Best Impact Wrenches – Our Top 5 Reviewed
Impact wrenches are often under-appreciated in the general power tool market, these tools are super handy if you find taking off old bolts tiring and need more of a motorised impact to help you out.
You can either buy cordless impact wrenches or air impact wrenches; however, both models differ in features and price, with a vast range of them to pick from on the market.
So with that being said, we have decided to list out the best impact wrenches online and compare them to help find the right wrench kit for you.
Our Favourite Impact Wrench! –
The Dewalt DCF899P2-GB Impact Wrench 18V Cordless Brushless (Editor’s Choice)
The Dewalt impact wrench comes with a fan-cooled motor that delivers up to 950Nm of torque and can do up to 2400 impacts per minute.
Feature-wise the impact wrench additionally has an 18V 5.0Ah lithium battery along with a three-speed setting for its motor. There is also an LED light with a 20-second delay to improve vision when working.
This cordless design comes in yellow and black and has a 1/2 inch Anvil with detent pin which is also available in hog ring.
Overall, this cordless impact wrench by Dewalt is one of the top impact wrench models on our list. This is thanks to its high torque power which can speed up your working time and help accuracy.
Its LED light is also handy as it helps keeps your workspace illuminated.
Downfalls of this cordless impact wrench have to be its high price and design, which puts the forward/reverse switch in a delicate position, the weight of this power tools model is also a little heavy.
- Powerful and durable model.
- 950Nm of high torque with three-speed settings.
- LED light.
- 1/2 inch anvil with detent pin.
- 2400 hammers per minute.
- Available to use with hog ring.
- Poor design of switch placement.
Our Budget Alternative -VonHaus Cordless Impact Wrench with 3.0Ah Li-ion 20V MAX Battery
If you are looking for an affordable yet still powerful wrench kit, it could be worth checking out this impact wrench from Vonhaus.
Feature-wise, the model, comes with a torque of 240Nm and has a high spec motor drive with two 20V lithium-ion batteries that are interchangeable.
The cordless model additionally comes with a no-load run time of 30 minutes and has a forward/reverse switch.
Other notable specifications of the one tool are it’s 75-minute charging time and belt hook and carry bag. It also has a two-year warranty for buyer confidence.
This Vonhaus cordless impact wrench truly is great value for money and boasts a powerful torque considering its price.
Its design can remove old and rusty nuts easily, and it comes with great acessories for storing the tool.
However, the negatives of this model are its power which has been reported to have trouble removing wheel nuts from cars.
The forward/reverse switch is also said to be very sensitive, which can be switched by accident easily.
- Very affordable wrench kit with a range of accessories.
- Interchangeable 20V battery.
- 75 minute charging time.
- No-load run time of 30 minutes.
- 2-year warranty.
- Forward/reverse switch.
- Low torque motor can’t remove some standard car wheel nuts.
- The two forward/reverse switch is very sensitive and can be switched accidentally.
Makita DTW1002Z 18 V LXT Brushless Impact Wrench
Makita is very well-known in the power tool industry for producing some relilable products, this model, in particular, comes with a 500W brushless motor and can produce 1000Nm of torque power.
The main features of this tool are its three-speed impact power selection and 1,800rpm. It additionally has an electric brake to stop the rotation, and a twin LED job light.
This wrenches design is ergonomic too and does not come with its’s 18V lithium battery included.
The Makita impact wrench is a great model to consider if you are on a budget, it has a high torque power and a brushless motor which allows you to deliver impacts quickly.
This tool also has an ergonomic design which makes long hours of working with this impact wrench much more comfortable.
Some negatives of the Makita model have to be that it comes without a battery, so this is an extra cost to consider. The impact wrench is also very heavy.
- High torque power.
- Heavy-duty design.
- LED lighting.
- Three-speeds to choose from when working.
- Electric brake.
- No battery included.
- Very heavyweight.
WORX WX279 18V 20V MAX Cordless Brushless Impact Wrench
The WORX cordless impact wrench features a brushless motor with a three-speed gearbox and has two 20V lithium-ion batteries for power.
It’s 1/2-inch design additionally comes with one LED light and has a small, lightweight design for extended periods of working. It can also be used with any other 20V WORX batteries.
Extra acessories of this tool are its; carry bag, belt hook, and one-hour charger. It also has a rubber over-mould grip for better control.
Overall, this model by WORX is a great budget model and would be perfect for helping to remove bolts and nuts from cars in tight spaces.
The model’s design is also lightweight, which useful if your working for long periods as it prevents your arms from getting too tired.
Negatives of this WORX model have to be its overall power which is reported to be weak and not suitable for heavy-duty work; this could be due to its lower price.
- Can be used with any 20V WORX battery.
- LED light.
- Extra acessories included.
- Brushless motor with three-speeds.
- Weak power for impacting bolts and nuts.
- Poor battery life.
Milwaukee M12BIW38-0 3/8-inch Impact Wrench
This Milwaukee impact wrench is very affordable and features a 135Nm torque power with a red-ink lithium-ion battery pack that has overload protection.
The cordless model additionally has a 165mm size (length) and includes an LED light and fuel gauge; the design also features an optimised handle for better control when using the impact wrench.
There is a three-year warranty included with the tool if you register it online.
Overall, this Milwaukee impact wrench is an affordable and powerful model.
Its battery pack allows you to use the impact wrench for more extended periods without safety concerns too.
Negatives of this cordless impact wrench have to be its torque which is low in comparison to other impact wrenches, its switches and overall design is said to be of low quality too; this is potentially due to its low price.
- Battery pack with overload protection.
- Comfortable handle.
- LED light.
- Fuel gauge.
- Lack of torque power.
- Poor quality build.
Our Verdict – Which Is The Top Impact Wrench?
To conclude, the top impact wrench on our list has to be the Dewalt DCF899P2-GB Impact Wrench 18V.
Price-wise this may be expensive but has a high amount of torque power, allowing it to take care of heavy-duty work easily.
It additionally is the best cordless impact wrench on our list thanks to its LED light and an electric brake for safety.
As an affordable runner up we would suggest checking out the VonHaus Cordless Impact Wrench with 3.0Ah Li-ion 20V MAX Battery.
This Vonhaus best cordless impact wrench is very low-priced and has a pretty reasonable torque power, making it one of the most relilable builds on our list for removing nuts and bolts.
The only reason we placed this model second is due to its lack of power in comparison to the Dewalt model.
What To Look For In The Best Impact Wrench (Buying Guide)
Now we’ve looked at and compared the best impact wrenches on the market; it would help for you to familarise yourself with the features you will require in the best model.
You should consider whether a best cordless impact wrench would be more suitable or an air impact wrench.
We’ve put together our best buying guide below to help you out –
What Is an Impact Wrench?
An impact wrench comes in different types according to their power sources, but they all aim to help you either loosen or tighten nuts/bolts on cars or other designs.
They work by delivering impacts at a high torque level which will eventually loosen the nuts, so the higher the torque, the quicker you can remove nuts or bolts.
How To Use an Impact Wrench
Impact wrenches that use electricity operate differently to ones that use air.
As electric impact wrenches are more common our list, we will list out how to use these models below.
- Wear goggles and gloves – Before even turning on your wrench you need to be making sure your eyes and hands are protected in case of any flying metal.
- Pick your socket – Select a socket that fits tightly over your bolt, install your square socket by pressing down.
- Set your model to reverse – Use the reverse switch with the socket over the bolt and pull the trigger in a tiny burst, this will make the torque eventually loosen the bolt.
- Remove the nut – Once you have loosened the bolt, you can usually remove the rest by hand.
- Tighten the nut – If you want to tighten a nut then put your model into the forward mode by using the switch, use the correct socket then put the bolt in the hole. Use the trigger to enable torque to tighten the nut, rotate until tight.
- Store your model properly – After using your power tool, its essential to unplug or remove your model’s battery for charging. If your device is corded, then wrap the cord around the tool and store your model in a dry location.
Best Features To Look For In an Impact Wrench
Impact wrenches come in many different torque powers and kits, so it’s essential to know which features you should be looking for in a high power model.
We’ve listed out the key features below to consider in your best model –
- Power – Checking the torque power of your best impact wrench is the most important feature to start with. Having a high torque will allow you to deliver more heavy-duty impacts faster, speeding up the job and making it suitable for any kind of task. The higher the torque, the more power your model can deliver.
- Battery – If your model is cordless, then you need to consider its battery. Firstly check the voltage and strength of the battery, a higher voltage will be able to deliver more power to the motor, thus more impact. Some models even have an interchangeable battery option for their brand.
- Size – The size of your model matters; you don’t want a bulky tool that can’t fit into tight spaces.
- Weight – If you are planning to use your tool for long periods you want a lightweight model, sometimes the more powerful torque, the heavier weight – so this is something to watch out for.
- Drive size – Consider your tools drive size as this relates to the power of the model as well as the torque. You should look for a drive of at least 1/2 inch. They also come in sizes of 1/4 and 3/8.
- Extras – Some extra features to consider in your impact wrench are variable three-speed settings, ergonomic design and a forward/reverse switch. You should additionally make sure your model has some safety features such as overload protection.
- Warranty – When buying a power tool, it’s important to make sure it has a warranty of at least one year or more, this protects you in case you get given a faulty model.
Cordless VS Corded vs Air Impact Wrenches
Cordless models are becoming more and more popular on the market at the moment. However, they do have some disadvantages when compared to the traditional air impact wrench models and corded models.
We have explained the difference between each type of model below and listed out the pros and cons of using each kind of tool.
Cordless Impact Wrench
The best cordless impact wrench models run off a what is usually a powerful lithium-ion battery, this battery can be recharged each time you want to use the tool.
Cordless power tools like this are very portable and lightweight, allowing you to move around with the device for extended periods, they also tend to come with variable torque 3-speed options.
Still, cordless models do lack in power when compared to corded and air impact wrenches. They also run out of charge reasonably quick when in heavy-duty use.
- Rechargeable batteries.
- They need to be recharged often.
- Lack of power.
- May struggle with some challenging nuts or bolts.
Corded Impact Wrench
Corded wrenches operate pretty similarly to cordless models expect they need to be plugged in; this method of power allows them to deliver much more torque than cordless models.
Downfalls of corded models are there inevitable heavyweight and limitations due to their cord. This means you can’t move around with them unless you use an extension cord.
- Powerful torque.
- Don’t need to be recharged.
- Suitable for large bolts.
- Not very portable.
- Needs a source of electricity.
- Heavyweight can be tiring to hold for long periods.
Air Impact Wrench
Air wrenches operate by using compressed air to turn the driver rather than electricity or a battery.
To use the models, that means you need a powerful air compressor, meaning they tend to be better at removing tougher nuts or bolts than the other types of models.
These models, however, do have their disadvantages as their compressor means they are not portable, their speed is also less convenient to change as you will have to adjust it from the air compressor instead.
- They are more powerful than cordless and corded models.
- Great for heavy-duty work.
- Never runs out of power.
- Not portable.
- No 3-speed control.
- Can be heavy.
Overall, we suggest if you’re looking for lightweight and portability, and you aren’t too fussed about torque, then it’s suitable to go for a best cordless impact wrench. However, if you are looking for a powerful model, then you should consider an air impact wrench.
What’s the best way to maintain an impact wrench?
Always unplug your tool after use and read the manual for correct usage instructions. Never use the incorrect sockets with your tool and if you have an air model, make sure to check the device for moisture now and then.
What can you use these tools for?
You can use these devices for loosening or tightening nuts on cars or large bolts. They are also great for removing rusted fastenings.
If I want to remove lug nuts which size should I look for?
Go for the size of either 3/8 or 1/2 inch for removing these nuts. It’s a good idea to remember the size of the sockets you own too.
Is there a difference between impact drivers and impact wrenches?
Despite there similar names, impact drivers are used for drilling long screws into wood or metal surfaces, impact wrenches, on the other hand, are meant for loosening tight nuts and bolts.
What is a hog ring?
A hog ring is a ring at the end of a driver that is used to keep a socket in place. Some tools also use a detent pin which operates with a spring-loaded ball on one side of the driver to keep the socket in place.
Are electric versions as good as air versions?
In terms of portability, weight, and convenience, electric cordless wrenches are the winners, however, in terms of power and if you want to remove large nuts and bolts; air wrenches are much more suitable.
How big of an air compressor do you need to run an air impact wrench?
For a 1/2 inch impact wrench, you should look for an air compressor size of at least 90PSI.
Can you tighten lug nuts with an impact wrench?
You can tighten lug nuts, but you need to be very careful not too over-tighten the nuts due to the torque. If you are still new to using these tools, then it’s best to finish them with a ratchet.
If you overtighten your lug nuts, you could risk damaging the wheel of the car.
Are there different sized sockets for various bolts and nuts?
Yes, there are many different sockets you can attach to your tool for loosening or tightening nuts, its a good idea to buy a set with a range of socket sizes.
What should I consider in the best cordless impact wrenches?
You should look for; torque rating, size, weight and the voltage of the tool’s battery, this will all determine how much power your tool can deliver for removing nuts.
How much do these tools typically cost?
For best cordless impact wrenches there prices can range from between £100-£400 and over. This depends on the torque power provided by the model and its overall design quality.
What are some things to avoid when using an impact wrench?
You should always avoid overtightening nuts, using the wrong socket or purchasing the wrong wrench size.
Make sure your model is correct for the job you want to do.
Are speeds adjustable on one of these wrenches?
Yes, you can find models with variable 3-speed settings, from low to high.
Our #1 Top Impact Wrench For Loosening Nuts & Bolts
The number one impact wrench on our list for removing or tightening lug nuts is the Dewalt DCF899P2-GB Impact Wrench 18V due to its excellent torque power and durable build which can deliver a high amount of impacts per minute.
Our more affordable alternative is the VonHaus Cordless Impact Wrench with 3.0Ah Li-ion 20V MAX Battery.
This is because of its interchangeable battery system and easy to use design, making it one of the most straightforward best budget options to use on our list.