The trouble of trying and removing nuts and bolts can be very frustrating until you use the one tool that is designed for making this job easier- an impact wrench. An electric impact wrench must be bought after you have done a proper research on the best quality impact wrenches that are available in the market. There are various impact wrenches available in the market and purchasing one without being informed about it might lead to more expenses than it is worth.
What is an Impact Wrench?
It is basically a socket wrench power tool that is used for delivering high torque output even with a minimum amount of effort being exerted by the user. It stores energy in a rotating mass and delivers it to the output shaft. It is also known as torque gun, impactor, impact gun and more. Impact wrenches are used in many industries for heavy equipment maintenance, assembling of products, construction projects, automotive repairing and DIY projects. They are available in almost every socket wrench drive sizes depending upon the type of work they are required for. The most commonly used ones are air tools.
Different Uses of an Impact Wrench
The primary use of an impact wrench is to remove or install bolts and nuts. You can remove lug nuts, install bolts or tighten them or any such work that can be done with an impact wrench. Fasteners can also be tightened with the help of an impact wrench. Impact wrenches can even work perfectly for unbolting rusted fasteners. They are a package of a lot of power in a small form. They come with enough torque, at affordable prices and less weight. They can be used in furniture manufacturing industries, construction sites, homes, automotive industries, or any place that needs a tool with a lot of torque.
Types of Impact Wrenches
There are various types of impact wrenches available in the market today. Here is a brief discussion of the impact wrenches:
Air Impact Wrenches: These wrenches compress air to generate the required power and provide the best power-to-weight ratio. These wrenches are commonly used with a short-length hose without actually fitting it directly into the tool. The best quality air wrenches have a flow regulator to control or limit the torque in either direction. They provide high-quality performance and are lightweight which makes them the most popular in homes, garages, construction sites and automotive shops.
Corded-Electric Impact Wrench: The corded-electric impact wrenches are another type of impact wrenches that can loosen or tighten stubborn bolts and lug nuts. They offer similar torque like the air impact wrenches. But, these wrenches must be plugged into an electrical power source that can limit your movement while working with it. They are also used in various construction sites, garages, homes, and automotive shops.
Cordless Electric Impact Wrenches: These wrenches are gaining popularity because they allow you to work anywhere and do not limit your movement while working. They are lightweight, compact and technologically advanced. They deliver enough torque and do not require an air compressor or cable like the above-mentioned wrenches, which is why they are being desired by homeowners, automotive shops, and more places now.
Hydraulic Impact Wrenches: These wrenches require water under pressure to produce the torque that the machine requires to tighten or loosen the screws and nuts. They are incredibly powerful and much stronger than air impact wrenches. They are not common in homes or automotive shops because they are a reserve for heavy-duty and extreme applications that take place in manufacturing industries, construction sites and more.
Manual Impact Wrench: A very less known type of impact wrench is the manual impact wrench. It can be operated manually. It uses a technology which makes it capable of converting spring power into sharp tensional blows, each of which is delivered to the impact socket. To deliver enough torque, the wrench does not require electricity, batteries, hydraulics, and air compressors. It is affordable, safe, durable, and portable too. This wrench can be used by people anywhere where other sources required for running a wrench are not available;.
Things to Look for Before Buying an Impact Wrench
There are a number of features that you must consider before buying an impact wrench. The factors you must consider are mentioned below:
Torque: The torque is the most important factor. Your impact wrench must have enough torque for removing fasteners. Higher the torque the better is the impact wrench. A minimum of 150 ft-lbs is suitable for small purposes.
Size: The smaller or compact the impact wrench is, the better it is. Smaller wrenches can be used in tighter areas and will also be comfortable to carry and work with it. But smaller wrenches will have lesser torques. Find a balance between the size and torque of the wrench before you buy one.
Weight: The wrenches vary in weight too. Heavier wrenches will not be a huge factor for short projects but if you need to work with the wrench for a long project, then fatigue might set in and choosing a lighter wrench is perfect then.
Impacts Per Minute (IPM): This is the unit for measuring the number of times the hammer strikes the anvil in a minute. A greater number of IPM would suggest that the wrench can drive the screws faster and will be capable of loosening the stubborn bolts easily.
Drive Size: The most common one is ½” drive which is capable of carrying out most of the applications. 3/8” drive comes next which has lesser torque than ½” drive.
No Load Speed: This is basically the speed at which the wrench turns when there is no load present. A higher speed will fasten the screws faster than others, but when no load speed is higher, the wrench often has a lower torque.
Torque Adjustment: This feature allows the user to control the output torque of the wrench which is very useful to reduce the risk of over torquing a bolt.
Balance and Ergonomics: You must look for a wrench that fits perfectly in your hand, comes with a comfortable grip, and has a well-balanced design to reduce the fatigue and strain it will put on your body while working with it.
Warranty: It is important to find a wrench that comes with a decent warranty. Most manufacturers provide a warranty of 1-2 years, but you can find warranties for longer periods also.
Best Electric Impact Wrench Reviews
1. Ingersoll-Rand W7150-K1:
The W7150 ½” 20V High Torque Impact Wrench performs excellently. It is most popular for delivering high-quality cordless performance. This cordless impact wrench is designed to tackle the toughest assembly and disassembly jobs with ease. The tool is capable of working effectively for heavy-duty applications also. The tool is light-weight and can be used anywhere you want.
- The use of steel-lined aluminum hammer case makes the tool light-weight and strong, also providing maximum protection to the components within it.
- Has a maximum reverse torque of 780 ft-lbs and 1100 ft-lb of nut-busting torque.
- It is light-weight and weighs only 6.8 lbs.
- Vibration is minimized with the patent-pending soft touch over-molded grip that provides comfort when in use.
- The battery kit consists of W7150 Impactool, 20V Li-ion 3.0 Ah batteries, Blow-molded case, and IOV20 Charger.
- Is durable and can withstand rough usage.
- With optimized balance and soft touch over-molded grip provides comfort to the person even when used for a longer period of time.
- The cordless tool runs on batteries which need to be replaced from time to time.
2. Hammerhead HDIW075:
The product features a very powerful 7.5-Amp motor which can deliver 240 ft.-lb of torque and can support high-torque applications like heavy equipment maintenance and automotive repairs. The tool provides a no-load speed of 2,200 RPM and 2,700 BPM with enhanced durability from the metal gearbox housing. It has a forward/reverse rocker switch with a slip-resistant grip that delivers utmost comfort and control when used.
- Comes with a 240 ft.-lbs of torque that is useful for heavy-duty applications.
- Secured socket retention is provided by the ½ in. square drive with friction ring present in the tool.
- The 7.5 Amp motor of the wrench delivers 2,200 RPM and 2,700 BPM.
- Added durability is provided by the metal gearbox.
- Easy two-finger operations can be quick with the forward/reverse rocker switch on the wrench.
- The product is light-weight and weighs 7.85 pounds only.
- It is tough and can be used for heavy-duty applications easily.
- The wrench might not be the best for removing lug nuts efficiently.
- It can put a strain on your arms when used for a very long period of time constantly.
3. Dewalt DWMT70773L:
The Impact wrench comes with ½” drive that provides its users a maximum torque of 650 ft-lbs which makes the work of breaking free the stubborn or stuck fasteners quick and easy. It also comes with a twin hammer mechanism that offers high power fastening ability to the user. The wrench is comfortable to use and can be operated with one hand with its forward/reverse switching system that comes with an adjustable power regulator also. A composite body design with rubber cushion grip and a bottom handle exhaust are offered by the impact wrench.
- Maximum torque of 650 ft-lb is offered for breaking free stuck or stubborn fasteners easily.
- High power fastening is provided by the 7500 RPM.
- Added features like twin hammer mechanism and adjustable power regulator are provided.
- Comes with shock resistant housing bumpers.
- Forward/reverse switching enables one-hand operations.
- The shock-resistant housing bumpers help in preventing scuffing and protect the housing.
- It provides efficiency and speed by operating at 1100 bpm (blows/minute) and allows 5.9 CFM of maximum airflow.
- The product is slightly heavy which can strain your hand when used for a long time.
- The textured finishing of the tool’s outer surface attracts dirt and grime which might make it look dull from outside.
See Also: Best Cordless Drills with Reviews
4. Campbell Hausfeld ½ inch Impact wrench:
The product is a twin-hammer impact wrench which is best for DIY and general purpose applications like repairing and automotive maintenance. The twin-hammer mechanism helps the impact wrench to deliver to a maximum of 550 ft.-lbs. of torque and also reduces vibration. The tool is not suggested for commercial or assembly line applications. It is comfortable to use with its soft rubber grip that reduces fatigue during usage.
- You can rotate your car’s tire, repair your brakes, or change a lawnmower blade easily with the 550 ft.-lbs of nut busting torque provided by the tool.
- It is durable because of its sturdy compact design which allows you to work between different projects without any hindrance.
- The tool when combined with a Campbell Hausfeld 30 gallon air compressor (VT6271 or VT6358) along with air hose (PA117701AV) delivers the best results.
- Provides utmost comfort and reduces vibration with its smooth twin-hammer mechanism and ergonomic soft grip design.
- It comes with a 1-year limited warranty from Campbell Hausfeld- the Air Power Experts.
- It is lightweight and weighs only 4.4. lbs which makes it comfortable to use for a prolonged time period.
- It has smooth well-balanced impact mechanism which helps in providing control and comfort together when used.
- The tool is perfect for general purpose applications and is not at all suitable for heavy-duty applications.
- Produces a lesser amount of torque as compared to other impact wrenches.
5. Ryobi P1833 3-Speed:
The model is improved and new and is more compact and powerful than previous models. The new design provides 300 ft./lbs. of torque with 3,200 impacts per minute which enables you to use the tool for various heavy-duty applications. The product consists of 18-Volt ONE+ 4Ah High Capacity Battery that enhances the performance of the ONE+ tools by 35% and it works perfectly with any 18-Volt ONE+ battery.
- The tool weighs 1.61 pounds which makes it light-weight and comfortable to use.
- It can work with 1 lithium-ion battery.
- Provides 300 ft./lbs. of torque and can be used for heavy-duty applications.
- The tool is very effective for removing stubborn lug nuts and rusted bolts.
- Impressive speed and torque for a 1.61 pounds impact wrench.
- Battery needs to be changed from time to time, which leads to additional expense.
- Might not work well when used with extensions.
6. Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench:
The impact mechanism is automatically greased with the pressure-feed lubrication system present in the electric impact wrench. It comes with an exclusive twin-hammer Plus impact mechanism and adjustable power regulator. Its contoured handle provides great control and comfort when used. Its streamlined two-piece construction is easy to maintain. It is compact and weighs only 5.8 pounds which reduces the stress on your wrists and arms.
- Comes with pressure feed regulator.
- Already lubricated and ready to use, as soon as it arrives.
- Easy to use two-piece construction with a contoured handle for enhanced control and comfort.
- Easy operation and maintenance of the ergonomic 2-piece design.
- The adjustable power regulator offers easy control over the torque output.
- The reliable and classic design provides great power, performance, and durability.
- Enhanced performance provided by the twin-hammer mechanism.
- Its ergonomic design aids in continuous use and makes it comfortable for long duration uses.
- The tool weighs 5.8 pounds which can put a strain on the wrists and arms when used for a prolonged period, constantly.
- Might feel noisy due to the vibrations when used.
7. Bosch IWH181 -01:
The all-new Bosch Lithium-Ion 3/8-inch square drive wrench offers the best compact design you will find in the market today. They are very light-weight and are available in 18-volt lithium ion and 14-volt lithium ion. It also delivers 2,880 RPM and 1,600 in/lbs of torque and comes with an LED light to allow using it in dark areas as well. The gearbox cover provides protection along with the exclusively designed handle grip for control, balance, and comfort.
- It weighs 25% lighter than most other products in the market.
- It is compact with only 6 inches in length. It is the most compact impact wrench in the market today.
- Works faster efficiently and provides more torque – 2,800 RPM and 1,600 in/lbs of torque.
- Consists of an LED light for using it in the dark.
- Provides high BPM of over 3,200 BPM.
- The battery is long-lasting which do not require frequent charging.
- Works best for automotive use.
- Breaking bolts and lug nuts can be tough with this tool and you might require a breaker bar to do that part.
8. Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench:
It is designed in a way that it works with an air compressor and delivers up to 1,350 foot-pounds of torque for nut-bursting. It is lightweight and comfortable to use. It has a four-position power regulator and a one-handed forward/reverse button that allows you to have full control. The tool comes with a rugged housing and titanium hammer case which helps it to withstand frequent, rough usage.
- Delivers powerful torque output.
- Lightweight, compact design that weighs only 4.6 pounds and makes it very comfortable to use.
- It has a twin-hammer mechanism that provides maximum power and adds to its durability.
- Its titanium hammers case, rugged housing, and steel wear plate add to its durability again.
- The tool has a four-position power regulator that allows easy adjustability of the torque’s output.
- Its rugged design allows rigorous tough use.
- Very powerful with the best-in-class Torque Output.
- Not very effective in removing stubborn or stuck lug nuts and bolts.
9. Milwaukee 2763-22 M18:
This tool provides great performance that delivers up to a maximum of 700’/Lb fastening torque and 1,100’/Lb of nut busting torque. It also comes with RedLink Plus Intelligence which allows you to choose between two fastening modes, where the Mode 1 delivers a maximum of 100’/Lb of fastening torque and Mode 2 delivers the same of 700’/Lb Fastening Torque. It also comes with two M18 Red Lithium XC 4.0 Extended Capacity battery packs and runs for a very long time as compared to its competitions.
- Delivers high-quality performance with its 700 ft. /lbs of max. fastening torque, 1,100 ft./lbs of nut-busting torque and two times more running time.
- ½ inch Anvil friction ring is provided in the tool for allowing fast and easy socket changes.
- The Red Link Plus Intelligence allows the user to choose between two fastening modes to work with.
- It also comes with a Powerstate Brushless Motor that helps the tool to run for a longer period of time without any wearable components.
- Comes with a five years warranty.
- Great performance and very powerful.
- It weighs 15 pounds which is quite heavy as compared to its competitors.
- Switching from one mode to another can be difficult if you try doing it with your gloves on.
10. Craftsman C3:
The Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt XCP Impact Wrench Kit is the right choice for using it in the garage or for automotive purposes. It comes with a robust motor which provides 0-3,000 RPM/IPM and can produce 300 ft-lbs of torque. You can break free the stubborn nuts and bolts with this tool easily. It offers up to 4 times longer runtime while maintaining its best performance throughout. Its battery can run in extreme weather conditions as well. It also has three built-in LED lights which allow you to work in dark areas without any trouble.
- It has a robust motor that offers 0-3,000 RPM/IPM.
- It has three built-in LED lights for better viewing.
- It can produce up to 300 ft.-lbs. of torque.
- Runs on 4Ah XCP Lithium-ion Battery.
- Lug nuts can be removed without much effort at a great speed.
- Long-lasting battery and very powerful performance.
- It does not have a very long durability which might cause additional expenses for repairing and changing parts.
Impact Wrench Maintenance
Here are some tips for you to maintain your impact wrench:
- You should never use incorrect sockets or bits with your impact wrench. Use the ones that go with it only. Using incorrect ones can lead to accidents, injuries and can cause breakage to the parts of the wrench as well.
- Repair the parts that show signs of damage, immediately before using it further. Check your impact wrench regularly before use.
- Clean your impact wrench and its accessories daily. Keep it away from dirt, excessive heat or sun, and extreme weather conditions. Accumulated dirt can cause the parts to get damaged. So cleaning it is very necessary.
- Keep the moving parts of the wrench lubricated with the recommended lubricants only. Regular testing is necessary to check the air flow of the air impact wrench and it must be cleaned daily.
- Applying excessive torque can cause damage to the studs and the sockets that you are working with. Thus, never use excessive torque while working to avoid unforeseen accidents.
Safety Tips for Impact Wrench Users
Here are some safety tips to remember for every impact wrench user:
- Read the instructions carefully before you start using the impact wrench. Understand and follow all the requirements and warnings mentioned in the instruction manual. Wear properly covered dress to avoid any accidents.
- Wear proper safety accessories before you start working with your impact wrench. Use gloves and masks to avoid dust from suffocating you during your work. Check your work area and take precautions accordingly. Wear safety goggles also.
- Check the accessories and the impact wrench for any crack, breakage or other signs of damage before you start using it. Damaged tools can lead to fatal accidents.
- Do not use an impact wrench in a closed or covered area that may have electric cables, gas lines etc. which could injure you as well as others around you.
- Do not use the tool without being informed about using it completely. Check usage, safety instructions, and information on torque before using the impact wrench.
Do not go for cheaper products right away. Always check the best features and the prices that the impact wrenches are being offered at. Fasten your socket properly when in use and use these wrenches after taking proper safety measures. Make sure your wrench has a comfortable and firm grip to avoid accidents.
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