So you spotted impact wrenches and drivers in the mechanic’s workshop and wondered how swiftly it can do its task of removing tight nuts and bolts! Removing the wheel on a car can get super easy with an impact wrench. Pondering if you need to get one and what type of impact wrench you need to buy? Well firstly you need to know what is an impact wrenches and how they are used!
- 1 What is an Impact Wrench Used For?
- 2 What Type Of Impact Wrench Should I Buy?
- 3 Pneumatic Impact Wrench
- 4 Corded Impact Wrench
- 5 Battery Powered Impact Wrench
- 6 How Much Torque Do I need?
- 7 Final Words – Over To You
What is an Impact Wrench Used For?
What is an Impact Wrench? Impact wrenches or torque guns, as they are commonly called, are powerful socket wrenches which can tighten and loosen nuts under compressed air pressure or electrical motor action. The air impact wrenches use compressed air causing the hissing sound when it operates. Whereas electric impact guns can be corded or cordless (operating under battery power). Whether you need a corded one or a cordless one depends on the use you are going to put the impact wrench for. If you want portability a cordless impact wrench is your best choice!
What Type Of Impact Wrench Should I Buy?
Each type of impact wrench has its own advantages. Impact wrenches started as air driven power tools being used by professionals and race technicians removing and refitting wheel lug nuts during a race. I am sure you must have noticed this during an F1 race! I am going to give you more details about the various types of impact wrenches out there which will help you decide what type of impact wrench you should buy!
Pneumatic Impact Wrench
Compressed air driven air impact wrenches are fast, powerful and durable making them the best choice in a professional setup like assembly lines. But with that comes the requirement of a high power, sufficient volume air supply demanding period maintenance. Thus for the use of an impact wrench once in a while or home setup, electric or cordless impact wrenches are better suited. Air impact wrenches are not much portable as well, being attached to long hose pipes, which connect the compressed air to the tool.
Best Air Impact Wrench for Home Maintenance
- Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX/2115 QTiMAX – Best 3/8 Air Impact Wrench
- PowRyte Basic 100104 – Best Air Impact Wrench under $50
Best Air Impact Wrench for Lug Nuts
- NitroCat 1200-K – Best for Automotive Use
Best Air Impact Wrench for Pro Mechanics
- Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX – Most Powerful 1/2 Air Impact Gun
- Nitrocat 1250-K – Best Air Impact Gun for Mechanics
For more options check the air impact wrench reviews.
Corded Impact Wrench
Electric impact wrenches, the corded ones, can deliver sufficient power as well depending on the model. The main advantage of a corded impact wrench is its cost. They are on the cheaper side as compared to cordless impact wrenches. But, being connected with a cord, which sometimes is not long enough, makes their area of operation limited. There comes the headache of using extension cords. Corded impact wrenches cannot be used during power cuts making you reliant on your electricity operator!
Battery Powered Impact Wrench
Then comes the cordless impact wrenches, which is the most popular amongst all the various types available in the market. The obvious advantages are portability and ease of operation. Best cordless impact wrenches are as light 2.5 Kgs making them more user friendly causing less operator fatigue. The most recent cordless impact wrenches have power comparable to the air driven ones making them perform even without the availability of air infrastructure. These tools are however a bit costly, although you have a huge plethora of options in the market now. Check the latest cordless impact wrench review article for more details.
Best Cordless Impact Wrench Options
- DEWALT DCF899HB – Best Cordless Impact Wrench for Changing Tires.
- Milwaukee 2754-20 With Friction Ring – Best 3/8 Cordless Impact Wrench for Log Nuts
- Makita WT01ZW – Cheap but Powerful Impact Wrench
How Much Torque Do I need?
The amount of torque that your impact wrench needs to have depends on the task that I will do. If you want to use your impact wrench for tough jobs in the assembly line or removal of automotive lug nuts, it is always better to take at least 800-900 ft.lbs. of power. For smaller bolts and home maintenance tasks 300-500 ft.lbs. of power can be sufficient for your impact wrench.
Final Words – Over To You
Air impact wrenches are the trusted tools for pro mechanics in their workshops and assembly lines due to their proven durability and performance. However with the systems and technologies continuing to advance, cordless impact wrenches are getting more powerful yet cheaper. This trend is positive for users who require an impact wrench for infrequent use. Cordless impact wrenches are sure to dominate the market in the near future!
I hope you found this guide helpful in choosing the right impact wrench for your requirements. Do like The Wrench Guy on Facebook and twitter to get more such tips and tutorials in future.