Best Air Impact Wrenches of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

Air impact wrenches are an essential tool if you work with cars. They let you quickly tighten and fasten lug nuts, making changing tires easy. You’ll save yourself time and strain to try to tighten bolts. 

There are a lot of impact wrenches to choose from.

To make your search easier, we’ve compiled some of the best wrenches out there in a number of different categories. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Air Impact Wrenches

PRODUCTDETAILS
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AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque

  • 900 ft-lbs of torque
  • Durable build that lasts
  • Quiet operation at just 86 decibels
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Ingersoll-Rand 231C

  • 600 ft-lbs of torque
  • Extremely durable build
  • Responsive torque controls for quick adjustments
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NitroCat 1200-K

  • Delivers 900 ft-lbs of torque
  • Lightweight and comfortable feel
  • Quiet operation, at just 82 decibels
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Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX

  • Extremely durable build
  • Light build that won’t wear out arms
  • Powerful maximum torque of 1350 ft-lbs
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Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX 3/8-Inch Impactool

  • Weighs just 2.47 pounds
  • 300 ft-lbs of torque in reverse
  • Compact build designed to navigate tight spaces
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Ingersoll Rand 236G

  • Small, lightweight build
  • Delivers 450 ft-lbs of torque
  • One of the best wrenches for the price
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Craftsman 9-16882

  • One of the best values
  • Delivers 400 ft-lbs of torque
  • Compact and lightweight build
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Campbell Hausfeld TL140200AV

  • Gives you 550 ft-lbs of torque
  • Lightweight, at just over 4 pounds
  • One of the best entry-level wrenches
View Latest Price

What Size of an Impact Wrench Do I Need?

Impact wrenches are most commonly found in mechanics shops and are used to quickly loosen the lug nuts on cars and tires. The standard size for an impact wrench is ½ inch, which fits most cars and small trucks. 

If you are mostly using an impact wrench for your car, then a ½-inch wrench is your best option. However, a ¾-inch impact wrench will likely be needed if you plan on working with heavy equipment and large truck tires. 

What Are Impact Wrenches Used For?

Impact wrenches have long been used by pit crews during races to quickly loosen and tighten lug nuts. Outside of the racing pit, they are one of the best tools used for lug nuts that are tightened to high-torques. 

Impact wrenches are used when you need a tool that can deliver a lot more torque than a hand wrench. They are useful for quickly changing tires on cars and trucks, but they are useful in just about any situation where you’re dealing with high-torque lug nuts. 

What Makes These the Best of the Year?

The air impact wrenches featured here all stand out for different reasons. Some, such as the Aircat, are pure power and performance, making them great options for professional mechanics who need a serious tool that won’t let them down. They’re also built to last, giving you years of high-end performance. 

Others feature more modest power but come with an easy to use design that makes them great for home use. These wrenches can help you change a tire in a pinch, making the process quick and easy. They’re also compact, so you can store them in your garage without taking up too much room. 

Even the most affordable wrenches listed here still offer enough power and precision to satisfy demanding mechanics. The Campbell Hausfeld gives you as much torque as you’d normally find in wrenches that cost two to three times as much. 

All of the air impact wrenches here are also designed with comfort in mind. They’re tools that you can use all day without too much wear on your arms. 

Quick Take: Best Air Impact Wrenches

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best air impact wrenches:

1. AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque
2. 
Ingersoll-Rand 231C
3. NitroCat 1200-K

Review of the Best Air Impact Wrenches

Check out these reviews of the best air impact wrenches on the market. Hopefully, it will help you decide which one is best for your needs. 

AIRCAT 1150 'Killer Torque' 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench, Medium, Black

PROS

  • Light and compact
  • Durable build lasts for years
  • Delivers 900 ft-lbs of torque
  • 2-year parts and labor warranty
  • Quiet operation, at just 86 decibels
  • Easy to use design and comfortable handle
  • 1,400 blows per minute for quick tire changes

CONS

  • Trigger may be too sensitive for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers rave about the Aircat’s combination of power, precision, and build quality. It’s an impact wrench that’s meant to stay in your toolkit for years to come, and buyers were impressed by the number of different jobs that the Aircat could handle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Aircat stands out for packing so much power into a compact, affordable package. It’s one of the most powerful wrenches in its class and it comes in a durable, easy to use build that is very user-friendly. It’s also pretty quiet for an impact wrench, operating at 86 decibels.

Who Will Use This Most

The Aircat is designed to be a go-to, all-around impact wrench. Although it’s versatile, it still has enough power to serve mechanics for heavy-duty jobs. That means it’s suited for just about any purpose you can imagine.

Whether you’re a professional car mechanic or just need an impact wrench for occasional tire changes, then the Aircat is an excellent option for you.

Bottom Line

When it comes to power and versatility, it’s hard to beat the Aircat. With a max torque of 900 ft-lbs and 1,400 blows per minute, this is a heavy-duty impact wrench that pros can trust. But it’s still user-friendly enough that weekend DIYers will feel comfortable with it in hand.

Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch,Silver/ Black,3.4 x 8.2 x 8.8 inches

PROS

  • Great torque controls
  • Old-school look and feel
  • Delivers 600 ft-lbs of torque
  • Very durable, will last for years
  • Ergonomic design feels great in your hands

CONS

  • A bit heavier than other impact wrenches

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say that the Ingersoll-Rand wrench is comfortable and easy to use, loosening and tightening tough lug nuts in seconds. They like the simple, durable build, and also say it feels great in their hands. Buyers also report that it’s one of the best values you can find for a high-performance impact wrench.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Ingersoll-Rand isn’t quite as powerful as other impact wrenches on this list. Where it stands out is with its versatile design and durable, low-maintenance build. The wrench feels great in your hand, so you won’t get tired after holding it all day. It’s also super-durable, so it’ll last you for years.

Who Will Use This Most

The Ingersoll-Rand 231C is one of the best options for anyone who needs a high-performance, versatile impact wrench with a compact build. It’s easy to use but still has enough power to push you through tough jobs.

It’s a great impact wrench for mechanics, although it might not have enough power for heavy equipment. It’s also perfect for at-home use.

Bottom Line

The Ingersoll-Rand isn’t the most powerful impact wrench in its class but it makes up for this with its user-friendly and versatile design. It’s also an affordable wrench, making it one of the best options if you want the top-of-the-line performance without the usual price tag.

Best Air Impact Wrench for the Money:
NitroCat 1200-K

NitroCat 1200-K 1/2-Inch Kevlar Composite Air Impact Wrench With Twin Clutch Mechanism

PROS

  • Works fast on tough lug nuts
  • Lightweight and easy to use build
  • Durable build that will last for years
  • Excellent value given the performance
  • Powerful, delivering 900 ft-lbs of torque
  • Quiet operation at around 82 to 86 decibels
  • Exhaust prevents debris from flying into your face

CONS

  • Might not reach tight spaces

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers say that the NitroCat outperformed most of the air impact wrenches they had used in the past, regardless of price. They say that the wrench can loosen even the tightest lug nuts in just seconds. They also report that the wrench is light and feels great when used for long periods and that it’s quieter than you would expect, given the power.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The NitroCat is one of the best values for an impact wrench when you consider the level of performance you’ll get. It’s also quite lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about fatigue if you use the wrench all day. It’s a professional-grade tool that’s priced at a level that makes it approachable for just about anyone.

Who Will Use This Most

The NitroCat is an excellent all-around impact wrench, so it’s suited to just about any use. Mechanics will love the fast operating speed, power, and precision. It’s lightweight too, so you won’t get tired using it, even if you don’t spend much time with a wrench in your hand.

Bottom Line

The NitroCat offers the right blend of power, portability, and affordability. It’s an easy to use wrench that feels great in your hand, and it can undo and fasten even high-torque lug nuts in just seconds. If you’re looking for one of the best values out there for an air impact wrench, the NitroCat is an excellent option.

Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench, 1/2 Inch

PROS

  • Feels great in your hand
  • Will keep mechanics happy
  • Delivers over 1300 ft-lbs of torque
  • Great build quality, should last years
  • One of the fastest wrenches out there

CONS

  • A bit on the pricey side

What Recent Buyers Report

The most common report from buyers is how powerful and fast the Ingersoll-Rand wrench is. They say it can bust just about any lug nut, regardless of the torque. Buyers are also surprised by the wrench's lightweight build, given how much power it has. They report that the wrench held up well when used in tough conditions, taking bumps and bruises without any drop in performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Power and precision are the best words to describe this item. If you’re looking for a ½-inch impact wrench that can handle just about any job, the Ingersoll-Rand is about as good as it gets. With a maximum torque of 1350 ft-lbs, this is a powerful wrench built for professional mechanics. At just 4.63 pounds, it’s also one of the lightest reviewed here, despite being one of the most powerful.

Who Will Use This Most

Built to handle high-torque applications, the Ingersoll-Rand is mainly designed with professional mechanics in mind. It has a bit more punch than what most occasional home users would need and it’s also more expensive than many impact wrenches. It’s a great option if you need professional-grade performance.

Bottom Line

When it comes to ½-inch impact wrenches, it’s hard to beat the Ingersoll-Rand. This wrench delivers 1350 ft-lbs of torque in a compact, durable build that feels great in your hand. It’s a serious wrench, that you’ll have to pay a premium for. But it’s well worth the cost for mechanics and serious car enthusiasts.

Best ⅜-Inch Air Impact Wrench:
Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX 3/8-Inch Impactool

Ingersoll Rand 2115TiMAX 3/8-Inch Impactool

PROS

  • Best in class torque
  • Great grip and speed
  • Fits into tight spaces
  • Feels comfortable in your hand

CONS

  • Trigger can be very sensitive
  • A bit expensive for the class of wrench

What Recent Buyers Report

Like other Ingersoll-Rand tools, users report that this wrench holds up well with repeated use, taking bumps and bruises without any damage to the motor. The wrench is a favorite of mechanics, who say that it delivers even more power than you would expect. They report that the wrench’s ergonomic design is comfortable and doesn’t cause their hands to tire out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With more power than just about any other ⅜ wrench in its class, the Ingersoll-Rand offers a versatile, compact tool perfect for working in tight spaces. It’s also one of the lightest wrenches reviewed here, so your hands and arms won’t wear out from using it for long periods.

Who Will Use This Most

Since the Ingersoll-Rand is a ⅜-inch wrench, it’s a great option if you need a tool that can reach tight spaces. Its compact build makes it useful for mechanics who need to work with small parts in the engine. Although tailored to mechanics, the wrench will also suit anyone who works with cars.

Bottom Line

If you need a powerful ⅜ wrench, the Ingersoll-Rand is your best option. It’s light, durable, and comfortable to use. Its compact build means you can use it to work on engines and it offers an excellent grip that will loosen just about any lug nut. Whether you’re a mechanic or working on cars at home, this should last you for years.

Ingersoll Rand 236G 1/2-Inch Edge Series Air Impactool, Silver

PROS

  • Works quickly
  • Gets great grip on lug nuts
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Small and lightweight for comfortable use
  • Durable build that holds up over the years

CONS

  • May not be powerful enough for big tires

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say that the Ingersoll-Rand 236G offers great value for the money, giving them enough torque to quickly change car tires. They say the wrench has a comfortable grip that is easy to hold for long periods. Some buyers report that the wrench is a bit under-powered, although it performs well, given the price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 236G isn’t going to blow you away with its performance. But where it stands out is with its price. This is one of the best deals you’ll find on an impact wrench. It’s a durable tool that should last you years and you’ll get precision and performance you would expect from a wrench twice the price.

Who Will Use This Most

The 236G isn’t the most powerful air impact wrench here, delivering around 450 ft-lbs of torque. If you’re a mechanic, this may not be enough for some applications, so the 236G is better-suited for more casual users who need a solid wrench to change tires and fix up their car.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a basic air impact wrench that will give you good performance for a great price, the 236G is an excellent choice. It’s not high-powered and it isn’t well-suited as a go-to tool for professional mechanics. But it still gives you more than enough torque to quickly handle lug nuts and change tires.

Best Air Impact Wrench for Home Use: 
Craftsman 1/2-in. Impact Wrench 9-16882

Craftsman 1/2in. Impact Wrench 9-16882

PROS

  • Comfortable grip
  • Fairly quiet operation
  • Excellent for home use
  • Easy to handle and transport
  • Loosens and tightens lug nuts quickly
  • Great value for the performance you’ll get

CONS

  • A bit underpowered
  • Not the most durable wrench

What Recent Buyers Report

Although the Craftsman doesn’t perform as well as other wrenches on this list, buyers say it can still apply enough torque to easily change tires. Some also say it’s not the most durable and may start to have issues if it gets banged up. These complaints aside, buyers say it’s a great entry-level wrench for use around the house.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For the money, you won’t find a better air impact wrench. No, this isn’t a wrench you’ll find at a mechanic’s shop. But it still packs enough power to easily handle a tire change in the driveway, which is all most people need. It’s also fairly light, making it easy to use without wearing out your arm.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a wrench that’s tailored for home use. It’s affordable, lightweight, and compact, so it’s great to have around the garage if you need to change a tire in a pinch. Mechanics will probably need something with a bit more power, although it will still work if you just need to change a tire on a small car.

Bottom Line

The Craftsman isn’t going to win any awards for precision or power. But that’s not what it’s designed for. This is a wrench that’s made to be affordable, giving you all of the basics you need for at-home car maintenance. It’s a great option if you need a simple wrench for occasional use around the house.

Best Cheap Air Impact Wrench:
Campbell Hausfeld 1/2" Impact Wrench

Campbell Hausfeld 1/2' Impact Wrench, Air Impact Driver (TL140200AV), 550 FT/LBS Torque

PROS

  • 550 ft-lbs of torque
  • Lightweight and portable
  • One of the best values you’ll find
  • Delivers 1,200 impacts per minute
  • Durable build that gives you years of use

CONS

  • May require a large air compressor

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are surprised that an air wrench at this price delivers so much power and precision. They say it quickly handles lug nuts on cars and motorcycles and that it’s also light and easy to use. Some buyers say that the wrench requires a fairly large air compressor to get enough air, although others reported that they had no issues with a small air tank.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Campbell Hausfeld is one of the cheapest wrenches reviewed here, while still delivering over 550 ft-lbs of torque. It’s hard to find this combination of affordability and performance, making it one of the best entry-level air impacts wrenches out there.

Who Will Use This Most

Campbell Hausfeld is built for a range of different uses. It’s cheap enough that you can buy it to change tires every now and again around the house, but it has enough power for mechanics to rely on. It’s a great wrench if you work with small to medium-sized cars and don’t need torque above 600 ft-lbs.

Bottom Line

The Campbell Hausfeld is simply one of the best deals you’ll find on an air impact wrench. It comes with a discount price tag while giving you the performance of a top-of-the line wrench. It’s a great addition to any home garage toolkit or mechanic’s shop.

Types of Impact Wrenches

There are different types of air impact wrenches available. Here they are. 

Air Impact Wrenches

Air impact wrenches are the most commonly used type, delivering more power than most impact electric-powered options. 

Since they don’t have a battery, air impact wrenches are one of the lightest types of wrench, so your hand won’t wear out with extended use. 

To use an air impact wrench, you’ll have to connect it to an air compressor, which makes them less portable than battery-powered wrenches. 

Corded Electric Impact Wrenches

These impact wrenches are powered by a cord that you plug into a wall outlet. Although they don’t usually pack as much power as air-powered wrenches, they are one of the best options if you don’t want to buy an air compressor. 

They’re great for home use,and many still have enough power to be used by mechanics. However, not all corded wrenches have enough power to handle lug nuts on heavy equipment. 

Battery Powered Impact Wrenches

Battery-powered impact wrenches are some of the best choices if you need a portable tool for jobs on the road. You don’t need an air compressor or an outlet, so you can change tires roadside without any issues. 

The main downsides to using these wrenches are the weight and the lack of power. Most battery-powered wrenches are fairly heavy, so they can fatigue your arm after prolonged use. They also don’t have as much power as other types of wrenches, so they aren’t the best choice if you need to handle high-torque lug nuts. 

Conclusion

Finding the right air impact wrench can be difficult. That’s why we’re here. We’ve selected some of the best wrenches of the year in a number of different categories. 

Whether you’re a mechanic looking for a go-to impact wrench or you need a basic wrench for changing tires at home, we’ve got you covered. 

People Also Ask

Here are the answers to some common questions that people have about air impact wrenches.

Which Is Better? An Air or Electric Impact Wrench?

That all depends on how you plan to use the impact wrench. In general, air-powered impact wrenches pack much more of a punch, making them the best choice if you need high-end performance. 

However, electric impact wrenches come with the advantage of portability. You won’t need an air compressor and many are also cordless

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For an Impact Wrench?

In general, you should choose an air compressor that has around 1.25 to 1.5 the max CFM of your impact wrench. Before buying a wrench, check the manufacturer specs to see what type of air compressor they recommend. 

Most ½-inch impact wrenches will call for around 4.0 CFM at 90 psi, although you should always check the details provided by the manufacturer. 

How Many CFM Do I Need For Air Tools?

That will depend on the type of air tools you plan on using. With impact wrenches, you should do just fine with a CFM of around 4.0, although ¾-inch wrenches may require an air compressor that can deliver at least 5.0 CFM. 

What Is the Difference Between SCFM and CFM?

Both SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) and CFM (cubic feet per minute) are similar units, and they are usually roughly equivalent to each other. SCFM just gives you the conditions for the measurement. It means that the air compressor gives you a certain number of cubic feet per minute at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and standard atmospheric pressure.