Best Impact Wrenches 2021

Best Impact Wrenches 2021

June 8, 2021 0 By Joe K

One great advantage of wrenches is that they get the job done, whenever and wherever it needs to be done. They are equipment that every car owner desires to own. In this article, I will discuss various things about the best impact wrenches that you need to familiarize with.

Impact wrenches are known to be the epitome of fastening power. They will save your energy and time as they break fasteners free with ease and speed compared to everything else.

The various topics that I will discuss about best impact wrenches include the following;

  • What are wrenches?
  • When were wrenches invented?
  • Uses of wrenches
  • How to use wrenches
  • How these best impact wrenches were tested
  • Advantages and disadvantages of impact wrenches


What are these impact wrenches?

Wrenches are tools used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in application of torque to turn objects such as nuts and bolts or to keep them from turning.

When were wrenches invented?

The first wrench was invented in 1835, by Solymon Merrick of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Around 1858, Charles Moncky, a mechanic from Baltimore invented the monkey wrench.

Historically, impact wrenches were pneumatic (air powered) which left them squarely in domain of professional mechanics all over the world. In order to run a ½ inch pneumatic impact wrench, an air compressor is needed putting out a large volume of air at close to over 100 PSI. This expense can be a significant investment to a mechanic.

With the improvement of battery technology, cordless, battery powered impact wrenches have become better. They have brought down prices as well as made them a reliable alternative to their pneumatic cousins.

Cordless impact wrenches have the following advantage over pneumatic version of wrenches is that it is flexible.

Not being able tied to a compressor using an air hose, cordless impact wrenches can easily be transferred to places where they are needed.

In this article, we have narrowed down to five best impact wrenches, to understand how each works and give a slight comparison amongst them. Each of them was subjected to the same conditions and their strong points were identified.

After the test, these five impact wrenches tested originally and remain to be exceptional tools which are still available in the market.

Things You Need to Know About Impact Wrenches

There are several things you need to clearly understand about impact wrenches. This knowledge will equip you with the skill you need to apply with each wrench whenever required. Discussed below is what you need to know about impact wrenches;

How Impact Wrenches Work

It is specially designed for tightening as well as loosening various hex-head bolts, nuts and lag screws. This is unlike cordless drill wrenches and impact drivers which are good at drilling holes and driving screws.

The impact wrench employs both torque (rotational force) and impacts (short-burst rotational force) to deliver an unparalleled amount of power on the surface it is working on. i.e., most drivers produce about 45 pounds of rotational force, and the average impact driver delivers around 120-foot pounds of the rotational force.

Comparing the two, cordless impact wrenches can produce torque outputs of over 260 foot-pounds easily. This is more than enough muscle to power-drive the fastest known lags and bust loose rusty and corroded nuts.

Despite its great performance, if you can’t control the tool, all the brutal strength it possesses is not very useful. Luckily, impact wrenches are very comfortable to use because the concussive blows smoothly convey most of the high energy rotational force directly to the fastener, and not to your hand, wrist or arm. This transfer of torque causes the twisting motion, generally referred to as reactionary torque, that you feel when using an electric drill to be virtually eliminated.

Batteries: Volts

Higher voltage equal to more power even with the existence of lower voltage cases. 12-volt impact wrenches are more compact with smaller batteries. This characteristic makes them good for smaller jobs, managing to work overhead or even getting into tight unreachable spaces. Tools that contain between 18 to 20 volts have a very slight difference between them.

Generally, tools with 18-volts that have advanced features and capabilities are more versatile and easier to use.

Batteries: Amp Hours (Ah) for Impact Wrenches

An Amp Hour refers to the amount of current a particular battery can supply for a certain period of time. it also contains sub-units like the Milliampere -Hour (mA-h) and the Milliampere-second (mA-s) which refers to the unit of measure that is used in diagnostic imaging-ray, and radiational therapy.

Think of it as the volume of a gas tank- a bigger number will equal to more available gas.


IPM (which in full is impact per minute) increases with the increase of RPM (revolutions per minute).

High rates per minute help drive nuts and bolts at a faster motion, while IPMs kick them in harder in rhythm with increased resistance when using impact wrenches.

How These Impact Wrenches Were Tested

Various test editors came together to thoroughly vet and evaluate all the impact wrenches discussed in this article. Various approaches are used to determine the best options. These approaches include;

  • Researching of the market.
  • Surveying user reviews.
  • Speaking with various product managers.
  • Speaking with product engineers.
  • Using our own experience operating these impact wrenches.

practical tasks were used which we know people might need to accomplish with these tools.

The two tasks involved were;

  • Removing and replacing lug nuts rotationally forced to the recommended spec at around 165-foot pounds on a Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck.
  • Removing or breaking free rusted nuts and bolts on an old abandoned piece of farm equipment.

Their evaluation on price, performance, comfort, value, and versatility was done. This was done in order to come up with the list of impact wrenches that will adequately meet the needs of a wide range users.

Top 10 Best Impact Wrenches

To be considered a best impact wrench, the equipment should be able to absorb a lot of vibration preventing it from getting to your hand and instead directing it to the fastener.

Below are some of the top best impact wrenches available.

Best DC impact wrench: Milwaukee M18 Fuel High Torque ½ “Impact Wrench

Milwaukee M18 Fuel High Torque ½ “Impact Wrench 2021

These high-torque model are the heavy hitters when it comes to all the impact wrenches available int the market. They are characterized by being bigger, heavier, and torquer.

They have a torque of 1,400 ft-lb for the M18 impact wrench. All these torque requires a lot of power, and as a result it comes with two, big 5Ah batteries. With such batteries, removing lugs nuts on our Ford F-250 Super Duty truck was no big challenge for this impact wrench.

Reaching a torque of 165 ft-lb, the M18 Fuel broke them loose with minimal hesitation. Looking at the results from this test, a continuous full day of changing tires should be possible with the use of just two batteries. The bolt removal mode is safe to use and takes lesser amount of time. this is because it backs off the speed and torque, both at the same time. this as a result prevents the bolt from running off the end and go flying.

Looking at the results from the rusty old bolts on our farm equipment, the M18 broke them free without giving it much effort.

The M18 High Torque impact wrench is an efficient and effective tool for the big kind of jobs i.e., heavy equipment repair and industrial maintenance and repair.

Pros & Cons

  • Fits comfortably on your hand.
  • It has more than enough power.
  • It eliminates the need for an air compressor.
  • This type of an impact wrench is easy to use.
  • It simply makes your life easier.

  • It can be quite heavy to hold.

Best DC impact wrench: DeWalt Xtreme 12V MAX Impact Wrench

DeWalt Xtreme 12V MAX Impact Wrench


Torque of 200 ft-lb.

RPM of 2,850.

IPM of 3,600.

Battery: 2Ah (*2)

Its motor is brushless.

Has a drive size of 3/8-in.

The testing on this type of an impact wrench was centered around half-inch drive tools. However, the 3/8- inch DeWalt Xtreme 12V Max turned out to be the little impact driver.

Being built for smaller jobs, the impact wrench can get into very tight areas that other tools cannot access.3/8- inch to half inch adapters were used in order to fit the 13/16-inch impact socket were used to remove the lug nuts on a F-250 Super Duty pickup truck. When using adapters like this, a lot of torque is lost in the connection, causing it to be rarely ideal when using impact wrenches.

The Xtreme 12V MAX was also tested and it gave excellent results. It took several seconds to break the lug nuts loose. On the rusty farm equipment, it also took longer but did an excellent job. The impact wrench however has a speed/mode selector that makes it easy to see the current settings and change if required.

The first settings is the Precision Wrench. It helps prevent over/tightening of bolts and nuts as well as reduces the speed once the fastener breaks free so that it doesn’t fly off.

Pros & Cons

  • It is a helpful impact wrench.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It can access tight spots that other tools cannot access.
  • It is perfect for lighter jobs around your house.
  • Its battery lasts long.

  • It takes a while to perform a task.


Best DC impact wrench: Bosch Freak 18V Impact Wrench

Bosch Freak 18V Impact Wrench


Power of 18-volt

Its drive size is ½-in

It has a brushless motor

RPM of 3,400

IPM of 4,200

Torque power of 150 ft-lb

A battery pf 4Ah

This Bosch Freak equipment is half an impact driver and half and impact wrench. Through the middle of the square, half-inch impact drive is a quarter inch quick change hex shank holder. You can use it with impact sockets and hex driver bits.

With around three RPM setting, it produces quite a versatile tool which is very efficient for a wide range of fastening and mechanical jobs.

The Freak Impact Wrench appears to be lacking with only around 140 foot-pounds of rotational force, but it does produce more than4,000 impacts per minute (IPM). the highest number in this test was also discovered to be over 3,000 RPM. The advantage of this wrench is that it removed 13/16-inch lug nuts on our Ford 250 pickup truck. It could also be used to drive in deck screws which a more delicate operation to carry out.

Must Read : [ Best Classic Car Accessories]

The impact wrench had no trouble with the rusted bolts on our old rusty farm equipment.

The high IPM and RPM allows quieter operation by reducing the vibrations produced. With the impacts close to each other the equipment feels smoother to use.

With Bosch’s ability to switch between sockets and hex driver bits, it would be a good impact wrench for work where there is a wide range of hardware. For example, switching from lag bolts to deck screws.

Another thing to note about the Bosch Freak Impact Wrench is that it offers optional connectivity tool module (CTM) that enables customized tool settings via Bluetooth and another connected app.

Pros & Cons

  • It has a socket ready hybrid square drive.
  • It is quieter under load.
  • It has a smaller head and lighter in weight.
  • Combo kits available in the impact wrench that include new connected ready hammer drills.
  • It has more torque
  • It has a light-load speed than IDH183.
  • It is ready for Bosch connected module if you may need to add it.
  • Can be hard to use.


Best DC impact wrench: Metabo 18V Impact Wrench

Metabo 18V Impact Wrench


It has a power of 18- volt.

It has a drive size of 1/2 -in

It has a brushless motor.

Battery of 3Ah (*2)

It has a rotational force (torque) of 225 ft-lb.

RPM of 2,700 and

IPM of 3,600.

Metabo 18V Impact Wrench has a useful balance of size, weight as well as features.

The design of its compact head makes it easier to access tight places that other tools cannot access. The 3Ah battery acts as a compromise between the weight and run time available. While it doesn’t have the rotational force of its pneumatic counterparts, it does possess three times the impacts per minute (IPM) to make up for it.

In practice, this impact wrench accomplishes the normal tasks anyone could be expecting. When used on the F250 Super Duty pickup truck, it took around three seconds to break the lug nuts loose. It then spun off easily using the highest of the three speed settings.

The need to use the ‘S’ mode to tighten them is to prevent over torquing. On the other hand, rusty bolts and nuts from our old farm equipment also took a couple of seconds to break loose.

The size of this wrench enabled us to access a number of nuts that were inaccessible with the larger impact wrenches. An admirable trait of the tool is that it is rated IP56, which means it is completely protected from limited dust ingress and from lower power water jets, in any direction.

This means that a quick repair by the roadside on a rainy day won’t hurt it.  Metabo HPT’s 18V Impact Wrench an efficient capable, versatile tool that is suitable for most general mechanical jobs one could expect to encounter.

Pros & Cons

  • It is a good fit to cover any general tasks at home.
  • It manages to reach spots that larger impact wrenches are unable to access.
  • It is durable.
  • It is considered to the best in terms of power and quality.
  • It is a safe impact wrench to use.

  • They can be very expensive.


Best DC impact wrench: DeWalt 20V Max XR Impact Wrench

DeWalt 20V Max XR Impact Wrench- best wrench 2021


It contains the following features;

Power of 20- volt

Its drive size is ½- inch

It has a brushless motor

RPM of 1,900

IPM of 2,400

It contains a rotating power of 700 ft-lb

Its battery is 5Ah (*2)

It is easy to tell that the DeWalt 20V Max XR is a beast immediately you pick it up.

High-torque impact wrenches apparently weigh more because they have beefier components required in order to handle the forces involved in conveying all that torque. The 20V Max XR is no exception since it weighs 7.2 pounds with one of the two big 5Ah batteries clipped right at the bottom. It is the heaviest impact wrench compared to the rest discussed in this article.

The weight of this wrench gives an impression that it is well built and can although take some abuse. Removing the lug nuts from our F250 Super Duty pickup truck we used for our test, was evidently close to effortless in less than a second. We tried it with all the possible three speeds with the highest speed removing the nuts fastest.

Working on the rusty farm equipment, seemed like a perfect job for the Max XR impact wrench. The rusty bolts and nuts were no match for our wrench. The only difficulty it encountered was being unable to reach a couple of the bolts because of the impact wrench’s size. DeWalt’s 20V Max XR, high impact torque impact wrench would be a perfect fit for tractor auto truck or tractor repair out in the fields or by the roadside.

Pros & Cons

  • It has a high efficiency battery.
  • It has a better energy use compared to other tools.
  • It contains more power output.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It has a more efficient and powerful brushless motor.
  • It is unable to reach some bolts due to the size of the impact wrench’s head.


Other Great Impact Wrenches

The following impact wrenches were tested and are still available in the market.

Best DC impact wrench: Makita XWT13RB

Makita XWT13RB- cordles wrench


Makita impact wrench has the following features;

Power of 18- volt

A drive size of ½in

RPM of 2,400

IPM of 3,600

Torque of 155 ft-lb

A battery of 2Ah (*2)

Contains a brushless motor


Makita engineers packed a lot of power and features in this impact wrench. This packing made it the perfect tool to use when working in very tight spaces.

Best DC impact wrench: Ryobi P1833

Ryobi P1833- best impact wrench for classic car owners-car accesories


Ryobi type of impact wrenches has the following features;

RPM of 2,900

IPM of 3,200

It has a brushless motor

power of 1- volt

its battery is 4A

its torque is 300 ft-lb

drive size of ½-in


this wrench has a good price which makes it a considerable impact wrench. It also has a long lasting 4.0 lithium-ion battery and three speed motor which emits an impressive 3,600 in -lb. of rotational force.

Best DC impact wrench: Porter-Cable PCC74Ola

best impact wrench -classich car accesories

Features of Porter-Cable PCC740la

Porter- cable is a powerful impact wrench with the following features;

A brushless motor

Battery of 4A

It has a rotational force of 260 ft-lb

RPM of 1,650

IPM of 2,500

It has a drive size of ½- in

It contains a total power of 20- volt

This mid-ranged wrench has a price that satisfies a wide range of workers. It is favorable to be used by homeowners, backyard mechanics as well as pro contractors.

Its rubber hand grip makes it an admirable impact wrench since the rubber protects your hand as you perform the task.

Pros of Impact Wrenches

Every tool in the market has its own advantages that make it desirable to consumers. The following are the advantages of Impact Wrenches;

  • They are powerful.

They can produce up to around 10 nm of rotating power.

  • They are compact.

Impact wrenches are smaller in size and often lighter. This allows them to fit in narrow spaces that other tools cannot access.

  • There is minimal or zero kick back.

When using impact wrenches, kickback is minimal as the rotational power is transferred to the bolt or nut and not on the user’s hand.

Pros of Impact Wrenches

Every powerful equipment does bring along one or two disadvantages. Impact wrenches are no exception. They have some disadvantages including the following;

  • Impact wrenches are not cheap.

This is a big investment you are required to make and it can be quite expensive to purchase.


The above article provides you with information you may require when purchasing an impact wrench. With their features, uses, pros and cons clearly discussed, you can easily make a decision on which impact wrench you prefer to own.