A Lot Can Be Said
for good ‘ol elbow grease, but sometimes it just isn’t enough–so that’s when you turn to a powerful cordless impact wrench!
Thankfully–and especially for us lazy or only occasional pseudo-mechanics–manual work has been lessened with every innovation that has come to light. In the garage, work isn’t just about being effective – it has to be done fast as well.
How many repair shops do you see in your hometown? Well, around here there are shops on practically every corner! With all these repair shops competing with each other, fast work means keeping a step ahead of the competition. The need for that competitive advantage has made power tools not only an innovation but a necessity.
It goes without saying that one of the most frequently used tools in the garage is the impact wrench. Almost no substantial work can be done inside a typical auto body shop, garage, or underneath your favorite shade tree if you’re not going to turn some nuts and bolts.
A garage without an impact wrench is not a garage where you want to bring in your car for repairs, right? But there’s another innovation when it comes to impact wrenches. Slowly but surely, cordless, compact and portable impact wrenches are doing more and more of the garage work, and mechanics are depending more and more on them to do it quickly and effectively. We are happy to say that gone are the days of the weak, overpriced and useless cordless tool.
Cordless impact wrenches come in various specifications and promises. The key to having the one that fits you and your applications best is for you to first set a standard, and then find one that exceeds that standard. You know the expression about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Avoid that mistake by not exposing yourself to the risk of disappointment, focusing all of your attention to one factor alone.
Choosing one just because it’s cheap and available is a sure way to spend more money in the long run because chances are, you might end up buying another as a replacement. Treat it as an investment, and choose one that fits your needs and puts a smile on your face – at least the first time you use it.
What to Look For in a Good & Reliable Cordless Impact Wrench
FIRST, you have to remember that the cordless impact wrench is a power tool, and what you would want in a power tool is – simply put – power. You don’t want a cordless impact wrench that can only loosen bolts which you could have loosened yourself by hand, and you certainly don’t want a cordless impact wrench which can tighten nuts with about as much force as your own arms and hands.
Power is the first essential characteristic to look for in a cordless impact wrench, or for any power tool for that matter. The absence of enough power ultimately defeats the purpose of having such a power tool at your disposal.
SECOND, you want a cordless impact wrench which you can work with for long periods at a time. Having to charge it over and over after a not-so-considerable amount of work ultimately defeats the purpose of it being portable and cordless.
That comes down to the kind and quality of battery that comes with the cordless impact wrench.
THIRD, you want something that is durable. Other than the lack of power, there is nothing more disappointing than an impact wrench that breaks down without you being able to get your money’s worth out of it.
FOURTH, warranty. No doubt, the only way you can use power tools is to abuse them and wear them out; that’s what they’re made for in the first place. That’s why it’s important to have a product that has a good warranty and long coverage.
FIFTH, of course you would want value for your money. Cordless impact wrenches comes in various specifications and prices. The most expensive is not necessarily the best, just as the cheapest might not be the worst.
Higher voltage also doesn’t necessarily mean more power. Furthermore, not all cordless impact wrenches come with a battery and charger; sometimes they are sold separately.
How to Choose the Best Cordless Impact Wrench for Yourself:
THE FIRST POINT is that you have to ask yourself what it is you really want or need. What kind of work are you actually going to do with the impact wrench? Is it heavy duty or light to medium work? You can work with an overpowered impact wrench, but you don’t want to be stuck with an under-powered one.
THE SECOND POINT is to look at the manufacturer, its reputation, how many of its employees are customers, how many are unsatisfied, and how long it has been in the business.
You can even look to see if the manufacturer has been sued for product misrepresentation or false advertising, Ask around if the manufacturer has received many complaints regarding its products.
THE LAST and perhaps most important point is to test the product in a manner that is closely connected with the kind of work you need to do. Test the product extensively; a good manufacturer would be confident in allowing you to do so.
Side-By -Side Comparisons of Popular Cordless Impact Wrench Brands
Cut your work time by half with this powerful cordless impact wrench. If you’re looking for a cordless impact wrench that packs a mean punch for its small size and affordable price, then this one right here is for you.
- 1,740 inch-pounds of torque
- No load speed of 0-2,400 RPM and a 0-2,700 impact
- Square 1/2-inch drive
- Detent pin retention
- Frameless motor with replaceable brushes
- All-metal transmission
- Weighs only about 2.2 pounds and measures just 5-3/4 inches
- An anti-slip grip
- A built-in LED light
- A heavy-duty, magnesium gear case.
- A three-year limited warranty
This impact drill is an 18 volt impact wrench that has more torque than a Dewalt DC825. It has more than enough power to handle lug nuts, and can easily remove bolts torqued up tight between 80 and 130 Ft-lbs. It may be one and a half time the size of a 1/4” impact wrench, but is has 4 times the power. You’ll also get more power for a price less than that of the 1/4″ and 3/8″ tools.
You’ll also get a full range of capability with the use of few adapters. The built in LED lights will surely make it easier for you to work in the dark, indoors, or under your car.
The replaceable brushes make maintenance a lot easier. Lastly, this impact wrench won’t overheat even if you burn through your 18v batteries.
Things to be Aware Of
An extra steady hand would be required since it is so powerful that you might overdrive or break not-so-strong fasteners. A bit of care should be applied when using this cordless impact wrench as a result.
One of the features of this impact wrench, the detent pin retention system, could also be a bother to some users, as it may require a small screwdriver or some tool to push in the retention pin when you want to change the socket.
It may also emit a slight burning smell, but that can be reasonably expected from tools such as an impact wrench or a drill. Lastly, you can’t expect the feel of NASCAR pit crew-style lug nut removal from a handy, small-sized impact wrench like the Dewalt DC820B.
Overall, the DC820B cordless impact wrench will get things done for you, but some work can be tough even for this powerful impact wrench. It is still not an all-in-one-do-it-all-for-you cordless impact wrench. It’s a 7 out of 10.
If you’re not a mechanic but you like to get things done on your own under your own car and you’re looking for a compact, handy, and, most of all, affordable cordless impact wrench for your tightening and loosening pleasure, then the Craftsman C3 cordless impact wrench is something that you should really consider.
- A 200 ft-lb of Torque
- A handle designed for comfort and steady grip
- A built in LED light
- Compact and easily transportable
- Includes a 19v battery and charger
- A variable speed motor
- An ergonomically designed handle for firm and comfortable grip
It’s certainly a power tool for the do-it-yourself kind of guy. It’s cheap and a good place to start for beginners.
You certainly don’t need to fire up that air compressor for a simple tire rotation; no need to lug out that air hose just so you can trip over it.
Just use this portable impact wrench instead, which also has a built-in LED light to help you work in the dark.
Things to be Aware Of
This is not the tool for you if you’re doing heavy duty work. You might even say that this impact wrench may not have enough torque for mechanic work. It’s more of a personal power tool that can be used for light to medium heavy duty work at most.
The battery doesn’t last long if used continuously. It may very well be not what you would expect from a power tool, and high expectations might be misplaced on this impact wrench.
There are also cheaper cordless impact wrenches out there like the DEWALT DC820B, which is not only more powerful, but is less expensive as well. The only good reason one might have in having mistakenly bought this cordless impact wrench is being unaware of the fact that there are better, more reliable, more powerful, and cheaper portable impact wrenches out there.
Overall, this is a power tool which lacks the most essential quality of a power tool: the power. It also lacks an essential quality of a cordless power too: long battery life. It’s like your old laptop that you can’t unplug from the wall socket because it won’t hold a charge.
The lack of good battery life somewhat ruined or lessens the portability of this impact wrench. It’s not for a working mechanic or grease monkey.
One might say that the Craftsman C3 gives very little value for your money. It’s a 5 out of 10.
Good things come in small packages. This power tool packs a mean punch at just 12 volts. If you like your heavy duty tightening and loosening work done with a cordless impact wrench, then this is the tool for you.
- An adjustable 2-Mode drive control
- A brushless motor
- REDLITHIUM 2.0 Battery Technology
- REDLKINK PLUS Electronic Intelligence
- LED light
- An onboard fuel gauge
You’ll be surely impressed with the capability of this cordless impact wrench, considering that its energy consumption rate is only 12 volts. It is, indeed, surprisingly powerful, and it can easily become one of your most used tools.
Furthermore, this cordless impact wrench can be operated at two power levels; you can use the first mode for more control when you’ve got not-so-heavy duty work and for avoiding over-tightening, then there’s the second mode if you really want to go all out.
Abuse it if you must, it doesn’t matter; its battery lasts probably as long as you are willing to work. Its battery capacity is more than mot could hope for in a cordless impact wrench.
It’s a very good tool for those who assemble and disassemble cars on a daily basis. Depending on the difficulty of the work you’re doing, you may even end up not using your air impact wrench anymore.
It also has an electronic intelligence feature, which protects it from overload and over discharge – a very useful feature for ensuring good life expectancy.
It also has a built-in LED light to help you see what you’re working on in dark crevices of your car, indoors, or at night. Lastly, its brushless motor means no brush replacement is ever required.
Things to be Aware Of
It seems that the torque for this baby maxes out at around 105-110 ft-lbs, not 117 as should be expected from the specifications.
Then again, it’s still a lot for a small cordless impact wrench. It can power through most bolts, but despite its amazing performance, its heavy duty capability and performance is still limited.
It’s almost a home run for this cordless impact wrench. It’s as hard to find a flaw in it as it’s easy to give it a high rating.
If you want power and stamina, and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to have it, then this impact wrench is what you’ve been looking for. It’s an easy 8 out of 10.
Three words: torque, torque, and torque. This is the big bad brother of the Milwaukee 2454-22 M12 FUEL.
It’s a cordless impact wrench that is on beast mode all the time. You might as well say goodbye to your air-powered and electric wrenches. Oh happy days.
- The best-in-class torque at 475 ft-lbs
- A four-pole motor for maximum power
- Overload protection
- A variable-speed trigger
- A 5-year warranty
- A friction ring for quick socket changes
What more can be said about this power tool? If torque doesn’t do it for you, then I must say that this cordless impact wrench can loosen a nut in seconds. Take out a crankshaft bolt that hasn’t been touched for 20 years.
Loosen those particularly tight rusted nuts and bolts that almost all electric wrenches can’t even begin to budge. You can even use it to strip off the tires from a big rig, if you ever end up needing to for some reason; you might even say goodbye to your air impact guns.
The variable-speed trigger is a must for this beast – you just can’t use this at full power all the time. The trigger allows you to adjust the amount of pressure applied so you don’t overturn or destroy the contours of your nuts and bolts.
The battery life of the Milwaukee 2663-20 is the icing on the cake; that makes it a real portable impact wrench. You can do an entire suspension job twice or even three times and not have to recharge the damn thing. This impact wrench will practically pay for itself.
Things to be Aware Of
With the amount of power squeezed in such a small power tool, breaking and accelerated wear and tear are unfortunately a good possibility for this impact wrench. Loss of hammering power either due to wear and tear or to worn out batteries is to be expected, but it’s the same case for every power tool.
One of the few downsides in this cordless impact wrench is that it doesn’t come with its charger and the battery. It also has no built-in LED light.
Overall, the Milwaukee 2663-20 hits home. If there is ever a compact and portable impact wrench that can replace your conventional impact guns, this is it.
This can easily be a mechanic’s go-to tool. It’s certainly one of the best cordless impact wrenches that money can buy. It’s a nearly perfect 9 out of 10.
One thing you’ll notice about this drill is its structure – it has a patented exhaust that also acts as a handle. This allows you to use both hands more effectively for increased stability. It also operates at about 85 decibels, which is about the noise of traffic from inside your car.
- A feather trigger
- Free speed of 400 rpm
- Average air consumption of 3.5 cubic feet per minute and air flow pressure of 90 – 120 PSI
- Sound level is 85 dBA
- It meets EU safety, health and environmental requirements
- A one year limited warranty
This is the hand held drill to go for if you like working smoothly and with as little noise as possible. With its great torque and light weight, you’ll wish you have brought it sooner.
It allows you to work continuously without any strain on your hearing; working during the wee hours is also made more possible, as this hand held drill will cause substantially less disturbance in the neighboring premises thanks to its low noise.
You can also benefit from the fact that the exhaust goes through the handle and at a definite direction away from you.
Things to be Aware Of
One possible downside for this composite drill is the chuck; it really could be of better quality. It may also not last as long as you would want it to, especially if you use it for extra heavy duty tasks each and every time; it’s still a hand-held drill after all.
The definite downside is the presence of many other reversible air drills out there that beats the Aircat 4450 when it comes to power, and they even come at cheaper price points.
That makes the Aircat 4450 somewhat behind most of the competition, and its patented exhaust handle can hardly be considered as a saving feature.
Overall, the AirCat 4450 1/2″ DR Reversible Composite Drill is a good find for those who want to work with a power tool which does not cause ear shattering noise, but that is about it. It’s a 5 out of 10.