What Type Of Impact Wrench Should I Buy?
- Torque : 750 in/lbs.
- Weight : 5.91 pounds
- Dimensions : 3.46 x 10.23 x 9.05 inches
- Torque : 450 ft/lbs.
- Weight : 7.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 13 x 4 x 11 inches
- Torque : 600 ft/lbs.
- Weight : 6 pounds
- Dimensions : 3.4 x 8.2 x 8.8 inches
What is the Best Kind of Impact Wrench?
An impact wrench is about the same size as a cordless drill. But unlike a drill, an impact wrench is used to remove bolts and big lug nuts. An impact wrench is basically a socket wrench with a motor. And while they are universally the same, there are a lot of different kinds of impact wrenches.
Each one offers its own uses, and one may be more suited to your line of work than another.The two main types of impact wrenches are electric and pneumatic, meaning one works by being plugged into a wall or having a battery in it, and the other works with air.
Pneumatic impact wrenches must connect to an air hose, while electric wrenches are much more portable. This is something to consider before making your purchase.
There are countless trades that use impact wrenches. If you work on anything mechanical, you need an impact wrench. If you are new to a trade and looking to buy your own tools, or if you are setting up a home workshop and looking to get into mechanics.
There is a definitive and very descriptive guide at the end of this article in which all the details of the different types of impact wrenches will be revealed. If you are new to tools, I highly suggest skipping to the complete guide and then checking out the top products.
Table Of Contents
- The Top 10 Impact Wrenches
- 1. Milwaukee 2767-20 M18 Fuel High Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
- 2. Porter Cable PCE211 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
- 3. Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
- 4. ACDelco ANI405 Heavy Duty 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
- 5. DeWalt DCF880HM2 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
- 6. Ingersoll Rand 2235Ti Max Drive 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
- 7. DeWalt DCF902F2 Xtreme 12V 3/8-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
- 8. Campbell Hausfeld 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench (TL140200AV)
- 9. NoCry 20V 1/2-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
- 10. DeWalt 20V MAX XR 1/2-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
- Different Types of Impact Wrenches: A Complete Guide
The Top 10 Impact Wrenches
1. Milwaukee 2767-20 M18 Fuel High Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
First on the list is a great high-torque impact wrench from Milwaukee. This impact wrench comes with a friction ring to help remove the most stubborn and most rusted bolts by delivering an intense torque of around 1,000 ft/lbs. for fastening and 1,400 ft/lbs. for removal.
You have all the control with this impact wrench because of its drive control feature, which allows you fully control the speed of the tool. You can easily slow the wrench to remove fragile components. Plus, you get extremely quick socket changes.
This is an extremely comfortable impact wrench as well, as it has a rubber material on the handle that is comfortable to hold. It comes included with a handy LED light for maximum illumination, it is very compact and lightweight, and it lasts a long time on a single battery charge.
- Incredibly Fast
- Extremely Compact
- No Overheating or Overloading
- Quick Socket Changes
- LED Light Above Trigger
- : Red
- : 750 in/lbs. Torque
- : Battery Powered
- : 4 Modes
2. Porter Cable PCE211 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
Not every impact wrench comes with a battery pack. This is an awesome unit with tons of power and a long cord for maximum maneuverability. You get 450 ft/lbs. of torque to easily remove or install any nut. The powerful motor is designed specifically for industrial applications where speed is everything.And talking about speed, you get anywhere between 2200 RPM and 2700 RPM. This allows you to quickly disassemble or reassemble anything.
Socket changes are easy, you can move in forward or reverse with one flick of a switch, and the tool is built from quality parts. Any corded impact wrench is always going to be extremely powerful. With this unit, you don’t have to worry about batteries dying. You can also buy the special package that comes included with a nice Bluetooth speaker.
- Heavy Power
- Speeds up to 2700 RPM
- 7.5AMP Motor
- Reliable & Dependable
- Long Cord for Portability
- : 7.5AMPS
- : 450 ft/lbs. Torque
- : Corded-Electric
- : 120 Volts
- : 7.5 Pounds
3. Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
Air impact wrenches are arguably the best. Every manufacturing shop will have air hoses hanging down from the ceiling so that you can hook onto a high-impact air wrench. This particular model is stunning. It has an adjustable power regulator which allows you to make quick adjustments to the output of power depending on your task. It also comes with a twin-hammer mechanism, boasting an impressive speed of 8000 RPM. Even more, the impact wrench only weighs 5.8 pounds.
You can expect a contoured handle that is comfortable to hold, an ergonomic design that makes for easy removal of nuts and bolts, and a streamlined construction that makes tool maintenance a breeze. This is a classic air-impact wrench with a maximum torque of 600 ft/lbs. That is a lot!
- Can Be Purchased in 4 Pack
- Full Adjustable
- Comes Fully Lubricated
- Easy to Maintain
- Powerful w/ Twin-Hammer Mechanism
- : 600 ft/lbs. Torque
- : 8000 MAX RPM
- : Air-Powered
- : 5.8 Pounds
- : Silver/Black
4. ACDelco ANI405 Heavy Duty 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
This is a great impact wrench for an extremely low price. For under $100, you get 500 ft/lbs. of torque to rip apart any machine no matter how stubborn the bolts. The aluminum alloy housing is extremely tough, while the internal components are built to withstand long use. As a pneumatic impact wrench, there is a maximum PSI of 90, which is plenty of air power to sustain the wrench. Plus, it is very portable, with a long nose designed for accessing hard-to-reach places.
The wrench comes with an integrated forward/reverse switch for instantaneous changes in direction, and an internal impact mechanism that allows for rapid build-up of torque. This entire unit is professionally designed to meet the toughest industry challenges.
- Heavy-Duty Twin-Hammer Mechanism
- Quick Switch & Quick Socket Change
- Professional Design
- Very Affordable
- Aluminum Alloy Housing
- : 500 ft/lbs. Torque
- : Air Powered
- : 5.7 Pounds
- : 90 MAX PSI
- : 8000 MAX RPM
5. DeWalt DCF880HM2 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
DeWalt always makes the best tools, and this impact wrench is no exception. It comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end product. It is significantly more expensive than many of the basic pneumatic impact wrenches and corded impact wrenches, but it does come with loads of power and lots of features.
For example, there are three LED lights to give you maximum visibility in the darkest situations. Plus, the innovative XR lithium ion batteries offer 33% better capacity than the standard battery pack. Sockets are easy to change, the tool itself is lightweight, and the torque is impressive for such a tiny tool.
- Super Lightweight & Comfortable
- 3 LED Lights for Easy Working
- High-Quality Tool
- Trusted Brand Name
- 33% More Battery Capacity
- : XR Lithium Ion Battery
- : 3.4 Pounds
- : 20 Volts
- : 24 HR Average Battery Life
- : Yellow
6. Ingersoll Rand 2235Ti Max Drive 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench
This is one of the more powerful air impact wrenches on the list. It comes built with a super strong titanium hammer case, with a steel-wear plate, and with A composite housing. All of these materials work to keep the wrench durable and strong. You can really feel the difference when you hold a strong metal impact wrench in your hand compared to a flimsy plastic model.
This unit has an incredible maximum reserve torque of 930 ft/lbs., an extremely resilient twin-hammer impact mechanism, and it is lightweight and easy to handle. If you need to change a tire, rip apart some iron, or do any kind of machine work, this is the ideal air impact wrench to do it with. This thing is built for machine shops that require the best products.
- Extremely Heavy Duty/Strong Casing
- Two-Year Warranty
- Lightweight & Ergonomic
- Incredibly Powerful Torque
- Designed for Industrial Applications
- : 930 ft/lbs. Torque
- : Titanium Hammer Case
- : Air Powered
- : 4.6 Pounds
7. DeWalt DCF902F2 Xtreme 12V 3/8-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
No list would be complete without a 3/8” cordless impact wrench. While 1/2” impacts are the most common, there are some unique applications that require a small 3/8” impact. This is probably the best one on the market. It is 17% shorter than other models, allowing you to get very close to the machinery you are working on. It has 30% extra torque, making it even easier to rip out those old and stubborn bolts, and it has incredible light on the front to illuminate the darkest workspace.
With this tiny unit’s brushless motor, you get all the power of a big 1/2” impact wrench without the bulk. This has a variable speed trigger, it has three different speeds to give you perfect accuracy, and it comes included with a belt hook so that you can easily carry it with you on the job site.
- Small & Ultra-Compact
- Longer Runtime w/ Brushless Motor
- 3 LED Lights for Best Illumination
- 3 Modes for Max Control
- 17% Shorter
- : 2800 MAX RPM
- : 200 ft/lbs. Torque
- : 12 Volts
- : 3600 MAX IPM
- : Brushless Motor
8. Campbell Hausfeld 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench (TL140200AV)
If you are interested in a quality air impact wrench without a big price tag, this is the one for you. It is a budget tool with premium features. It has a variable speed regulator to give you a mix of power output depending on your situation, including maximum power in the reverse direction. The impact wrench also has a rubberized grip to improve user comfort. There is nothing nicer than a comfortable impact tool while working a long day.
There are other features too, like the impressive 8000 RPMs you get with the intensity of 550 ft/lbs. of torque. The speed and power allow you to rip apart lugs and bolts like they were pins in a pincushion. This is even more impressive considering the entire wrench only weighs 4.4 pounds. It is built from a composite material that makes it easy to handle while still being very durable.
- Affordable w/ Two Models
- Power Regulator for More Control
- Smooth Design for Comfortable Operation
- Composite Design
- 1-Year Limited Warrenty
- : 550 ft/lbs. Torque
- : 3 Speed
- : 4.4 Pounds
- : Air Powered
- : Composite Material
9. NoCry 20V 1/2-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
Here we have another cordless impact wrench. Utilizing a 20V battery, this wrench can take apart any piece of machinery in record time. Any lug nut, big screw, or bolt does not stand a chance against the NoCry Cordless Impact Wrench and its 300 ft/lbs. of torque. Not only is the tool extremely strong with fast speeds and impressive torque, but it comes included with a 20V battery, a fast charging system, a belt clip, and a carrying case.
Whether you are removing tires from cars, working on commercial vehicles, taking apart your motorcycle, or doing a complete teardown of a truck and trailer, this is the cordless drill that will see you through it. The battery lasts an extremely long time, and the fast charger fully juices your spare battery in only two hours.
- Versatile for Many Jobs
- Includes Belt Clip & Fast Charger
- Powerful 20V Battery
- Quick & Effective Bolt Removal
- Full Charge in 2 Hours
- : 270 MAX IPM
- : 20 Volt Battery
- : 2200 MAX RPM
- : 300 ft/lbs. Torque
- : Red
10. DeWalt 20V MAX XR 1/2-Inch Cordless Impact Wrench
This is one of the most expensive cordless impact wrenches you can buy. The other units from DeWalt on this list are pretty pricey, but this one really takes the cake. But you know what they say, you get what you pay for. And this impact wrench has it all, from a 3-speed selector switch to a maximum torque of 700 ft/lbs., this is the real deal.
The battery has a long life, the impact wrench can survive any drop of up to six feet, you can purchase it as a cordless starter kit, as the bare tool, or with a 10-piece socket set. And while it is more expensive than most pneumatic impact wrenches or corded impact wrenches, this unit will last you a very long time. Nobody builds tools like DeWalt.
- 3-Year Limited Warranty
- Intense Light for Easy Working
- Impact Proof up to 6 Feet
- Full Speed Control
- Brushless Motor for Better Power
- : Battery Powered
- : 20 Volts
- : Metal/Plastic/Rubber
- : 5.8 Pounds
- : 700 ft/lbs. Torque
Different Types of Impact Wrenches: A Complete Guide
As you can see by the list of best impact wrenches, there are many different types. There are electric impact wrenches and pneumatic impact wrenches, and there are small 3/8” impact wrenches and larger 1/2” impact wrenches. Both sizes work exactly the same, it’s just that the 3/8” models are smaller and better for more niche tasks. 1/2” models are far more common and are used for the vast majority of work. It is rare to see a 3/8” impact wrench at a construction site.
The only real difference between any one of these tools is in the power source, but this can be extremely confusing considering some cordless impact wrenches are stronger than some air-powered impact wrenches, and vice versa. A lot of the inconsistency depends on price. A pneumatic impact wrench for $50 is not going to have the same power as a cordless model that is $300.
In any case, each kind of impact wrench comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at the different types.
Pneumatic Impact Wrenches
Anything pneumatic is powered by compressed air, from a pneumatic drill to a pneumatic pump. A pneumatic impact wrench works by connecting an air hose to the coupler at the bottom of the tool. The air hose is then connected to an air compressor on the other side, and the air compressor shoots compressed air through the air hose to power the impact wrench. It is literally air powered!
These types of impacts come in a wide variety of drive sizes, all the way from 0.25” to 1”. The drive size determines exactly how much torque the wrench will provide. For example, an impact wrench with a one-inch drive can produce torque upwards of 3000 ft/lbs. The higher the size of the drive, the more torque it can produce.
You will find most warehouses and shops use pneumatic tools. This is because it is more affordable to hook up an air compressor in the back of the shop and run airlines throughout the space. You can move your tools around without needing to plug them in or change their batteries. It just doesn’t make sense to use batteries inside a shop setting.
Additionally, pneumatic wrenches are handy because they are small. There are not as many complex parts inside an air tool as there are with electric units. You don’t have to worry about any of the nonsense that comes with having electric tools. The only downside is that these are not portable. You need to be within range of your air compressor, so you obviously can’t use these on an outdoor job.
Another disadvantage is that air impact wrenches are too powerful sometimes. There is no way to control the speed of your pneumatic impact wrench. Once you hit the trigger, the air flies into the machine and generate power. There is really no way to control it, and so you may end up breaking or damaging small parts accidentally.
Electric Corded Impact Wrenches
Impact wrenches with cords are probably the least popular option. You must plug these directly into an electrical source, typically a normal socket. It is actually getting harder and harder to find any tool with a cord, as almost every manufacturer is shifting quite rapidly to cordless tools.
These models generally come with a drive size of either 0.75 inches or 0.50 inches, and they come with bigger and heavier bodies than their cordless counterparts. They do output quite a bit of torque, but the annoyance of having to find a plug every time you need to use your tool is a huge pain. The only good thing is that these tools don’t cost that much money. If you want a cheap impact wrench, you can probably find a corded option for around $50 or $75.
There is one advantage to a corded impact wrench, which is that you can use it nonstop basically forever. You can regulate the power and the speed, which makes them a little handier in delicate situations than a pneumatic impact wrench. Also, you don’t need a big air compressor to use one. For at home or in a small garage, a corded impact wrench can be very useful.
Electric Cordless Impact Wrenches
Last on the list is the cordless impact wrench. This is the most popular option out there. These are available from almost every manufacturer that makes tools, and many manufacturers offer different sizes with different battery packs ranging anywhere from 18 volts to 28 volts. All the batteries are rechargeable, some of the batteries are interchangeable, and the variety is staggering.
Obviously, the main advantage of buying a cordless impact wrench is its portability. You can take it literally anywhere, up a tree, under a truck, or in your backyard. So long as you have a juiced battery, you can use a cordless impact wrench any way you want. Just don’t forget to have a full battery when you start work. It also pays to have a secondary battery charging while you are using the tool with your main battery, that way you can quickly switch when your main battery dies.
In terms of disadvantages, these types of impact wrenches tend to be less powerful. Because they rely on batteries, they don’t have the same type of power that comes with a pneumatic impact wrench or a corded impact wrench. Also, if you are using it heavily, the battery will always die quicker than what was advertised. That is just part of the cordless dilemma. Still, these are excellent for people who don’t like the restriction of cords and hoses, or for smaller projects.