Almost every single person at some point in their life has tried to loosen or tighten a nut or bolt in a tight space, and after much muttering and stress, knuckles are usually grazed, blood pressure goes through the roof, and you give up on the task entirely. Next to golf, doing work around the house, or on your car, is the second highest curse word provoking activity known to man.
This is generally because a manual wrench is too big to fit into tight spaces, and often doesn’t give you the power or torque you need. Torque, if you aren’t aware, is rotational power, and when using a manual wrench, this power has to come from the user, i.e. you. Getting the screw started is usually the most difficult part for a manual wrench. The begging of tightening a screw is where the most amount of power and torque needs to be applied, in order to get a groove going.
Cordless impact wrenches are therefore becoming increasingly popular. These help people everyday get into tight spots, where a manual wrench would not fit, or be practical.
What is an Impact Wrench?
From that introduction, you should have a general idea of what an impact wrench is; an impact wrench is a power tool which is used to help loosen or tighten nuts, bolts, or screws, applying power and torque, as well as grip, without much in the way of effort from the user. Cordless impact wrenches are, as the name would suggest, cordless and therefore powered by batteries. If you want to know a little more about the differences between the two, you can check out our page on Corded Vs. Cordless Impact Wrenches.
One of the main tasks an impact wrench is used for is helping with replacing tires, meaning that having this tool in your car is ideal for those unexpected situations which occasionally pop up. What once would take a long time, with scrapped knees and sore wrist, now can be done with ease in seconds. Keeping a cordless impact wrench in your car is a great solution to not only get yourself out of a jam, but even help out friends that pop a tire while driving.
A cordless impact wrench receives its power and torque from the motor, which works in short and powerful bursts, to give you the performance you need – no grazed knuckles, and no stress required. Obviously there are countless models on the market, and you need to think about several areas before deciding on which one to go for, taking your budget into account.
Different Types of Impact Wrenches
We are talking about cordless impact wrenches here, wrenches which are powered by strong batteries and can be transported anywhere you need them to go. Having said that, there are two other types of impact wrench on the market, namely pneumatic impact wrenches, and electric impact wrenches.
To give you a full overview, a pneumatic impact wrench is given its power by an air compressor, and this type of impact wrench is often used in the professional field, because it requires connection to a powerful compressor to pass the air to the wrench. The electric impact wrench is plugged into the mains, and they usually have long cords to enable you to connect indoors and use outdoors etc.
How to Choose The Right Impact Wrench
You really need to look at what you are going to be using the impact wrench for, and of course, how often you are planning on using it. If you are only going to be using the tool occasionally, then it’s not really worth spending a large amount of cash, but if you are needing such a tool for your job, then it may be worth spending more, in order to get higher quality. A great way to tell the heavier duty tools apart from the everyday tools, asides from price, is the torque. The higher the torque the wrench has, the bigger the jobs it can get done. Because of this, there is no need to buy a wrench that has enough torque to screw together a steel beam, if you are just looking for a quick and easy wrench for household work.
In addition, look at the size of items you are going to need to use the impact wrench on. There will be impact wrenches which are suitable for small items, and some which are more suitable for large items, and this is something you need to think about also. On top of this, look at the type of batteries the impact wrench uses, and consider the additional cost on top of the initial outlay. This will help you understand how to charge, how often to charge, and how long the battery will last. There is nothing worse than picking up a tool to find out that you need to charge it for 30 minutes before using it because it's dead.
Five of the Best Cordless Impact Wrenches Reviewed
Ingersoll Rand W1130-K2 12V Cordless Impact Wrench Kit
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC820B ½-inch, 18 volt Cordless Impact Wrench
Craftsman C3 Cordless 19.2 Volt Impact Wrench Driver Kit
TruePower 300 FT.LBS ½” Drive Cordless Impact Wrench Kit 19.2 Volt
Craftsman C3 ½” Heavy Duty Impact Wrench Kit Powered by 4ah XCP Cordless Tools High Torque
This particular product comes from a big named brand in the power tool world, which gives you instant peace of mind. The major perk here is that this is a lightweight tool, so you can use it for overhead work without getting tired arms or risking dropping the tool. Warranty is on parts, so if anything does break over time you can contact the manufacturer for fixing or replacement, and the impact wrench is powered by a Li-Ion battery, which is included, long-lasting, and can be found very easily on the market when the battery eventually runs out.
In terms of cost effectiveness and durability, this is a fantastic cordless impact wrench product, and as you can see from the pros and cons list, there is very little in the way of cons. The kit comes with everything you need, including a carry bag, and the powerful 100 ft-lb of reverse torque means you are going to be able to remove or tighten any nut, bolt, or screw you need to action. The tool is also extremely lightweight and compact, so overhead working and small spaces is no problem.
The lithium ion battery is powerful and certainly very easy to replace when the time comes, and the outside of the tool is resistant to chemicals, and wear and tear, so your impact wrench will look shiny and new for much longer! The mechanism inside is very durable, and all in all, this is one of the best products on the market.
Big named brands always help you make a decision, because they are popular and well-received for a reason. DEWALT are a big name in the power tool world, and this particular cordless impact wrench is certainly one of their star products on the market today.
This particular cordless impact wrench is fantastic in terms of durability and performance, but the fact you have to buy the battery and charger separately really lets it down in terms of cost effectiveness. On the other hand, this is a very heavy duty impact wrench, so you know that you are going to be able to easily unscrew cross-threaded bolts, and reach into the smallest spaces, thanks to its compact nature. The impact wrench is also extremely lightweight when compared to many other products on the market, and that is a big plus when holding the tool overhead, or when working for a long period of time. On top of this, the handle is moulded and high grip, so there is no chance of dropping the tool, or it becoming uncomfortable to hold.
In terms of warranty, you are getting three years limited warranty on the tool itself, and one year free service too, which adds to the plus points.
Craftsman is an equally big name in the tool business, and this particular impact wrench is very well received by users, however the battery could be somewhat of an issue for some users. There are certainly main perks to this particular product, and it will serve most regular users well in terms of small household or automotive jobs.
This is a good budget option for anyone who wants to purchase a cordless impact wrench for tasks around the house, or for changing tyres when out and about. The product has LED lights, which makes changing those tyres in dark conditions much easier and safer, and the handle is built to make holding the tool easy and comfortable. With 200 ft-lb of torque, you will certainly be able to complete all domestic tasks that you need, and the 19.2 volt battery is certainly long-lasting. The downside many users have reported is that a lithium battery would have been better, simply because they are much easier to replace in terms of cost and availability, however the NiCAD 19.2 volt batteries are available from the manufacturer for a low cost.
For changing and replacing nuts, bolts and screws this is a good option to go for, without major power, but strong enough to do just enough, to get the job done.
This product is a great budget options for those who need this type of tool in their house for the odd job here and there. It is certainly a powerful choice to go for despite the cheaper price, and it comes with many pleasing advantages, such as high power.
This is a good quality product for the price you pay, and it is certainly powerful too, at 0-2200 RPM and ½” drive, including 300 ft-lb of torque to get into those small spaces and remove or screw in nuts, bolts, and screws around the house or for replacing car tyres. The only downside which is repeatedly mentioned by users is regarding the battery charge. Many users state that the battery doesn’t last that long when using it, however it does charge up quite fast once plugged in. Therefore, if you are only using the impact wrench for small jobs around the house, then this shouldn’t be an issue, and will really only be a problem when using it commercially, or for larger jobs.
The battery itself is Nickel-Zinc (Ni-Zn), and many users also state that a lithium battery would perhaps have been longer lasting, and easier to replace. All of this aside however, this is certainly a quality tool for domestic and mechanical jobs, and everything you need is included in the kit, without having to buy anything else to get you started.
This final Craftsman choice is a heavy duty option on our list, and will serve anyone well who needs to do harder jobs around the house, or perhaps anyone who is working with cars on a regular basis.
This is a very heavy weight cordless impact wrench, and could easily be used for more in-depth and frequent work, compared to simple domestic tasks. The 0-3000 RPM means you are getting serious power, and up to 300 ft-lb of torque too, so this model can easily replace cross-threaded screws, and the tightest of bolts. The XCP technology which is built into the impact wrench is also extremely beneficial because it increases torque power by up to 20% compared to other models, and also increases the Ni-Cd battery life by up to 4 times longer.
You can easily replace tires in adverse weather using this impact wrench, as the battery doesn’t stutter or stop in cold or wet conditions, and the included multi-chemistry charger is fast to charge up the battery. There are three lights included on the model for work in darker conditions, and the grip is comfortable and safe. Perhaps the only real downside is that the power of this tool means it isn’t as lightweight as some other models.