How to choose the right impact driver or impact wrench

If you’ve ever been working on a project where it feels like your regular power drill isn’t getting the job done, the chances are good that what you need is an impact driver. It might look pretty much the same as a standard power drill, but performance-wise it feels like the impact driver has something extra, almost as if you had given your regular power drill a shot of adrenaline. The same is true for an impact wrench for applications where you need a socket wrench tool with even more power. Whether driving or loosening screws, bolts, or nuts, impact drivers and wrenches deliver more torque when you need it to get the job done quickly and efficiently. A basic consideration is whether you want the flexibility and portability that comes with cordless impact drivers and wrenches or are willing to deal with the limitation that comes with the corded version of these power tools.

How to choose the right impact driver or impact wrench

If you’ve ever been working on a project where it feels like your regular power drill isn’t getting the job done, the chances are good that what you need is an impact driver. It might look pretty much the same as a standard power drill, but performance-wise it feels like the impact driver has something extra, almost as if you had given your regular power drill a shot of adrenaline. The same is true for an impact wrench for applications where you need a socket wrench tool with even more power. Whether driving or loosening screws, bolts, or nuts, impact drivers and wrenches deliver more torque when you need it to get the job done quickly and efficiently. A basic consideration is whether you want the flexibility and portability that comes with cordless impact drivers and wrenches or are willing to deal with the limitation that comes with the corded version of these power tools.

How do they work?

What makes an impact driver more powerful than a standard power drill can be summed up in one word – torque. A spring-driven mechanism delivers rotational striking blows to the fastener when extra torque is needed beyond what the motor can provide by itself. With an impact wrench, the motor accelerates a rotating mass to build up energy, then connects it suddenly to the anvil (output shaft) to deliver a super high-torque impact through its hammer mechanism, and this happens 1000’s times per second. After delivering the impact, the hammer is released to spin freely, so it doesn’t stay locked. The result is the delivery of a high torque force to the socket with the tool user feeling very little of it. This also results in a dramatic reduction of the cam out of screw heads

Torque is the key to fasteners.

The advantage of impact drivers and wrenches is the greater torque they offer to drive or loosen fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, and so on). The greater the torque, the quicker each fastener is dealt with, and the larger the fastener that can be handled.

Worx Advantage

Max torque delivered by Worx impact drivers and wrenches
The Worx 20 V PowerShare cordless impact driver delivers max torque of 169 Nm. The professional-grade Nitro 20 V PowerShare 3-Speed cordless impact driver with brushless motor delivers a max torque of 259 Nm. The Nitro 20 V PowerShare 12.7 mm cordless impact wrench with brushless motor delivers max torque of 301 Nm.

Torque is the key to fasteners.

The advantage of impact drivers and wrenches is the greater torque they offer to drive or loosen fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, and so on). The greater the torque, the quicker each fastener is dealt with, and the larger the fastener that can be handled.

Worx Advantage

Max torque delivered by Worx impact drivers and wrenches
The Worx 20 V PowerShare cordless impact driver delivers max torque of 169 Nm. The professional-grade Nitro 20 V PowerShare 3-Speed cordless impact driver with brushless motor delivers a max torque of 259 Nm. The Nitro 20 V PowerShare 12.7 mm cordless impact wrench with brushless motor delivers max torque of 301 Nm.

Did you know?

You may wonder what the difference is between impact drivers and hammer drills. The difference is small but matters to the type of application. The type of striking blow delivered by an impact driver is a rotational striking blow, while a hammer drill delivers a longitudinal striking blow, meaning a forward thrusting motion like a hammer driving a nail. The impact driver is ideal for fasteners, while the hammer drill is ideal for drilling applications into hard materials like concrete. Just as the fast-twisting impacts of an impact driver help to loosen frozen bolts, the rapid-succession striking thrusts of a hammer drill helps pulverize the concrete for faster drilling with less effort.

The need for optimal speed.

Because impact drivers and wrenches apply much greater torque and power than their standard power tool counterparts; speed control is a must to avoid over-torque and stripping the threads of fasteners. Having the option to begin with a slower speed or soft start ensures greater accuracy and precision.

Worx Advantage

Worx speed control for impact drivers and wrenches
The Worx 20 V PowerShare cordless impact driver features a two-speed variable trigger to deliver 0–2,600 RPM and 0–3,300 BPM. The professional-grade Nitro 20 V PowerShare 3-Speed cordless impact driver with brushless motor delivers 0–920, 0–2,050, or 0–3,000 RPM and 0–4,000 BPM. The Nitro 20 V PowerShare 12.7 mm cordless impact wrench with brushless motor delivers 0–1,300, 0–2,200, or 0–2,900 RPM and 0–2,000, 0–3,200, or 0–3,600 BPM.

Quicker changes = quicker work.

Changing drill bits or sockets can slow you down, so look for cordless impact drivers and wrenches that feature effective quick-release mechanisms. The faster you can change out bits and sockets, the faster you’ll get the job done to move on to the next task.

Worx Advantage

Worx quick-change features
Worx impact drivers feature a quarter-inch quick-release 6.35 mm HEX metal chuck for faster bit changes. The Nitro cordless impact wrench features a friction fit 6.35 mm (hog ring) to secure sockets and allows them to be switched out quickly and easily.

Quicker changes = quicker work.

Changing drill bits or sockets can slow you down, so look for cordless impact drivers and wrenches that feature effective quick-release mechanisms. The faster you can change out bits and sockets, the faster you’ll get the job done to move on to the next task.

Worx Advantage

Worx quick-change features
Worx impact drivers feature a quarter-inch quick-release 6.35 mm HEX metal chuck for faster bit changes. The Nitro cordless impact wrench features a friction fit 6.35 mm (hog ring) to secure sockets and allows them to be switched out quickly and easily.

Pro-Tip: Watch your impacts

Because impact drivers and wrenches provide two different types of forces to fasteners, you’ll see ratings for both RPM (rotations per minute) and BPM (blows per minute), which may also be referred to as IPM (impacts per minute). RPM is the speed at which the bit or anvil is rotated, while the BPM or IPM are the number of rotational striking blows delivered per minute that give impact drivers and wrenches their extra torque factor. It is important not to use too much torque (bpm/ipm) for a fastening application because too much torque can break the fastener or strip the screw head.

Better batteries to get the job done

If your collection of cordless power tools has become a hodge-podge array of different brands, you probably also have a dizzying array of different batteries and chargers for each one. When it’s time to replace old tools, consider streamlining your cordless power tools with a brand that offers an integrated battery and charging platform that can be shared across tools.

Worx Advantage

The Worx 20 V PowerShare battery platform
The Worx impact drivers and wrenches mentioned in this buying guide are all powered by the exclusive 20 V PowerShare battery pack that can be shared across more than 70 other tools in the PowerShare family. This innovative approach combines great power and easy portability while saving you money with fewer batteries and chargers.

Lighting the way to precision and accuracy

When precision and accuracy matter, visibility is a must. Look for cordless impact drivers and wrenches that include integrated LED worklights that will illuminate the workspace in low-light environments so you can see what you’re doing.

Lighting the way to precision and accuracy

When precision and accuracy matter, visibility is a must. Look for cordless impact drivers and wrenches that include integrated LED worklights that will illuminate the workspace in low-light environments so you can see what you’re doing.

Did you know?

Cordless power tools that feature a brushless motor offer advantages over traditional electric motors. Brushless motors are well-known for offering higher efficiency, including 25% more power, 50% longer run-times, and an overall 10% longer life than regular electric motors.

Buy bare tools and kits, save money

Kits and combination bundles that offer multiple tools, accessories, carrying cases, and can give a leg up to anyone, but especially first-time tool buyers. You’ll get more for your money, which is always a good thing. Look for brands with a diverse offering of combination kits, and bare tools supplied without batteries and chargers so you can get the right mix of tools and accessories that suit your needs with fewer purchases.

Strength in numbers

The Marimbo brothers are blacksmiths by birthright. Rather than balls and bikes, they grew up with fire and steel.

“Every artifact has parts soldered and parts screwed together - but it’s always about joining. When we use bolts or nuts, it’s important that they provide a solid connection, but one that can be undone if needed. Impact drivers deliver just the right amount of strength - even when bolts have become stuck after a long time.

Strength in numbers

The Marimbo brothers are blacksmiths by birthright. Rather than balls and bikes, they grew up with fire and steel.

“Every artifact has parts soldered and parts screwed together - but it’s always about joining. When we use bolts or nuts, it’s important that they provide a solid connection, but one that can be undone if needed. Impact drivers deliver just the right amount of strength - even when bolts have become stuck after a long time.

Same battery, expandable power

Worx PowerShare is a unique 20 V modular system that allows you to combine the same battery to multiply voltage to 40 V and even 80 V. PowerShare batteries are available in a choice of capacities so that you can choose what you need.

Compact, brushless motor, 260 Nm fastening force

Brushless cordless impact driver 20V - tool only - WX261.9

Compact, brushless motor, 300 Nm fastening force

Brushless cordless impact wrench 20V - tool only - WX279.9

Affordable, 170 Nm fastening force

Cordless impact driver 20V - tool only - WX291.9

Compact, brushless motor, 300 Nm fastening force

20V Nitro cordless 300Nm impact wrench with brushless motor - tool only - WX272.9

If you spend more time in your shed than your living room, you’re probably wondering what can we possibly teach you about tools that you don’t already know, right? Challenge accepted.