It is difficult to keep track of all the different power tools available on the market, not only for amateurs but also for professional handymen. In this article, we will take a look at the different tools that are most often used to tighten and loosen bolts, such as drills. They all work similarly but are used for slightly different purposes.
A power drill is a very versatile tool that many hand workers and DIYers have in their toolbox. Their primary purpose is to drill but they can also be used to tighten screws. They do a fine job at that but can be a bit slow which in turn makes them less efficient if you have a lot of screws to tighten. On the other hand, that also means that they are easier to control and are probably better for jobs requiring precision and delicacy.
Impact drivers look similar to a power drill, although they cannot drill holes into materials. Impact drivers are meant to be used for driving screws and bolts that are long and/or heavy into wood or concrete. They have a lot of power and make these kinds of jobs a breeze. However, they should not be used for lightweight screws because you can easily over-tighten them. Impact drivers are not the easiest tool to control.
A traditional impact driver was a manual tool that worked, as the name suggests, on impact. Most impact drivers nowadays are electric, with cordless being the most popular ones. Electric impact drivers have something akin to a hammer mechanism inside the tool that strikes the small anvil inside when you turn on the tool. You can check out this list of top cordless impact drivers to see if you can find something for yourself. An impact driver is a useful tool for anyone who does a lot of heavy-duty jobs.
An impact wrench is another power tool that can be used for tightening bolts. They are easy to use are powered either by electricity or air pressure as you pull the trigger. Wrenches like these are very commonly used when working with cars or bikes to tighten and loosen bolts while impact drivers are more about driving long screws into materials. They do the job quickly without tiring out the operator.
A torque wrench is a manual tool that is quite different from the aforementioned drills, impact drivers and impact wrenches. Being manual tools, they rely solely on the worker’s arm strength which can be quite taxing. But torque wrenches are used when other power tools simply won’t do, i.e. when precise torque control is needed. The best torque wrench has adjustable torque, meaning that you can decide yourself on what torque output you want to achieve. This is crucial in situations like tightening the lug nuts on vehicles where you need to be careful not to over-tighten them. However, if you have a lot of tightening to do, a power tool will probably be more useful.