Best Air Impact Wrench: Reviews Of 1/2, 3/8 Inch & More

An air impact wrench is a power tool propelled by air that delivers torque output. To find the best air impact wrench, you need to know what to look for. That's why these air impact reviews to help you find the appropriate model for your application.


Preview

Product

Max Torque

PSI/CFM Rating

Check Price

AIRCAT 1150 'Killer Torque' 1/2-Inch Impact...

AIRCAT 1150

1295 Ft/lbs.

90/4.3

Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact...

Ingersoll Rand

2235TiMAX

1350 Ft/lbs.

90/6

NitroCat 1355-XL 3/8-Inch Composite Air...

NitroCat 1355-XL

700 Ft/lbs.

90/6

DEWALT Impact Wrench, Square Drive, Heavy...

DEWALT

DWMT70773L

1200 Ft/lbs.

90/5.9

Campbell Hausfeld XT002000 Air Impact Wrench...

Campbell Hausfeld XT002000

750 Ft/lbs.

90/3.4

Ingersoll-Rand 2130 1/2-Inch Heavy-Duty Air...

Ingersoll-Rand

2130

550 Ft/lbs.

90/4.4

Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 1/2' Composite...

Chicago Pneumatic CP7748

1200 Ft/lbs.

90/6.2

AIRCAT 1600-TH-A 3/4' Drive Composite Impact...

AIRCAT

1600-TH-A

1600 Ft/lbs.

90/10

AIRCAT 1076-XL 3/8' Compact Composite Impact...

AIRCAT

1076-XL

550 Ft/lbs.

90/8


How Air Impact Wrenches Work & Their Benefits?

An air impact wrench works with a motor-driven by air that applies a twisting motion to a lug nut or bolt. This power comes in short bursts to loosen or tighten the fastener.

The main benefits to the best air wrenches include both power and speed. Rusted or fused bolts can be difficult to remove without the appropriate amount of torque. Additionally, the best air impact wrench for home use will take a tire off faster than manual tools will.


What To Look For In Air Impact Wrenches

Torque

When you are attempting to remove a stuck bolt, you need extra torque to break it free. The best air impact wrench for lug nuts will provide the necessary torque to get it loose with ease. The higher the torque is rated, the more you will spend, but you will have the additional power you are looking for. 

Adjustment

You can change the torque you apply on most air impact wrench sets. Look for an adjustable dial that alters the torque on the low-end wrenches. The higher-end models have a variable speed trigger control. However, if the system isn't set up correctly, it could be finicky and difficult to use.

Drive Size

Air impact wrenches are available with a variety of drive sizes. The higher it is, the more torque it contains. Additionally, the drive size will affect pricing. You can expect to pay less for the best 1/2 impact wrench air versus a 3/4 air impact wrench. For the most part, models are either 1/2", 3/4", 3/8" or 1".

Grip

If you hold a 1/2 air impact wrench for a long time, the weight and power will start to tire your hand. That's why you should look for the best 1/2 drive air impact wrench with a comfortable grip. You will spend more to get a lightweight, ergonomic model, but your hand and arm muscles will thank you.

Power/Speed

The air impact wrench ratings should show the RPMs. This number reveals the rotations per minute, specifically addressing the speed. This number shows how fast you can complete a job. If you want a model with variable speeds, you will need to pay more, but you have more control over the application.

Noise/Sound Levels

Using an air impact wrench is not a quiet operation. Not only do you need to consider the decibel rating of the tool itself, but you also have the air compressor for an impact wrench to factor into the equation. If you are working in a professional shop, the sound level might not be as important as if you are working in your home garage.

Build Quality & Portability

If you want a high-quality air impact wrench kit, you have to look at the materials used for construction. While you want durable materials, you also want to keep the weight to a minimum, especially if you hope to have a portable tool. Balance the durability versus the weight to determine what's important to you.

PSI and CFM Ratings

PSI stands for pound per square inch. It's a measurement used to show how much air is coming out at once. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. This measurement reveals how much air velocity flows out of space. Both of these ratings will show you what the air impact wrench is capable of.

Price & Warranty

While we all hope to own a cheap 1-inch air impact wrench, it's not always possible to save money and buy a high-quality tool. You should evaluate the build, customer reviews, and warranty terms to determine how good of a value you are truly getting. If you want the power tool to last, you might consider being flexible with your budget.


9 Best Air Impact Wrenches Reviewed

1. AIRCAT 1150

Our Top Pick

Max Torque

1295 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

780 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/4.3

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

4.62 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

What is the best 1/2 air impact wrench? This model from AIRCAT tops our charts because of the 1,295 ft-lbs. of loosening torque power and exceptional features. The company claims that this is the most powerful 1/2" air impact wrench in its class.

This model boasts of 1,400 blows per minute, ensuring you receive the power you need. There is also an easy operation flip lever to change between forward and reverse. Plus, you don't have to spend a small fortune to own it.

What creates all of this power? It could be the fifteen-percent larger rotor that helps achieve the performance. Additionally, it's made to be tough with durable composite housing. If you plan on using the air wrench for long periods, you will be pleased with the ergonomically designed handle. Plus, those around you will be happy to know that it includes patented technology that keeps the operation at 86 decibels.

We can't find any reason to stay away from this model, which is why it is our top pick. On top of everything else, AIRCAT provides a two-year warranty, ensuring that you don't need to be concerned about defects in manufacturing. We recommend this air impact wrench for professionals and home mechanics alike.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Durable construction
  • High power
  • Quiet rating

Cons

  • None

2. Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX

Top Rated by Users

Max Torque

1350 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

930 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/6

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

4.62 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

Another option for a 1/2 inch air impact wrench is this model from Ingersoll Rand. It provides 1350 ft-lbs. of torque, which is more than plenty for most applications. It also features an average air consumption of six CFM. This twin-hammer impact wrench is built to last and comes with a hog-ring drive for quick socket changes. With the titanium hammer case, combined with a steel and composite housing, you won't have to worry about this tool wearing out because of the environment.

This model comes with a four-position power regulator that allows you to alter the mode and adjust your torque output seamlessly. There is also a one-handed forward and reverse mechanism so you can change direction without a lot of effort. Overall, it's the best Ingersoll Rand air impact wrench we found on the market.

You won't find better reviews on an air tool than this model. If it could receive a completely perfect, it might. Additionally, the company put a two-year warranty on the model to give consumers a little more peace of mind. It's unlikely you will ever need to use it. This is the perfect impact wrench for any busy mechanic or home automotive enthusiast.

Pros

  • Twin-hammer construction
  • One-handed forward and reverse mechanism
  • Highly rated
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • None

3. NitroCat 1355-XL

Best 3/8 Air Impact Wrench

Max Torque

700 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

500 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/6

Wrench/Drive Size

3/8"

Weight

3.08 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

As far as 3/8 air impact wrench models go, you will find that the NitroCat is one of the strongest in the class. It's not just lightweight, but also comes with a hard-hitting twin clutch for maximum performance. It's capable of producing 700 ft-lbs. of loosening torque. Additionally, it's built to last. This model features a durable composite housing and high-quality internal mechanics.

With the easy operation flip lever to go from reverse to forward, you won't have any trouble using this on a multitude of projects. Plus, the ergonomically designed handle guarantees that you have less fatigue and stress on your hands, wrists, and arms. Furthermore, the patented exhaust system keeps the debris away from your face while ensuring a quiet operation at just 86 decibels.

Again, we see that the reviews are off the charts. However, there have been some complaints about a stiff trigger. For most people, this works itself out and shouldn't be a problem. Also, the company offers a two-year warranty to ensure that you won't be without your air impact tool because of a defect. If you don't require the maximum power needed, this is a great air tool for your home garage.

Pros

  • Twin-hammer construction
  • One-handed forward and reverse mechanism
  • Highly rated
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • None

4. DEWALT DWMT70773L

Best Pneumatic Impact Wrench

Max Torque

1200 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

650 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/5.9

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

4.63 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 3-year

If you need to break stuck fasteners free, the 1200 ft-lbs. of torque provided by this DeWalt air impact wrench will help you immensely. The 1/2" drive is simple to use and versatile. At 90 PSI, this air tool features 7500 RPM, to ensure quick fastening with its twin hammer mechanism. There is also an adjustable power regulator to make operation easier than ever.

Use the one hand operation forward and reverse switch to get the job done fast. This wrench also includes shock-resistant housing bumpers to increase the longevity. Additionally, you will be pleased with the ergonomic handle finished with a rubber cushion grip for maximum comfort, even after prolonged use. Your hands and wrists shouldn't get tired with this design.

What you are paying for with this model is the construction, speed, and durability. It is priced comparably with other models that feature the same amount of power. Plus, the company provides a three-year warranty, which does increase the value slightly. If you are a DeWalt power tool fan, you will be pleased with this 1/2 inch drive air impact wrench. It's a good fit for most household automotive jobs. Just make sure you use an adequately-powered air compressor to get the job done.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Durable construction
  • Easy operation
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • None

5. Campbell Hausfeld XT002000

Best Air Impact Wrench Under $100

Max Torque

750 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

Unknown

PSI/CFM Rating

90/3.4

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

5.83 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

It's possible to find a cheap air impact wrench that is still powerful. This particular model features 750 ft-lbs. of torque power, but there is also a 550 ft-lbs. model for even less money. This is enough power to work on your lawnmower or small vehicle with ease. Plus, this wrench comes with a three-speed power regulator so that you can easily choose your speed for the perfect amount of tension. 

Even though it has a lower price, you will still enjoy the benefits of a solid construction. The company uses a sturdy composite design, so you won't be forced to buy another one soon. Even with the tough construction, the tool is still lightweight. Plus, it comes with an ergonomic soft grip to reduce fatigue and vibration while you work.

Overall, this air impact tool gets plenty of great reviews, but it might not be enough power for every user. If you require more power, you might prefer to increase your budget slightly to account for your needs. Otherwise, you shouldn't be disappointed with this lower-powered option. Plus, the company graciously offers a two-year warranty, which is pretty exceptional considering the cheap cost. We recommend this for your small vehicle jobs.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Cheap
  • Simple to use
  • Three-speed regulator

Cons

  • Less power

6. Ingersoll-Rand 2130

Best 1/2 Air Impact Wrench

Max Torque

550 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

550 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/4.4

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

4.2 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

There are other Ingersoll Rand models if you are looking for an option as a ½ air impact wrench. This particular model also has a lot to offer. However, it is priced a little more than most other wrenches. This 1/2 impact wrench features a hog-ring drive for easy socket replacements. It's the perfect tool for changing tires or performing vehicle repairs.

As with other Ingersoll Rand wrenches, this one comes with plenty of durability. It features a steel hammer case combined with a composite housing, so you know it will last. It's also resistant to the weather and harsh chemicals. The maximum torque with this model is 550 ft-lbs, which is slightly less than many other models. However, it does contain an easy to use glide forward/reverse switch.

It's also lightweight, so you won't have to worry about your hands getting tired during longer jobs. The customers can't get enough of this model, so it's worth investing in. However, the company only provides a one-year warranty, which doesn't seem like enough, considering the price you are paying. If you are a fan of Ingersoll Rand, you might prefer this model over others, as long as you don't need an overwhelming amount of power.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Handy glide forward/reverse switch
  • Highly rated
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

7. Chicago Pneumatic CP7748

Best Air Impact Wrench for Changing Tires

Max Torque

1200 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

922 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/6.2

Wrench/Drive Size

1/2"

Weight

4.4 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

Another highly rated option comes from Chicago Pneumatic. You receive 1200 ft-lbs. of torque combined with 922 ft-lbs. of reverse torque. That makes it one of the more powerful options on the market. To make it simple to use, take advantage of the one-handed forward/reverse switch. You can also opt for a variety of speed options: Low, Medium, and High.

If you are concerned about your hands getting tired, you will appreciate the lightweight design. Plus, it comes with a contoured comfort grip handle for all-day use. The air motor included with this model is meant to withstand dirty environments better than many other brands. If you are working in a shop, you know that this is important if you want the tool to last.

The reviews are great on this compact air impact wrench, and the price is reasonable. However, for the price, we would have liked to see a longer warranty term. This company only provides a one-year warranty, which doesn't seem long enough. If you are planning general maintenance applications, such as vehicle repair or tire changing, you might appreciate all the features and power this tool offers. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a model with a more extended warranty.

Pros

  • Protection from dirt
  • High torque power
  • Comfortable grip
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Only 1-year warranty

8. AIRCAT 1600-TH-A

Best 3/4 Air Impact Wrench

Max Torque

1600 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

1400 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/10

Wrench/Drive Size

3/4"

Weight

8.1 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

Are you looking for the best air impact wrench with 3/4 capability? This AIRCAT is a winner. Professional mechanics and hardcore enthusiasts know that you have to sacrifice some features such as lighter weights to get maximum performance. While this air tool will produce 1600 ft-lbs of torque, it does weigh a lot more than the other options on our list.

Still, it's going to make any job a breeze. Plus, it's made to last with the triple-heat-treated Ni-Cr-Mo alloy steel anvil and hammers. With power like this, you would expect a loud machine, but it's actually rated at 86 dBa, making it the quietest in its class. That's due in part to the patented silencing technology used by AIRCAT. Additionally, this air tool is comfortable to hold with the ergonomic composite grip.

Sure, you are going to pay more for this machine, but it's well worth the investment, especially if you are using it for heavy-duty applications. Plus, the company provides a two-year warranty, so you get the peace of mind that you need. If you want a 3/4 air impact wrench with all the comfort and performance features possible, you want to spend a little more to own this AIRCAT.

Pros

  • Maximum power
  • Heat-treated durability
  • Quiet
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

9. AIRCAT 1076-XL

Best Air Impact Wrench Under $200

Max Torque

550 Ft/lbs.

Reverse Torque

550 Ft/lbs.

PSI/CFM Rating

90/8

Wrench/Drive Size

3/8"

Weight

2.5 Lbs.

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

To close out our list, we have one more AIRCAT to choose from. This 3/8" drive is compact and lightweight. Of course, the sacrifice in that is the amount of power you get. However, the price is low, making this the perfect option for anyone that doesn't require an abundance of torque. Push out 550 ft-lbs. of torque with the easy to use design. It also includes a forward/reverse switch that only requires one hand.

Even with the lower price and lightweight design, you still receive a solid construction. This air impact hammer is made with heat-treated alloy steel that holds up, even under severe abuse. There are also patents on the comfort grip and the silencing technology. At just 85 dBa, you can easily use this in your house garage without disturbing the neighbors.

The company provides a two-year warranty, and the customers seem pleased. You just can't expect the same level of performance from this unit as you would get from a high-end impact wrench. If you just have simple household automotive jobs to complete, this might be your best option, especially if you are working on a tight budget. Otherwise, examine one of the other AIRCAT models we previously reviewed.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Quiet technology
  • Compact
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Less power

Electric vs. Air Impact Wrenches

All impact wrenches are run by air or electric power, usually a battery. The electrical impact wrench is mobile with its cordless battery and often quieter.

However, this type of wrench doesn't usually have the same power ratings of the air impact wrench. Additionally, the air tool tends to be cheaper, but you will have to purchase an air compressor for the pneumatic impact wrench.

To determine which one is better for your application, you need to decide if you want more power or portability.


How to Use & Care For Air Impact Wrenches

It isn't difficult to use an air impact wrench. Follow these steps for success.

  • Hook the air impact wrench to your compressor.
  • Park your vehicle close to the tool for easier access.
  • Make sure you have the right socket attached.
  • Start on the lowest setting and slowly work up until you are able to remove the bolts.

More information can be found on this YouTube video.

When you are done using your air impact wrench, you want to store it away from the elements to keep it in good shape. You should remove any dirt or grease from the tool and place it in the best tool chest.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who makes the best air impact wrenches? What are the best air tool brands?

As you look at the options outlined above, you see that we choose a variety of brands, including AIRCAT, Milwaukee, Ingersoll-Rand, DeWalt, and more. Many of these companies are reliable and stand by their products. 

Which is the most powerful air impact wrench reviewed above?

Of the air impact wrenches we reviewed, the AIRCAT 1600-TH-A has the most power. If you are in need of maximum power to remove stuck bolts and nuts, you won’t be disappointed with the 1600 ft-lbs. of torque.

When should you not use an air impact wrench?

Because the torque coming from the air impact wrench is powerful, you wouldn't want to use it on delicate machinery. Instead, consider using a handheld torque wrench for these applications.

What type and size of air compressor do I need for my impact wrench?

For the most part, consider the best air compressor for an impact wrench to be rated at 4 to 5 CFM @ 90 PSI. This is the ideal specification with a 1/2 inch impact wrench. Additionally, consider investing in a 20-gallon air compressor if you don't want to deal with delays. We prefer the Stealth air compressor or Porter-Cable air compressor.

How much air do you need to run an impact wrench? Will a 3-gallon air compressor run an impact wrench?

You will have a hard time running an air impact wrench on a household three-gallon compressor. You will be waiting for the tank to fill and might not have enough power to run the tool.

Is battery-powered or air impact wrench best?

As you evaluate the impact wrench - battery vs. air, you must decide what's important to you. If you want portability and aren't worried about power, then the battery-operated air impact wrench might be best. Otherwise, you can use an air impact wrench to get exceptional torque power.

What are the main reasons why an air impact wrench is not working? How do you fix them?

When your air impact wrench is not working, you want to go through some troubleshooting steps. There could be debris clogging up the tool or water in your air compressor tank. Additionally, the connectors might be loose, or the tool might require some lubrication. 


Conclusion

What's the best air impact wrench? After doing our research, we found that the AIRCAT 1150 provides a great balance between power and value. It's ideal for loosening stuck bolts and features technology that keeps the sound to a minimum.