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Top 5 Best Air Impact Wrenches 2021 Reviews

An air impact wrench is a powerful tool that can save you loads of time and effort on your next project. Whether you are a professional worker, a DIY enthusiast working on a project, or an amateur who needs a tool to loosen and fasten bolts and nuts around the home, you will find the best impact wrench handy.

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If you have chanced upon an automotive shop or dealership, the chances are high that you have come across this tool. There is a wide range of offerings from different manufacturers, and these tools come in various styles and with multiple features. In this post, we will consider five of the best air impact wrenches on the market today. We will also discuss some of the vital factors that will help you choose the right air impact wrench.

Best Impact Wrenches

1. Aircat Killer Torque 1/2-inch Impact Wrench (1150)

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The Aircat Killer Air impact wrench deservedly takes the first spot on our list of the best impact wrenches. It is an impressive tool that is great for beginners, and some experts like it as well. It is one of the best selling, and highest rated impact wrenches on Amazon, showing that many people enjoy its performance.

It boasts of 1295 ft-lbs of loosening torque and similarly impressive maximum torque of 900 ft-lbs. The company claims that this wrench is the hardest hitting wrench on the market, and after our test, we agree it is one of the best we have used.

It comes in an attractive, compact design. The handle is comfortable and ergonomically made to ensure that you have a firm yet comfortable grip on the wrench. Weighing around 4.5 pounds, it is heavy, but not so heavy as to become a burden even after extended periods of use. It is a safe impact wrench as it comes with Aircat’s patented technology that serves to alleviate any backpressure. It delivers up to 1,400 blows per minute and operates at a relatively low noise level.

Along with all these features, it comes with a two-year warranty, showing how confident Aircat is in its tool. If you need a portable, powerful impact wrench, the Aircat is an excellent option.

  • Relatively quiet
  • Powerful performance
  • Ergonomic design
  • Vibration wears out the sockets and the gun very quickly

2. Ingersoll Rand 1/2-inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench (231C)

Ingersoll Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench
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The Ingersoll Rand 1/2-inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench (231C) wrench is one of the best impact wrenches we have on the market. It is an air impact wrench that is fast and powerful. It comes with astonishing 8000 RPM and 1200 IPM speeds, which make it one of the fastest and most powerful impact wrenches we tested.

It is relatively heavy, weighing 5.8 pounds. We like the ergonomic design that allows work to be done in comfort. We found the compactness of the impact wrench to help in reducing stress on the hands and wrists. The ½” hog ring anvil found on the wrench means that socket changes and adjustments are easy and quick to make.

If you need an affordable air impact wrench that is durable and offers a fair amount of power, then you will enjoy using this impact wrench. If you want to carry out heavy-duty projects, it will be wiser to opt for this impact wrench..

Aside from power, it is a reliable option, as it comes with one-year warranty, you can rest assured of the quality and durability.

  • Incredible performance
  • Can carry out heavy-duty projects
  • Compact, durable build
  • One-year warranty
  • Relatively noisy
  • Relatively loud

3. NitroCat 1/2-inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench (1200-K)

NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench With Twin Clutch Mechanism
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The NitroCat Composite Air Impact Wench is an excellent offering from NitroCat. This impact wrench is a air impact wrench that affords you the opportunity of carrying it around on a project. It is relatively lightweight and portable and weighs just 4.5 pounds. The handle is well designed to allow for an impressive grip. Furthermore, the Kevlar composite housing makes its super-durable.

Do not let the compact size fool you; it packs quite a punch under the hood. The impact wrench delivers up 8000 RPM and 950 impacts per minute. Despite the power it displays, it is one of the quietest air impact wrenches you will ever use.

With its brushless motor, it runs faster and generates less heat than similarly priced rival models. The Milwaukee impact wrench comes with a ½” anvil with friction ring. As a result, socket changes and adjustments are easy and quick to do.

Its twin clutch mechanism means that you can use this impact wrench for heavy-duty applications.

  • Powerful impact wrench
  • Twin clutch mechanism
  • Lightweight design
  • Two-year warranty
  • The trigger is rather sensitive

4. DEWALT DWMT70773L 1/2-Inch Pneumatic Impact Wrench

DEWALT Impact Wrench, Square Drive, Heavy Duty, 1/2-Inch (DWMT70773L)
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The fourth air impact wrench is  the DEWALT DWMT70773L 1/2-Inch Pneumatic Impact Wrench. If you are a professional, you will likely have heard of Dewalt. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of automotive tools of high quality, and this impact wrench is no exception. It is a air impact wrench that offers decent power and satisfactory performance.

The design is nice, with a comfortable grip handle that allows you firmly grip the tool for long periods without feeling hand fatigue. Whereas other impact wrenches might require the use of both hands to operate, this air impact wrench can be used with one hand comfortably.

With this bad boy, you will get 650 ft-lbs of force, which is terrific for light to medium duty projects.

It has its faults as well, notably its affinity for grease and dirt. While this might not be a deal breaker for you, other folks prefer to have their tools looking clean at all times; which can be a challenge using this air impact wrench.

  • Sturdy, compact design
  • Ideal for small air compressors
  • Adjustable speeds
  • High price
  • Difficult to keep clean

5. Campbell Hausfeld Air Impact Wrench

Campbell Hausfeld 1/2
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The last, but by no means the least impact wrench on this list of the best air impact wrenches you can buy right now is the Campbell Hausfeld Air Impact Wrench. This model from Campbell Hausfeld is one of the cheapest you will find. Despite the low price, it offers impressive performance.

One of the features is the lightweight, compact size. It weighs just 4.4 pounds, which makes it the most lightweight on this list. Aside from the lightweight and compact design, we enjoyed the ergonomic handle that is delightful to hold. We believe that you will work for an extended period without feeling aches or strains in your wrists.

Additionally, the Campbell Hausfeld Air Impact Wrench comes with a three speed selector. This feature ensures that you can switch the amount of power or torque applied to your desired project. Thus level of power control over torque is rarely seen in air impact wrenches that come at a relatively low price.

The only downside we found in this nice offering is the low power it offers. It gives a maximum output of 550 ft-lbs, which is not sufficient power for medium-duty or heavy-duty applications.

  • Lightweight construction
  • Low price
  • Reliable performance
  • Not for heavy duty applications

Buying Guide to the Best Impact Wrenches

What is an impact wrench?

An impact wrench is a tool that is used to tighten or loosen screws or lug nuts. When you walk into a mechanical workshop, you might have heard a loud whining sound. In most cases, the high-pitched sound comes from the impact wrench.

If you are a fan of car racing, these tools are the tools that allow a drivers’ team to change the cars’ tires so quickly.

What are the advantages of Impact wrenches?

You might wonder why to opt for an impact wrench when an electric drill can do the same thing. Well, the impact wrench is a better option for several reasons.

First of all, it is more powerful than electric drills. Hence, it does a more efficient job of loosening different types of fasteners: including rusted ones.

Additionally, impact wrenches deliver more torque, less weight, and generally cost less than other options. They are light and portable and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

What are the types of impact wrenches?

Impact wrenches come in different types, but the three most common types of impact wrenches are the pneumatic impact wrench, electric impact wrench, and hydraulic impact wrench.

Let’s consider each of these types in more detail.

Pneumatic impact wrench

The pneumatic impact wrench is usually powered by compressed air. Therefore, to use this type of impact wrenches, you will require an air compressor.

They possess several advantages.

For one, these impact wrenches run on a steady supply of compressed air; therefore, they can be continuously used. They do not require any electric outlets or sources to function.

They are also usually smaller than other types of impact wrenches. Hence, if you are working in a confined space, you will find them super-effective.

Despite these advantages, these wrenches also come with problems.

A common drawback is that they lack adjustment mechanisms, hence you have to adjust the power. If your project requires a certain amount of torque, these wrenches can be problematic to use. Their lack of adjustment mechanism means that if the work requires minimal torque, the standard torque from the wrench can damage or even shatter the bolt.

Electric Impact Wrench

As the name implies, these wrenches run on electricity. There are often cordless, although a large number remain corded.

The corded electric impact wrench can be used for as long as you have a power source to plug it into. They do not need batteries, and since they have power regulators, adjusting the torque is not problematic.

However, the corded electric impact wrench lacks the portability than their cordless counterparts possess. If your cord is short, then you will have a limited area to work in.. furthermore, without electricity, they are utterly useless.

The cordless electric impact wrenches rely on batteries to function. They are highly portable and can be used anywhere. However, they lack the power for serious or heavy-duty projects.

Hydraulic Impact Wrench

This wrench is the most powerful impact wrench available. It is not meant for household or domestic projects but can be found applied in industrial conditions.

What factors should be considered when choosing an air impact wrench?

The following are vital factors to be considered.

1. Torque

Torque is what affects the rotational movement of your bolt. It is the power that influences the bolt or nut you are working on. The higher the torque, the faster and more powerful the impact wrench will be. Hence, you must consider the purpose you will be using the impact wrench for and the amount of torque required to accomplish the project easily.

2. RPM & IPM

RPM (revolution per minute) and IPM (impacts per minute) are vital factors that will affect your choice. The higher the RPM, the less effort it will take to unscrew or screw a bolt or nut. If you plan on finishing your work quickly, then you should choose an impact wrench with a high RPM. The IPM also serves in the same manner.

3. Portability

You have to consider the size and weight of the impact wrench before you make a purchase. A lightweight impact wrench will make your work easier and faster, without causing unnecessary strain on your wrists. Furthermore, if your project requires moving around, you might want to choose an impact wrench that is easy to carry around with you.

The size of the air impact wrench will affect the kind of use you will get from it.  If you are planning to use it mainly for home use, a small impact wrench will be an excellent option. You should keep in mind that in most cases, the bigger the impact wrench is, the more powerful it is likely to be.

Final Words

Choosing the right air impact wrench from the extensive collection of wrenches on the market can be quite a challenge. However, by considering this review and guide, you will be better equipped to make the right choice.

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