No matter how long you’ve been working with cars, you probably already know that the best impact wrench for automotive can be a game-changer. When you run into a stubborn bolt or wheel lug nut, an impact wrench can make all the difference.
And for those of you who don’t know, you’re missing out! On the simplest terms, an impact wrench is a power tool that significantly speeds up the process of removing lug nuts and bolts.
Invented about 80 years ago, impact wrenches have come a long way in terms of both performance and design. Presently, they can be operated both pneumatically and electrically; we’ll be focusing on the latter for this article.
So, here are our top picks.
5 Best Impact Wrench for Automotive Reviews in 2020
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into the reviews. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this, so trust us; we know what we’re talking about!
Just one look with a trained eye at this impact wrench is all it takes for most people to be impressed. Offering a maximum torque of 1100 ft-lb and a reverse torque of 780 ft-lbs, this little guy is built for durability, and it shows.
The blue body of the wrench, while designed for maximum efficiency and performance, also offers an easy yet firm grip. The over-molded grip not only ensures your comfort while working but works to minimize vibration.
In its small body, the W7150 holds a powerful lithium-ion battery that is capable of delivering up to 20 volts of power. So it’s really no wonder that this thing delivers one of the highest torques that we’ve found on the market. For this reason, it’s considered a great impact wrench for lug nuts.
However, the wrench weighs just a little less than 7 pounds. All in all, we think it’s highly unlikely anyone could regret buying this nifty little thing.
- Produces 1100 ft-lbs of torque and 780 ft-lbs of reverse torque
- Integrates an over-molded grip for a soft touch
- Comes in a strong yet lightweight steel-lined case
- Available in blue and dark grey color options
- Some users report durability issues in terms of the battery
Anyone who’s been working with power tools for any amount of time already knows DeWalt, and there’s every good reason for that. This impact wrench kit is loaded with great features, and it comes at an unbelievable price.
Other than the wrench itself, with your purchase, you’re getting two whole lithium-ion batteries and a fast charger, all neatly tucked into a beautiful and durable kit case. But how does the wrench perform?
It’s outfitted with a standard 20 volt battery, and offers torque levels that, once again, are unbelievable considering the price point. Let’s not forget the included hog ring anvil, which you can use to easily and quickly change sockets while on the job.
But the aspect of convenience doesn’t stop there. We’re a big fan of the three in-set LED lights in the wrench as well because good visibility is of crucial importance when using power tools.
But coming back to the lithium-ion batteries, we have to admit that they steal the show. When you use this thing, you’ll realize why DeWalt claims that the batteries are 33% more capable. Plus, the fuel gauge definitely comes in handy.
- Anti-slip texture ensures a comfortable grip
- Purchase includes batteries and fast charger
- Wrench includes 3 LED lights for higher visibility
- Durability is a concern for some users
Having operated for nearly a century now, Milwaukee is yet another highly reliable brand that we’re proud to feature on our list. This impact wrench from them boasts a high torque and great additional features you’ll love.
First off, we love the streamlined yet efficient design of this wrench. Beyond just a beautiful red body, this thing has a slim, easy-to-grab handle, and weighs less than 7 pounds.
Yet you wouldn’t be able to tell how this thing performs. With a highly capable lithium-ion battery, this wrench is able to provide up to 1100 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque and 700 ft-lbs of maximum regular torque.
The half-inch anvil also deserves mention. It can be quite frustrating having to make the switch between sockets while on the job, especially if it’s an intensive one; the included anvil on this thing ensures that you’ll be able to do that much faster.
Oh, and did we mention that this thing has a brushless motor? Yep, we know you already love the sound of it.
- Produces up to 700 ft-lbs of torque
- Integrates brushless technology for higher power
- Designed to use power more efficiently
- Comes with a half-inch anvil for quick socket changes
- Switching the trigger out of the lock mode is somewhat difficult
Makita is another easily recognizable name in the power tools industry. With over a century of experience, this Japanese brand really knows what they’re doing, and that shows in this impact wrench they’ve created.
So here’s what we love about this thing.
Equipped with a powerful lithium-ion battery, the XWT08Z is capable of producing 1180 feet-lbs of break-away torque and 740 feet-lbs of fastening torque. And because it’s operated using a brushless motor, you can expect a seamless, yet faster performance for much longer compared to many other wrenches in this price range.
And speaking of the price, if you haven’t noticed by now, this is undoubtedly one of the most reasonably priced wrenches, especially given its features.
Back to the wrench, though. Undoubtedly one of our absolute favorite features is the 3-speed power selection switch. This makes the wrench suitable for a wide range of applications; furthermore, it allows for greater precision.
- The 9-inch long body features an ergonomic design
- Weighs less than 8 pounds for easy maneuvering
- Comes with 2 LED lights for higher visibility
- Equipped with a powerful brushless motor
- Comes with a tool hook for easy storage
- The reverse switch is somewhat loosely placed
- Does not come with extra batteries or charger
We’re ending our list of reviews with one of the most affordable, yet high-performing impact wrenches on the market. What’s more, this wrench has been designed specifically for use with cars, with a chemical-resistant housing ideal for those situations.
Since this wrench is equipped with a powerful motor capable of generating up to 330 feet-lbs of torque, 1700 RPM, you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a powerful wrench.
That being said, do note that despite the 20-volt battery, this wrench does not have a brushless motor like most others on our list. That might be a deal-breaker for those who are looking for extremely powerful wrenches, but once again, keep the price point in mind.
Because at this low price, you’re also getting a half-inch hog ring, which will allow you to easily and swiftly switch between sockets. Furthermore, you can change the speed setting for your convenience.
You’ll also appreciate the over-mold grip on the wrench’s body, as it greatly enhances comfort while on the job. Furthermore, this is one of the lightest wrenches we’ve found, weighing only 6 pounds with the battery inserted.
- Offers up to 330 feet pounds of torque
- Ideal for automotive applications with a chemical-resistant body
- Weighs only 6 pounds with the battery
- Generates up to 1700 RPM for higher speed
- Included LED light enhances visibility
- Does not come with a brushless motor
Buying Guide for Impact Wrench For Automotive
Yes, we’ve selected the top 5 impact wrenches for you, but don’t just take our word for it; doing research of your own is always a good idea. So here are the factors you should keep in mind.
It’s no secret that your cordless power tool (no matter which one) is only as good as its battery. Usually, the efficiency of its battery will be reflected in the price of your impact wrench.
Now, while most basic impact wrench models will come with a nickel-cadmium battery pack, the better option is always to go for an impact wrench with a lithium-ion battery. However, these will cost you good bucks since high-end torque wrenches are a bit higher on the price spectrum.
One thing to look out for is the amp-hour and voltage ratings on your impact wrench. Generally, the higher they are, the better.
This will basically determine how powerful you can expect your wrench to be. In this regard, it’s helpful to know what torque, RPM, and IPM are.
Torque refers, basically, to the rawest power your impact wrench will be able to produce. You want your wrench to be able to produce high torque.
Next is RPM, which stands for “revolutions per minute.” As the name suggests, this measures the number of times the wrench is able to spin a bit attached to it.
Finally, we have IPM – impacts per minute. This should also be high, as it determines the force with which your wrench will contact the work surface.
Another thing to consider is whether your chosen wrench has a brushless motor. A brushless motor is basically defined as one which does not have any moving parts, making them more durable and powerful.
In our pursuit of the most powerful power tools, we sometimes forget to consider the all-important factor that makes a power tool worthy: whether it’s easy to grip.
By now, you will have noticed that the majority of impact power wrenches look kind of like small power drills. Basically, they are handheld.
And since you’ll be holding them, they need to be structured such that they don’t put pressure on your palm and wrist.
It’s not just an ergonomic grip you should be looking out for, but also smaller details like thoughtful trigger placement.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why use an impact wrench for automotive?
Not only are they extremely powerful and fast, but the impact wrenches we have reviewed are also all cordless, making them extremely portable.
2. Can’t I just use a regular drill?
Sure, but they’re nowhere near as powerful because they are unable to deliver torque the way impact wrenches are.
3. What are RPM, IPM, and torque?
RPM stands for “rotations per minute,” while “impacts per minute” is abbreviated as IPM. Torque is basically the highest power your wrench can produce.
4. Why not get a pneumatic impact wrench instead?
While they are more powerful, they don’t offer portability. Plus, they’re more expensive—yikes!
There are many that could take the title of the best impact wrench for automotive; however, the DeWalt DCF883M2 set definitely stands out. The Makita XWT08Z LXT is another great option if you can spend a little more. For a high-quality pneumatic impact wrench, check out our in-depth analysis of best pneumatic wrenches on the market,
We wish you good luck!