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Step Up the Speed Using the Best Impact Wrench

  1. Matco Cordless Impact Wrench
  2. Makita 18V 1/2" High Torque Impact Wrench
  3. DEWALT 7.5-Amp 1/2" Impact Wrench
  4. Kobalt Brushless Cordless Impact Wrench
  5. Craftsman 1/2" Corded Impact Wrench
  6. Milwaukee 1/2" Electric Impact Wrench with Rocker Switch
  7. Makita TWO350, 1/2" Impact Wrench with Detent Pin
  8. Chicago Pneumatic (CPT7732) Ultra Compact & Powerful Impact Wrench
  9. Ingersoll Rand Series Impact Driver
  10. Chicago Pneumatic Torque Limited Impact Wrench - CP7748TL
  11. Buyer's Guide

An impact wrench is the epitome of fastening power. When the hand ratchet falls short and even the breaker bar doesn't quite cut it, this tool steps up and breaks those fasteners free with ease and speed unlike anything else. This is why the impact wrench might be the most important tool a pit crew works with. What else could remove and replace lug-nuts so quickly while guaranteeing a racetrack ready job?

When buying an impact wrench you first need to consider your power source. Air driven best impact wrenches in 2022 offer the greatest power, but compressors are expensive and take up a lot of space. Corded electric impact wrenches are great for shop use and still offer some serious power without having to worry about compressors and air filters, but can't quite reach the peak output of air systems. Lastly, cordless impact wrenches offer unmatched versatility and portability, but you have to think about battery life and many are not strong enough for their intended jobs.

The other big factor to consider is the power your job requires. There are some impact wrenches on the market that can snap a steel bolt cleanly if you're not careful and something like that will be overkill for everything except ancient, rusted lug-nuts. Bigger isn't always better and you need to get the right tool for your job or risk breaking a part of your project.

Lastly, is it a comfortable tool to use? I'm not just talking about the weight and balance, but those are important factors. The nature of an impact wrench lends itself to vibration that can really wear on your wrists and arms over time. On top of that, wrenching your wrists when a fastener catches is all too common a problem. A good impact wrench should absorb a lot of the vibration before it reaches your hands and direct its power onto the fastener rather than you.

Compare The Best Impact Wrenches Of 2022

Matco Cordless Impact Wrench - Best Impact Wrench Overall

Matco is a professional tool company, servicing mechanics, like Snap-On does. However, their tools don't usually have as high a price as Snap-On's do. I won't get into a discussion about which is better, although I did choose their 1/2" cordless impact over Snap-On's offering. That's mostly for the high amount of power it offers. This impact gives you 780 ft. lbs. of reverse torque, with burst of 1,100 ft. lbs. of torque for busting nuts loose. That's ties for the most power than I've found in any cordless impact. The power train is all metal to handle that much torque. At 6.8 pounds, that's an incredible power to weight ratio. It comes with two 3.0 Ah Li-Ion batteries, a charger, and a storage case.

Makita 18V 1/2" High Torque Impact Wrench - Runner Up

Makita offers this unit as either a bare tool or a kit but I've selected the bare tool, simply because I have other Makita tools, so I already have the batteries and charger. This one produces 325 ft. lbs. of max torque. The manufacturer doesn't list a breakaway torque, so I have to assume that there isn't one. One thing I like about this tool is that the handle is shock absorbent. This not only protects your wrists, but it also reduces fatigue on the tool thereby reducing chances that the handle, which is the battery compartment on all these tools, will break. This tool also is equipped with an LED worklight which illuminates your work area. It uses Makita's standard 18V LTX Li-Ion batteries.

DEWALT 7.5-Amp 1/2" Impact Wrench - Honorable Mention

DeWalt's corded impact wrench comes in real close to the following two models, in the power department, at 345 ft. lbs. of torque. No load speed is 2100 RPM and it delivers 2700 IMP of impact power, making it very comparable to the other two. The manufacturer's web page states that this one has ball bearing construction which the others on our list don't mention, giving this tool the number one slot. However, this one does not have a work light or the power indicator light; while those are minor features, they do come in as a tie breaker. The anvil on this tool has a detent for holding the sockets in place, rather than the friction ring the others had. I prefer the friction ring, but some prefer the detent. The power switch is a rocker for ease of use and the handle is nicely padded for comfort.

Kobalt Brushless Cordless Impact Wrench - Consider

Kobalt tools are a brand of Lowe's Home Improvement Centers, manufactured to compete with Craftsman. I have a few of their tools and from what I've seen of them, they are well built, rugged tools that are intended to last. We can see that from the five year "hassle-free" guarantee that they put on this tool. At 350 ft. lbs. of torque, this one ties for first place in overall power. The 8 amp motor gives you plenty to work with, running at 2100 RPM and 2700 IPM of impact power. The trigger is a toggle switch, making it easy to change directions, when you need to. It also includes a live wire indicator for safety and comes with 7 deep well impact sockets. Sockets are held in place by a "bull-nose" friction ring.

Craftsman 1/2" Corded Impact Wrench - Best Electric Impact Wrench

Craftsman's 1/2" corded impact wrench has specification close enough to the Kobalt that one could almost wonder if they came out of the same factory. However, they are different enough in appearance that it's doubtful that's the case. This one also provides 350 ft. lbs. of torque, running at 2100 RPM and 2700 IMP of impact power. That makes the two tools comparable. However, the Craftsman doesn't have the five year warranty of the Kobalt, which is why I gave the number one slot to them.
This one also has a toggle operated trigger, giving you excellent control over tool operation. They add a LED work light located at the base of the handle so the tool's nose doesn't put a shadow right where you need to see. It also has the green power indicator light at the base of the handle which Craftsman has been putting on a lot of their power tools. Lastly, a "bull-nose" friction ring holds the sockets in place.

Milwaukee 1/2" Electric Impact Wrench with Rocker Switch - Best Electric Impact Wrench

My initial inclination was to give Milwaukee the number one spot on this list, just due to their quality and ruggedness. Impact wrenches receive a lot of hard usage and I have a lot of confidence in Milwaukee's tools to handle that, but the specs pushed it out of that top spot. While this is an excellent impact wrench, it's not quite as powerful as the one's we've already looked at. This wrench is rated at 300 ft. lbs. It's motor runs at 1800 RPM and the impact hammer provides 2600 IPM. However, I have to say that from my experience with Milwaukee's tools, I'd say it might still outperform one of the others. At 6.0 pounds, it appears to be lighter than the others (although they don't all give their weight). The anvil on this one uses a friction ring retention system and it has a rocker switch trigger.

Makita TWO350, 1/2" Impact Wrench with Detent Pin - Best Electric Impact Wrench

I'm a big Makita fan, but I have to admit that the other tools on this list actually beat out Makita's impact wrench this time around. However, this tool has some nice features that are important to see. First of all, the tool is producing 258 ft. lbs. of torque, running at a variable speed of 0 - 2000 RPM. The other tools were not variable speed, so if you need a tool which you can use for a variety of types of equipment, this one might actually be a better choice. At 2000 RPM, it also provides 2000 IMP of impact power, as well as running off of much less electrical power than the competition, needing only 3.5 amps of power. If you're running off an already overburdened generator or trying to use a voltage inverter for power, that's an important consideration. Finally, the tool is built with ball bearings for the motor, to ensure long life and the brushes are externally accessible for easier maintenance.

Chicago Pneumatic (CPT7732) Ultra Compact & Powerful Impact Wrench - Best Air Impact Wrench

This is not the most powerful impact wrench out there, but for the home mechanic and do-it-yourselfer, it just very well might be the most useful one. The really short length of this tool at 4.4 inches and light weight at 2.86 pounds, make it ideal for working on a wide number of projects. Even so, it provides 450 ft. lbs. of maximum torque, from a motor running at 9,000 RPM. That means it's going to be working faster than most other impacts out there. The forward/reverse control is located right at the trigger where they are easy to get to, as well as the power setting to access the three different levels of power in both forward and reverse. A steel front cover and aluminum body make it durable so that it will provide years of useful service.

Ingersoll Rand Series Impact Driver - Best Air Impact Wrench

Ingersoll Rand's 2135TiMAX provides an impressive power to weight ratio, in a 3.95 pound package. Even though it's light, this impact wrench provides 780 ft. lbs. of torque when needed. When it's time to bust the nuts loose, that increases to 1100 ft. lbs. Twin hammers make fasteners come off quicker by increasing the number of blows provided. A feather touch trigger helps to provide excellent control over the tool and how much power it is providing. Direction change is accomplished with the same hand that's holding the tool, meaning you can do anything one-handed.

Chicago Pneumatic Torque Limited Impact Wrench - CP7748TL - Best Air Impact Wrench

Chicago Pneumatic has confronted the biggest problem with impact wrenches in this tool. When used for assembly, impact wrenches tend to provide too much power, causing you to tighten fasteners beyond their specified torque. This wrench limits the torque on tightening, allowing you only enough to snug the fasteners. You have to come back with a torque wrench to finalize. In a forward direction, the tool only provides 60 ft. lbs. of torque; enough to snug down any fastener, but when used for disassembly, it has 925 ft. lbs. of power at 8200 RPM. That's enough to break just about anything loose. The reverse switch is located on the back of the housing, where it is easily accessible to the thumb of the hand which is holding the tool. A full teasing trigger allows for smooth control at any power.

Buyer's Guide

Dealing with frozen bolts manually can be annoying and frustrating, especially in massive projects that need remove thousands of them. Once you remove them, you may also have to tighten new bolts, which will be a real pain in the neck. Such scenarios make the impact wrench a godsend tool for mechanics. Since no nut or bolt can stand in the way of an impact wrench, it has become a must-have tool in any toolbox.

With ample options available in the market, determining the features you need can be challenging when choosing an impact wrench. In this guide, we will provide you with in-depth information about how to purchase the best impact wrench.

What Type of Impact Wrench is Right For You?

Air Powered Impact Wrenches

Air impact guns are traditional impact wrenches and were the first to be manufactured. They require a large amount of compressed air supply to operate. This type of wrench is not ideal for home use or for someone who uses the tool once in a while. Since they should always be attached to an air compressor, moving them around frequently can be difficult.

However, air impact wrenches can be used constantly, even at places where there is no power. They are also smaller than other types of impact guns, making them a perfect choice for working in tight areas.

The main disadvantage of air wrenches is that they do not have a power adjustment mechanism. For instance, when you need a little torque, the wrench may produce more power, which breaks, shatters, or damages the bolts.

Corded Electric Impact Wrench

The corded electric impact wrenches are fast and powerful. They need a direct connection to the power source to operate. They are usually longer in size as compared to air wrenches. The length has increased due to the addition of an electric motor that generates the torque.

This impact wrench can be used continuously as long as it has a power supply. Besides, you can regulate the amount of power in corded wrenches when little torque is required. However, this wrench cannot be used in remote areas with no electricity.

Cordless Electric Impact Wrench

Cordless electric impact wrenches have gained momentum in recent years. They are typically powered by either lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium batteries that can range from 18-20 volts. Today, these wrenches are available in various sizes and price ranges and are most common in the market.

The key advantage of cordless wrenches is portability. Since they don’t need an external power source, they are a good fit for every location. They offer unmatched flexibility and convenience, especially in road emergencies. However, their batteries can’t store enough power to generate the torque required for powerful tasks. The battery power also tends to drain faster, causing constant work interruptions. Thus, cordless electric impact wrenches are considered less powerful than corded or air wrenches.

What are the Key Factors You Must Consider When Purchasing an Impact Wrench?


Power is measured by torque (Nm) and it is one of the key aspects you must consider when choosing an impact gun. The higher the power or torque, the greater the force. Some wrenches have a powerful function called breakaway or nut busting torque, which is the initial burst of extra power to undo a tight bolt. The nut busting torque is also measured in Nm, although it exceeds the standard torque of an impact wrench. For instance, the breakaway torque of a 1000 Nm wrench can reach 1700 Nm.


The size of an impact wrench depends on the bolts and the required torque. For instance, a large wrench of 1005 Nm will work with bolts of 12mm to 14mm, while a medium-sized wrench of 280 Nm will work with bolts of 8mm to 16 mm. Thus, it is imperative to choose the right impact wrench for the size of the bolt that you are going to loosen or tighten.


The material of the impact wrench is another significant factor to take into account. Metallic tools are powerful but too heavy to utilize for a long while. However, composite wrenches are lighter and enable maneuverability but less durable due to their material. Thanks to the advancement in material development over the last ten years, composite material resistance has improved considerably, making it an excellent alternative to metallic impact guns.


Since speed is proportional to power or torque, some impact wrenches allow you to adjust this factor as per the requirement. It can help you protect the bolts that may get damaged due to applying more force than required.


Vibration and sound level are two key factors that can significantly impact your safety as well as ergonomics. The lower the vibration level, the safer and better the user experience. And the same goes for the sound level. Some impact guns are engineered to have low vibration levels. Using vibration-absorbing gloves can also enhance safety as well as comfort.

Drive size

The drive size is a critical consideration when picking a specific model of the impact wrench. For most automotive tasks, a 1/2 inch drive is ideal. However, some wrenches also have drive shafts of 3/8 inch or smaller. So, make sure to check the drive size before investing in an impact wrench.


Purchasing a wrench with a decent warranty of 1 or 2 years will provide you with assurance against any defects due to which the tool fails to perform. You may also get a lifetime warranty on some variants though it will come at an additional cost.

Final Words

Bear in mind that the level of priority of each of these features or factors highly depends on the intended use. If you know how you will use your impact wrench, you should have no problem picking a robust one that meets your needs.

Impact Wrench FAQs


What should I wear while using an impact wrench?

You should wear goggles while using an impact wrench to protect your eyes if anything breaks off during the task. Wearing gloves will also save your hands from injuries.


Is using an impact wrench for home purposes safe?

Yes, it is safe to use an impact wrench to tighten various bolts at home. But make sure not to use too much torque as this could lead to damage.


In which industries impact wrenches can be used?

Impact wrenches can be used in a wide range of industries for various purposes. Car repairs, scaffolding, maintaining heavy plants, and big construction projects are a few examples of impact wrench applications.

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