What is the difference between an impact wrench and a screwdriver?

Table of Contents

What are wrenches?


How to choose?

When choosing a model of an electric screwdriver, you should consider the specifics and regularity of work. If you plan to use the tool often and intensively, it is worth giving preference to brushless professional models with a battery. If you need the device for infrequent work around the house (screw the ledge, assemble furniture or hang a shelf), you can choose a model with low power and powered from the network. What to look for when buying:

  • weight and compactness of the model;
  • The maximum torque;
  • Automatic or manual pulse mode activation;
  • The ergonomics of the handle, the rubberized elements on the contact parts of the body;
  • ability to switch speeds;
  • type of battery, its power.

If you already have special devices for working with fasteners, such as a regular electric screwdriver, impact drill and impact wrench, models with pulse mode are not necessary. They are most often used in construction, car repair shops, where you need to work with stuck and rusted fasteners.

Important! The battery packs for a conventional electric screwdriver are also the same as those for the pulse models. If you already own a conventional electric screwdriver you can purchase the tool without the battery, thus saving on the purchase budget.

Screwdriver is a tool that, despite its compactness, impresses by its productivity and speed of work. Screwdrivers come in handy wherever there is a need to tighten screws and blind tapping screws of large diameters.

The screwdriver working principle is a tangential impact that helps the tool drive the screw into a surface, or firmly join two surfaces together. The screwdriver differs from the impact drill (or torch) in that it has an angular pulse. To create such a pulse, a mains or battery-powered motor can be used. Screwdriver is used in construction, mechanical engineering, instrumentation. At home, a compact and maneuverable cordless screwdriver is relevant, because a large amount of work in the house is not required. Below we get acquainted with this special tool and the 5 best screwdriver models. Tips for choosing a screwdriver.

How screwdrivers differ from electric screwdrivers?

The main function of both a screwdriver and an electric screwdriver is screwing / unscrewing screws, bolts and screws. Most models transfer torque from the motor to the gearbox, and thus to the spindle with the accessories (cutting part) fastened to it.

Differences between a screwdriver and an electric screwdriver:

  • The screwdriver gives an angular impulse to the screw, and the screwdriver gives a direct impact;
  • screwdrivers tend to have a more powerful pulse;
  • the screwdriver handles thick and long bolts / cap screws and self-tapping screws;
  • The screwdriver spindle is capable of holding bits, but is not designed to handle drills;
  • the screwdriver can handle more load than an electric screwdriver.

The main advantages of a screwdriver are:

  • Efficiency when screwing long screws;
  • quality screwing screws with a hexagonal or square head and an external thread;
  • Fast speed of screws into wood (compared to a screwdriver);
  • energy saving (for mains-powered models).

However, you should know that a screwdriver, although less powerful, is cheaper and more versatile than a screwdriver.

Their general disadvantages of the screwdriver, it is worth mentioning:

  • noise,
  • the absence of a clutch to adjust the clamping torque (sometimes this powerful tool overtightens and even breaks small screws);
  • drills with a cylindrical shank are not accepted by this tool because of its design;
  • a good screwdriver is not cheap.
difference, impact, wrench, screwdriver

You should choose a screwdriver depending on the task you have in mind. The screwdriver is more appropriate where you need a more solid fastener.

How to choose a screwdriver?

Let’s highlight the main technical characteristics that should be taken into account when choosing a screwdriver.

  • Tightening torque: in the case of this tool, it is not the torque of the gearbox, but a more powerful force resulting from the tool applying a series of pulses (impacts) on the screw. Tightening torque is usually less than 10 seconds and is expressed in N-m.
  • When choosing a screwdriver, note that the motor may be brush- or brushless:
  • Brush tool (cheap, tested, works on direct current, requires replacement of brushes, sometimes sparks);
  • Brushless (more expensive, has built-in permanent magnets, good heat dissipation, has less weight and better ventilation).

if you don’t want to save money, choose a compact and modern screwdriver with a brushless motor.

  • Voltage: the power of the screwdriver depends on this value:

DRILL VS. DRIVER (What’s The Difference?!! Cordless Drill Vs. Impact DriverCOMPARISON)

  • 10.8 V. small and light household tool for infrequent use, with a tightening torque of up to 100 N-m;
  • 14.4-18 V is a medium, more powerful tool, with a torque of 150-160 N-m;
  • 36 V. professional screwdriver for construction assembly.
  • Screw/bolt diameter: note that a larger screw will require more force to tighten. When choosing a screwdriver, read in the manual what range of bolts it covers. For example, “M6-M16”. Thus, for the cordless model, the size of the fastener can be a narrower range: M16-M20.
  • The battery is an important component of the screwdriver, as it provides the duration of operation:
  • Nickel-metal hydride (nondurable, environmentally friendly);
  • Nickel-cadmium (durable, non-environmental);
  • lithium-ion (not prone to self-discharge, unlike the previous two).
  • Functionality:
  • several screwing modes (soft. for self-tapping screws, medium. for bolts and medium-sized screws, maximum. for tightening long and thicker screws);
  • Rocker switch with reverse (choice of screwing in or unscrewing by reversing the direction of rotation);
  • illuminated working area (for working in dimly lit places);
  • charge indicator (to monitor the time left to work on one battery).

Fixing the air ratchet

The design of the air screwdriver is as simple as possible and it is not difficult to disassemble it. Remove the back cover by unscrewing some screws and take it away together with the speed regulator. After that you will have access to all the contents of the wrench. It is best to take a picture of how and what is located there, so that during reassembly you do not get confused and do not cause even more damage.

After you have removed all the parts. inspect them carefully: each part of the wrench should be lubricated, not rusted, cracked, oxidized, etc. Inspect all of them for chips and cracks, missing parts. If you see a clearly defective part of the air wrench, set it aside for replacement with a new one. If you can’t find the wrench diagram, take it with you to the store and show you what you need to buy.

If you find everything intact, the problem is most likely contamination of the impact wrench. Clean each part, remove rust, and lubricate well before removing the old “grease”.

Also, the breakdown may be due to wear and tear on the parts: for this you need to clean them very well and inspect each one carefully for abrasion. Especially carefully inspect the bearings. they are often the problem, also do not miss the rotor and its blades. all these parts of an air screwdriver are most likely to fail.

If you haven’t lubricated your tool for a very long time, it is possible that the rotor blades are now poorly adhering to the cylinder and as a result the rotational force is decreasing and so is the wrench power. If this is the problem, the right thing to do is to replace the entire cylinder block. There is a variant to grind the cylinder, but it is quite tricky, requires a machine and certain skills and abilities.

Almost any pneumatic screwdriver failure can be solved by trivial replacement of the defective part with a new one. That’s why it’s not as hard to repair as it looks, and you can buy a spare part at almost any construction store or repair shop. Before you install a new air ratchet, don’t forget to clean off the factory grease, lubricate it again, and then reattach it.

difference, impact, wrench, screwdriver

The basic principle: a tangential blow

This is a special kind of impact, not at all the kind that is operated by peorators or drills. Imagine that a spanner is thrown on the nut and a hammer is beaten on it, tightening the fastener more and more. It is the same in our case: first the tool rotates the screw or nut quickly, and when you need a more or less tangible force, it switches to a more frequent blow.How it works? The impact is provided by the so-called “hammer”, which under the action of a spring goes back and forth. When moving forward, the “hammer” catches on the “anvil” (part of the spindle) for a moment and thereby transmits an angular momentum.

Impact (from the word impact wrench) is a pulse screwdriver or a nutrunner. In professional circles it is customary to call impact wrenches with a HEX ¼ head (hex) as screwdrivers, and with a ½ square head (for nut heads) as nut wrenches. Basically, any pneumatic or cordless impact wrench is an impact wrench.

this is important: screwdrivers are only available as a classic pistol, while the electric screwdriver has several different body shapes. An important difference between an electric screwdriver and an electric screwdriver is the small size and weight. This makes it easy to carry, and if necessary, the right thing just put it in your jacket

How to turn an electric screwdriver into a wrench

the electric screwdriver can be turned into a screwdriver. Such “re-equipment” will be useful to car owners who want to save time on the seasonal change of wheels and in many other cases. Having an electric screwdriver in your home tool kit, you can perform a number of tasks, including. to tighten and unscrew any nuts. No need for special adapter for sockets with different nut diameters.

To turn an electric screwdriver into a wrench, you just have to clamp the end of the adapter with a chuck and install a suitable nozzle. The device is ready to work. Turns into a screwdriver in no time at all. No need to purchase additional tools. A standard assortment of 9 to 12 bits of varying diameters enables you to work with the most common nut sizes.

The only inconvenience. the power of screwdrivers is relatively low. Therefore, the nut can only be turned, and tighten and loosen fasteners will have to manually. But it will save a lot of time, which is mostly spent on the unscrewing of fasteners, rather than on their loosening/tightening.

Metabo and other screwdriver manufacturers have made it possible to use the tool as a full-fledged electric screwdriver with a drilling function. There is a drilling nozzle for this purpose. It installs quickly on the tool. Therefore, turning an impact wrench into an electric screwdriver is just as real as the reverse process.

The adapter for the impact wrench, which enables the use of bits

Of course, you can tinker with the electronics of your device to increase the rotation speed of the working elements. But it is better not to do it. so as not to break the tool and not to lose the factory warranty. Manufacturers indicate the main parameters of products in the instruction manual in the technical specifications section. This kind of manipulation can be dangerous for your health.

Electric screwdriver and nutrunner. useful tools in production, in the home. Using special tools and adapters expands their functionality.

When choosing a battery charger should be aware that the standard charger will prepare the tool for work for 3. 6 hours, which is quite acceptable for home use. For professional equipment, a pulse charger will help to restore the operation within an hour.

You should pay attention to the battery capacity (0,3. 18 Ah). For example, a 1.3 Ah battery will only last you a couple of hours, but a 3 Ah battery will work for longer hours. The weight of the tool is directly related to the capacity of the battery: the greater the capacity, the heavier the tool.

The higher the power, the greater the size and weight of the motor. The power indicator directly affects the cost of the device. If you plan to use the drill only for domestic work, the power

In some domestic situations it is rather difficult to do without a wrench. Then devices that help to assemble and disassemble threaded devices come to the rescue. One of them is a screwdriver. They have the same task. to help you work with fasteners. but also a lot of differences. We suggest to consider the main differences between the devices, to learn which is more convenient to use, and how you can upgrade an old electric screwdriver on the nutrunner.

The impact wrench is considered a more professional tool than the electric screwdriver. According to the way of application, the mechanism for the nuts is: gasoline, pneumatic, hydraulic and mains-powered. It is designed for screwing or unscrewing bolts or nuts. There is no chuck attached to the nutrunner, unlike the electric screwdriver. in its place is a rod with a wrench head.

The second difference is the tightening torque, where the impact wrench has an advantage. With it you can “manage” any craftsmanship.

Another difference lies in the volume and weight of the mechanisms, for example, to lift some wrenches will not be able to every person. Screwdrivers are also capable of adjusting their operation, while other mechanics do not. The nutrunner does not handle complex tasks faster than an electric screwdriver, which makes a lot of noise in the process. this is the key difference. In such a situation, equipped with a 3-speed gearbox, the electric screwdriver is capable of replacing any nut-tightening device in light tasks.

In terms of performance capabilities, the mechanism for nuts has serious limitations. When carrying out drilling, it is good to use. For example, it is not necessary to use a professional mechanism for soft wood, you can do with a screwdriver.

What is better than a screwdriver or an electric screwdriver??

Given the numerous functions of an electric screwdriver, it performs a wider range of work, which wins over the impact wrench. In many cases, it replaces the nutrunner, does the uncomplicated work of a nutrunner. The electric screwdriver works even more accurately: the tangential blow of a professional screwdriver, although it works quickly, but self-tapping screws can not withstand the stress and can fly out of the building material.

From the outside, the screwdriver looks like an ordinary drill, but its holder is equipped with an extension nozzle.

The impact wrench becomes indispensable for large construction jobs, cars, ships, airplanes, and other applications. A device for screwing in self-tapping screws and screws is more often used at home to repair furniture. Since such a mechanism is free of mains power, the use of a nutrunner is many times over.

Nowadays there are many tools for screwing fasteners, and one of the most popular representatives of this class is an electric screwdriver. Almost any housework will go easier if you have this great helper in your arsenal. But despite all its versatility, the electric screwdriver has a very similar competitor. The nutrunner has a narrower focus, but is much better suited for certain jobs. Let’s understand the difference between these tools and how you can make a nutrunner from an electric screwdriver with your own hands.

Wrench, screwdriver, electric screwdriver, drill/driver which is better?

Looking at screwdriver models, you are bound to bump into wrenches, screwdrivers and drill-drivers. What is the difference between them and what is better to choose. these are the two questions that arise in many people. The main difference is in the purpose of the tool:

As is clear from the description, for construction or domestic work is a choice between an electric screwdriver and a drill-electric screwdriver. The second modification is a universal tool, which has two modes of operation. drilling and screwing screws. Good for occasional use. That is, if you don’t expect large-scale work, and you need (or want) a tool for your household, this is an excellent choice. But, if you start a construction site, major repairs, it is better to take a drill and an electric screwdriver separately. As practice has shown, they handle their duties better in the long term than combined units.

If you need a drill-electric screwdriver, in addition to the parameters important for an electric screwdriver, you should pay attention to the parameters for the drill:

  • For drilling what materials it can be used. There are universal ones that can work with wood, concrete and metal. High power and high price. Available only for wood and concrete.
  • Maximum drilling diameter for each material. Usually in softer materials (wood) the diameter of the hole is larger, in concrete and metal it is smaller. But there are exceptions.

For domestic use, more often recommend a drill electric screwdriver without drilling for metal. This function is available in powerful units, which have a high cost. You don’t drill into metal very often, so this power is often overkill. And for drilling metal, it is better to have a drill.

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