Are Cordless Impact Wrenches Any Good?

Impact wrenches have historically been mostly pneumatic, or air propelled, which places them firmly in the realm of professional mechanics. You typically require an air compressor pumping out close to 100 psi to power a common 1 2 inches pneumatic impact wrench, which is a big expenditure.

The good news is that as battery technology advances, cordless, rechargeable batteries’ impact wrenches have improved, bringing down prices and making them competitive substitutes to their pneumatic siblings. In actuality, the mobility of cordless impact wrenches is a huge benefit. These tools are portable because they aren’t attached to a compressor by an air hose.

In order to determine each impact wrench’s strengths and limitations, we brought in a variety of models, ranging from a big-duty, high-torque model to the compact, medium-duty type.

How do they function?

The impact wrench is specifically made for tightening and loosening a variety of hex-head bolts, nuts, and lag screws, in contrast to cordless drill/drivers and impacting drivers, which excel at making holes and driving screws. To provide an unrivaled amount of power, it uses both torques as well as brief concussive hits (impacts). For instance, the typical impact driver generates about 125 foot-pounds of torque, while the majority of cordless drill/drivers generate about 50 foot-pounds. Comparatively, cordless impact wrenches are readily capable of producing an output of torque of over 250 foot-pounds, providing more than sufficient force to drive the heaviest lags and crack open rusted, corroded nuts.

Though, all that power is useless, when you can’t handle the tool. Because the majority of the high-energy torque from impact wrenches is smoothly transferred to the fastener rather than your hands, wrist, or arm, they are fortunately very comfortable to handle. As a result, the rotating motion you experience while using an electric drill—also referred to as reactive torque—is essentially removed.


Higher voltage will generally provide greater power, however, a lower voltage can also be used in some circumstances. Impact wrenches that run on 12-volts have more manageable batteries. Because of this, they are useful for doing the simplest tasks, functioning overhead, or fitting into limited areas. The differences between 18 and 20-volt tools are less noticeable. In general, 18-volt tools with cutting-edge features and capabilities are more adaptable and simple to operate.

The quantity of amps that the batteries will continually discharge during an hour is measured in amp hours (Ah). Amp hours can be compared to the gas tank volume: a higher number indicates more gas.


Impacts per minutes (ipm) and rotations per minute (rpm) rise as the latter does. High rpm also aids in accelerating the driving of nuts or bolts, while ipm engage more forcefully as resistance rises.

How We Put These Impact Wrenches to the Test?

Are Cordless Impact Wrenches Any Good?

Our test editors have carefully examined and analyzed each impact driver on just this list. To order to choose the best solutions, we conduct market research, user reviews, and interviews with managers of the products and engineers, also use our expertise using these tools. With these impact wrenches, we selected useful activities that the majority of people could need to complete.  On a Ford F-250 Super Duty pickups vehicle, the first involved removing and changing lug nuts that had been torqued to the acceptable spec of 165-foot pounds. On an ancient piece of farm machinery, the second step was to remove or break loose rusty nuts and bolts.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Mid-Torque Impact Wrenches:

With attaching torque up to 550 ft-lbs and nut-busting torque up to 650 ft-lbs, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel mid-torque impact wrenches provide the performance that prevents us from using high-torque models. A one-impact wrench may substitute the requirement for a bigger high-torque tool while working on passenger cars for 95% or maybe more of the period. They do a lot of the work, besides lug nuts, even for diesel and heavy equipment mechanics.

These impacts are also remarkably small for their power output, being only 6 inches long and weighing just less than five pounds with such a 5.0Ah battery.

Impact Wrench, 1/2-Inch, DeWalt 20V Max XR:

When we first picked up the DeWalt 20V Max XR, we could tell it was a powerful tool. Because they contain beefier components needed to control the forces required to transfer all that torque, high-torque impact wrenches typically weigh more. This impact wrench, the heaviest in the test, weighs 7.2 pounds to 1 of the 2 huge 5-Ah batteries hooked to the bottom. The weight does provide the impression that it is sturdy and durable, though. The Max XR broke the lug nuts free on the F-250 Super Duty in a matter of seconds, making the removal process appear simple. We experimented with all three speeds, with the highest setting eradicating them the quickest.

We needed to develop a sense of when to release the trigger and allow the tool’s momentum to spin the nut off; if we waited too long, the nut might fly from the socket and spin rapidly off the stud. The rusted farm tool seemed like the ideal project for the Max XR. The only problem was being capable of reaching a few of the rusty nuts and bolts due to the size of a wrench. The high-torque impact wrench from DeWalt would be the ideal tool for fixing cars, trucks, and tractors in the field or by the side of the road.

1/2-In. Impact Wrench, Porter-Cable PCC740LA:

This mid-range wrench is designed and priced to appeal to a wide spectrum of workers, from professional contractors to do-it-yourself homeowners and backyard mechanics. Its 1-inch hog ring, 4-Ah battery, and over-molded rubber handgrips were particular favorites of ours.


What is the purpose of a cordless impact wrench?

An impact wrench is what? Bolts, lug nuts, and corroded fasteners can be tightened and loosened with excellent success with impact wrenches. They generate high torque production with little effort from the user and offer a really high rotor torque that standard drills are just not capable of.

What is a good impact wrench torque? 

A 1500–1800 in-lbs–torque impact driver, in general, emphasizes higher RPM than other impact drivers. Compared to a tool with much more torque as well as slower speeds, it completes 95% of work more rapidly. Our general rule is that an impact wrench is preferable to a socket adapter if you have to reach for one.

Will impact drivers work well to remove screws?

Impact drivers are more effective than the typical compact drill in handling large screws and bolts. You’ll find operating an impact driver easier on your hand and wrist because they automatically add additional rotational force when they run into resistance.

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