December 18, 2020

Top 8 Best Air Impact Wrenches – (Reviews & Complete Guide)

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Written by Jose

If you are looking for the best air impact wrench you have come to the right place. We suggest that paying close attention to things like the weight and overall power to help you decide if you’re wasting your time and money on a purchase or not. We have put together a list of some of the top 8 impact wrenches out there to help you find the one that best suits your needs. There are some really powerful units on this list, and they prove that size doesn't necessarily mean more power. One of the smallest air impact wrenches on the list is the most powerful, and the largest is simply the sturdiest of the bunch, offering more control with your overall experience.

Check out the list and find the best impact wrench and make your decision from there because for the most part these are all excellent choices.

Top 8 Impact Wrenches Reviews

1. Top Pick - Best Seller

Aircat 1150 Impact Wrench

AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Air Impact Wrench

  • 1295 Foot/Pounds
  • 1,400 Blows Per Minute
  • 86 decibels
  • Easy Operation Flip Lever Forward/Reverse

With a loosening torque of 1,295 foot/pound it’s really hard to look at the AIRCAT 1150 Killer Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench and not get excited. Of the twin hammer ½ impact wrenches on the market, its 1,400 blows per minute makes it one of the most consistent and precise. The rotor is 15% bigger than others on the list, giving it more power and finer execution on even the toughest of jobs. Even with the extra power it remains pretty quiet at 86 dB, a bit lower than the first on the list. Maintenance of the unit is very easy, and only requires air tool oil and grease about once a month to keep it performing well. This alone is worth the price as it’s one less thing to worry about even if it is on the high end of the price range.

If you’re a handy user this is a rebuildable unit, allowing you to salvage the good parts and make it into a brand new impact wrench. There are some issues with the variable trigger being a bit too stiff, which leads to either going full power or not being on at all. It takes a little getting used to in order to fully adapt, but once you get the hang of it, things become a lot easier. The setup instructions for getting max torque are vital, and can be easy to miss if you don’t pay attention to the manual. Setting it up right the first time will yield long term benefits rather than you having to go back and correct it later on. A long hose will cause problems with reaching the max torque, but in reality that is mostly common sense. There are definitely plenty of reasons to own this impact wrench, and as the first on the list it is a great buy that won’t leave you hanging.

2. The Runner Up

Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Impact Wrench

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

  • 1350 Foot/Pounds
  • Twin-hammer mechanism
  • Four-position power regulator
  • Weighs 4.6 Pounds

This unusual-looking, expensive Ingersoll-Rand model has up to 1,350 foot/pound of max power with a professional touch trigger offering variable forward speeds. The setup is so ingenious that Ingersoll-Rand patented the forward and reverse buttons, which offer the best control of any unit on the list. Thankfully, with all of the innovations it's still on the lighter side weighing in at 4.6 pounds. And this stocky little gem is not only durable but is protected by the MAX Protection Program where if you register the tool you’ll get a 2-year limited warranty. This one is one of the most powerful items on the list, and the weight to-power ratio is top of the list for a reason. The buttons are all in places that are easy to reach with one hand, so forward, reverse, and even changing the speed are all operational without compromising the user.

The casing of the unit is made of titanium, but you won’t notice it when you’re holding it. You’re more likely to take notice when it gets banged around and still performs like a beast. There isn’t a plethora of accessories; it’s pretty much just the tool and a manual to get you started. Putting in sockets is such a no brainer with this machine that in some ways it puts other units on the list to shame based on how easy it is to use. Although this unit pops up in a lot of professional shops, it has also found a home in amateur garages as well, and doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon. This is clearly one of the best on the list. On features alone, it can beat just about any on the market.

3. Best Impact Wrench For the Money

ACDelco ANI405A Impact Wrench

ACDelco ANI405 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench 500-Feet-Pound

  • 500 Foot/Pounds
  • Multiple Speed Settings
  • 8,000 RPM
  • Weighs 6,2 Pounds

On the lower side of the price scale is this Acdelco ANI405 with a twin hammer but significantly weaker punch than the first item. The housing of the unit is aluminum alloy and is quite durable and able to take a pounding. If looking for a low-priced item that can last for years, the mechanics of this unit along with the materials are quite well built, even if they are less effective at the job. There are 4 total modes, with 3 forward speeds and 1 reverse speed. The exhaust design is creative and it’s built into the handle, which will take some getting used to if you’re coming from another design. It looks small but it is a bit of a hog, weighing 6.2 pounds and easily being one of the heaviest on the list.

The aforementioned weight becomes a problem since it doesn’t compensate with torque, which maxes out at only 500 feet/pound. The 1-year limited warranty isn’t really going to change anything since the unit itself is very well built and prone to damage. The air flow capacity isn’t too demanding at 4 CFM, which is expected since the torque is on the lower end of the models. This comes in near the bottom of the air impact wrenches on the list, but may be favorable for those that don’t have a powerful air compressor. Even with the added benefit of being able to use a below-average compressor there are going to be maneuverability issues with a tool that weighs almost 7 pounds. It’s going to take some strong and steady hands to see a longer project through to completion, if at all. This is a good unit for someone that has an unreliable air compressor; any reason other than that and you can definitely find something better.

4. Best to Control Impact Wrench

Ingersoll Rand Model 231C Air Impact Wrench

Ingersoll-Rand 231C 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench

  • 600 Foot/Pound
  • Easy Control
  • 4.2 CFM
  • Weighs 6.4 Pounds

This mid-priced unit from the same company as the previous item tries to stand out by having an exclusive impact mechanism that focuses on control rather than power. The power regulator, however, is adjustable, with pressure-fed lubrication to help during long projects. The Ingersoll-Rand 231C will probably be the easiest unit you ever have to service due to the 2-piece construction.

Taking it apart is a breeze as well as locating whatever the problem is when it isn’t functioning correctly. With a contoured handle it’s hard to hate this product, even if it is missing some significant features. It’s under powered with a 600 feet/pound torque but has an air consumption of only 4.2 CFM. The weight is average at 6.4 pounds and won’t scare away a hard worker who's worried about hand strain.

The design and actual model has been continuously built upon for over 25 years. It isn’t necessarily a bad unit but pales in comparison to others such as the previously listed item by the same maker. What this air impact wrench lacks in power it makes up for in control, but that is a pretty huge sacrifice if you have a big project to do. The warranty is a standard 1 year and requires a sales receipt or an invoice when registering. The max PSI for use with the tool is 90, but there is some wiggle room there if you’re willing to experiment. Make no mistake about it, this is still a great buy for someone working out of their garage and doing nominal hobby work. If you’re looking for something heavy duty that is also future proof, then it would be hard to recommend this tool to anyone. There are way too many great options at similar prices that you can spend your hard earned money on.

5. Best Professional Impact Wrench

Ingersoll Rand 261 Air Impact Wrench

Ingersoll-Rand 261 3/4-Inch Super Duty Air Impact Wrench

  • 1100 Foot/Pound
  • Pressure Feed Lube System
  • 9.5 CFM
  • Weighs 13 Pounds

One of the highest-priced units on the list is also the heaviest and comes in at a hand-shaking 13 pounds total. There aren’t many ¾ air impact wrenches that can deliver up to 1,100 feet/pound of torque, but of the few there are, they weight a lot less than this brand. With the extra power and the jumbo power mechanism there won’t be a single bolt that can challenge you, whether it’s in forward or reverse mode. A pressure-feed lube system increases performance by making sure the mechanics of the unit are functioning at 100% at all times. The extra weight is due to this being a professional grade heavy duty air impact wrench that can handle the likes of major engine teardowns, pinion nut and track pad removal, and spring work.

Due to the extreme nature of this unit it can almost be considered overkill for smaller tasks, as it tears through just about whatever you throw at it. The usual handle exhaust keeps unwanted debris away from your face and shoots it downwards. The average air consumption is a hungry 9.5 CFM. As long as you have the stamina to handle 13 pounds, this unit will take care of any job you throw at it without any type of setback. Because of the extreme power of this air impact wrench there will be a lot of noise, but nothing too out of your comfort zone. The size is perfect and the design works well, while giving you enough control even at the highest speed. Hook this up to a great air compressor and you’ll never need another air impact wrench in your inventory again. Even with the extreme weight, this heavy duty air impact wrench tops the list.

6. Powerful and Compact Impact Wrench

Ingersoll Rand 2145QiMax Quiet Impact Wrench

Ingersoll Rand 2145QiMax Rand 3/4-Inch Composite Quiet Impact Tool

  • 1350 Foot/Pound
  • 7-vane motor
  • 91.1 dBA
  • Weighs 7.4 Pounds

Now to the highest-priced Ingersoll Rand on the list, with a blistering 1350 feet/pound reverse torque from an air impact wrench that weighs only 7.4 pounds, about half the weight of the previous unit. It’s a small and compact tool that can get to places that some of the other tools on this list can’t ever reach, and even if it’s dropped it’s strong enough to withstand the impact and keep going. The 2-year limited warranty is standard on this model and probably won't be needed if you take good care of the tool. There is a 16% increase in motor efficiency so that you don’t experience any lag on tough projects, and with a 7-vane motor you’ll never be lacking the power that you really need.

Cleaning is extremely easy because of the inlet screen, which in the end means you’ll spend more money operating at max efficiency and worrying less about a full functioning air impact wrench. The average air consumption is 8.5 CFM with 1,150 blows per minute, with a noise level hitting the 91.1 dBA level at its peak. This gives you the power of the previous product without the extra weight, so there is definitely some advantages here in terms of features and improvement.

This is not only a fantastic beginner's air impact wrench, but if you’re in the market to replace your current one then this is also the way to go. There aren’t a lot of units available at this size with this power and massive set of features. It handles air very well for the power it draws and is a winner on all fronts, even with the warranty. This is a great buy and should not be overlooked, for either starters or experts in the field.

7. Quiet Impact Wrench

NitroCat 1200-K Composite Air Impact Wrench

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

  • 1295 Foot/Pounds
  • Weighs 5 Pounds
  • Twin-clutch mechanism
  • 86 decibels

This is a great choice for ½ wrench users looking for a mid-priced solution with a load of features. The housing is strong, built with a Kevlar composite to withstand blows but still contoured enough to make sure the operator doesn’t get fatigued with a bad design. While most of the other options on this list are on the noisy side, this is the quietest of the bunch and only operates at 86 decibels thanks to its patented quiet technology. A twin-clutch mechanism gives you sound mechanics to back the power while the exhaust goes through the bottom handle to keep unwanted debris from your face. Forward and reverse are managed through a flip lever that’s easy to recognize and access.

NitroCat markets this as the air impact wrench used by many NHRA Top Fuel race teams, and it’s easy to see why it’s popular. The operating PSI is between 90 and 120 with a max torque of 1,295 feet/pound to keep you busy on many heavy projects. If by any chance something goes wrong, you have a 2-year parts and labor limited warranty. If looking for variable speeds you’ll be a bit disappointed that even though it has different speeds, there isn’t a lot of difference between the lowest and highest settings. This may frustrate some users who want to do some fine tuning with certain projects, and may be more interested in purchasing a unit that has true variable speed. The protective cover is bright red with flames, which looks cool at first glance but sort of takes away from the overall professionalism of the unit. If looking for an all-round champ, this works well for a variety of reasons. It’s quiet, powerful, and can take on just about any other unit on the list

8. Composite Impact Wrench

Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 Composite Air Impact Wrench

Chicago Pneumatic CP7748 1/2" Composite Impact Wrench

  • 922 Foot/pound
  • 94 dB
  • Weighs 4.4 Pounds
  • 8200 RPM

This lightweight composite housing Chicago Pneumatic is one of the most powerful tool in its class. In reverse the real torque is a remarkable 922 feet/pound, and both forward and reverse functions are one-handed. The design offers both comfort with the contoured grip and functionality with the easy-to-reach forward and reverse keys. The forward function has 3 different positions: high (730 ft./lbs.), medium (480 ft./lbs.), and low (180 ft./lbs.). This professional grade tool can also handle light work with tire changing, MRO applications, and general maintenance. With the total weight of the tool only hitting 4.4 pounds it is one of the most powerful tools you will ever own. There is also no fear with dirt or other miscellaneous debris affecting the tool and how it functions on a long term basis, thanks to the housing design.

The unit uses a twin-hammer mechanism and other features such as an ergonomically developed trigger, swivel air inlet, and free speed 8,200 working torque. You are going to get a little bit of sound with this one, with a 94 dB, which is to be expected with this much power. The max PSI is 90 with an air flow capacity of 90 CFM. There are no bad reviews for this product, to give you a general idea of how well this unit performs. It really is one of the best on the market and easily the most powerful. Even if trying to test its power on a rusty project where other impact wrenches have failed, you will be pleasantly surprised with just how fast this one pulls it through. This is in the top 3 of the list at the very least, and is a solid purchase for first-time and professional buyers.


Those were some interesting choices, especially considering one of the best units is a monster that weighs almost 15 pounds! This isn’t a deal breaker for some but may be for those with arthritis or other hand ailments. Surprisingly, the largest on the list wasn’t the most powerful, and when it comes to being the quietest then the NitroCat with Kevlar is the king on the list. With the great choices on this list you will come out on top no matter which one you choose, so have fun and prepare to be amazed by the power in your hands. If you are looking for other Air Tools, you might be interested in theses posts

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