Best Air Impact Wrench Buying Guide: Updated February 2018

When you are working in your garage or a mechanic shop, it is very irritating to get stuck on a tight, rusted bolt. No matter how much effort you give with your wrist, the bolt would just not move!

What is the result? Either you hurt your wrist with the amount of power you give or you just give up! A motorized impact wrench is what you need in such scenarios.

I am here to help you choose the best air impact wrench.

Impact wrenches with their enormous power can loosen almost any bolt in seconds. Air impact wrenches, driven by compressed air, are the most powerful and durable tools in the impact wrench market. They can be used for the removal of tight log nuts or any other bigger nut you find overpowering.

This in-depth buying guide will help you choose the best air impact wrench that suit your needs.

Best Air Impact Wrench Comparison Chart

 

Name Max Power Weight Air Consumption Price
Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX
Editor’s Choice
1350 ft.lbs 4.6 lbs 6 CFM Check Price
Ingersoll Rand 231C 600 ft. lbs 5.8 lbs 22 CFM Check Price
Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV 550 ft.lbs 5.2 lbs 5.1 CFM Check Price
Nitrocat 1250-K
Best for Mechanics
1300 ft.lbs 4.6 lbs 8 CFM Check Price
Astro 1822 450 ft.lbs 3.0 lbs 4.8 CFM Check Price
PowRyte Basic 100104
Under $50
600 ft.lbs 6.02 lbs 4 CFM Check Price
Ingersoll Rand
2115TiMAX

Best 3/8
300 ft.lbs 2.5 lbs 4 CFM Check Price
NitroCat 1200-K
Automotive Usage
1295 ft.lbs 4.5 lbs 4 CFM Check Price
ACDelco ANI405 500 ft.lbs 5.72 lbs 3.9 CFM Check Price
Earthquake 3/8″ Professional Air Impact Wrench 300 ft.lbs 3.8 lbs 5 CFM Check Price

Air Impact Wrench Reviews

Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX – Most Powerful 1/2 Air Impact Gun

best 1 2 air impact wrench2235 TiMAX is a very powerful tool from Ingersoll Rand. Having the reputation of a performer and with its twin hammer impact mechanism, this impact tool surely lives up the its expectations. A light weight, highly powerful impact wrench, Ingersoll Rand 2235 TiMAX can bust any tight bolt you have in mind.

Can you imagine 1350 ft.lbs of bolt-bustng torque and 935 ft.lbs of maximum reverse torque? There is almost no task that can challenge this tool enough!

Extremely durable at only 4.6 lbs, this tool can work in harsh environments with its steel wear plate, titanium housing and composite housing.

2235 TiMAX is also available in a sound reduction (Ingersoll Rand 2235 QTiMAX)  and 2″ extended anvil versions. So you can choose as per your requirements.

Powerful features of Ingersoll Rand 2235 TiMAX

  • 1/2″ anvil: also available in a 2″ extended anvil version
  • Product dimensions of 10 x 4 x 9 inches
  • 1350 ft.lbs of forward torque and 935 ft. lbs of maximum reverse torque
  • Torque adjustable four position power regulator
  • Twin-hammer impact mechanism giving a very powerful performance
  • Only 4.6 lbs (2.1 Kg) in weight making it extremely easy to use for long durations
  • Impacting sound level of 98 DB(A): also available in a sound reduction form with a impacting sound level of 88.7 DB(A)
  • 2 years of warranty from Ingersoll Rand
Pros
  • Most powerful air impact gun in the market
  • Twin-hammer impact mechanism with adjustable torque
  • Lightweight: only 2.1 Kgs
  • Available in a sound reduction version
Cons
  • Too powerful for smaller nuts, can break them in max torque setting

Check Price on Amazon

If you need an air impact wrench that would do the work in any circumstances, be it the garage or any demanding industrial setup, Ingersoll Rand 2235 TiMAX is the right tool you need. Buy it today at exciting prices!

Ingersoll Rand 231C – An Old Performer

most used air impact gun for mechanicsA classic tool, with the base design being 25 years old, Ingersoll Rand 231C is a boss for powerful nuts. Being refined over a period of 25 years, this tool performs on all aspects, be it power or durability.

The main attraction of this air impact wrench is its two piece construction which allows easy maintenance, even at home. It has a maximum torque of 600 ft. lbs with an adjustable power regulation.

The pressure feed lub system ensures easy lubrication helping the impact wrench run lag free for extended periods of time.

Main features of this tool

  • 1/2″ inch anvil: available in extended anvil format
  • 7.3 mm in length
  • Weight of only 5.8 lbs (2.63 Kg) making it extremely durable for usage over extended periods of time
  • 600 ft. lbs of nut bursting torque
  • Adjustable mechanism for easy torque control
  • Twin hammer mechanism from Ingersoll Rand
  • Ergonomic design with just 2 parts, ensuring ease of use and maintenance
  • Pressure feed lubrication mechanism
Pros
  • Tough and durable tool, can withstand a fall with ease
  • Twin-hammer impact mechanism with powerful performance
  • 500+ positive reviews on Amazon
Cons
  • Comparatively heavier and larger in size making it difficult to use in confined spaces
  • Can be noisy for home use

Check Price on Amazon

This old and proven air impact wrench can help you with most tight nuts and bolts. But being on the heavier side and with its limited power, this tool is not suggested for extended usage. This tool is ideally suited for home tasks which are short and require lesser power.

Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV – Best Air Impact Wrench for the Money

best air impact wrench under $100This air impact wrench can be your perfect companion for DIY tasks and projects. Although this tool is not recommended for commercial or assembly line usage, this air impact wrench does boast of a maximum torque of 450 ft.lbs.

Being lighter in weight and having a soft grip, this tool can be use for long periods of time without much fatigue.

The main attractiveness of Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV is its affordability being available at an excellent price point.

Campbell Hausfelf TL140200AV feaures

  • Dimension of 9.8 x 3 x 9.1 inches
  • Ergonomic and durable with a weight of only 5.2 lbs
  • Maximum torque of 550 ft.lbs when coupled with a Campbell Hausfeld air compressor
  • Better for home and DIY usage
  • Not recommended for commercial or assembly line usage
  • 3 speed power control mechanism helps in controlling of power
  • Reduced vibration with a soft grip design
  • 1 year limited warranty
Pros
  • Available at an excellent price point, only $45 approx
  • Light weight, durable and has very minimum vibration
Cons
  • Lesser power, suited for DIY projects
  • Not recommended for assembly line or commercial usage

Check Price on Amazon

Features are good considering the cost point of view. Check the latest price for decent offers.

Nitrocat 1250-K – Best Air Impact Gun for Mechanics

best air impact wrench for lug nutsNitocat 1250-K air impact wrench from AIRCAT Pneumatic Tools outperforms the other tools in its class by quite a margin. Boasting a raw, hard hitting power of 1300 ft.lbs, this tool can any powerful bolt all day.

Featuring a hard hitting twin clutch mechanism, this air impact wrench runs smooth and vibration less producing minimum sound. It has a patented forward/reverse switch providing ease of operation.

This powerful air impact wrench, weighing only 4.6 lbs, can be used in any assembly line operation all day giving excellent performance.

Outperforming features of Nitrocat 1250K

  • 1/2′ inch anvil
  • Dimensions of 8.2 x 7.4 x 2.7 inches
  • Extremely durable and light weight at only 4.6 lbs!
  • 1300 ft.lbs of nut bursting torque making it suitable for any log nut or wheel bolts
  • 8500 RPM
  • Patented twin clutch mechanism assisting in heavy duty operations
  • Patented forward/reverse switch giving ease of use
  • It produces only 86 DB(A) of sound in full load with its patented quite exhaust system
  • Kevlar handle and housing
Pros
  • Only 4.6 lbs making it extremely durable and easy to use
  • Extremely powerful impact wrench with 1300 ft.lbs of hard hitting power
  • Smooth and noiseless performer
Cons
  • Does draw a lot of air from your compressed air system, the tool is happiest at 120 psi

Check Price on Amazon

If you need a powerful air impact wrench for your daily use, Nitrocat 1250K is the right tool for you. Check the price on amazon using the button below.

Astro 1822 – For Home Use

aircat impact reviewsThe main catch about this air impact wrench is its extremely short profile. In spite of being small in size and light in weight, this wrench has 450 ft.lbs of maximum torque.

The working torque is 350 ft.lbs and is sufficient for most home tasks and DIY projects.

This cost effective wrench does its task without much sound and therefore can be a good addition to your home usage tool kit.

Features at a glance

  • 1/2″ anvil
  • Dimensions of 3.9 x 2.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Extremely light weight of 3.0 lbs (1.35 Kg)
  • Maxium torque of 450 ft.lbs, with a working torque of 350 ft.lbs: Enough for home and DIY tasks
  • Free Speed of 10.000 R.P.M, 3 forward and 3 rear speed setting ensuring efficient usage
  • Twin hammer clutch type giving optimum performance
  • Average air consumption of 4.8 CFM with the suggested air pressure of 90 psi, to suit most average end air compressors
  • Low noise level of 86 dB(A)
  • Removable soft rubber over the handle gives great grip
Pros
  • Only 3 lbs, and very small in size: can reach most places, however space congested they may be
  • 3 forward and 3 reverse speed settings: helps in getting better performance
  • Noiseless performance
Cons
  • Suited for home and DIY tasks, not for most log nuts

Check Price on Amazon

Astro 1822 air impact wrench has a lot of features considering its price range. You can buy this if you need a tool for your home and DIY tasks.

PowRyte Basic 100104 – Best Air Impact Wrench under $50

Best Air Impact Wrench for the Money This cheap air impact wrench has some basic features to start with including a decent power of 600 ft.lbs with a free speed of 8000 RPM.

Average air consumption is 4 CFM and the sound level is considerably less as compared to its peers.

As with all most all the tools before, this  air impact wrench has a twin hammer mechanism providing a high torque output and reliability. 2 forward power settings come in good benefit as well.

Features at a glance

  • 1/2 inch anvil with a friction ring
  • Product dimensions of 7.7 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches
  • product weight of 6.02 lbs
  • 600 ft.lbs of maximum torque
  • Free speed of 8000 RPM
  • 2 forward power setting and maximum power in reverse setting
  • Built on a die cast Aluminum housing material
  • Reduced sound levels due to built in features
  • Air working pressure of 90psi and average air consumption of 4 CFM
Pros
  • Outstanding price of under $50
  • Sufficient power of 600 ft.lbs for home tasks and smaller log bolts
Cons
  • No power control in reverse setting
  • The air impact wrench is on the heavier side with a weight of 6.02lbs

Check Price on Amazon

Not a perfect choice, but can be taken for a start if you are on a tight budget.

Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX/2115 QTiMAX – Best 3/8 Air Impact Wrench

best 3 8 air impact wrenchAnother great tool from the Ingersoll Rand brand, 2115TiMAX is a tool which delivers a max 300 ft.lbs of power being less than six inches long. This tool is very suitable for tight spaces where the reach can be an issue.

Owing to its smaller size and being built with titanium, the weight is also less (around 2.5 lbs). The 7 vane motor provides maximum performance due to its optimized air flow. Featuring a feather touch control and one switch forward/reverse operation this air impact wrench is the ultimate long lasting home tool from a very popular brand.

Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX features

  • 3/8 inch anvil
  • Product dimensions of 5.9 x 2.1 x 3.1 inches
  • Only 2.5 lbs in weight, this tool is very durable and causes less fatigue on the user
  • 300 ft.lbs of maximum power with a working torque range of 25-280 ft.lbs.
  • Maximum free speed of 15000 RPM
  • Average air consumption of 4 CFM
  • Impacting sound level of 96 DB(A) with sound reduction model available as well
  • Four position power regulator for better control on tasks
  • Feather touch control with one switch for forward/reverse operation : easy for usage
  • 2 years limited warranty with tool registration
Pros
  • Extremely small in size (less than 6 inches), can reach very tight spaces
  • Small tool but does pack a punch considering the power it delivers
  • Sufficient power on the 3/8 inch anvil can help remove difficult nuts and bolts
Cons
  • If you want to remove tight log nuts in your automotive workshop, this is not the right tool. Choose one with more power

Check Price on Amazon

Best 3/8 Air Impact Wrench in the market today. Buy now to get great offers on Amazon.

NitroCat 1200-K – Best for Automotive Use

best air impact wrench for automotiveIf you want a no-nonsense tool with hard hitting power, NitroCat 1200K is one of the best heavy duty tools in the market.

With 1295 ft.lbs of hard hitting loosening torque and twin clutch mechanism you can use this tool for doing framework as well as automotive log nuts. This impact wrench comes in the class of most powerful 1/2 air impact gun.

The flip lever forward and reverse operation present in this tool gives a much easier usage.

NitroCat 1200K powerful features include

  • 1/2 inch anvil
  • Product dimensions of 9.2 x 8.5 x 3 inches
  • Product weight of 4.5 lbs
  • Working torque of 200-900 ft.lbs gives good power for log nut removals
  • 950 hits per minute and much better suited for loosening stuck bolts
  • Twin clutch mechanism giving smooth efficient power
  • Average air consumption of 4 CFM at 90-120 psi air pressure
  • Patented quit technology from AirCat gives on 86 DB(A) noise
  • Durable composite housing made of Kevlar
  • Ergonomic handle gives less fatigue on the user
  • 5w-30 motor oil is used for lubrication
  • Forward and reverse operation flip-over switch gives easier operation
Pros
  • Maximum torque of 900 ft.lbs, good for removing automotive log nuts
  • Ergonomic handle and Kevlar housing makes this tool extremely durable
  • Very easy forward and reverse operation
  • Cost is on your side, great features in this price range
Cons
  • Slightly on the heavier side

Check Price on Amazon

With awesome power performance, this air impact wrench is the best for automotive usage. 

ACDelco ANI405 – Average Power Performance

best air impact wrench for home useACDelco ANI405 is a simple moderately powerful tool with a durable aluminum alloy housing.

The exhaust design produces less noise and can work for extended periods of time without failures.

 

 

 

Features at a glance

  • 1/2 inch anvil
  • Product dimensions of 2.5 x 7 x 8 inches
  • Product weight of 5.72 lbs (2.59 kg)
  • Maximum torque of 500 ft.lbs with twin hammer mechanism
  • Free speed of 7000 RPM
  • 3 forward speeds for effective power control, reverse at full power
  • Average air consumption of 3.9 CFM with an air pressure of 90 psi
  • Produces a sound level of around 98 DB(A) as per the product brochure
  • Ergonomic handle for extended usage
Pros
  • Attractive cost
  • Average power performance
Cons
  • There can be a lubrication oil leak as suggested by some customers

Check Price on Amazon

If you like this tool, do check the price for latest offers on Amazon.

Earthquake 3/8″ Professional Air Impact Wrench

best 3/8 air impact wrenchThis air impact wrench from Central Pneumatic is lightweight and durable with an aluminum body. It delivers efficient torque with much lesser vibration as compared to its counterparts.

Earthquake 3/8 inch air impact wrench boasts of a longer lifespan owing to its precision grade components.

This tool has variable speed in it reverse power operation as well.

 

Features overview

  • 3/8 inch anvil
  • Product dimensions of 7.7 x 7 x 2.6 inches
  • Product weight of 3.8 lbs
  •  300 ft.lbs of maximum torque
  • Free speed of 11000 RPM
  • Average air consumption of 5 CFM at air pressure of 90 psi
  • Variable speed in both forward and reverse power operations
  • Exhaust is vented away from the user
  • Precision grade components promise longer lifespan
  • Lesser vibration that its counterparts
  • Excellent price point for its features
  • 2 year limited warranty
Pros
  • Other air impact wrenches with the same specifications often cost around 2x the price of this tool
  • Variable speed in reverse power operation
Cons
  • Lesser on power if you want to remove log nuts with this tool

Check Price on Amazon

Light weight and durable tool. Power is limited can be an average buying option for home usage.

Things to keep in mind when you buy an Air Impact Wrench

Power

Choose a wrench which has sufficient power based on your needs.If you need an air impact wrench for your home or DIY tasks, you can consider powers of around 300-500 ft.lbs. But if you want a wrench more for a workshop setup removing bigger log nuts and bolts, it is best you take an air impact wrench having power more than 700-800 ft.lbs.

Compatible Air Compressor

Carefully consider the capacity of the air compressor you have before choosing the compatible air impact wrench. It is suggested that you have a air compressor with at least twice the average air flow required by the air impact wrench. So if you choose an air impact wrench having an average air consumption of 4 CFM, it will run best with a compressor having greater than 7-8 CFM. Most wrenches mentioned in the list work best at an air pressure of around 90 psi, so keep that in mind as well.

Variable Speed

If you have a very high power air impact wrench you may end up wringing a small bolt if you use all the power on it. So using a speed based on your power requirements can help you. Variable speed air impact wrenches come to your rescue in such a senario

Maintenance

Most basic air impact wrenches can be easily serviced by you. However if you choose a complex tool you may have to get it oiled by an expert which can cost you some bucks.

Weight

Choose a light weight model which will cause less stress on your wrist on extended usage.

Noise

Sound levels is something you would to consider if you are a professional. Air impact wrenches can create a lot of sound. You can always choose a sound reduction version for the tool if you are worried about the sound levels in your workspace.

Warranty Terms

Keep in mind the warranty conditions while you buy one from amazon.com

Frequently asked questions about Air Impact Wrenches

How does an air impact wrench work?

Multiple short and sharp torque application is the key to the working of an air impact wrench. An air vane motor is employed to use the force in compressed air to drive an air motor.

This air motor in turn using a rotating mass, produces periodic hammering actions that help in loosing even the tightest nuts.

Why use an air impact wrench?

It feels real bad when you get stuck at a tight nut. No matter how much effort you give, the nut just wont budge. There may also be scenarios where you want to fast replace the tires on your car. Removing the automotive log nuts using a classical wrench can be very tedious. Air impact wrenches solves this problem with ease.

A few “twat-twat-twat” sounds and you have the nut loosened ready for you to proceed.

What’s the best air impact wrench?

Check the final verdict at the end of this guide.

Very often I get this question from my readers – “What air impact wrench to buy?”. The answer to this question basically depends on your needs.

How to use air impact wrench?

I think a video best suits the purpose of helping you understand how to use an air impact wrench. You can see this video for reference.

How to repair air impact wrench?

Dis-assembling a simple air impact wrench and then putting it back is very easy. You can oil your wrench yourself most of the time. I will soon publish a guide showing the simple steps of cleaning the internal parts and oiling of your air impact wrench.

If you end up with a faulty air impact wrench, it is always better to get it repaired by an expert.

Which air compressor for air impact wrench?

Please read the section on Compatible Air Compressor in the Air Impact Wrench Buying Guide given above

Over To You

I know how difficult it can be to choose the right tool. In order to make your task easy, I tried my level best to put forward all the options that you have when choosing your  air impact wrench.

Very often I get this question from my readers – “What air impact wrench to buy?”. The answer to this question basically depends on your needs.

Best Air Impact Wrench for DIY tasks and Home Maintenance

Best Air Impact Wrench for Automotive Tasks

Best Air Impact Wrench for Assembly Line Operations

Now that you have seen the options and have the air impact wrench buying guide in mind, form your requirements and buy the best air impact wrench at an excellent price on amazon.com.

I hope this guide was helpful to you. I look forward to your suggestions and comments regarding the tools reviewed. Please get touch by posting a comment or using the contact us.

Do share this guide to your friends and colleagues on social media!

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