Hammer Drill vs. Impact Driver vs. Driver Drill

If you’re a beginner, the pool of tools to choose from might have confused you. Maybe you thought that you just need a simple drill for a repair or DIY project you want to do at home and then you encountered three different types of drills – a hammer drill, an impact drill, and a driver drill.

If you’re thinking that they’re all the same and that they all work the same way, then you absolutely have to read through this post. But to give you the short answer, NO, hammer drill is not the same with impact drill, nor with a driver drill.

The mechanism that works in one tool is far different from the other two. And as such, they function differently and perform tasks differently.

How do they differ? This post has an elaborate answer to that question. So read on. We’ve also provided a sample product for each type of drill we discuss here.

Let’s Compare DeWalt’s Hammer Drill, Impact Driver, and Driver Drill 

1. DEWALT DCH273B 20v Max Brushless SDS Rotary Hammer (Tool Only)

What will you get?

DeWalt DCH273B is a 20V rotary hammer drill. It is a tool-only product so you need to buy the battery and charger separately. On a positive note, it comes with a 360-degree side handle, depth rod, and a retractable utility hook.

This hammer drill uses a brushless motor and features DeWalt’s Perform and Protect feature – the SHOCKS Active Vibration Control.  It boasts of a performance that’s at par with a corded hammer drill, offering 2.1 joules of impact energy.


  • Durable and longer runtime
  • Ergonomic design
  • Equipped with SHOCKS Active Vibration Control
  • Includes components for efficient work execution
  • Covered with 3-year limited warranty


  • Doesn’t include batteries, charger, and a case
  • Lacks power in the chipping setting

Top FAQs

Q: What’s the purpose of the SHOCKS Active Vibration Control?

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A: Such feature dampens the vibration that you would feel; in the long run, it protects you from experiencing nerve damage.

Q: What are the settings available on this tool?

A: With DeWalt DCH273B, you may choose from 3 available settings: (1) drilling only, (2) drilling and impact, and (3) impact/chipping only.

Q: What kind of battery does it need?

A: A 20V Lithium-ion battery is needed to power this drill.

Our Take on the DEWALT DCH273B Rotary Hammer Drill

DeWalt DCH273B is a compact rotary hammer drill. Although it is a cordless tool, it delivers power as much as that a corded drill. It produces 2.1 joules of impact energy and up to 4600 BPM.

It is made possible by its German-engineered brushless motor. When it comes to speed, it has a variable speed trigger for the SDS+ chuck and can deliver up to 1100 RPM.

In addition, this rotary hammer drill is equipped with DeWalt’s trademark SHOCKS active control that lessens the vibration that you receive, reducing it to 6.6 m/s2.

It is also designed with a short barrel and minimal weight which makes it ideal to use for overhead drillings. It may also be used for chipping or for drilling 5/32 to 1/2-inch concrete. 2. DEWALT DCF885C1 20V Max 1/4″ Impact Driver Kit

What will you get?

Unlike the previous product, DeWalt DCF885C1 is a tool kit that includes the DCF885 Impact Driver, a 20V lithium-ion battery, and a fast charger.

DeWalt DCF885 impact driver/drill is compact, 5.55” in length, and lightweight, 2.8lbs. It is a cordless tool that’s ideal to be use in tight areas. It is also equipped with 3 LED work lights with a 20-second delay after the trigger is released.

You can one-handedly load a ¼” hex chuck that fits 1” bit tips. It can deliver a maximum torque of 1400 in/lbs, and a maximum impact of 3200 IPM. Without load, it can run up to 2800 RPM.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Complete with battery and charger
  • LED work lights with 20-second delay
  • Suitable for one-handed chuck loading
  • Covered by 3-year limited warranty
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  • Short battery life
  • Speed can be controlled only thru the trigger

Top FAQs

Q: Does the kit include a belt clip?

A: No, the kit doesn’t come with a belt clip.

Q: Is its motor brushed or brushless?

A: The impact driver is equipped with a brushed motor.

Q: Does it have warranty?

A: Yes, the product is covered by DeWalt’s 3-year limited warranty.

Our Take on DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver Kit

As mentioned, this one comes as a kit – including the impact driver/drill, a 20V battery, and a fast charger.

Because it is compact and lightweight, DeWalt DCF885C1 is an ideal power tool to be used at home. You can easily reach tight and dark spaces comfortably as it is also equipped with LED work lights.

However, if you’re looking for a speed gearbox, you will find none because its trigger serves as the speed control.

3. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill/Driver 3-Speed, Premium 4.0Ah Kit (DCD980M2)

What will you get?

DeWalt DCD980M2 is another combo kit that packs a 20V Drill/Driver, two 20V XR lithium-ion batteries, a one-hour charger, a 360-degree side handle, and a kit box.

DeWalt DCD980M2 features a variable speed trigger with 3-speed settings and 22-clutch settings to choose from. It’s designed with a heavy-duty ½” metal ratcheting chuck with carbide inserts and an LED work light with a 20-second delay after you release the trigger.

With regards to performance, it can produce 535 unit watts out of max power.


  • Includes batteries, charger and other additional components
  • Heavy-duty
  • High power output
  • All-metal tranmission
  • 3-year limited warranty


  • Not super compact
  • Quite heavy

Top FAQs

Q: Is it lightweight?

A: Weighing 5.2lbs, it’s not exactly the lightest of its kind. But it’s designed to be solid and durable for your heavy-duty tasks

Q: Is its motor brushed or brushless?

A: The tool is built with a brushless motor.

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Q: Does the kit include a screwdriver bit?

A: No, it does not have a screwdriver bit.

Our Take on the DeWalt DCD980M2 Driver Drill

The DeWalt DCD980M2 driver drill is a great kit to have at home or at work. It’s complete with batteries, a charger, case, and even a 360-degree side handle.

The driver drill in particular is a solid, durable tool that can do your heavy-duty tasks. With 3-speed and 22-clutch settings, you can customize the driver drill accordingly. It can deliver the max power or 535 unit watts out.

In addition, it’s built with LED work light so you can use the tool comfortably even in dark spaces or at night.

The batteries are also XR Premium type so it boasts of longer runtime and increased durability. It also has an indicator light that gives you an idea how much time you can work.

Even as you recharge, the charger is fast that it only needs an hour to fully recharge the battery.

What’s the Difference Among DeWalt’s Hammer Drill, Impact Driver, and Driver Drill

In order to differentiate the products we have above, let’s put them into context by first discussing their tool types in general. What are hammer drills, impact drills, and driver drills, in general? Which tool to use for which task?

Hammer Drill

First, let’s talk about the hammer drill. A hammer drill is a tool to use when you need to drill masonry and hard surfaces such as concrete, granite, marble, brick, and other similar materials.

It works by producing hammering blows toward the direction of the hole. Regular hammer drills usually look similar to driver drills while rotary hammers, just like the DeWalt DCH273B, are usually bulkier.

They are also designed with an adjustable torque control so you can adjust it accordingly based on the material you’re hammering/pulverizing/drilling thru.

Impact Driver

Moving forward, an impact driver is a tool that loosens or drives screws requiring high torque.

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While the hammer drill produces hammering blows toward the direction of the hole, the impact drill delivers hammering action in the direction of the rotation in order to fasten or loosen the screw.

It has no torque control and is usually built as a stubby tool with a short head.

Driver Drill

Lastly, the driver/drill is a dependable and versatile type of tool. It’s intended for drilling holes and driving screws.

It is usually built with a clutch that disengages the drill’s drivetrain once the tool reaches a specified amount of torque. Some driver drills are also engineered with a hammer function that allows you to drill holes even in concrete.

Now that we sorted those out, let’s discuss the products and their specifications, and compare them with one another.

Dewalt DCH273B vs DCF885C1 vs DCD980M2

With regards to package inclusions, only the first one, DeWalt DCH273B rotary hammer comes as a tool only. The other two, DeWalt DCF885C1 impact drill and DeWalt DCD980M2 driver drill, both come with battery and fast charger.

However, the rotary hammer comes with other vital components – a 360-degree side handle, a depth rod, and a retractable utility hook.

More so, since it is a rotary hammer, the DeWalt DCH273B is significantly bulky and heavier than the others on the list. It weighs 6.35lbs while the impact drill is only 2.8lbs and the driver drill is 5.2lbs.

When it comes to motors, the impact drill comes with a brushed motor. Both the rotary hammer drill and the driver drill, on the other hand, are built with brushless motors that make the tools perform more efficiently and with more power.

In terms of lighting, the impact drill and driver drill both have LED work lights that feature a 20-second delay after the release of the trigger. The rotary hammer drill, however, doesn’t have any provision for work lights.

All of them are 20V cordless tools that need to be powered by 20V lithium-ion batteries. With a 20V battery, the DeWalt DCH273B can deliver 2.1 joules of impact energy; DeWalt DCF885 produces the max torque of 1400 in/lbs, while the DeWalt DCD980M2 produces unit watts out.

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To control their drilling speed, each of these tools is engineered with a variable speed trigger. Regardless, the rotary hammer drill can deliver the max speed of 1100 RPM, 2800 RPM for the impact drill, and 2000 RPM for the driver drill.

Final Thoughts

At this point, we hope that you can now distinguish what type of drill you really need for your task or project – whether a hammer drill, an impact drill, or a driver drill. You should also be able to tell how each one functions differently from the other.

Even more, we hope that you find the drill you’re looking for from the ones we presented above. Worry not, because all three drills we have here are of great quality considering that they are all manufactured by DeWalt. Each drill we have here can get the job done as you would expect it to.

To make it even better, should you receive a defective unit, the DeWalt tools here are covered by a 3-year limited warranty.

So go on, choose one. It’s not really too risky of a choice. Instead, you’d be having an impressive power tool to use around.

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