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, it is a power tool that significantly speeds up the process of removing lug nuts and bolts.
Invented about 80 years ago, these 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.
8 Best Impact Wrench for Automotive Reviews in 2020
|Ingersoll Rand W7150||Best Overall||1/2-Inch||Check on Amazon|
|DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless (DCF883M2)||Runners Up||3/8-Inch||Check on Amazon|
|Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 1/2" Inch||Most Premium||1/2-Inch||Check on Amazon|
|Makita XWT08Z LXT||Highly-Rated||1/2-Inch||Check on Amazon|
|PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX||Budget Option||1/2-Inch||Check on Amazon|
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!
1. Ingersoll Rand W7150 Impact Wrench
Just one look with a trained eye at this cordless tool 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
- Overall performance is highly impressive
- 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
2. DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Impact Wrench Kit
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 cordless impact wrench, 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
- There’s a hog ring anvil for easy socket changes
- Purchase includes batteries and fast charger
- Amazing torque power
- Wrench includes 3 LED lights for higher visibility
- Good run time
- Durability is a concern for some users
3. Milwaukee 2763-22 Impact Wrench
Having operated for nearly a century now, Milwaukee is one of the highly reliable brands that we’re proud to feature on our list. This high torque 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 product 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 product 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
- Great battery life and eogonomic design
- Switching the trigger out of the lock mode is somewhat difficult
4. Makita XWT08Z LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless High Torque Square Drive Impact Wrench
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 automotive power tool 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 affordability, 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.
- Weighs less than 8 pounds for easy maneuvering
- Comes with 2 LED lights for higher visibility
- Equipped with a powerful brushless motor
- Has 3 speed power selection switch
- Comes with a tool hook for easy storage
- The reverse switch is somewhat loosely placed
- Does not come with extra batteries or charger
5. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Automotive Impact Wrench
Here’s one of the most affordable, yet high-performing impact wrenches on the market. In fact, many consider it as the best cordless impact wrench for automotive due to its superb performance with nuts and bolts.
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 foot-pounds 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 affordability in mind.
Because at this low price, you’re also getting a half-inch hog friction 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
- Variable speed settings makes work with bolts, and screws easier
- Generates up to 1700 RPM for higher speed
- Included LED light enhances visibility in the work area
- Has a friction ring instead of a detent pin
- Does not come with a brushless motor
6. DEWALT (DCF899HB) 20V MAX XR Impact Wrench
This power tool stays true to its name by delivering a good volume of power through its applications.
You can very well call this a heavy-duty impact wrench because of its massive capacity for a maximum torque of 700 feet per pound. This turning force will be provided by the internal engine, and it will determine that the wrench turns easily to screw and unscrew the fasteners.
Along with this maximum torque, you will have the breakaway torque of 1200 feet per pound, and this is the force that will help you to pull away the nuts and bolts from the fixtures.
There are three-speed selectors that will help you to get a grip on the portable power wrench. You will be able to choose the speed before you go in, and that will help you to work with a myriad of different materials. The maximum output speeds of the motor are 400, 1200, and 1900 RPM. You can play with these speeds when there is no load on the machine.
The build of this impact driver is very solid. So much so that even a drop from 6 feet high won’t do anything to it. This tool is superior both in performance and durability.
But when you get this, remember to purchase the battery and the charger separately because they won’t be included in the package.
- A cordless power tool with a brushless motor
- Ideal for working in tight spaces
- Resists stains by cleaners, greases, and chemicals
- Great for automotive work like changing tires
- Features three different speed controls – 400, 1200, and 1900 RPM
- Has a maximum torque of 700 feet/pound and breakaway torque of 1200 feet/pound for pulling away the bolts and nuts
- Makes quite some noise when tightening the bolts
7. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Impact Wrench, 1/2-Inch (PCC740LA)
This one comes with a powerful motor that will produce about 260 pounds of torque per foot for any heavy-duty tasks you may have at hand. This type of motor will be good for big fasteners as well as small ones. The maximum speed supplied by this power wrench is 1650 RPM.
This particular power tool comes with a hog ring mechanism of ½ inches, and thus it supports fast and easy socket changes that help you to manage more tasks in a short time span.
Precision is not a problem with this power tool either. You can control the speed of the trigger, and that will help you to accurately use the wrench on a wide variety of applications without risking any damage to the work surface.
The tool comes with a 4 A lithium-ion battery attached to the lower part of the handle. This battery placement makes it easier for you to keep a solid grip on the wrench while ensuring that you don’t start to slip on the handle.
Another design feature that makes it more convenient to work with this tool is the LED light that’s fixed on it. This light will allow you to see in dark corners and get more accuracy in performance. So, considering all the features, it can be termed as the best battery impact wrench.
- Has high-quality lithium battery cells attached to it
- Operates on a maximum speed of 1650 RPM and has an ergonomic design
- ½ inch hog-ring style makes it easier to change the sockets
- Features a variable speed controlling trigger for more precision
- Powerful motor runs a heavy-duty torque of 260 pounds per foot
- Doesn’t include a battery charger
8. Ingersoll Rand W1130-K2 12V Cordless Impact Wrench Kit
This is an all-rounder cordless impact driver for auto mechanics that includes three items – the impact tool itself, 12V lithium-ion batteries, and a charger for the batteries. And the manufacturers provided a really good charger as it allows you to charge the device fast. All in all, you get everything you need to start working with this tool straight away.
If you hold this budget automobile impact wrench, your first impression of it will be about how sturdy and solid it feels on the hands. These tools really are made to last a long time. To give them durability, their bodies have been coated with three-point pads that protect them from damage by impact.
The whole body is made of metal, and that makes the power tool feel all the more robust and powerful.
There is a square drive size of ⅜ inches on the tool, which is super convenient to use because it fits most of the regular fasteners used in construction work. The torque produced by this cordless vehicle impact wrench is about 100 feet/pound, and it’s specially designed to get out those stubborn little fasteners out of their fixtures.
Another thing that gives you control is the variable speed trigger which allows you to adjust speed settings easily. You’ll be able to work with a lot of precision on a wide range of applications due to this feature.
This tool is quite compact; will fit in your hand easily, and it is also very comfortable to use due to its ergonomic handle.
It’s quite a compact tool and a well-adjusted body.
- Delivers a reverse torque of 100 ft/lb
- Lightweight and won’t cause fatigue while you’re on the jobs
- Best for changing tires
- One of the most powerful electric impact wrench
- Full metal body that feels very firm and solid
- Features an ergonomic handle and a well-weighted body
- Three-point rubber pads around its body give it extra durability
- Has a variable speed trigger that lets you work on various applications
- Only suitable for a few applications because of the small torque
Buying Guide for Cordless Impact Wrench For Automotive
Yes, we’ve selected the top 8 electric impact wrench for cars 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 cordless impact wrenches 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.
Variable Speed Control
It’s important for the power tool to have variable speed control. The best cordless impact wrenches will allow you to adjust speed settings during the job. This single feature can make vehicle maintenance a lot easier. It would also help if the device has overload protection.
So, before you make the purchase for your garage, make sure to check if the electric impact wrench models have the adjustable speed settings option. Otherwise, maintenance operations for your automobiles would be a lot more difficult.
This will basically determine how powerful you can expect your cordless impact 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 long-lasting 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 a cordless 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 cordless 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 air impact wrench instead?
While air impact wrenches 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!
Aamir khan says
Would you elaborate a bit more on the durability of your fifth recommendation, porter cable impact wrench?
yeah, sure. though the tool weighs only 6 lbs, it’s well-made.