Whether you’re working on a vehicle or you’re installing some long bolts, few tools can save you as much time and energy as a powerful impact wrench. Cordless tools take it a step further by offering impressive convenience on top of their nut-busting power. When you go to choose one to help with your projects though, you’ll discover that there are many options on the market, and they are not all created equal.
Would you prefer ½-inch drive, ⅜-inch drive, or ¼-inch chuck? And you won’t be loosening or tightening anything without enough torque! Don’t forget about battery life, either, because a dead battery will stop your progress in its tracks. Don’t worry; we’ve tested tons of these tools. To simplify the buying process, we’ve compiled the information into the following reviews of the 10 best cordless impact wrenches available right now in 2020.
|Ingersoll Rand W7150||1 Year||4.45/5|
|PORTER-CABLE PCC740LA||3 Years||4.40/5|
DeWalt is one of the most trusted names in power tools, so it should be no surprise that their ⅜-inch cordless impact wrench tops our list. Light and compact, this is a very maneuverable tool that’s easy to use and feels good in your hand. Because it’s so small, you can easily use it to reach bolts in places that other impact wrenches can’t reach. It does have a somewhat low max torque of 130 foot-pounds, but in our testing, it seemed to perform as if it were much stronger. We also appreciated the three LEDs that turn on with the trigger and remain lit for 20 seconds after release.
Since it’s part of the DeWalt 20V MAX family of cordless power tools, you may be invested in the lineup and have some of their tools and batteries. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that work with the 20V system, which helps make this one of the top ⅜-inch electric impact wrenches out there. It’s also priced affordably considering the value you get.
Though it’s priced at the low end of the spectrum, the VonHaus is one of the best ½-inch electric impact wrenches we tested. In the end, we thought it was the best value. With 300 foot-pounds of torque available for busting nuts and bolts loose, it’s plenty powerful for most hobbyists and DIY’ers. The stout power and affordability come at the price of weight though, and this wrench weighs in at 7 pounds. Despite being heavy, it’s rather compact and can fit into difficult areas easily. The variable trigger makes it easy to adjust your speed a needed. It had no trouble breaking out bolts that were heavily rusted into place, and we were impressed by its performance overall.
Though this tool is excellent on its own, you’re much less likely to already be invested in the VonHaus tool line than in some of the other more popular brands. That said, this tool is inexpensive enough to afford to purchase as a standalone unit.
There’s no question the Milwaukee 2763-22 ½-inch impact wrench is an impressively powerful tool that’s priced at an absolute premium. Luckily, Milwaukee is a big name in power tools so this a more worthwhile investment if you already have other tools from their lineup. The biggest draw to this tool is the very stout 1,100 foot-pounds of torque for breaking bolts loose, and 700 foot-pounds of fastening torque available in a cordless impact wrench.
Although it is extremely expensive, the Milwaukee impact wrench does offer the extra protection of a five-year warranty. At 7.5 pounds it’s not the lightest, though It’s got a very respectable weight to power ratio. All that power helps this cordless wrench to remove and tighten lug nuts, one of the only wrenches that did so with no struggle. This makes it one of the best cordless impact wrenches for changing tires. We’re confident recommending this wrench for any work since it’s the most capable wrench we tested.
The W7150 ½-inch high-torque Impactool packs 1,100 foot-pounds of nut-busting torque into a 6.8-pound package. This gives it one of the best weight-to-power ratios of any cordless impact wrench that we tested. Featuring a rare earth magnet motor, all-metal drive train, and reinforced housing, this wrench is certainly durable. There’s no doubt it can withstand the repeated abuse of a garage life, and it’s priced high enough to show it means business.
Unfortunately, longevity isn’t quite as good as we had hoped. This wrench from Ingersoll Rand is known to die after about a year of commercial use. Granted, most home mechanics and hobbyists aren’t going to put their tools through the same rigors that a professional would in a shop. That said, most of us would still like to know that the tools we purchase are built to withstand the most heavy-duty circumstances.
With just 260 foot-pounds of torque, the Porter-Cable ½-inch cordless impact wrench isn’t one of the most powerful ones we’ve reviewed. It’s also not the most expensive or the lightest. It’s not particularly special, falling in the middle of the pack in most categories. Overall, it’s a very capable wrench, but it falls shy of our highest recommendation. We did appreciate the variable speed trigger that gives excellent control over how much power you’re using at any time. It’s also a pretty lightweight unit at just six pounds with the battery.
Where this device falls short is that it’s simply underpowered. Ours had a difficult time trying to remove lug nuts from a car tire. This was a bit surprising given Porter-Cable’s reputation for strong cordless tools. In all, it’s a solid, middle of the pack performer, but there’s just nothing standout about the Porter-Cable PCC740LA ½-inch cordless impact wrench to earn it a higher spot on this list.
This cordless impact wrench from Ridgid features an auto mode that stops on its own when your nut or bolt is completely tight, preventing stripped and broken bolts. The ½-inch drive allows for large sockets and plenty of power for breaking loose rusty bolts. With 450 foot-pounds of torque, this wrench is respectable, though not one of our top performers. A brushless motor ensures long service life and good battery efficiency. For those low-light conditions, a tri-beam LED activates when the trigger is pressed.
Although this wrench certainly has some pretty great features, the best one is also a drawback. Ridgid offers a lifetime warranty on their tools that makes them very attractive. On the flip side, that warranty is only honored if the tool was purchased from The Home Depot. Buy it anywhere else and your warranty is not valid. That’s especially a shame since this isn’t one of the lower-priced models. If the warranty were honored on all purchases of Ridgid tools, this wrench would probably have earned itself a much higher position on this list.
Honestly, we didn’t expect all that much from the Dobetter cordless impact wrench. But this affordable little tool pleasantly surprised us. It comes with a battery, charger, and even some sockets, for less than many of the other wrenches we reviewed could be purchased as a standalone tool. With 300 foot-pounds of nut-busting torque and 260 foot-pounds of tightening power, this tool can hold its own with some of the higher-priced options it must compete with.
Although on paper this wrench can hang with some of the models that outprice it, in reality, it’s not quite there. The Dobetter struggled with some basic tasks such as removing or replacing vehicle tire lugs. This is a basic function that impact wrenches must perform to be truly useful. At 7 pounds, it’s not the lightest model we tested, but it’s still manageable. Despite the low price, lacking usable power is what keeps this cordless wrench from reaching higher in our rankings.
Featuring three-speed selection for precise control, the Makita XWT11Z 18V cordless impact wrench is an efficient and compact, though underpowered little tool. The brushless motor provides excellent battery-efficiency and a long lifespan. At just 5.75 inches in length, this wrench is very compact and easy to fit into tight spaces. It’s also very maneuverable at just 3.8 pounds without the battery. Of course, the small footprint does come at a price.
This wrench just isn’t very powerful with a max torque of only 210 foot-pounds. We found that it had trouble with rusted bolts and tire lugs, two things that we expect our impact wrenches to make short work of. To top it off, this is a very expensive model, coming in close to the top of the pack in price. We didn’t feel that it provided quite enough value to back up the price, and hence, it is relegated to one of the lower rungs of this list.
It’s hard to overlook the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX impact driver kit for one simple reason—it’s one of the most affordably priced units available. That said, we didn’t expect too much from it for the same reason. For light home use, this is a pretty decent tool overall, though for anything strenuous we have to recommend something that can hold up to the abuse. With only 1,375 inch-pounds of torque available, this model wasn’t able to remove the lug nuts on a car tire. That said, it’s very light and compact and doesn’t feel like a serious tool the way some of the other impact wrenches we tested did. Worse, the ¼-inch hex chuck isn’t optimal for attaching sockets. This makes it much more difficult to size up what we needed when working in the engine bay. Shortly into testing this device, we ran dozens of very long screws in a row. It took a toll on the motor and we could smell it burning. For light occasional use, this tool is great, but if you need a heavy-duty tool, you’ll have to look somewhere else.
As one of the most modestly priced ½-inch drive cordless impact wrenches we tested, we wanted to like the Tradespro 837212, but we didn’t expect too much. Rated at 240 foot-pounds of torque, we expected this tool to make short work of rusted bolts. Once in hand, we discovered that this number is pretty exaggerated. Other wrenches we tested with a similar power level had no problem removing lug nuts from a wheel. This wrench did not give the same experience. Despite being underpowered, this is a very heavy tool coming in just under nine pounds.
Despite the drawbacks, this still would be a pretty viable wrench for light use if the battery packs would live more than a few weeks. After just a few charges, the battery packs we had stopped holding a charge and became useless paperweights. Though the low price may seem like a good deal at first, we recommend sticking with something that’s got a better-proven track record.
Now that you’ve seen how the ten best cordless impact wrenches stack up against each other, let’s discuss exactly which features we think are the most important ones. This will help you streamline your decision by prioritizing the traits that matter most. This may be different from person to person as everyone’s circumstances are different. However, these are the traits that should always be kept in mind before purchasing a cordless impact wrench. The only difference will be which order you place them in terms of importance.
One of the most important traits to consider when looking to purchase a new impact wrench is how much power it actually puts out. This is measured in torque and can be expressed in either inch-pounds or foot-pounds. A more powerful wrench can handle bolts that are heavily rusted, corroded, and stuck, and it does so much with much less strain.
You may have different power needs depending on what you plan to use your impact wrench for. Lug nuts on a car tire should be tightened to about 100 foot-pounds of torque. Since this number is pretty low, almost any of these wrenches should be able to manage it. Unfortunately, manufacturers often exaggerate the power of their tools, so you may have one that’s rated high enough but is still unable to perform a tough task.
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Generally speaking, the more powerful wrenches will weigh more as well, though this isn’t a hard and fast rule. If your wrench is too heavy, you may experience fatigue during use. On the other hand, if your wrench is too light, it may not be stable enough for heavy-duty use, and it may also lack adequate power.
With weights ranging from 4 to 8 pounds, you’ll have a variety of tools. Look for the lightest tool you can find that creates enough power to fulfill your needs.
If you plan on using your cordless impact wrench mainly for removing lug nuts, then size and bulk don’t matter much. However, if you’re working inside an engine compartment, you’re going to want a small and easily maneuverable tool that’s compact enough to fit into the tough spaces. Unfortunately, the most powerful wrenches also tend to be some of the larger ones, so you may have to make a tradeoff between power and size.
Some wrenches come with small ¼-inch drives that will fit standard size bits from an impact driver. Others have much larger ⅜-inch or even ½-inch drives that can fit full-size sockets on them. For serious work, this is generally the suggested route. That said, the larger drive wrenches will also tend to be larger overall, so they may be harder to fit into confined spaces.
While the most important thing is to get a wrench that’s able to do what you need, it also has to fit within the confines of your budget. With prices all over the map, you can find a useful tool in almost any price range.
Particularly with cordless power tools, the lineup that you invest in should be strongly considered when discussing price. If you’re already invested in the DeWalt lineup, then you won’t need batteries and chargers if you choose a DeWalt tool. This will allow you to save money by purchasing the tool as a stand-alone unit.
If you’re not already bought into a cordless tool kit, this may be the time to pick which lineup you want to get into. It’s a big decision since you’ll probably want to stick with that lineup for all your power tools so your batteries will work with all of your tools.
That said, you could always choose an individual tool and purchase it as a kit with a battery and charger. You may feel more limited like this since you’ll likely only have one battery, but if you’re not going to use your wrench daily, it may not matter as much to you.
There are many characteristics you may wish for your cordless impact wrench to exhibit. In our reviews, we compared how the ten best ones stack up on these traits to help you decide which tool is best for your budget and situation. For us, the DeWalt ⅜-inch cordless impact wrench is the best choice overall. It’s affordable, dependable, small enough to fit into almost any space, and powerful enough to get the job done.
When money is your main concern, we think the VonHaus cordless ½-inch impact wrench is the best value. With 300 foot-pounds of torque packed into such an affordable machine, it’s easy to see why we think that. Finally, if you want the best of the best and don’t care what it costs, it’s hard to beat the Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 ½-inch impact wrench. With a very impressive 1,100 foot-pounds of nut-busting torque and a five-year warranty, this wrench will be around to break many bolts free over the years to come. No matter which of these wrenches you choose, we’re confident that it will live up to expectations and provide you with a reliable and useful tool.
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Featured Image Credit By PORTER-CABLE PCC740LA, amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!