Sometimes nothing works quite as well as an air impact wrench. If you’ve ever tried to remove a tire by hand, you know that it’s no easy task.
If you are looking for a great impact wrench or a bargain one, you might feel a bit overwhelmed as you scroll online or even walk through your local tool store.
You can narrow down your choices by remembering that you need an impact wrench that will remove difficult or rusty bolts. Buying an impact wrench or impact gun will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
If you plan to remove car tires, you should consider buying at least a 3/8 drive. If you have a truck or large SUV, you’ll need a ½ inch drive.
For the professional mechanic, you should consider at least a ¾ drive or even a 1-inch drive. This would include those of you who have larger trucks, such as ¾ ton or bigger.
Knowing what drive size you want will help narrow your selection. But there will still be dozens in all price ranges.
Which is the best air impact gun for the money?
Don’t worry, I’ve done all the research for you. Discover which air impact gun is the best value and which you should pick if you’re on a tight budget.
How do you do that? All you have to do is keep reading friends.
If you’ve been involved with mechanics or tools in any way, then you are familiar with the Ingersoll Rand name.
This is a ½ inch drive wrench with a torque output of 1,350-foot pounds and weighs a tiny 4.6 pounds.
This is the best-in-its-class air impact wrench. The torque output works for tough bolts and easy whips lug nuts off and on your vehicle.
This has a finely tuned, twin-hammer impact design. A one-handed forward and reverse button that makes changing direction super simple. This is made from a titanium composite and, perhaps best of all, it is made in the USA.
I like this air impact gun because it has a four-position power regulator. This helps you keep control of the gun and adjust the torque to the task at hand.
With this type of control, you are less likely to strip bolts.
- Full 1-year warranty
- Made in the USA
- Manufactured from a titanium composite for durability
- Needs regular lubrication, which can be bothersome
- Some users feel that the tool is noisy
- A few users think that the wrench is not evenly balanced
For the average homeowner or those who own passenger cars and smaller trucks, this has more than enough power for your needs.
If you want an impact gun that is lightweight yet has lots of power, this gun by Ingersoll Rand is made in the USA and will fit the bill perfectly.
Best Air Impact Wrench Under $100
Finding a really good air impact wrench can be tricky enough. But try finding one for less than a Benjamin and you’ve got a real search on your hands.
This ACDelco product is one of the better impact wrenches on the market. It has a twin hammer action that delivers 500- foot-pounds.
Ok, so it can’t match the Ingersoll Rand above. But for the price, you won’t find anything better.
This does come with a nice little kit, including a small bottle of lubricating oil and an air hose adapter. I wish it had come with a nice little carrying case.
ACDelco is a trusted name in tools. This comes with a limited 1-year warranty, which is surprisingly good considering the price. It also features an ergonomic handle for less stress on your hands, as well as 4 different speed settings.
- 1-year limited warranty
- 500-foot pounds
- Comes with an adapter and lubricating oil
- Some users complain that the device only reaches about 100-foot pounds maximum
- A few users complained that the speed dial fell off after a few uses
- The rubber seals tend to leak oil after a year or so
For the money, I don’t think you will find anything to match the ACDelco impact wrench. If you purchase this product, be sure to use that lubricating oil before you put the tool away for the day.
Best Air Impact Wrench for a Small Compressor
This is a little powerhouse of a pneumatic wrench.
It will get the job done without you needing a new compressor! I’ve found that this impact wrench works just fine at 90 PSI and a 3/8-inch hose.
This impact wrench puts out an amazing 1295-foot pounds and the twin-hammer operation gives 950 blows per minute. The housing is made from Kevlar, which makes it stronger than steel, yet it weighs only 4.5 pounds.
I like this little gun because it’s quiet and lightweight. It has a patented ergonomic handle, and the exhaust air is directed through the bottom of the handle. That means it doesn’t blow back into your face.
To top it all off, this little beauty has a full two-year warranty.
- The kevlar body makes this extremely strong
- A 2-Year warranty is incredible for this price
- It doesn’t require a large compressor to operate
- A few users complain that the front seal began leaking after a few years
- Some users say that this wrench does not put out the full 1295 foot-pounds
- A couple of people stated that this product was broken new in the box
Personally, folks, I think this is one of the finest impact wrenches around. Buy the NitroCat 1200-K and you will make this your new favorite impact wrench.
How do I choose an air impact wrench?
With so many air wrenches on the market, picking the right one can be a bit confusing. Ask yourself the following two questions to help narrow down your choices.
- What is the main application you will use this tool on?
The drive size you will choose matters. If you are a home DIYer, chances are that you will be incredibly happy with a 3/8 or ½ inch drive. If you’re an automotive professional, you might want a ¾ or 1-inch drive.
- Check your compressor and line
Most compressors have a tag that lists their maximum airflow rate. Be sure that the tool you choose will operate within that maximum airflow. You might also want to look and see if you will need a special coupler or adapter to fit your old compressor hose to the new air wrench.
Some people also feel that you should consider the manufacturer and not bother buying a name you don’t recognize.
That’s a personal opinion and not necessarily fact.
What is the best size impact wrench?
This will depend on the type of work you plan on doing.
For changing tires, most people go with a ½ inch drive. But I’ve seen plenty of homeowners and DIY type folks use a 3/8 drive, especially if they own compact vehicles.
If you are not a professional mechanic, you will most likely want to go with a 3/8 or ½ inch drive.
Will impact wrench break bolts?
In the majority of cases, no.
If a bolt should break, it most likely is due to a failure of the bolt itself and not the fact that you used an impact wrench. The bolt would probably have broken even if you used a torque wrench on it.
As a general rule, impact wrenches are less damaging than traditional methods. So, if the bolt should break, it’s probably not the fault of the impact wrench.
Are electric impact wrenches as good as air?
This would depend on what you plan to use the wrench on.
For car tires or other home/automotive jobs, an air wrench is superior to an electric one.
But if you only plan to use the wrench on small jobs, such as repairing a patio or deck, then an electric impact wrench is fine.
Sometimes, the right air impact gun will depend on the size of your compressor or your budget. For most people who have an average compressor that will reach 90-100 PSI, you can’t go wrong with the Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX.
I don’t know about you, but I really feel good about buying and using tools that are made in the USA whenever possible. Ingersoll Rand designs and makes them here, so you know they are quality made.
You will love how light this feels in your hands while at the same time, it doesn’t feel flimsy like it will break. This is one of the easiest impact wrenches I have ever used and let me tell you, I’ve tried a lot of them!
The half-inch size drive is perfect for every job around the house, including removing your average car, truck, and SUV tires. If you’ve got a ¾ ton truck or larger, you might want to try a ¾ or 1-inch drive.
This has a 1-year warranty which I think could be better. But it beats a lot of other manufacturers who only warranty their product for 90-days.
You will love the Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Ingersoll Rand Air Impact Wrench so much that when your buddies ask to borrow it, you will start telling them that you already loaned it to someone else!