Checked and updated on August 12, 2020 by Aaron Barnett
When you are searching for the best cordless impact wrench you want to pick the tool that has a 1/2 inch socket head and drives with the highest rated torque. Cordless impact ratchets for builders, and mechanics need to be rated at least 700 ft-lbs when it comes to power, if you want to effortlessly drive coach screws, concrete anchors, and other bolts.
For DIY’ers, and technicians, and also mechanics sometimes your power requirements are lower, and you might want a 3/8 inch socket head because you want a lighter tool for smaller and tighter jobs.
Best high torque cordless impact wrench [1/2 inch]
#3 Best fastening high torque impact wrench
Makita XWT08Z LXT 7.9lbs, 740 ft-lbs impact wrench
#4 Best variable speed brushless impact wrench
DeWalt DCF991P1 6lbs, 700 ft-lbs impact wrench
Best cordless impact wrench [3/8 inch]
#3 Best long-lasting cordless impact wrench
Makita XWT12ZB 2.7lbs, 130 ft-lbs impact wrench
#4 Best ergonomic mid torque impact wrench
Hilti SIW 22-A 6.6lbs, 147 ft-lbs impact wrench
#5 Best lightweight impact wrench
DeWalt DCF883M2 3.4lbs, 130 ft-lbs impact wrench
#6 Best affordable cordless impact wrench
Craftsman V20 CMCF910B 2.4lbs, 165 ft-lbs impact wrench
Impact wrenches are handheld power tools that are commonly used for tightening or loosening bolts and lug nuts. A more powerful alternative to other types of wrenches, the best impact wrenches have extremely high rotational torque that allows you to loosen stubborn bolts, nuts, and fasteners that have rusted or frozen in place, and drive large coach screws into timber.
We all know about bolts or nuts that won’t loosen despite our best efforts. Seasoned workers know that when all other tools fail, an impact wrench will probably get the job done.
The ideal solution for tightly wound lug nuts or stripped screws, an impact wrench provides the grip and force needed to loosen even the most stubborn fasteners.
Impact wrenches have electric or air driven motors that produce powerful twisting motions, in short, intense bursts. These bursts are delivered once every few seconds, eventually loosening even the tightest nuts and bolts.
Impact wrenches are useful for almost any workers, from home builders and carpenters to heavy machinists to automotive specialists. Builders, DIYers, and car owners will especially find these tools useful. Without an impact wrench, you are much more likely to strip a screw or square out a bolt head by hand.
Cordless impact wrenches are especially useful to have around, especially when working in tight spots and corners–which is pretty much always the case when working on a car engine or chassis.
Without an impact wrench, you may have to cut through the bolt or surrounding metal, which is often a more expensive and difficult option.
Don’t confuse impact wrenches with impact drivers. While impact wrenches are used to loosen or tighten bolts nuts, impact drivers are used to drive screws into different materials. Sometimes you can use an impact driver with a socket set attachment for small bolts, but the available power is not even close to an impact wrench when you need to remove and drive large coach screws and bolts.
Reasons to buy a cordless impact wrench
The best cordless impact wrenches are portable, powerful, and surprisingly versatile. Whether you are a builder, a mechanic, or a DIYer, you will likely find many uses for an impact wrench. They are quite handy to have around and can easily be stowed away in your tool bag or the trunk of your car.
Here are some reasons why you should consider buying a cordless impact wrench:
Things to look out for a cordless impact wrench
Impact wrenches typically undergo tremendous strain and pressure, so you will want one that will hold up to heavy-duty work. The components should fit snugly together without rattling or shaking, and there shouldn’t be an excessive vibration during operation.
And if you will be working with cars a lot, look for a wrench that has a nylon body that can withstand repeated exposure to automotive fluids.
Loosening bolts often requires you to work in tight or confined spaces, with very little room to maneuver.
Consider looking into impact wrenches with small diameter heads and right-angle drives that allow you to work in hard-to-reach spots such as engine compartments. Extended paddle switches also let you operate the wrench from different grip points.
Bigger wrenches allow you to work with bigger bolts and generally provide more torque as well. However, you will want to go for a wrench that is small enough to be easily manageable and isn’t too bulky to carry around.
The best cordless impact wrenches strike a good balance between power and portability.
The power of an impact wrench is determined by “torque”, which refers to the tool’s twisting force. This is measured in feet-pound (ft-lb), which refers to the amount of force necessary to move a one-pound weight a distance of one foot around an axis at a one-foot radius.
The best impact wrenches for changing tires can have as much as 1,295 ft-lb of torque. Most models intended for less demanding building and metalwork may have from 500 to 700 ft.-lb. of torque.
Speed (IPM and RPM)
Impact wrenches are also rated according to impact per minute (IPM) and revolutions per minute (RPM). IPM refers to the number of blows the tool delivers to the bolt to tighten or loosen it. RPM refers to the number of turns the driver makes per minute.
Impact wrenches used for demanding applications may be capable of 1,200 to 1,400 IPM. Most have a range of settings that allow you to adjust the IPM according to the demands of the job.
How your impact wrench looks may or may not be an issue depending on your preferences and what other tools you have in your arsenal. I have to admit that a color-coordinated set of tools is nice to have, and tends to give your workshop a more professional look.
An impact wrench in a distinctive color and design also makes it easier to differentiate from an impact driver or similar-looking power tools.
Like all power tools, the best impact wrenches can cost a considerable amount of money. But this is something you won’t want to skimp on given the heavy-duty demands placed on these tools.
If you are dead-set on owning an impact wrench and you know that you will be using it a lot, it makes more sense to pay for a reliable model from a reputable manufacturer than to settle for a budget model.
A warranty will cover you from damage caused by poor workmanship and substandard parts.
Although you can generally count on models from reputable manufacturers to provide excellent performance, a warranty will still go a long way in easing any concerns you may have about the reliability of a particular impact wrench
Cordless vs. Corded: Which impact wrench should you get?
Choosing between a cordless and corded wrench is often a pretty straightforward decision. The choice often comes down to whether you prioritize power and runtime over portability and convenience.
That being said, many cordless models offer comparable power to the best impact wrenches. A good cordless impact wrench should let you loosen bolts and tighten nuts just as effectively as any corded model.
And with a spare set of batteries, you can get quite a lot of work done before you have to hunt for a power outlet.
Here are the relative advantages of cordless impact wrenches:
Here are the relative disadvantages of cordless impact wrenches:
What is the highest torque [1/2 inch] cordless impact wrench?
The Milwaukee 2767-21 M18 is a powerful, high torque impact wrench capable of loosening even the most stubborn nuts and bolts. With 1,000 ft.-lbs. of fastening power and 1,400 ft.-lbs. of loosening torque, it can do jobs that would normally require a pneumatic tool.
Working with this Milwaukee impact wrench is fast and easy, with a motor that runs twice as fast as comparable models. You get a lot more done during the day, and even tasks that would typically take hours to complete could be done at a fraction of the time.
The 2767-21 M18 is admittedly a bit heavy, and it runs hot as well. Even so, that is to be expected given the power and capability of this outstanding impact wrench.
#1 Highest performance impact wrench
What are the best value cordless impact wrenches
The Makita XWT08Z LXT offers excellent value in a powerful and capable impact wrench. The highly efficient brushless motor cranks out a decent 740 ft.-lbs. of fastening torque and 1,180 ft.-lbs. of break-away torque, which should be plenty for light to medium jobs.
This Makita impact wrench also has a 3-speed power selection switch, allowing you to handle everything from carpentry to automotive work and anything and everything in between.
#1 Best value Makita 1/2 inch
The DeWalt DCF991P1 is a high torque heavyweight that has an efficient brushless motor that ensures rugged reliability and long runtimes. It has a maximum fastening torque of 700 ft.-lbs. and a break-away torque of 1,00 ft.-lbs.
Features such as the 3-speed selector switch and LED light with 20-second delay gives this DeWalt impact wrench outstanding versatility for various applications.
#1 Best value Dewalt 1/2 inch
Most affordable cordless impact wrench?
The Goxawee G5060 is an affordable impact wrench that is capable of surprisingly powerful performance. It has a very efficient brushless motor that cranks out 221 ft.-lbs. of torque, which is more than adequate for most light to medium jobs. The G5060 did struggle a bit with axle nuts, but most fasteners posed no challenge at all.
#1 Most affordable 1/2 inch
Best mid torque cordless impact wrenches [3/8]
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2754-22 delivers an impressive 210 ft.-lbs. of fastening torque in a compact package. It runs 20% longer than most other impact wrenches in its class, thanks to its highly efficient Powerstate brushless motor.
Combined with the Redlink Plus Intelligence system that protects against damage caused by overloading and excessive heat, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2754-22 is a solid performer that won’t break your budget.
#1 Best performance 3/8
Another light and efficient impact wrench, the DeWalt DCF890B is one of the fastest tools of its kind on the market today. The 150 ft.-lbs. of torque won’t win any awards for sheer brute force, but it’s more than enough to get the job done if you focus primarily on DIY and light automotive work.
Best value 3/8
The Craftsman V20 CMCF910B is a convenient and portable cordless model that you can easily take with you on any job site. Light and affordable, it nevertheless delivers excellent performance with a max removal torque of 165 ft.-lbs. It also has a variable speed trigger that lets you dial the speed down or crank it up, depending on the task at hand.
Although the Craftsman V20 CMCF910B isn’t the most powerful impact wrench you can buy, it should be sufficient for basic DIY and automotive work.
Most affordable 3/8
Who uses cordless impact wrench?
When do car technicians use a cordless impact wrench?
Of all the professionals who use impact wrenches, automotive technicians probably use them the most. If you work with cars daily, there’s a good chance that you will have to pull put your impact wrench at least once a day. Whether you need to change a tire or take an engine apart, an impact wrench will come in handy.
A cordless model is best for automotive work for the following reasons:
When do builders use a cordless impact wrench?
Builders and carpenters will find many uses for impact wrenches as well. Although most builders don’t usually work with heavy machinery and metal fixtures, they still come across many situations where an impact wrench is useful. Here are some reasons why you may want to add an impact wrench to your toolbox:
When do DIY’ers use an impact wrench?
Most DIYers have limited time to work around the home or in their workshops. Most of you probably don’t have a lot of time to sit around, trying to loosen up a stubborn bolt! Even just for the occasional loosening and tightening job, an impact wrench will come in handy.
Tips for using a cordless wrench
Impact wrenches are powerful tools that can cause considerable damage and injury when improperly used. Here are some dos and don’ts for using impact wrenches.
1/2 Cordless impact wrench comparison
|Milwaukee 2767-21 M18||Ingersoll Rand W7150||Makita XWT08Z LXT||DeWalt DCF991P1|
|Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 Fuel Gen||DeWalt DCF889M2|
|Bosch GDS18V-2221B25||DeWalt DCF894B|
|Makita XWT11R LXT|
|Kobalt 24V Max XTR|
|Craftsman V20 CMCF900M1|
|Porter Cable PCC740LA|
|Weight:||5.9 lbs||6 lbs||7.9 lbs||6 lbs||15 lbs||6.8 lbs||2.77 lbs||3.48 lbs||3.2 lbs||3.4 lbs||7.5 lbs||6 lbs||4.6 lbs||7.58 lbs|
|Max Torque:||1000 ft-lbs||780 ft-lbs||740 ft-lbs||700 ft-lbs||700 ft-lbs||400 ft-lbs||221 ft-lbs||330 ft-lbs||210 ft-lbs||150 ft-lbs||750 ft-lbs||350 ft-lbs||330 ft-lbs||221 |
|IPM:||1,750 IPM||2,300 IPM||1,800/ 2,000/ 2,200 IPM||2,400 IPM||2,300 IPM||2,300 IPM||3,400 IPM||3,100 IPM||1,800/ 2,600/ 3,500 IPM||2,700 IPM||2,400 IPM||2,500 IPM||2,500 IPM||1,500/ 2,200 IPM|
|RPM:||2,100 RPM||1,900 RPM||9,00/ 1,000/1,800 RPM||400/ 1,200/ 1,900 RPM||700 RPM||1,500 RPM||2,400 RPM||900/ 2,000 RPM||1,600/ 2,100/ 2,800 RPM||2,300 RPM||1,900 RPM||1,700 RPM||1,700 RPM||1,900/ 2,400 RPM|
3/8 Cordless impact wrench comparison
|Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2754-22||DeWalt DCF890B||Makita XWT12ZB||Hilti SIW 22A||DeWalt DCF883M2||Craftsman V20 CMCF910B|
|Weight:||2.5 lbs||2 lbs||2.7 lbs||6.6 lbs||3.4 lbs||2.46 lbs|
|Max Torque:||210 ft-lbs||150 ft-lbs||130 ft-lbs||147 ft-lbs||130 ft-lbs||165 ft-lbs|
|IPM:||3,200 IPM||3,200 IPM||2,000/ 3,600 IPM||3,500 IPM||2,700 IPM|
|RPM:||2,500 RPM||2,800 RPM||1,300/2,400 RPM||1000/1500/ 2300 RPM||2,300 RPM|
The Editor’s Choice award goes to the Milwaukee 2767-21 M18. A heavyweight impact wrench in every sense, it is capable of delivering an impressive amount of torque. It cranks out 1,000 ft.-lbs. of fastening torque and 1400 ft.-lbs. of loosening torque, making it more than up to the challenge of any job.
It also removes bolts twice as fast as comparable models, so you get jobs done quicker. The 2767-21 M18 also has an ingenious bolt removal mode that slows down the motor for greater control once the bolt has been loosened.
Our Premium Choice is the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2754-22. A lightweight model that delivers sufficient torque for medium to heavy jobs, the 2754-22 has an efficient Powerstate Brushless Motor that gives you 20% longer runtime than other impact wrenches.
Features such as the Redlink Plus Intelligence electronic system protects the bat from overheating, while the 4-mode drive control provides versatility for a wide range of applications. If you are in the market for a premium impact wrench, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2754-22 is a worthy option.
Along with the best impact drill , a good impact wrench is essential for automotive buffs who work on their own cars frequently, and builders or DIYers that need to quickly and effortlessly remove and drive bolts and heavy coach screws.
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