. There are some differences. An Impact Driver is a powerful widget used in tightening or losing screws that may consume a large amount of force. It makes it effortless for you to drive in the screw. An impact driver uses sped-up conductive force to maximize the torque turnout of the appliance.

Compared to the impact driver, the impact wrench is the most common tool used in construction projects, automotive, lawnmowers, and many things you can think of. 

We are not going into deep studies in explaining impact drivers and wrenches because you are already familiar with them. But there is the need to differentiate their functioning and benefits according to the jobs, whether used in DIY, home, or automobile industries.

Impact Driver Vs Impact Wrench For Automotive

Key Differences between Impact Driver and Wrench

Impact Driver and Impact Wrench are necessary appliances to have. But when you have to choose to buy for your toolkit, there is a need to deeply look at their most beneficiary work, functions, uses, styles, and sizes relevant to your work. This guide will help you compare impact driver vs. impact wrench for automotive.


Impact driver

When you need to open up a lug nut/screw or tighten it, you wish for an instrument that makes it easy for you in less effort and time. Then impact drivers will be your first preference. If we talk about their aim in automotive, rusted and jammed log nuts can be removed from cars/vehicles with less effort while using Impact Drivers. Impact drivers are thick-bodied instruments with shorter heads. The driver also applies to work in drilling holes.

Impact Wrench

Impact wrench is a socket wrench power tool used when no other gadget is working for the same job.  This tool works on the principle of torque. One can use it in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions easily. It stores potential energy on rotation. A motor speeds up it. It suddenly exerts the stored energy to the output shaft, creating a high-torque impact.

We can say that both appliances can sometimes be used for the same purpose,  but they operate differently on distinct principles. The preference depends on what function attracts the mechanic most and feels easier. It might be convenient to work with an impact wrench, as it is not much heavier and easy to carry. Its function is also simpler than that of the impact driver.

The fundamental difference between their functions is that the impact driver can apply force straight, but the impact wrench cannot perform the same function.


Impact driver and impact wrench can differ according to their functions, usage, specifications, and need. The choice of the type depends on the expert or mechanic who knows well which one to choose at which moment. One cannot perform all tasks with only one tool, so he needs some variety that makes the work more specific, easier, and faster. Let’s find out the types of impact drivers and impact wrenches.

Impact Driver

There are two major types of impact drivers. Both are unique in their operation and are equally valuable. Decide which one you need at the moment.

1. Cordless Impact Drivers

This is the one we call a cordless impact driver. Cordless means having no wires attached to the electrical supply to the driver’s motor. Instead, it uses batteries. Batteries can be removable or fixed. If your impact driver is operational on a built-in battery, they have to recharge it depending on its storage power. The comfort with this kind of driver is that it provides full freedom to the repairman.

He can carry it long distances without worrying about the continuous electricity supply. A mechanic is familiar with the fact that long-spread wires at the workplace make it laborious and slow. If you are working in an automotive workshop or running it, you must go for cordless impact drivers. It will make the work easier and faster for you and your workers. 

2. Corded Impact Driver

This impact driver needs a continuous electricity supply through an attached wire. It may make your work hectic, but you do not need to repeatedly recharge or replace the battery. It works with more power and efficiency than a cordless impact driver. Unless you have a power cut, your work does not stop while working with a corded impact driver. Make sure of the current supply and keep going with your job.

In comparison, we can conclude that both types are important according to their needs and the choice of workplace. If you are working in an area out of electrical supply, you need a cordless impact driver. But the hectic thing with its usage is that you have to repeatedly recharge or replace the battery. That can slow down your work.

If you have a proper reach to the electric supply, your corded driver will be the best choice unless you have a power cut. You can carry out your work without stopping or taking short breaks, like working with a cordless one. But if your current supply is cut off during work hours, you can have a problem with this type of impact driver.

The wise decision is to choose one that you are easy with according to the place you work at.

Impact Wrench

Impact wrenches are three types according to their portability and operational source. Get knowledge about their comforts and make your choice keenly.

1. Corded Impact Wrench

The corded impact wrench has a wire which fetches the electric supply. Like a corded impact driver, it has similar for and against.

2. Cordless Impact Driver

It contains a battery, permanent or removable like a cordless driver. You can carry it in your vehicle and use it whenever you have to. It cannot be used for a long time.

3. Pneumatic Impact Wrench

This type of impact wrench works with the supply of compressed air. It differs from a corded and cordless one. The comfort with this wrench is that it does not get heated, no matter how long you keep using it. Air circulation keeps its temperature in a workable range. Automotive experts consider pneumatic impact wrench more durable and reliable than the other two types. It is also less expensive. 


The Impact Driver and Impact wrench are powerful tools, so they are available in different sizes according to our feasibility and job nature.

Impact Driver

The most applicable sizes are ¼ and ½, and ⅜ in Impact Driverssize is used in opening up the nuts, bolts, and screws of small size. So they can be effective and beneficial for home use, whether ¼ size is used in automotive projects. ¼ impact driver is a low torque tool to be used for low heavy duty.  impact driver is usable for wooden work.

Impact Wrench 

The impact wrench is also available in various sizes, like impact drivers. ½ wrenches are beneficial with the working of large nuts and bolts. This size is preferred in cars, vehicles, and automobile industries. ½ can also deal with large nuts and screws.


If we talk about the price range, the Impact driver and impact wrenches both are affordable and reachable according to your jobs.

Impact Driver

Impact Drivers are less costly than wrenches. The price of the impact driver depends on the size you need. But it also varies from brand to brand. Different brands are demanding high prices because it’s mostly home appliances.

best impact driver for automotive

Impact Wrench

Impact wrench price depends on the size and brands available. The ¼ wrench is cheaper than the ½. Wrenches are the rare tool found in-home appliances. It is a professional tool provided to you at high prices.

best impact wrench for automotive

Pros And Cons

Impact Driver

1. Most powerful, that when we need to work with high torque, it makes it possible in less time1. Do not have torque control. Be more careful while using impact drivers.
2. This powerful tool is easy to grip for a long time. If you squeeze a tight bolt or nut, it will not be possible other than impact drivers.2. For every specific job, we need a different socket head. Which can be un convenient for you.
3. You don’t need to kick back the Impact Drivers against unexpected resistance compared to other appliances. 3. We need to buy more batteries as they have a chance of damage or less charged batteries
4. Impact Drivers are available in different sizes according to work specifications, so we have different buying choices.
5. Impact Drivers are much more convenient for your wrist. So it is comfortable to use.
6. Drivers are energy-efficient appliances; they do not heat up like other electric tools.
7. Impact drivers use electric power sources, so their batteries can also be charged.

Impact Wrench

1. Impact wrenches allow working rapidly.1. More expensive than the rest of the widget
2. Because of its presence in even in small units, it’s comfortable to use2. Suitable for just professionals
3. For automotive, it’s best to use 3. Sometimes overheated because of moving parts
4. Easy to hold4. Noisy instrument
5. It is easy to clean and maintain the wrenches related to other widgets.5. Impact wrenches are of heavy-duty
6. An impact wrench is more powerful when working with large sockets and nuts 
7. Impact wrenches are faster than many other appliances.
8. It can tighten all nuts, whether large, small, rusted, or jammed.

How Can You Choose An Impact Driver Or Impact Wrench?

There are many considered and preferred features while choosing or buying impact wrench or impact drivers. Let’s have a quick look at those features:

  • Brand
  • Weight
  • Power Source
  • Speed
  • Nature of Use, Whether it is home use or automotive
  • Safety Feature
  • Security Features
  • Prices

Which Option Is Right For You?

Selection of anything is a bit of a confusing task. But it’s more difficult to choose impact driver vs. impact wrench for automotive. But as we discuss all the features, for and gains, it can be more convenient for you to select a productive tool.

Selection can depend on your work. Suppose you perform mechanical jobs, construction projects, and high maintenance of machinery. In that case, you should go with Impact Driver.

But if you are DIY enthusiasts or are fond of collecting power tools around you, making impact wrenches is the best use. So, selection can be easy to understand the job nature before buying an appliance.


1. What size impact wrench for lug nuts?

Impact wrenches are available in different sizes. ⅜ is the middle size of wrenches. That is why it provides enough power to deal with even large and rusted lug nuts. So we come to the final statement is that  ½ and ⅜ inches impact wrench is used in large lug nuts. Without applying additional force.

2. What size impact wrench for automotive work?

½ is of small size. You have to deal with your vehicles, cars, and automotive daily. We need that tool that is easy to carry and easy to use. So the ½ inches Impact wrench is best for cars and automotive works.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article will help you understand the difference between impact drivers and wrenches. Both tools are effective to use in your daily routine or professional work. Now you can choose the perfect appliance for you wisely after knowing about impact driver vs. impact wrench for automotive. But before selecting or buying, make sure which tool is affordable, suitable, and more secure for you.

What Are Impact Wrenches Used For?
best budget impact wrench

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